Over the centuries, Bulgaria has been the home of many different civilizations, from the Thracians three thousand years ago to the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century. This long and diverse history has contributed to the unique culture of Bulgaria today. The Balkan Mountains run through the middle of the country creating a beautiful, rugged landscape accented by rivers and plains. In the capital city of Sofia, which has been inhabited since as early as 7000 BC, the rich history of Bulgaria is evident through the historical buildings.
Tourism in Croatia continues to be on the rise as more and more travelers are quickly discovering the beauty of this country. The Mediterranean coastline of Croatia is stunning featuring thousands of small islands and inlets, and breathtaking cliffs to the Adriatic Sea. The country also boasts an impressive eight national parks, which all offer something special and unique. Beyond the beautiful landscape, Croatia has many cities rich in history as it was built on the remains of the Byzantine Empire. These ancient cities include Croatia's capital of Zagreb, and the walled cities of Split and Dubrovnik. With the wonderful Mediterranean climate, traveling to Croatia is a must at any time of the year.
The Czech Republic is a landlocked country with a rich landscape filled with rolling hills, rivers and lush countryside. The capital city of Prague has become exceedingly popular for tourists due to its beautiful historical buildings. This former capital of the great Bohemian Empire features buildings which vary from Romanesque architecture to neo-classical. Beyond the capital city there are vineyards and castles in the countryside of Moravia, and many national parks to explore.
This unique Northern Europe country has a dramatic terrain that includes more than 1,500 islands. Estonia’s long coastline along the Baltic Sea is recognized for the magnificent beaches with a short summer time to enjoy them. Tallinn, the capital, is a medieval town in near-perfect condition. The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is a must-see in Tallinn. Visitors can’t get enough of Estonia’s untouched rural areas teeming with pine forests and bogs that are perfect for hiking.
Located in the center of Europe, this landlocked country is one of the most popular destinations in the world to visit. Hungary is known for having the largest lake in Central Europe, Lake Balaton, and the second largest thermal lake in the world, Lake Héviz. Budapest, the capital is filled to the brim with historic attractions like the Buda Castle, St. Stephen’s Basilica, the Fisherman’s Bastion and more. The Danube River runs right through the city and a stunning 19th-century bridge, Szechenyi Lanchid, crosses it.
Montenegro lies in the south of the Adriatic Sea and has a landscape that ranges from rocky mountains to bright beaches. At only 300km from north to south, this small country squishes in some of Europe’s most spectacular sights. You can’t find this natural terrain of lakes, rivers, mountains, beaches, and beauty in such a compact space anywhere else. The Bay of Kotor similar to a fjord is filled with churches and fortified towns like Kotor and Herceg Novi. Durmitor National Park is a must see in Montenegro with its limestone peaks, glacial lakes, bears, and wolves. The staggeringly beautiful scenery is something that you cannot miss.
Located on the Baltic Sea, this eastern European country is the perfect mix of big, lively cities and rural, remote nature. Warsaw, the capital is a bustling modern city where you can find the Palac Kultury I Nauki (Palace of Culture and Science), the Warsaw Uprising Museum, and the Monument of the Warsaw Mermaid. On the other hand, Kraków boasts medieval architecture and Cloth Hall, a Renaissance trading post in the main market square. Poland is a great place to both explore castle ruins and go hiking or kayaking in the northeast region.
Largely considered an off-the-beaten-track country for tourism, Romania hosts an abundance of culture, history, and experiences waiting to be explored. Home to the Carpathian Mountains and the Danube River, Romania offers travelers several outdoor adventures. Throughout the country, you will be able to spot Medieval castles and villages on rocky hilltops; Romania is, after all, the home of Count Dracula. The people of Romania are very friendly and are filled with folklore from their proud past. Find your adventure in the countryside or in cities like Bucharest.
The largest country in the world, Russia borders both the Pacific and Arctic Oceans. The terrain varies from warm beaches in the southeast to tundra and forests in the north. Moscow, the capital is on the Moskva River and is a metropolis for science, culture, and history. Here you can find St. Basil’s Cathedral and its interesting onion-shaped domes. St. Petersburg is another must-see; on the Baltic Sea, the city is the country’s cultural hot spot with attractions such as the Mariinsky Theatre, the State Hermitage Museum, and the St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral.
This landlocked central European country is recognized for its unique castles, caves, hot springs, and architecture. Slovakia has dramatic landscape including the High Tatras, which are great for winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, and hiking. The capital, Bratislava along the Danube River is known for its pastel colored, 18th-century Old Town that is pedestrian only and has a dynamic bar and café scene. The Bratislava Castle sits atop a hill overlooking the Danube River and is home part of the Slovak National Museum. Slovakia is the literal heart of Europe and in Kermnické Bane you can find a stone that marks the geographical center of Europe next to the Church of St. John the Baptist.
Located in Central Europe, Slovenia is recognized for its beautiful green lakes, the Julian Alps, short Adriatic coast and ski resorts. With activities like rafting, caving, canoeing, and hiking there is something for everyone in Slovenia. It was the first country in the world to be declared a green destination meaning that it is economically and environmentally sustainable. Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, is recognized for its baroque architecture mixed with the 20th century ‘Triple Bridge’ by architect Joze Plecnik. Another town to explore is Bled where you can find a medieval castle that sits on a glacial lake fed by hot springs.
This large, eastern European country borders Russia and sits on the Black Sea. It is recognized for its coastline, forest covered mountains, and ornate Orthodox churches. Ukraine is an off the beaten path travel destination where you can explore, hike and hang out by the beach. The Carpathian Mountains are great for hiking, and the Odesa beach in the summer is the perfect spot to relax in Ukraine. Kiev, the capital houses St. Sophia’s Cathedral and the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery, a classic Christian pilgrimage site.