Istanbul: Touchdown in Turkey

I always find it pretty exciting when I leave the airport of a city I’ve previously only transited through, I’m not quite sure why. My excitement was through the roof for Istanbul then – this was my fourth time landing in the city but only my first time passing through immigration and entering Turkey properly.Continue reading “Istanbul: Touchdown in Turkey”

Greece: One Week in Athens

With my 7 week Eastern European jaunt coming to an end, I decided to finish off with a week lazing about in an Airbnb in the Greek capital of Athens. From Meteora, it’s very easy to get to Athens via train or bus, though the train is cheaper, more comfortable and just generally better becauseContinue reading “Greece: One Week in Athens”

Greece: Heavenly Meteora

I loved my time in Albania but it was time to move south into my final European destination on this trip – Greece. There isn’t a whole load of reliable information on how to get to Greece from Albania and, specifically, Gjirokaster but buses do run. Athens is the most well-advertised destination from Gjirokaster, costingContinue reading “Greece: Heavenly Meteora”

Albania: Some Final Forts…

I guess one of the defining themes of my Balkans trip has been Old Towns so it felt right to visit a couple more in the south of Albania before I left this region. The towns of Berat and Gjirokaster both have UNESCO World Heritage status and are renowned for being two of the mostContinue reading “Albania: Some Final Forts…”

Albania: Trendy Tirana

After my spell in the remote Albanian countryside, it was time to head back to city life as I ventured south to Albania’s capital, Tirana. From Shkodër, transport is regular with buses heading there roughly once an hour. Given Albania’s aversion to proper bus stations, from Shkodër you catch the bus just off the bigContinue reading “Albania: Trendy Tirana”

Albania: Hiking Valbona – Theth

Completely unbeknownst to me when I decided Albania would be one of the stops on my Balkans trip, this gem of a country is home to a series of incredible national parks with breathtaking scenery. Who knew? Naturally, as soon as I did find out, I did some digging and made a beeline straight forContinue reading “Albania: Hiking Valbona – Theth”

Albania: Škoda in Shkodër

After 10 days chilling in Montenegro, it was time to move on to my next adventure in the Balkans and I hopped on a bus to Albania. There are a few buses per day heading from Ulcinj to Shkoder (listed as Skadar in Montenegro) across the border and even beyond to the capital, Tirana. TheContinue reading “Albania: Škoda in Shkodër”

Montenegro: The Sunny(ish) South

Although I could have easily stayed in Kotor for a lifetime, after 4 days there I decided to move on, heading south down the coast of Montenegro. The bus station in Kotor is great. It has a big timetable posted with the times of buses to all destinations, both domestic and international. It’s worth snappingContinue reading “Montenegro: The Sunny(ish) South”

Montenegro: Hiking Around Kotor

The Bay of Kotor is surrounded on all sides by mountainous terrain making it a perfect place to hike and get breathtaking views over the bay. I’d recommend downloading maps.me to get a look at all the trails on offer – it’s a great app which maps out all the trails really clearly and canContinue reading “Montenegro: Hiking Around Kotor”

Montenegro: The Bay of Kotor

It was time to move on to my next country in the Balkans, Montenegro, just south of Croatia. Arranging transport from Dubrovnik was easy enough since it’s very close to the border. Fairly regular buses run daily to Herceg Novi, Kotor, Budva and Ulcinj. I booked my bus on GetByBus and printed my ticket justContinue reading “Montenegro: The Bay of Kotor”