DETAILS & ROUTES
The Where and When
August 6th to 7th
Kick off party
August 8th 2021
Up to you - as long as you make it back to Rijeka by the closing party on September 4th
Balkan Roads is all about
Only original Balkan quality
We respect and promote diversity and local features. And there's a ton of that in the Balkans.
With the ordinary local Balkan people and other team members.
"The Balkans are not a place. It's a state of mind, a feeling. An everlasting feeling of self-satisfaction once you've experienced it."
The How Much
You can tailor your entire route according to your preferences.
To help you visualise it, below are three options. Just remember: No highways. Nothing interesting ever happened on a highway.
These are the routes we took with our Yugo.
No highway, minimal budget, 3-6 weeks duration, 5000-8000 km.
You’re welcome to try them, or make your own!
Here’s the quickest recap of this scenario:
Drive around and enjoy a whole plethora of ćevapčići, burek, tea, rakija, balkava and all the other God given deserts. Roam on croatian rivers and lakes, get lost somewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina, find a main road, visit Mostar, jump of the bridge, take a rafting class in Neretva, enter Montenegro, check your Balkan car, fix it if needed, fix it again, drive crazy serpentine roads to Kosovo with beautiful nature around, enter Skopje, ask wtf happened with all the monuments every few meters, „Is that a Johnny Depp monument??“ – yes it is, drive to Prilep on a riverbed that Macedonians and GPS like to call „a road“, swear a bit, avoid the bears and foxes, survive and enter Greece. Meet some Greek people, accept their olive oil, confirm few times it’s the world’s best olive oil, try to leave the room, doesn’t work? Run while they chase you with the olive oil. Go to Istanbul, try the spices, visit the market, the mosque, the EVERYTHING!!! Turn back up north, drive Bulgarian sand coast and party in beach bars here and in Romania. Why is Russian spoken in Odessa? Nevermind, back in the car, visit Bucuresti, then Drakula and then some guy in Subotica, Serbia, who established a new Yugoslavia in his back yard. Make a passport, go to Brčko district in BiH and wonder why the streets are named of American presidents. Be appalled, enter Croatia and follow Pokupsko and Kravarsko signs. Continue driving when the asphalt is gone, feel creepy, experience silent hill feeling, crop up in Zagreb celebrating you’re alive. Go to Slovenia, visit Istria, learn how to knit on the slopes of Učka while paragliding and than land in Rijeka. Breathe out.
A semi-short recap of the culture tour:
Start cruising on the Adriatic costal road and then lift yourself to the deep forests of Velebit mountain highlands. Once there make sure to avoid the minefields from the last war with an amazing view on the islands (don’t stray a meter from the road or play a hero so you don’t end up as leftovers of a hero).
Enjoy the unpaved road and it’s massive serpentines with hundreds of feet deep chasms bellow your wheels (BE AWARE this road is dangerous which is kind of the whole point).
Jump of the bridge in Montenegro and proceed to Albania.
Talk to locals, try the food, dance their dance. Eat „ajvar“ and swim in Ohrid, the brightest lake in the world, dive in cave, take a kayak and paddle in the depth of the canyon.
Roam from incredible Meteora in Greece all the way to Plovdiv, the oldest populated place in Europe and have a free tour there. Go to Buzludzha, be amazed by a space shuttle shaped communist monument sitting on top of a mountain. Find your way in because it’s forbidden, have a picture with Marx and Lenin.
Drive to Serbia and don’t miss the Guča trumpet festival. Dance and sing songs you don’t know with the confidence like you do, eat, drink, eat, drink, (btw, good luck to vegans).
Get to Vukovar, stay shocked and go all “Wtf happened in Yugoslavia”, then think about it, have no answer like the rest of us and eat some „kulen“ and „čvarci“ with rakija to calm down.
Pass BiH, go to Zagreb, party like an Austro – Hungarian, and take the adventure tunnel in Slovenia. Visit Istria and the islands, rent a bike, play picigin on some God forsaken beaches, say hello to Rijeka and party one more time cos you bloody owned the Balkan Roads!
Here’s the rather long quick recap from our adventures:
Take a ride on Adriatic highway, an 800 km long ultimate seaside driving experience proclaimed as one of the most beautiful in the world (And challenging with all it’s drops and serpentine twists and turns) with thousand of islands on one side while driving bellow the tops of mountains.
Go to Montenegro up to 2000 m heights, gather some sheeps and watch over them during the night.
Pass Albania, enter Greece. Drive the beautiful Greek coast to Istanbul – the peak of the Balkans.
Lift yourself up to Odessa passing Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and the internationally unrecognized black market paradise country of Transnistria.
Have a nice sleep since it’s paid somewhere around here and turn left torward Serbia while climbing up and down the southern Carpathians. No sleeping while partying in the European party capital – Belgrade. Meet some random people, mingle and secure the bed in their place next time you find yourself here again. Act like a Balkan (wo)man.
Enter foodylicious Bosnia with your stomach prepared, loose your belt, gain a few pounds.
Stop in Gorski Kotar forest, inhale some fresh air and go to Slovenia. Climb Triglav, get down, go to Trieste – the westernmost spot of Balkans, pass the roman amphitheater in Pula and the most diverse landscapes and drive on the top of the Učka mountain just to take a look on hundreds of kilometers of roads you just passed in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia while looking on some Austrian Alps as well – Just before you enter Rijeka again.
This route covers most of the checkpoints and takes quite a while to complete.
Our three voyage pillars
Over 100 hand-picked, most authentic, local and interactive experiences of the Balkans divided into two main groups:
Adventures/ Imagine yourself jumping from a bridge while looking at dozens of islands bathing in the azure sea or diving in the abyss of the cave. Also paragliding, scuba, quads, etc … Choose yours.
Cultural traditional/ The long time organized gems of the Balkan Roads. Picture your hands dipped in flour and eggs while you’re learning how to make a local type of pie from an old grandma that has been doing it for decades. Try to watch over a herd of sheep and milk them in the morning at over 2000 m of altitude? Learn traditional dances, sing songs, learn how to cook the meals of the Gods – Balkan food.
Our people will heal that frustration on every road trip when you’re driving from one checkpoint to another without having a clue about the places, cultures and people you pass. Dilemas like: “What’s that?? Don’t know … “, are gone now. How it works: Marija, the guide on the Balkan Roads app: “Hi people, I see you’re travelling south on the Adriatic magistrala. Did you know it’s proclaimed to be one of the 10 most beautiful roads in the world? The rocky, “naked” island on your right is called Goli and it served as a prison … “, “Sit in that winery and enjoy a glass of the local sort of wine at our expense”
-“Cool, tell me more Marija!” It’s like having a guide without actually bearing with her/his digestive/sleeping/character moods. Instead, you only get the best.
Play a game. BR is not a competition but each checkpoint brings you points and a chance to win a prize in the end. It’s just our way to add an extra flavour to the trip for our most competitive wandering spirits.