Young Pioneer Tours

Balkan Tours 2020

The Balkans has a special place in the YPT Soviet Europe tour calendar. Since we started running tours there over eight years ago we soon fell in love with the hospitable people, the Balkan food and the incredible but often dark history. As a result, we now run scheduled group tours throughout the year and a series of private tours.

For eight years the Balkans has made up a popular part of our hardcore Eurasian tour which takes in over 24 countries in eight weeks, ticking off the entire Balkan peninsula and every former republic of Communist Yugoslavia: Starting in Romania with a tour of the crazy world of the Ceausescu regime, we take a day train to Sofia and explore the North-Korean-style Red Army monuments and beautiful downtown. We then head to the lesser-visited and frequently-renamed Former Yugoslav Republic of Northern Macedonia and check out their strange gleaming capital of gaudy statues and marble buildings, contrasted with an Ottoman old town on the other side of the river.

When we take a bus to Kosovo we take our first step into the tense political world of the Balkans by visiting the city of Mitrovica, contested between Kosovan Albanians and Serbs. We couple this with a visit to a stunning, isolated mountain village populated by the Gorani tribe and our eccentric friend Borat, the proud owner of two ageing horses called Yamaha and Kawasaki, will be around to give us an impromptu tour. In Albania, we explore the hospitable land of a country of mountains and bunkers, formerly more closed off than North Korea! In out-of-season Montenegro we have the old towns mostly to ourselves and get to see the yachts of Russian billionaires up close. In Serbia we visit the impressive grave of Emperor Tito and witness the war-damaged remains of the NATO bombing campaign in the late 1990s. In Bosnia we witness the harrowing sights related to the cruel and brutal Bosnian wars of the 1990s before heading into Croatia and Slovenia to collect the final two republics of the former Yugoslavia.

For those with an extensive interest in the region, we designed the Balkan Badlands tour which features an intense look at Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania. Taking in most of the sights featured on our Eurasian tour as well as abandoned underground air bases, towers of skulls, Yugoslavian monuments, war-torn towns and cities and abandoned naval bases from Communist Albania.

Like all of our tours, they can be joined as a group tour or be organised as a private, completely customizable trip on any date that you wish. So get in touch today to begin the adventure of a lifetime through this fascinating region!

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