The Balkans are gaining in popularity as a cycle touring destination.  And rightfully so.  Beautiful and diverse scenery, cultural attractions  and reasonable prices make for a perfect two-wheeled holiday.  Guest poster Jamie Wilson tells us why Kosovo made such a strong impression on him.

In 2008, I cycled from Istanbul to Zadar (Croatia) across the Balkans with four University friends: Richard Hackett, Thomas Hampton, Strachan Mackenzie and Alex Magnussen. Kosovo was a gleaming highlight of my trip and I would thoroughly recommend it to other intrepid travellers

#1  Rugged

Kosovo felt like an adventure. Signs like these, although sad in origin, added some testosterone to our tales.

 

#2 Partying in Pristina

Pristina, Kosovo’s capital, has a surprising number of bars and clubs happy to include salt encrusted lycra in the dress code. The smoking ban hasn’t blown this far east yet, so maybe people just didn’t notice…

#3 Valued

As tourist we were definitely made to feel valued. At times I felt like I was personally taking credit for securing Kosovan peace – an effort I was not involved in, nor knew much about.

#4 Youth Optimism

After a past plagued by conflict, the youth share a palpable optimism for the future. These sentiments pour out from the cafes and clubs across the country, and left us feeling up-lifted for the future of Europe’s newest country.

#5 Kosovo-Montenegro Border

The Kosovan – Montenegrin border is perched high up in the Prokletije mountains overlooking the beautiful Bjeshket e Nemuna National Park. The park is an untamed and rugged expanse brimming with wildlife, including some of Europe’s last wild bears. There is currently a project to join the national park with bordering areas in Albania and Montenegro to form a united Balkan Peace Park; another example of this country’s commitment to carving a peaceful future.

Over to you!
What’s your favorite Balkan country?  Any tips for cycling through this spectacular region?
Top 5 Reasons to Go Bicycle Touring in Kosovo

2 thoughts on “Top 5 Reasons to Go Bicycle Touring in Kosovo

  • August 25, 2012 at 3:30 PM
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    Kosova is really spectacular. May 2012 I cycled Pristine – Prizren – Peje (Pecs) – Montenegro and further to Albania, Macedonia, Greece, Bulgaria, Rumania, Serbia and Hungary . The direct road through Rugovska gorge (Cakor pass) was closed because of engineering. Meeting people is always fun, some speak French or German or even Dutch, because they were refugee or worker in Switzerland, Germany or the Netherlands. In one week’s time in Kosova and Montengro I saw only 30 cyclists in total, just 1 long distance cyclist from abroad. It is really an adventure cycling on the Balkan.

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  • October 14, 2012 at 10:02 AM
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    If you would like to take part in a cycle challenge next spring in this beautiful country and at the same time raise money to support people still living in real poverty there, check out http://www.cyclekosovo.com and join us – numbers limited, so book your place soon!

    Reply

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