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SE Europe for 4-5 Weeks with my 13 Year Old Son

Planning a trip for August with my 13 year old son. Want to focus on Southeastern Europe. I'm starting a bit broad and would love some input. In the mix is Hungary > Romania > Croatia > Serbia > Montenegro > Macedonia > Albania > Greece.

I've been to Budapest and many locations in Greece -- but none of the other locations. Romania is a must for me, but open to input and suggestions for other locations.

Would love to hear what your route would be if you had 4-5 weeks to visit some or all of the above mentioned.

Posted by
16893 posts

This is a duplicate posting (multi-country trip).

Posted by
80 posts

Hi Alexa, I've been to most of the countries you mentioned but at different times-not traveled to them all together on the same trip. So i dont have much input regarding planning travel between your destinations. If you're traveling in August, there are some great airfares on the some of the budget airlines to some if not all of your countries. If you use the skyscanner website it might help plan some of the routes by plane.

Budapest, as you know is a great place to check out and James "who posts on this website" is an expert on the area. I know Montenegro much better and travel there every year along with some of its surrounding countries, including Croatia, Albania and Serbia.

You can get to Dubrovnik, Croatia pretty inexpensively with some of the budget airlines and i would recommend then traveling by car into Montenegro. The trip from Dubrovnik to Montenegro along the bay of Kotor is one of the most beautiful places i've seen and only take an hour or two. There's a town along the way called Perast that has a great view of two islands in the middle of the bay with a church on them. You can visit the islands by boat for about 5 euros each. A little further along the bay is Kotor, a walled city sitting on the bay much like Dubrovnik without as many tourists. You can hike or drive up the mountain above Kotor for spectacular views of the bay. If you drive up, there's a town called Njegus that is famous for smoked ham or "prsut" and cheese. The local's wave you down to sell you their prsut and are proud to show you the places they smoke them in. Only about 45 minutes drive from Kotor are some great beaches where you can lie on the beach or catch a boat to the Blue Cave and snorkel around in it. Only a few hours drive from Kotor you can do some great white-water rafting or hiking in the mountains above Zabljak. Near Zabljak there's a deep gorge across the Tara river where you can zipline across the gorge-pretty exciting.

It is also an easy drive from Dubrovnik to Mostar and Sarajevo in Bosnia. We've made this trip several times and wouldnt leave this area without checking out those cities. Only a short drive from Mostar is a huge waterfall called Kravica, that you can swim in.

We've driven a circular route from Kotor to Kosovo on into Macedonia thru Albania and back to Montenegro. It was a long drive but doable and did it over the course of about 4-5 days. With some great stop overs in Lake Orhid and Skopje. Also there's reasonable flights from Tivat, Montenegro to Belgrade for around $100. We made this trip last year and really loved Belgrade.

Posted by
191 posts

Hello Alexa, I have been to all of those countries and could give you a great deal of advice.

Generally, as I've aged (50), I have subscribed more and more to a "less is more" approach and thus if I was approaching your trip and "Romania is a must", then I would just limit 4-5 weeks to Romania and one other country (I would choose Bulgaria myself or Macedonia or Montenegro from your list).

Now, when I was in my 20s, 30s and some of my 40s, I, too, would have tried to (as efficiently as possible, of course) cram as much as possible into what seems like a long time. Therefore, it depends on how you're feeling. If you and your son want to do a younger-person's Rick Steves-type trip, you could see nearly all of these places since the territory of former Yugoslavia, encompassing Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, is relatively small. In fact, Romania is larger than all four of those countries combined.

If you wish to let me know some of your interests and what pace you think you might prefer, I'd by happy to chime in with six or seven chapters of tips. Also, does it have to be August? July is a lot better, though June and September are much, much better than either July or August. Your son's school is an issue, no doubt.

Cheers, Will