I never stop dreaming about my next destination, but there is something about the end of a year to really get those thoughts organized. I don’t know about you, but each month creeps up on me so suddenly, and ofttimes I’m making last minute reservations when there really is no excuse for it. As a teacher, I know all of my days off for the whole year. Maybe the one resolution I should make is to be a better planner.
Anyway, I was thinking…Depending on your resource (because somehow they are all different), I only have a few countries left to visit on the European continent. I haven’t been to: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Kosovo, Russia, San Marino or Ukraine. Granted, some of these are not so easy to get to, because of visas or you know…unrest. But, a girl’s got to have goals.
As I start to plan where to go, I asked some travel bloggers to chime in with their thoughts. I’m not sure how much it has helped, because they all make great arguments for the places they have written about. Can I ask you a favor? Can you help me out? Read the posts and look at the amazing photos below. Then in the comments tell me which countries I should go to, and which ones I need to get to first. Please!
Where would you go in 2016?
Albania – Giulia from Blocal Travel Blog
The thing I liked the most about Albania is the genuineness of the place: secluded beaches, unspoiled nature, fresh food and easy-going people. I especially loved the crystal blue sea and the abandoned stone houses scattered throughout the country. It is the perfect place to relax and step outside from our hectic routines.
Armenia – Kach from Two Monkeys Travel
Azerbaijan – Edna from Expat Edna
Belarus – Jub from Tiki Touring Kiwi
As the last dictatorship in Europe, acquiring a Belarus visa is not straightforward making you appreciate your time that little bit more. I really liked how there were no touts asking me anything due to the lack of tourism, though this did make it harder to accomplish basic things from time to time.
Check out what else Jub has to say about this mysterious country! http://www.tikitouringkiwi.com/sensational-guide-getting-started-belarus/
Belarus from Kamila of Kami and the Rest of the World
Estonia This tiny country tucked away in Northern Europe is full of surprises – the main one being just how gorgeous the Old Town of Tallinn is. This medieval Old Town is definitely one of the most beautiful in Europe and worth a visit to Estonia in itself. There’s also Estonia’s Soviet past to explore, lots of natural attractions and an interesting culture.
Sharon has written a really great Tallinn guide here, check it out! http://www.wheressharon.com/europe-with-kids/what-to-do-in-tallin-guide/
Estonia – Lance and Laura from TravelAddicts
Estonians love nature and Estonia is a natural wonderland. One of the highlights is the Konnu Suursoo bog, which is part of the Pohja-Korvemaa Nature Reserve. Many people visit Tallinn or resorts on the coast, but there’s a lot of beauty to explore in Estonia.
Check out Lance and Laura’s post on Estonia: http://www.traveladdicts.net/2015/07/bog-walking-estonia.html
Finland – Inma from A World to Travel
Georgia – Kirsty from Kathmandu and Beyond
We were struck by Georgia’s diversity. For a small country, it packs a punch in terms of things to do, from the Black Sea coast to snowy mountains peaks. As well as some great hiking, we loved exploring the ancient Orthodox monasteries we found dotted all over the country. And, last, but not least, the warmth of the people contributed hugely to our happy memories of Georgia.
Check out much more on Kirsty’s site: www.kathmanduandbeyond.com
Georgia from Jub of Tiki Touring Kiwi
Georgia has a great variety of activities, whether you like the beach, mountains or would rather drink wine in the wine region.
Georgia post link: http://www.tikitouringkiwi.com/georgia-wine/
Kosovo from Stefania of Every Steph
When I visited Kosovo last summer during a Balkans roadtrip, I didn’t have particular expectations, but it turned out to be my favourite country in the region.
Pristina, the capital, is not the prettiest city, but very interesting from a historical point of view; they say Kosovo is the best country for a macchiato outside of Italy, so just sit down at a cafè for some people watching.
A day-trip to the Mirusha waterfalls is worth it to escape the heat!
It was Prizren though, the second largest city in Kosovo, the place I fell in love with: Prizren retains a delightful village feel, life goes on slowly and the glimpse of the city from the fortress at sunset time is oh so pretty!
Check out much more on Stefania’s blog: Every Steph – Green & Glamourous travel blog
Russia from Stuart of Am I Nearly There Yet?
Russia from Stefan of Nomadic Boys
Ukraine from Kirsty of Kathmandu and Beyond
Ukraine from Kamila of Kami and the Rest of the World
Weren’t those some great posts, and certainly inspiration for me to get planning! Tell me in the comments below which stood out to you as must-sees…and soon!