Kosovo may be Europe's newest country, but its long and dramatic history can be witnessed at every turn. Far from being the dangerous or depressing place most people imagine when they hear the name, Kosovo is a fascinating land at the heart of the Balkans and one of the last corners of Eastern Europe where tourism has yet to take off.
Barbs of its past are impossible to miss however: roads are dotted with memorials to those killed in 1999, when Serbia stripped Kosovo of its autonomy and initiated ethnic cleansing, while NATO forces still guard Serbian monasteries. But with independence has come stability, and Kosovo is now the latest word in getting off the beaten track in the Balkans. Visitors who make the journey here will be rewarded with welcoming smiles, charming mountain towns, incredible hiking opportunities and 13th-century domed Serbian monasteries just for starters.
Western Balkans: time-tripping in southeastern Europe
The Balkans have attracted adventurers for centuries – literary bigwigs Lord Byron and Rebecca West penned romantic accounts of journeys through these, once foreboding and mysterious lands...
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Western Balkans: Europe’s new adventure playground
Outdoors aficionados and adrenaline junkies, take note: there are still uncharted grounds to conquer only a few hours’ flight away from London, Paris or Berlin...
Welcome to paradise: reflections on Kosovo
It may sound strange, but I had never pictured Kosovo in colour...