Where to Stay
If you're looking for just one base from which to explore, the pocket where Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro meet offers the easiest access to the most diverse range of attractions. From Dubrovnik you can take day trips to Mostar, Trebinje, the Bay of Kotor, Budva and various Dalmatian islands. A cheaper alternative is to base yourself in Trebinje; the Bay of Kotor is a happy medium – cheaper than Dubrovnik yet still by the sea.
If it's a beach holiday you're after, Montenegro's tiny stretch of coast is the most crammed, while Albania's is the least; Croatia still offers some quieter escapes on its numerous islands. If it's mountains you're chasing, the obvious choices are Slovenia and Montenegro, but each country has good options. For buzzy city life, head to Belgrade.