Skadar Lake
Skadar Lake

DISCOVER THE BEAUTY OF SOUTH EAST EUROPE, BY DRIVING ONE OF REGION’S MOST SCENIC ROUTES

South-East Europe is a region that encompasses many different cultures, ethnicities, languages and histories. Grouping all of these countries under a single designation can sometimes be problematic; experts, scholars and those living there label parts of the region according to varying sets of criteria.

However, the truth is that South-East Europe and all of its sub-regions is a culturally, geographically, and historically fascinating place, and this site chooses to celebrate the region as a whole whilst acknowledging the differences of each sub-region and each nation within that sub-region. The Conventa team visited 4 amazing countries in 6 days and discovered the depth of beauty by driving one of region’s most scenic routes.

In less than a week, the Conventa team had spread their message to more than 25 hoteliers, tourist boards, DMC’s, event agencies and Convention Bureaus all the way from European green capital 2016, Ljubljana, to natural attraction of Zadar.

STAGE 1:

Ljubljana (Slovenia) – Slavonski Brod (Croatia) – Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

The starting point for the road trip was Slovenia – a South-Eastern European country that is making a name for itself as a destination that anyone can enjoy – and specifically its capital city, Ljubljana. The Conventa team travelled through Zagreb and Slavonski Brod, Croatia, to arrive at the first scheduled destination of Sarajevo. In Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, they visited the Tourist Organisation of BIH, Hotel Evropa, Promo Tours, Radon Plaza Hotel, Hotel Ilidža, Hotel Hollywood, Hotel Bristol and last but not least the Hotel Residence Inn by Marriott.

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Sarajevo’s Winter Olympic Games in 1984 united the tourism and meetings industry of former Yugoslavia. To execute the games the strongest tourist agencies of that time came together. The games had a number of accompanying congress events and increased the number of tourists to Sarajevo. Vučko, the games’ mascot, and Jure Franko, Slovenian medal winner, remain in our hearts.

STAGE 2:

Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – Foča (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – Podgorica (Montenegro)

Podgorica in Montenegro, which also means “black mountain”, is just 239km from Sarajevo and is a land of haunting, mist-encased peaks and rocky terrains. Towards the border of Montenegro the team passed Foča, a municipality situated on the Drina river. Eastwest Voyage, Ramada Podgorica Hotel, Hotel City, Hilton Hotel Podgorica and National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro were all visited in Podgorica and Cetinje.

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Podgorica is not usually on Montenegro’s list of its sexiest destinations, sitting mostly in the shadow of Lovčen, Kotor, Budva and other places loaded with history, culture and charm. It therefore seems that it became the capital of the small country, and thereby took the primacy of the royal capital of Cetinje, more or less by chance. Less known is the fact that this is one of the oldest towns of Montenegro.

STAGE 3:

Podgorica (Montenegro) – Cetinje (Montenegro) – Budva (Montenegro)

Budva Old Town is a walled, historic centre on the Adriatic coast of Montenegro that has been compared to Kotor and Dubrovnik. The Montenegro coast has become one of the hottest European incentive spots, partly due to extremely strong and aggressive marketing. Montenegro Stars Hotel Group, Budva Tourist Board, Avala Resort & Villas and Talas Montenegro DMC were all visited in Budva, Montenegro.

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On the Montenegrin coast congress tourism is being very seriously and ambitiously considered as part of their elite tourism. The destination, which is promoted as a wild beauty, is on the right track to become a congress gem, but to achieve this goal they will have to do much more, especially in the field of infrastructure and moving their thinking from the summer season to more year-round activities.

STAGE 4:

Budva (Montenegro) – Tivat (Montenegro) – Dubrovnik (Croatia)

The Conventa team then visited Tivat, the smallest municipality by area in Montenegro, and visited one of the TOP places – Porto Montenegro. Today, Tivat is one of hottest tourist spots on the Mediterranean because of Porto Montenegro – a new, modern marina for luxury yachts, with an amazing backdrop.

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As a town, Tivat didn’t start developing before the late 19th century, when the naval seaport Arsenal started to become significant. Up until the construction of the Arsenal the landed property in Tivat was mostly in the hands of feudal noblemen from Prcanj, Perast, Dobrota and Kotor.

STAGE 5:

Dubrovnik (Croatia) – Split (Croatia) – Zadar (Croatia)

The highlight of the entire coast is Dubrovnik, one of the great walled cities of Europe and a triumph of 17th century urban planning. Dubrovnik has a long tradition of welcoming foreign tourists, and an almost equally long tradition of tourists complaining about the other tourists. In Dubrovnik, Croatia, the team visited the Sheraton Dubrovnik Riviera Hotel, Dubrovnik Tourist Board, Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik and DT Croatia – Dubrovnik Travel, Adriatic Luxury Hotels, Importanne Resort, Radisson Blu Resort & Spa – Dubrovnik Sun Gardens, while the Tourist Board of Split, Radisson Blu Resort Split and Le Meridien Lav Split were all visited in Split, Croatia, which is 228km away from Dubrovnik.

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Dubrovnik is well established on the world tourist map as a leading tourist destination in the region. Given the extensive tourist infrastructure, locals would want to stretch the summer crowds out over the rest of the year. In addition to the legendary and iconic hotels like the Excelsior, the city offers a variety of hotel accommodation.

STAGE 6:

Zadar (Croatia) – Ljubljana (Slovenia)

Zadar is becoming very developed and with it a viable meetings city, which boasts an exceptional cultural offer. With such potential, it can compete with Mediterranean destinations such as those in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Turkey. The Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera was visited in Zadar, Croatia, after which the Conventa team continued their way to Ljubljana and arrived there within 6 hours. This road trip was a very rewarding and exciting journey.

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Zadar is the celebrated spot of the peace treaty of 1358 – The Treaty of Zadar – signed between the Venetian Republic and the Croatian-Hungarian Kingdom. The treaty freed the Croatian coast and islands from Venetian occupation and opened a long period of social and economic prosperity of the city of Zadar, as stressed by Skunca Stanko, Guardian of the Monastery where the treaty was signed and where the original document is filed.