Set in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula, Europe’s newest country is a land of fascinating contrasts and complexities. Rising from the ashes of a brutal civil war it remains one of Europe’s last untouched frontiers, presenting spectacular mountains and an abundance of rivers and forests that provide home for wolves, lynx, bears and over 300 different bird species. Independent since 2008, many nations still do not recognise Kosovo’s right to exist, including neighbouring Serbia. That hasn’t stopped Kosovo though. With a religious heritage that includes the UNESCO World Heritage site of Decani Monastery and a majestic landscape that encompasses part of the famous Via Dinarica, Kosovo can boast some of the finest hiking country in the region.
Sharri National Park provides some of the highest and most spectacular mountains anywhere on the Balkan Peninsula, whilst the dramatic Rugova Valley offers up a chance to explore a country steeped in Albanian tradition, where the strains of Kosovan music echoes across the mountain landscapes. The city of Prizren is home to a staggering collection of Ottoman and Orthodox architecture, whilst characterful Gjakova is rightly considered one of the country’s most authentic towns. New kid on the block it may be, but Kosovo’s cultur-al and natural highlights can hold their own with the finest that Europe’s old order have to offer.