Friday, November 15, 2019

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The region of East Europe does not have a general consensus of what is included. One quote states that there are “almost as many definitions of East Europe as there are scholars of the region.”

Some call the nations that once made up the “Iron Curtain” the members of the region. Others look at cultural or geographical similarities.

What has created such an uncertain definition is the cultural schism which occurred in the 11th century. The East separated from the West because of religious and political views and that separation can still be seen in some areas today.

What you will find in East Europe are glimpses of classical antiquity and opportunities to explore the Medieval origins of the local culture. Since 1989, the political landscape of the region has shifted and stabilized toward the rest of Europe, but it has also maintained its unique identity.

You will find that East Europe feels somewhat rustic, but like you’re coming home. It is a region where you can find coffee and comfort food around almost every corner. There are still majestic castles and religious structures to tour, but there are also undeveloped trails to follow throughout the countryside.

At the same time, there are still coastal regions to explore, beaches to enjoy, and plenty of activities to pursue.

The nations of East Europe provide an authentic glimpse of local life while offering the infrastructure required to design the perfect holiday. You’ll find these destinations have much to offer even the casual visitor.

Below you find a list of countries belonging to the region known as Eastern Europe.

Eastern Europe A - Z

Popular destnations in eastern Europe

Bulgaria

The Black Sea coastline brings in flocks of Bulgarians and foreign visitors alike, and it’s little wonder why with its soft, golden sands and azure waters. Rivalling the very best of Spain and Greece, the resorts along the Black Sea coast are finally beginning to be recognised as the must-visit destination they are. Combine this with intricate architecture, sensational restaurants and the most welcoming of locals, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a holiday you’ll want to repeat to year after year.

For beachfront beauty, Sunny Beach on the country’s east coast is great choice. Boasting luxurious 5-star hotels as well as those better for visitors on a budget, it’s a resort that really has it all. For a city break that you can boast about, Sofia is where it’s at. As Bulgaria’s capital, it already stands in pretty good stead as being one of the country’s most unforgettable destinations, but once you throw in the stunning mix of Roman, Byzantine and medieval architecture, the majestic backdrop of Vitosha Mountain and some truly iconic landmarks, you simply can’t go too far wrong.

To combine the best of both these resorts, Varna is a stunning beachside, city location that has a whole lot to offer. Beautiful shorelines meet a dynamic, bustling city centre, making it the ideal choice for a beach getaway with an extra dose of pizazz. As a vibrant and fascinating country, Bulgaria is ideal for families, couples and groups. Offering an abundance of sweeping landscapes, beautiful beaches and mouth-watering cuisine, holidays to Bulgaria are designed to impress, and they certainly don’t fall short.

Boasting an enviable Mediterranean climate, this stunning country is ideal for summer getaways that are doused in sunshine. Temperatures vary from region to region, but if you’re looking for soaring temperatures that are met by a cooling sea breeze, the Black Sea coast was made for you. Complete a day in the sun by indulging yourself at one of the many restaurants and bars. The realm of resorts along the seafront offer these treasures in abundance, and you can taste delights including Eastern European fare, favourite international dishes and Bulgarian must-tries. Couple this with a bar overlooking the sparkling waters and you’ll understand why every day during Bulgaria holidays ends simply beautifully.

If you’re in need a blissful beach break, be sure to head to Golden Sands. Located next to the Black Sea, it offers miles of crisp, white beach that are simply perfect for topping up that tan. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to keep you well looked after, and an abundance of water-sports are available for some competitive fun! For the many culture vultures and history buffs among us, Nessebar has a realm of 11th century ruins for you to explore. Alternatively, head to the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Rila Monastery near Sofia. Perched on the Rila Mountain, it boasts beautiful architecture and even better views. Couple this with a few days exploring the country’s capital and you’ll be so glad you came!

If holidays in Bulgaria sound more appealing if they’re spent soaking up the sun in glorious luxury, look no further than Sveti Vlas Village. Indulge in crystal clear waters, gourmet dining and high-end treatment – sounds pretty perfect, right? It even boasts some of the country’s most luxurious nightlife, making it perfect for couples looking for a secluded retreat.

Czech Republic

Since its split from Czechoslovakia in 1993, the independent nation of the Czech Republic has thrived on countless fronts, from tourism and sport to economy and socialism, you’ll discover a myriad of sites and engrossing aspects to Czech Republic holidays. While Prague and its surroundings are a focal point of anyone’s trip to the country, the Czech Republic is teeming with attractions, from ancient cities to stunning natural beauty. The country holds a vibrant spa town heritage, and you’ll find many of these wonderful escapes spanning luxury and comfort that will offer immense relaxation and indulgence to holidaymakers looking for a bit of history in a rejuvenating atmosphere. Outdoor enthusiasts will relish some of the landscapes available to them, providing some wonderful hiking and biking opportunities during your holidays to Czech Republic. But it is Prague city that holds the most treats for visitors, the country’s capital, and an endless array of captivating historical sites.

Prague tends to serve as the entry point for most visitors to the country, a thriving capital that has long attracted a range of holidaymakers, from the young, stag weekend crowds searching for cheap and fulfilling nightlife, to the culture vultures looking to delve into the history and ideals of the city’s heritage. Stroll across the iconic Charles Bridge and make your way into the stunning historic centre of Prague. The Old Town and its square is one of the most incredible locations to encounter during Czech Republic holidays, home to the famed Astronomical Clock and the towering spires of Tyn Church, while being lined by great eateries and bars in which to soak up the bygone atmosphere. If you can drag yourself away from the magnetic lure of Prague, you’ll discover much more to the country, including monasteries, castles, churches, caves and countryside, as well as plenty more engrossing cities and towns. Olomouc is a popular stop, predominantly a student town but home to numerous attractions such as the Town Hall and Holy Trinity Column, while Karlovy Vary is the most renowned spa resort in the country, home to 12 separate hot springs sites to soak in. Holidays in Czech Republic aren’t complete without a good sampling session of the country’s iconic beer, and where better than Pilsen, home of the original Pilsner Urquell beer.

Top Cities

Prague is the Czech Republic’s beautiful historic capital city. The city sits on the Vltava River and is filled with spectacular attractions, exciting nightlife and fantastic restaurants. Karlovy Vary is a historic Czech city that is famous for its hot springs and spas. The city is filled with beautiful buildings and monuments as well as luxury spas and relaxing natural hot springs. Prague has a large number of museums such as the National Gallery of Prague, the National Museum and the Museum of Communism. There are also plenty of art galleries and music venues all over the city. The Czech Republic is well known for its excellent beer and Prague is the home of the Pilsner Lager. There are a number of breweries around the country that offer beer tasting as well as tours of the breweries, ideal for any beer lovers. Prague is known for its exciting and vibrant nightlife, there are hundreds of bars all over the city, perfect whether you want to sip cocktails on a terrace as the sun goes down, or enjoy drinks deals into the early hours. The city has a number of excellent clubs playing all sorts of musical genres, from techno to disco. Prague also has a number of casinos if you fancy a flutter at the roulette table or want to try your chances at blackjack. The Charles Bridge is a spectacular Czech monument that crosses the River Vltava that runs through the city of Prague. The bridge was completed in the 15th century and is one of the world’s most beautiful bridges; perfect for an evening stroll. Karlovy Vary is a historic Czech city that is famous for its hot springs and spas. The city is filled with beautiful buildings and monuments as well as luxury spas and relaxing natural hot springs.

The Czech Republic is home to some truly awe inspiring natural landscapes, many of which are protected in National Parks and Nature Reserves that are scattered all over the country and are open to the public. A Prague River Cruise is without doubt one of the best ways to take in the beautiful city. Cruises run along the River Vltava that bisects the city every day though try and catch one in the evening if you can, the views are spectacular. A visit to Terezin Concentration Camp is a truly moving experience for whoever visits. Prague Old Town Square is one of the most beautiful regions of the city home to some spectacular architecture as well as some great restaurants. Litomyšl is a beautiful historic town that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its Renaissance Chateaus in the centre of the city. Bike Tours are a fantastic way to experience some of the spectacular scenery of the Czech Republic. There are bike tours available in most of the country’s major cities. Ceský Krumlov is a beautiful historic city in the south of the country that is home to some of the most spectacular architecture in the country.

Czech Republic is home to a large number of music festivals every year such as the Cesky Krumlov International Music Festival and The Prague International Jazz Festival. There are also plenty of other Czech festivals such as the Prague Fringe Festival and the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Estonia

With a mix of cultural influences and a rich history, Estonia makes for a fantastic spot for your upcoming break – whether you fancy spending your Estonia holidays in a charming countryside village or a glorious seaside town. If you’re looking for a spot of beachside relaxation in addition to your trip, head across to nearby Latvia for glorious sands and beautiful coastal views. Adventure-seekers and those embarking on an active break will be in their element during holidays to Estonia, with some great activities in picturesque surroundings. Stroll through idyllic towns or embark on a vigorous hike through woodland trails – ensuring you take your camera with you to capture the spectacular views of course! The beautiful setting of the Soomaa National Park is a favourite with those who enjoy the great outdoors – whether you fancy hiking or venturing out on a canoe.

If you’d rather capture what the city has to offer, head to Tallinn, Estonia’s vibrant capital. With its striking architecture and meandering cobbled streets, this is the ideal setting to soak up some of the country’s history. Catch a glimpse of 14th-century buildings alongside beautiful churches, or spend an afternoon people-watching in a laid-back café as you linger over a coffee. Eating and drinking in Estonia is a great experience, and you’ll find plenty of hearty and fulfilling traditional recipes around every corner – make sure you sample the delicious taste of vanaema’s kook or Grandmother’s Cake, on your travels. If you’re looking for a dose of culture on your Estonia holidays, you’ll find some great museums and historical landmarks to explore. The KuMu Art Museum and Estonian History Museum are must-visits, while the Estonian Maritime Museum serves as a reminder for the country’s historic relationship with the sea. Hop on a boat across these waters and you’ll be able to sample some of the delights of neighbouring Finland.

Eastern Europe