We have done a lot of traveling through Western Europe – Spain, Italy, France, and we visited Oslo, there was Prague and Amsterdam, not to mention that we fell in love with Lisbon – but something huge is missing from our travel bag. More than ever, we want to visit Eastern Europe – we dream about Bucharest and Sofia, Greece and Montenegro, and we are dying to explore Turkey together. We’re thinking about starting in Cyprus…
Unsure exactly when, we know it won’t be long until we are in Europe and take advantage of cheap flights to Cyprus, as the kick off to an Eastern European adventure. We keep hearing good things about this beautiful Mediterranean island with a laid-back atmosphere and 300 days of sunshine per year. We would indulge on three of our favourite food products which happen to originate from Cyprus: olives, wine and yummy halloumi cheese!
From Cyprus, we could then take the ferry to the Greek Islands and have some beach time while cruising around Santorini, Mykonos and Rhodes. From Rhodes we could easily set over to Turkey and continue our trip there: from Fethiye to Pamukkale, over to Ephesus and Troy to see the famous Trojan horse and finally to Istanbul – a place where we most definitely want to live for three months. Few who visit Istanbul can tire of exploring the city known as the gateway to Asia. No doubt we’ll be eating our way through Turkish specialties like falafel, baklava or Turkish pide. Istanbul is the only city in the world that is built on two continents, and contrary to most people’s belief, it is NOT the capital – which is Ankara, located on the Asian side of Turkey.
Istanbul is the perfect jumping-off point to Bulgaria and Romania, where we would love to explore the little villages in the eastern part of the country, which still have the rural charm they had one hundred years ago – horse-drawn carriages and little farmer’s markets are common everywhere.
We could make our way back south from there and explore the Balkan countries, or we could head north to Poland to visit the Masurian Lake District and popular cities like Warsaw and Krakow. The Masurian Lake District in the north east of the country is basically on the way to Lithuania – one of the Baltic States which are also high on our list of places to see. Apparently, Vilnius resembles the colonial towns of Latin America that we love so much, with narrow cobblestone streets and baroque churches– we already know that we’ll fall in love with Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia!
Have you been to Eastern Europe? Which places do you recommend we add to itinerary?