Kosovo - An Unknown Realm of Nature in Europe
While the status of the Kosovo with regard to international law is still controversial, one thing is clear: the country is full of unique landscapes with wild mountain ranges and untouched oak forests. Taking into account its cordial population, Kosovo has the potential to become a naturally beautiful travel destination.
Geography - The smallest republic in south-eastern Europe
The Republic of Kosovo is hidden behind high mountains. It constitutes a part of the western Balkan Peninsula but with respect to its area, it is the smallest region. The country borders on Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia. Kosovo's status regarding international law is still controversial but more than half of the member states of the United Nations acknowledge the republic's independence and legitimacy. Due to Kosovo's geographical position, there is temperate continental climate with distinct seasons. The summers can be up to 40 °C hot, while the winters are very cold with -20 °C and a lot of snow.
Nature - Surrounded by mountains
Kosovo is enclosed by high mountains. The high mountain range is 2,500 metres high throughout and its highest peak, Gjeravica, even reaches a height of 2,656 metres. About 42 percent of the country's area are forested. Oaks grow particularly well here. Another 50 percent are used for agriculture. One special feature are the water buffaloes, which are used in livestock farming. Rocky karst mountains, long rivers and beautiful waterfalls are part of the country's natural panorama too.
Natural sights - Gadime Cave
One of the best things about the country is its pure nature. With a bit of luck, travellers can set out to the Sharr Mountains at the border of Macedonia or visit the limestone caves in Gadimlje. The waterfalls near Peć are also worth a visit. One of the best-known highlights is Rugova Canyon, which is about 23 kilometres long and up to 1,000 metres deep.
Culture - A scarred nation
Kosovo only made negative headlines for centuries. The Kosovo War and its consequences scarred the country. To the present day, neither the country's inhabitants nor its economic and social structures have fully recovered yet. The majority of Ottoman and Christian buildings has been destroyed. The UNESCO declared some of the medieval monuments World Cultural Heritage sites. Only five percent of the country are developed or have grown into cities but the population makes an effort to protect their cultural heritage and maintain their traditions. There are, for example, a National Theatre and several beautiful city parks. Kosovo's inhabitants value visitors because they are aware of their country's natural beauty and are happy about every holidaymaker who considers their country a worthwhile travel destination.
Cultural sights - Pristina and Prizren
The capital of Pristina is the country's heart and one of the first destinations for many tourists. Besides colourful markets and charming cafes, you find an Ethnological Museum here, which illustrates the city's architecture. The city of Prizren is much older. it is one of the oldest places in the whole of the country and the former capital of Serbia. Its historical old town, the Old Stone Bridge and Kalaja are of interest to every history enthusiast. Peć accommodates several beautiful mosques. The most prominent example is Bajrakli Mosque.
Experience - Wine from Kosovo Polje
The country's cuisine is characterised by its population. Albanian, Serbian and Turkish dishes are served. One special delicacy is the traditional wine from Kosovo Polje. It is a popular souvenir with travellers.
Activities - Group tours into the countryside
Kosovo does not have a great infrastructure. Neither the road network nor the tourism are well-developed. Nevertheless, the country offers several very beautiful natural destinations. Considering the security situation, travellers should only travel into the surrounding area as part of a travel group or with a guide. This is a great way of enjoying the country's natural beauty.
Kosovo is not a typical travel destination and a trip to the country has to be planned thoroughly. The safest way is a guided travel group. Individual trips into rural regions are dangerous as many areas still contain mines. Not all of them have been found and defused yet.
An unknown landscape and historical cities lay the foundation for the first travel destinations in Kosovo which are relevant to tourists.