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15 of The Balkan Peninsula’s Most Spectacular Resorts

The Balkans are known for being home to beautiful countries such as Croatia, Montenegro and Macedonia as well as Greece, Slovenia, Bulgaria and part of Turkey. You’ll find everything from wooded highlands, lush forests and glistening lakes to legendary castles, archaeological sites and magnificent beaches with hundreds of miles of coastline along the Adriatic and Balkan Seas. If you aren’t sure where to base your stay, you can’t go wrong with any of these spectacular resorts.

Regent Porto Montenegro - Tivat, Montenegro Regent Porto Montenegro
Credit: Regent Porto Montenegro by ihg.com

Regent Porto Montenegro - Tivat, Montenegro

This stunning waterfront property was designed according to the local Venetian-influenced vernacular with nautical interiors found throughout the complex of deluxe and premier rooms as well as one to three-bedroom residences. Each includes contemporary living spaces that feel as if you’re staying aboard a luxury ship as a tribute to its location in the heart of the yacht marine. Rooms include flat-screen TVs, and spacious bathrooms with a deep soaking tub – the majority also boast views of the sea and marina, while some overlook the lush greenery of the surrounding mountains. There are multiple pools, as well as a luxe spa. While it’s not close to a beach, it does make for an ideal base to explore Kotor, just 13 miles away, as well as Lovcen National Park and the jaw-droppingly beautiful Lake Skadar, home to ibises, pelicans and other exotic birds.

Le Méridien Lav - Podstrana, Croatia Le Méridien Lav
Credit: Le Méridien Lav by marriott.com

Le Méridien Lav - Podstrana, Croatia

Located just five miles south of Split in Podstrana, Le Méridien Lav enjoys a magnificent setting with a half-mile of beach frontage, impeccably landscaped gardens and amazing sea views overlooking the city and surrounding islands. This luxurious property features chic rooms and suites with a warm, inviting ambiance that is the largest on the Dalmation coast. It also includes multiple restaurants and bars set along the seaside promenade offering a wide range of cuisine. Guests can enjoy relaxing and stimulating the senses in the spa, set against the beautiful expanse of the sea, as well as getting active with a multitude of options available. Swim in the pool, play a match on one of the tennis courts or enjoy rock climbing, archery, sailing, water skiing and scuba diving. Families with children will appreciate the kids club as well as family suites that are perfectly sized to accommodate everyone.

Elysium Resort and Spa Rhodes - Rhodes Island, Greece Elysium Resort and Spa Rhodes
Credit: Elysium Resort and Spa Rhodes by elysium.gr

Elysium Resort and Spa Rhodes - Rhodes Island, Greece

One of the best resorts in the Greek Islands, this sophisticated 5-star resort on Rhodes Island is located on Kallithea beach, just a short walk from Kallithea Springs and only minutes to the town of Rhodes. Guests enjoy beach amenities like free cabanas, sun loungers, umbrellas and beach towels, as well as the chance to escape stress by heading to its luxury full-service spa that was named one of the best in the world by National Geographic Traveler. The variety of menu options include mud baths, facials, hydrotherapy, body scrubs and beachside massages. You can also enjoy lounging around the gorgeous outdoor lagoon-style pool and soaking in the separate Hydro-massage pool. When hunger pangs hit, indulge in fantastic culinary delights inspired by a blend of European, Mediterranean and international cuisines.

Aman Sveti Stefan - Sveti Stefan, Montenegro Aman Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
Credit: Aman Sveti Stefan, Montenegro by aman.com

Aman Sveti Stefan - Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

One of the top-rated luxury resorts in the Mediterranean, Aman Sveti Stefan offers a lavish getaway. Just like the country of Montenegro itself, it boasts an understated brand of luxury, with no ostentatious chandeliers or flashy colors – just massive rooms, feather-soft beds and flawless white linens, along with its enchanting coastal setting atop the tiny island of Sveti Stefan. First settled by 15th-century fisherman, it later became a resort but fell into disrepair during the Yugoslavia war. The idyllic islet attached to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, with its tiled-roofed buildings, retains the atmosphere of centuries past. Today, it’s part of this fairytale resort, which encompasses suites, cottages and villas, along with pink sand beaches, olive and ancient pine trees, as well as out-of-this-world views and a cliffside swimming pool. Driven by fresh produce and local seafood, its on-site restaurants offer a multitude of options while retaining an air of simplicity. Guests can enjoy personalized guided tours of the area, cycling, diving, bird watching and fishing as well as unwinding in the lavish spa.

Premier Luxury Mountain Resort - Bansko, Bulgaria Premier Luxury Mountain Resort
Credit: Premier Luxury Mountain Resort by Premier Luxury Mountain Resort

Premier Luxury Mountain Resort - Bansko, Bulgaria

If you’re thinking snow rather than sand, Premier Luxury Mountain Resort is nestled within one of Bulgaria’s top skiing resorts in the picturesque town of Bansko. Surrounded by spectacular mountains and within walking distance to ski lifts, it offers an exclusive haven in a place famous for its incredible natural beauty. After a day on the slopes, head to the impressive spa to relax, unwind and soothe sore muscles, followed by dining at one of two outstanding restaurants – or if you’d prefer, you can enjoy meals in the privacy of your own accommodations with full in-room dining service available.

Even if you don’t come here to ski, the resort makes a perfect place for immersing yourself in total relaxation. In the summer, you’ll find just as many activities to take part in, allowing you to enjoy the lush forests, meadows, lakes and rivers – or you can take a short stroll into town to explore Bansko’s rich historic and cultural legacy.

Vila Bled - Bled, Slovenia Vila Bled
Credit: Vila Bled by brdo.si

Vila Bled - Bled, Slovenia

This former residence of Yugoslavian President Tito offers an unsurpassed lakeside location overlooking the island. Surrounded by parkland, and with direct access to the water, this small luxury hotel features a heavenly spa offering baths and a variety of massage treatments as well as Finnish and Turkish saunas and a Jacuzzi. Spacious rooms include modern amenities, a minibar and large bathrooms with robes. Its restaurant offers a menu of Slovenian and international gourmet fare, and at Café Belvedere, guests can enjoy all sorts of delectable pastries while taking in panoramic views of Bled Island. During the summer months, guests can rent a mountain bike and go exploring, play tennis and enjoy soaking up the sun from a private swimming deck.

Amanruya, Turkey Amanruya
Credit: Amanruya by aman.com

Amanruya, Turkey

Amanruya is consitently ranked as one of Europe’s best coastal resorts. The multi-level resort overlooks the Aegean and has the feel of a small hamlet. Guests can enjoy sailing across the Aegean waters, riding horseback through the countryside and taking excursions to nearby historic sites before returning to the property, surrounded by olive groves with lavish pavilions that perfectly blend Ottoman opulence with village comforts. Every one of its Pool Pavilion Deluxe Sea Views includes a terrace and landscaped garden with a private swimming pool and sea views. Enjoy Turkish Aegean cuisine at the Poolside Dining Pavilion or alfresco dining at the Beach Club, while the rooftop BBQ Terrace is great for taking in the panoramic views.

Vander Urbani Resort - Ljubljana, Slovenia Vander Urbani Resort
Credit: Vander Urbani Resort by vanderhotel.com

Vander Urbani Resort - Ljubljana, Slovenia

The stylish Vander Urbani Resort sits on the banks of the River Ljubljana, just below Castle Hill. Guests can enjoy wandering the city’s Old Town and relaxing in elegant surroundings, with historic interiors all redone and re-invented, yet still retaining the roots of its beautiful past. The intimate resort features rooms set in historic Old Town houses in a terrace, all offering comfortable luxury, including plenty of modern amenities. Enjoy relaxing on the sunny rooftop terrace and swimming in the rooftop pool, where you’ll be mesmerized by the panorama of tiled roofs and lively streets. Wining and dining is a highlight, with its on-site restaurant serving up tasty meals with a touch of Slovenian tradition. Unwind with one of the spa’s popular Zen massages.

Santorini Kastelli Resort - Santorini, Greece Santorini Kastelli Resort
Credit: Santorini Kastelli Resort by kastelliresort.com

Santorini Kastelli Resort - Santorini, Greece

The island of Santorini is one of the world’s top bucket list destinations, and it’s here that you’ll find the five-star Santorini Kastelli Resort. The top-rated Santorini hotel boasts traditional Cycladic architectural style with white-washed walls, which creates a striking contrast to the nearly always present brilliant blue skies, while its location at the foot of the hill of Ancient Thira, means you’ll be just steps from the black sands of Kamari beach. The more than one-and-a-quarter-mile expanse of extraordinary black sand offers the opportunity for every type of water activity imaginable, as well as the chance to explore the numerous cafes, eateries, bars, night clubs and shops it’s lined with. You can also take advantage of the resort’s full-service spa, lit by aromatic candles, with the soothing sounds of calming music filling the air. The gourmet restaurant offers savory Mediterranean creations that are sure to delight.

Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort - Kavarna, Bulgaria Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort
Credit: Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort by thraciancliffs.com

Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort - Kavarna, Bulgaria

Framed by stunning rugged cliffs and the vast expanse of the Black Sea, accommodations at the Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach Resort are located in peaceful villages that are separated by a glistening lake while offering stunning sea views. Marina village is set atop the cliffs, while the Hillside Village is nestled 1,150 feet above the water, with luxe suites designed in a crescent shape around multiple infinity pools. The big draw here is the 18-hole Gary Player designed signature course, renowned as one of the most dramatic on earth, covering more than 400 acres of wild, scenic terrain, stretching for nearly three miles along the coast. Guests can also enjoy swimming in the tranquil waters of the warm sea, stand up paddling, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, catamaran sailing, water skiing and more. The spa offers a range of luxurious treatments inspired by the ancient Thracians, as well as a hot steam room, Jacuzzi, fitness area, Hammam and more, while its multiple restaurants offer both informal, casual dining and fine dining, serving classic Bulgarian and Provence cuisine.

Minoa Palace Resort & Spa, Crete Minoa Palace Resort & Spa
Credit: Minoa Palace Resort & Spa by minoapalace.gr

Minoa Palace Resort & Spa, Crete

Located in Platanias on the island of Crete, Minoa Palace is an ultra-luxe beachside property offering magnificent mountain views as well as the surrounding countryside and panoramic vistas of Platanias’ golden beach, with the spectacular sapphire blue Aegean just beyond. Choose from chic rooms, including bungalows and suites, many with a private pool. The decor includes many elegant touches, like real wooden floors and cool pastel accents with soft furnishings. There are multiple restaurants to enjoy, as well as a convenience store and 24-hour room service. Enjoy splashing in the indoor pool or seasonal outdoor pool and enjoy drinks at the swim-up bar, a poolside bar, beach bar and a bar/lounge. The property also features a health club, spa, sauna, a tennis court and massage/treatment rooms where guests can indulge in hot stone massage and aromatherapy treatments.

NOVI Spa Hotels & Resort - Kvarner Bay, Croatia NOVI Spa Hotels & Resort
Credit: NOVI Spa Hotels & Resort by novi.hr

NOVI Spa Hotels & Resort - Kvarner Bay, Croatia

NOVI Spa Hotels & Resort is renowned as the largest wellness resort in all of Europe. This unique luxury resort sits at the edge of the crystal clear Adriatic and boasts an incredible array of amenities, including multiple swimming pools. There is a teen disco and gaming zone, playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball courts, a spa area, fitness room and an array of treatments, including massage. Accommodations are in comfortable apartments with modern furnishings, featuring full kitchens, expansive living and dining areas with flat-screen TVs and satellite as well as large, furnished balconies with gorgeous views of the sea.

Hotel Dubrovnik Palace - Dubrovnik, Croatia Hotel Dubrovnik Palace
Credit: Hotel Dubrovnik Palace by Hotel Dubrovnik Palace

Hotel Dubrovnik Palace - Dubrovnik, Croatia

One of the best hotels in Dubrovnik, Hotel Dubrovnik Palace resides on a beautiful peninsula known as Lapad with unique views of the Elaphite Islands. Celebrated as Europe’s “finest five-star resort” in recent years, it offers a tranquil location away from the urban turbulence, surrounded by pine woods and the sea. In addition to the endless sea views, guests enjoy being just steps away from a private beach as well as multiple pools and a number of sea-facing bars and a la carte eateries. The stylish rooms and suites are equipped with impressive sea-facing balconies and the latest in state-of-the-art technology, including flat-screen TVs and WiFi. The wellness center and spa features a steam bath, sauna and a range of massages and treatments.

Hotel Paradise Beach - Vlore, Albania Hotel Paradise Beach, Vlora, Albania
Credit: Hotel Paradise Beach, Vlora, Albania by Hotel Paradise Beach

Hotel Paradise Beach - Vlore, Albania

Hotel Paradise Beach is a modern hotel located on the beautiful Southern Albanian Riviera, known for its rugged mountains that dip into brilliant blue seas. The coastal drive between Vlora and Saranda has been called one of Eastern Europe’s most breathtaking, and in Vlore, Hotel Paradise Beach offers an ideal place from which to experience it. This small property includes luxurious rooms equipped with satellite TV, a mini-bar and immaculate sea views. There are multiple eateries onsite, serving traditional Albanian cuisine as well as international dishes, paired with some of the best local and international wines.

Aleksandar Villa & Spa - Ohrid, Macedonia Aleksandar Villa & Spa, Ohrid, Macedonia
Credit: Aleksandar Villa & Spa, Ohrid, Macedonia by aleksandarvilla.com.mk

Aleksandar Villa & Spa - Ohrid, Macedonia

Ohrid is Macedonia’s most popular resort town, set along the banks of Lake Ohrid. This luxurious property is just steps away from its crystal clear waters, surrounded by beautiful botanical gardens and lush, well-manicured lawns, with the Galicica Mountains overlooking the estate on one side, while the glistening lake waters and Old Town peek over on the other. All-apartment style rooms feature comfy, king-sized beds, Jacuzzis, LCD TVs, bathrobes and slippers, and a laptop, printer and fax machine are all available upon request. Enjoy swimming in the indoor saltwater pool or the outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, drinks at the poolside bar and relaxing in the Finnish or steam bath sauna.

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