The 7 Eastern European Rivieras
Although when someone says the word “Riviera” easily this is combined with the fascinating coastal region between the Alps and the blue waters of the Mediterranean that extends from southeastern France to north-western Italy but this Italian term with medieval roots has become in common use for numerous coastal destinations throughout Europe, both western and eastern. The authentic Riviera includes only two areas, the famous Côte d’Azur and the Italian coast between La Spezia and the French border, both overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. But now with the development of tourism in all the European coasts, people have started using the word “Riviera” to refer to other areas similar to the Cote d’Azur, and so in Europe the Rivieras increased, reaching at least 12, all breathtaking. After examining the 5 Western Rivieras, today we take a look at the 7 Eastern European Rivieras.
The Albanian Riviera extends between the Ionian Sea and the Ceraunian mountains in the province of Vlore. Perhaps the most underrated of the European coasts, this riviera enjoys an extraordinary setting, having been named Top Value Destination by Frommer’s in 2012. In addition, the area includes a number of pretty Mediterranean villages, castles, churches, caves and enchanting beaches.
More precisely we talk about the Budva Riviera which is a fascinating 35 km long coast around the town of Budva in Montenegro. With some of the best beaches in the Mediterranean, this place is a perfect destination for travelers looking for culture, adventure, water sports, history or romance.
According to Wikipedia, the Greek Riviera (picture on top) includes only the island of Spetses and the city of Porto Heli. Spetses is a cosmopolitan island in the Saronic Gulf, 16 km from Athens. It has a rich history, incredibly clear waters and lush landscapes. With bicycles and horse-drawn carriages being the most popular means of transport in the area, it’s no wonder people refer to it as a fairytale place. On the other hand, Porto Heli is located on the Greek Peloponnese peninsula, providing a sophisticated mix of culture, sandy beaches and natural beauty.
In this riviera there’s part of the Istrian peninsula, an area shared by three different countries, Slovenia, Croatia and Italy. The Slovenian Riviera stretches along the Adriatic Sea in the Gulf of Trieste, including the cities of Koper and Piran, as well as the Izola region. The most famous resort of the tiny Slovenian Riviera (just 74 km) is Portoroz, a charming city full of award-winning beaches, numerous bars and restaurants, an elegant marina and a romantic Italian atmosphere. In addition to Portoroz, the coast boasts two fascinating medieval towns: Piran and Koper, both offering many opportunities for enjoying the city, culture, sailing, swimming and many other activities.
Who knew that Russia had a riviera? Honestly, I don’t, but it seems that not even the Russians are so eager to promote it. If you are thinking to cold waters of North Sea, you are wrong because the Russian Riviera is the Black Sea coast that stretches along Sochi, the longest city in Europe (145 km). Once a tourist resort of the Soviet Union, Sochi is located in Krasnodar Krai, in the south of Russia. Besides being a sunny destination, the city enjoys a privileged position at the foot of the Caucasus mountains, making it ideal for summer and winter holidays.
Just like Spain, even Turkey does not have a real riviera but if someone will tell you about the Turkish Riviera, you have to say that it is referred to beautiful coastline in southwest Turkey. Also known as the Turquoise Coast, the area includes world-famous destinations such as Antalya, Bodrum, Kuşadası, Marmaris, Fethiye and Kalkan. In addition to the incredible variety of beaches, ranging from marvelous pebbles to km of golden sand, the beautiful Turkish Riviera is full of mighty archaeological ruins, priceless architecture, incredibly clear waters, fashionable marinas and even wonders of the world such as the Mausoleum of Maussollos, in Halicarnassus (Bodrum).
The Romanian Riviera is a 275 km stretch of coast along the Black Sea. Better known as the Romanian sea, the coastline stretches from the picturesque Danube delta to the Bulgarian coast. The main city of the area is Constanta, Romania’s largest port, followed by Mangalia and Sulina, the easternmost point of the continental European Union. However, the pearl of the Romanian sea is, and has always been, Mamaia, a beautiful city that has gone from a family destination to an Ibiza’ sister with smaller dimensions. With an exciting nightlife, a fine selection of clubs, bars and restaurants, numerous festivals taking place in the area and an extravagant clientele, Mamaia is not far from becoming one of the best party destinations in Europe. The Black Sea has neither the light of the Mediterranean nor its marvelous beaches, but the charm of the Romanian sea lies in the diversity of its locations. From the exclusive Mamaia and the ever-young destinations of Costinesti to the hippie Vama-Veche and the rural 2 Mai, there is nothing that cannot be found here.