Dreaming of medieval castles and gorgeous art nouveau towns? Got a taste for exotic vodkas? Perhaps you’re curious about life in the post-Soviet world? There are more reasons to visit Eastern Europe than there are pages in War & Peace!

Along the Adriatic
If you think of Eastern Europe as a cold, colourless destination, think again – and then head directly to the eastern coast of the Adriatic. Here the rugged rocky mountains drop straight into the crystalline waters, yachties hop from island to idyllic island, and Roman ruins, medieval cities and quaint fishing villages dot the tantalising landscape.

Dubrovnik, Croatia
Walking around the city walls of Dubrovnik offers expansive vistas of rocky islands, grassy mountains and shimmering seas, along with views of people pegging out their washing on lines running between buildings.

Piran, Slovenia
Surrounded by the sparkling Adriatic on three sides, picturesque Piran is the highlight of the slim Slovenian coast, with Gothic architecture and seafood delicacies that are reminiscent of Venice.

Zadar, Croatia
This Croatian chocolate box offers all of the Dalmatian treats, from Roman ruins and medieval churches to quaint cafes and sun-bleached beaches. Sample them all, but don’t miss the maraschino cherry.

Kotor, Montenegro
Fifteen hundred steps lead up to the old fort that overlooks the sleepy town of Kotor. The reward? A cooling dip in the emerald-coloured fjord.

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro
Once a fishermen’s village and now a luxury island hotel, Sveti Stefan is one big vehicle-free zone – perfect for a leisurely stroll taking in all its charms: rustic stone buildings, narrow streets, small churches and shops…

This is an edited extract from Lonely Planet’s Eastern Europe guidebook 10th edition by by Mara Vorhees et al. © Lonely Planet Publications, 2009.

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