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“Unheard-of” Towns in Macedonia, Montenegro and Romania Recommended to Australian Travellers August 3, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia, Monetenegro, Romania.
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The towns of Ohrid in Macedonia, Cetinje in Montenegro and Cluj-Napoca in Romania were included in an article titled “Ten top towns in Europe you’ve never heard of,” published today in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The article recommends 10 towns for those who have already “done Venice, Paris and London” and “ticked off Prague, Budapest, Berlin and Dubrovnik” and who want “to delve a little deeper on [their] next European adventure.

In addition to Ohrid, Cetinje and Cluj-Napoca, the other under-the-radar towns and cities included in the list are: Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic; Kuressaare in Estonia; Keszthely in Hungary; Torun in Poland; Compiegne in France; Tampere in Finland; and Maribor in Slovenia.

About Ohrid, which occupies first place, the publication notes: “It has always been a popular resort among eastern Europeans but the rest of the world is just cottoning on. It’d be easy enough to just enjoy the boat trips and beaches but head up into the forests and along the cliff tops and you find numerous photogenic forts and churches.”

The local secret, according to the article, is that the beaches closest to the town can get crowded, so many locals prefer to head to those outside the Sveti Naum monastery on the south-western side of the lake, just across the Albanian border, where it is quieter and fabulous views of the town across the lake are offered.

Cetinje, listed in fourth place, “can be found high in the mountains and the views on the drive through them on the way from coastal Kotor are spellbinding at almost every turn.”

Most of the palaces and mansions cramming the town, the publication writes, have been turned into houses, embassies or schools but one particularly grand building houses the National Museum of Montenegro plus an art gallery. The Cetinje Monastery is also popular, even if its True Cross and John the Baptist relics are of dubious origin.

As a tip, however, the article warns that “Cetinje is a bit of a ghost town at night – accommodation and eating-out options are scarce. It’s much better to base yourself at Kotor and make the drive through the mountains as a day trip.”

In eight position on the list, the article includes Cluj-Napoca, which – due to its low-budget-airline connectivity, is a good base for exploring the surrounding Transylvanian countryside. The town itself has a large student population and one that doesn’t place much stock on sleeping, giving it a reputation as a party town. “Once you’ve emerged bleary-eyed from one of the city’s many underground nightclubs,” the publication notes, “there are plenty of museums in which to get a cultural fix,” including the Ethnographic Museum, the National History Museum of Transylvania the Pharmaceutical Museum and the Emil Racovita Institute of Speleology.

As a tip, the publication recommends a visit to Cluj in May for the Festivinum Wine Festival.
3 August 2010 | The towns of Ohrid in Macedonia, Cetinje in Montenegro and Cluj-Napoca in Romania were included in an article titled “Ten top towns in Europe you’ve never heard of,” published today in The Sydney Morning Herald.

The article recommends 10 towns for those who have already “done Venice, Paris and London” and “ticked off Prague, Budapest, Berlin and Dubrovnik” and who want “to delve a little deeper on [their] next European adventure.

In addition to Ohrid, Cetinje and Cluj-Napoca, the other under-the-radar towns and cities included in the list are: Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic; Kuressaare in Estonia; Keszthely in Hungary; Torun in Poland; Compiegne in France; Tampere in Finland; and Maribor in Slovenia.

About Ohrid, which occupies first place, the publication notes: “It has always been a popular resort among eastern Europeans but the rest of the world is just cottoning on. It’d be easy enough to just enjoy the boat trips and beaches but head up into the forests and along the cliff tops and you find numerous photogenic forts and churches.”

The local secret, according to the article, is that the beaches closest to the town can get crowded, so many locals prefer to head to those outside the Sveti Naum monastery on the south-western side of the lake, just across the Albanian border, where it is quieter and fabulous views of the town across the lake are offered.

Cetinje, listed in fourth place, “can be found high in the mountains and the views on the drive through them on the way from coastal Kotor are spellbinding at almost every turn.”

Most of the palaces and mansions cramming the town, the publication writes, have been turned into houses, embassies or schools but one particularly grand building houses the National Museum of Montenegro plus an art gallery. The Cetinje Monastery is also popular, even if its True Cross and John the Baptist relics are of dubious origin.

As a tip, however, the article warns that “Cetinje is a bit of a ghost town at night – accommodation and eating-out options are scarce. It’s much better to base yourself at Kotor and make the drive through the mountains as a day trip.”

In eight position on the list, the article includes Cluj-Napoca [in the picture above], which – due to its low-budget-airline connectivity, is a good base for exploring the surrounding Transylvanian countryside. The town itself has a large student population and one that doesn’t place much stock on sleeping, giving it a reputation as a party town. “Once you’ve emerged bleary-eyed from one of the city’s many underground nightclubs,” the publication notes, “there are plenty of museums in which to get a cultural fix,” including the Ethnographic Museum, the National History Museum of Transylvania the Pharmaceutical Museum and the Emil Racovita Institute of Speleology.

As a tip, the publication recommends a visit to Cluj in May for the Festivinum Wine Festival.

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