Sunday, June 29, 2008

Learn to sail in Croatia

Today's Independent has an article about a family sailing holiday in Lumbarda on the Croatian island of Korčula.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

A weekend in Pristina

The Guardian marks the introduction of Kosovo's new consitution by adding an article about Pristina to its "Instant Weekend" city break series.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Southeast Europe is a low-crime region, says the UN

A recent report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) refutes the persistent stereotype of the Balkans as a region of where all kinds of criminals and gangsters run riot. The report says that levels of crime against people and property are lower than in Western Europe, and murder rates have fallen significantly in the last ten years.

Of course it's not all perfect: organised crime and corruption continue to pose significant problems: "victim surveys indicate that, on average, South East Europeans are more likely to face demands for bribes than people in other regions of the world". But even in this area the UNODC believes that progress has been made, and is optimistic about further improvements.

Of course none of this is directly related to travel, but it does tend to confirm the anecdotal evidence of most travellers that Southeast Europe is certainly no more dangerous, and possibly safer than Western Europe.

Read more: UNODC Report

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A night in Albania

Following yesterday's article on Montenegro, today's Independent features neighbouring Albania. I was a little disappointed to find that the writer of "The beaches are clean in Albania... and they're almost empty!" spent only one night in the country. It seems a rather slim basis for a travel article, but given the general lack of coverage of Albania I suppose it's better than nothing. On the positive side, it seems the author greatly enjoyed his visit to Saranda and Butrint and left wanting to go back.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Exploring Lake Skadar

An article called "Montenegro: Peace at Last" in today's Independent looks beyond the coastal strip to find a less predictable summer holiday destination. The writer sets off from the village of Virpazar, driving through the isolated villages on the shore of Skadar Lake in search of the Holy Grail: "a beach in Europe that is clean and free from crowds, even in August".