Four Former Warzones Now Perfect For Family Holidays

28 Apr

If your initial reaction to this headline is: “Why on earth would I want to take my family to such places?” the key is in the word “former”. A moment’s thought will likely confirm that the area where you live was, at some stage in the past, part of a war zone. Whether you live in London, Orkney, Shrewsbury or Durham there is almost certainly a stage in the history of your home area when conflict scarred both the landscape and people.

Time allows us to move on from such dreadful moments, and to become more than what we were or even return to the best of what we used to be. Here are four delightful and peaceful locations for long stay winter holidays that would offer a special welcome…

Sarajevo – A poignant reminder of the timely past
The city of Sarajevo teems with history, especially important this year as the site of the assassination which lead to World War One. It offers much more now, a place where east truly meets west. It was nominated to be European Capital of Culture and has appeared on “top ten cities to visit” lists. A few days can help you fall in love with a place which has been settled since Neolithic times and is now rich in everything from museums to music.

Mostar – Spreading your wings further
There is, of course, so much more to Bosnia-Herzegovina than simply stunning Sarajevo. It’s history as the boundary between the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires allows it to present a truly unique east-meets-west identity. It remains a welcoming destination for a traveller who wants more than simply big-city or beach time. A visit to the small city of Mostar, a magnificently recovered victim of an appalling 18-month siege just twenty years ago, allows you to enjoy the peace as you stroll across the beautiful Neretva River on the astonishingly-reconstructed and legendary Stari Most Bridge, indeed the city itself is named after the “bridge-keepers”.

Dubrovnik – An interesting Posip-le choice
The pun refers to one of the enduring tastes of time spent in Dubrovnik, one of Croatia’s stunning destinations. Posip is a light and glorious Dalmatian white wine which seems to reflect so well a vibrant, fashionable and modern city that pays equal respect to its rich history as to its lively designer boutique present. A journey by cable car allows you to savour the stunning waterside setting of a memorable location.

Hvar – Hvar a great time
An amazing choice among summer or winter holiday destinations if you do long for the beach and more. The small island of Hvar, set just off the Croatian coast, offers rolling hills and rugged mountains, fabulous vineyards, coves and inlets – plus medieval history and restful beaches. The rich and famous increasingly bring their yachts and join the vibrant party scene.

Enjoying the future past
These locations have worked hard, over the last few years, to move on from some terrible times by celebrating and encompassing the best of their past and moving into a friendly and truly welcoming future. Your first visit is highly unlikely to be your last.

David Keller is an intrepid traveller and father of two. He has travelled near and far across the world with his family and frequently blogs about his experiences.

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