The unique beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina has long been the cross roads of many civilizations and cultures. It is these millennia of cultural diversity that has melded Bosnia and Herzegovina into one of the most fascinating countires in southern Europe. Most of the inhabitants of Bosnia and Herzegovina are of Slavic origins. The Slavic tribes arrived in the 6th centry and settled throughout the entire region of the Balkans. The native Illyrian tribes either fled or blended ino the Slavic culture but not without leaving a strong mark on he national heritage of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Archeological excavations have traced tribal life back here at least 12 000 years.

The natural beauties of Bosnia and Herzegovina can be found in both its people and its land. In fact, it’s mpossible to separate the rich cultures and traditions from the nature where it all evolved from. Bosnia and herzegovina was the most ethnically mixed of the former Yugoslav Republiics. Today, it boasts to be the most ethnically diverse country in Europe. We have had some hard times in our recent past but we’ve moved on from the difficult post war transition period and now offer a most unique menu of eco-tourism, cultural and historical heriage and the finest and warmes hospitality in this part of the world.

This tiny country of just over 50 000 square kilometers is tailor made for adventure and has a taste of the wild that is long gone in western Europe. Bosnia and Herzegovina can take you through the ancient pasts of east and west. It is a country where one can find an Ottoman mosque, a Jewish Synagogue and Catholic and Orthodox churches on the same street corner.

Travelers to Bosnia and Heregovina have always been touched by its pristine beauty its untouched wilderness and its friendly hosts. Here a man’s wealth is measured in friendships and one takes the time to nurture them. You will find people from north or south, east or west willing to treat you to the great taste of fine Bosnian and Herzegovinian hospitality. So don’t be shy when a stranger invites you for a coffee, or when a host treats you like a long lost relative. A loststanding tradition has always been to take special care of visitors and this tradition still holds strong.

Many tourists have been pleasantly surprised when visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina. The clean, fresh air of our mountains and river valleys, the spiritual uplifting after a holy pilgrimage to Međugorje or Ajvatovac, or a unique experience in our ancient towns and cities will inspire you to visit again. Bosnia and Herzegovina is truly a natural superpower, glittering with all the wonders that mand and nature have created here. Welcome to your next adventure.

 

Come and discover…

The multi-faceted spiritual and cultural practices have been the framework for Bosnia and Herzegovina developing into one of the most naturally culturally diversified countries in Europe. Throughout the generations of Illyrian, Byzantine, Western European Romanesque and Ottoman influences the Slavic tribes of Bosnia and Herzegovina have harvested a resounding pride in the many ethnic backgrounds that dominate present-day Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are many anthropological and historical reasons for this: a common language, common origin, similar folklore and centuries of harmonious community life. Daily life always brought the various peoples of Bosnia and Herzegovina together regardless of ideological differences. This unusual ethno-political picture has seen trying times and has often experienced the warths of invading forces from beyond her borders but the wounds always heal, the country always rebuilds itself and its long standing tradition of multi-culturalism thrives even through the toughest of times. Bosnia and Herzegovina has emerged from the ashes of war to maintain its harmonious co-existence with all three peoples, all equal heirs to the beautiful country that is Bosnia and Herzegovina. Preserving the valued old traditions of the past and welcoming the new ways of the modern world is what we’re all about.

The blend of cultures is preciously mixed in a mountain land of the southern Alps with Olympic Skiing, deep emerald river canyons, snow-covered Dinaric peaks, rolling green continental landscapes and the sunny Adriatic coast. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a natural wonderland packed with a wide array of landscapes. We invite you to sink into her mysctical past and enjoy the beauties of her magical present!

 

Ecology, the environment and tourism… A precious balance

Bosnia and Herzegovina is representative of the many countries posed with the challenge of eco-friendly development in times of transition. Rich in natural resources and beauty, Bosnia and Herzegovina must find responsible means of promoting and protecting its vast natural wealth. This is a magical land with amazingly diverse eco and bio systems. The key to eco-tourism is providing you, our guests, with an unforgettable exprience in our pristine wilderness while maintaining the precious natural balance of which people are an integral part. Through eco-tourism Bosnia and Herzegovina can effectively protect its environment, develop sustainavble economies for our people and preserve the precious balance between humans and nature.

 

On your travels with us here in Bosnia and Herzegovina you will find our famous trademark – Stećci

Stećci are ancient tombstones that line our countryside. They share many similarities with the ancient Celtic tombstones dotting Ireland. He ancient peoples of this land left their beautiful marks tucked on ridges and mountain sides wherever they settled. These types of medieval graveyards are specific to this region and mark the heretic „Bosnian Church“ practices of early Christianity here. Engraved are ancient symbols-all connected to earth, family, sun, moon, tribal warriors, dance and praise to the gods. Many of the stećci date back over 700 years and preserve a precious part of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s ancient past. You won’t find these in other parts of the world… these tiny remnants of our history are a national symbol and an expression of the culture and art that has survived and thrived over the centuries.

National and Nature parks

National park Sutjeska

The Sutjeska National Park is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s oldest national park. Here is Europe’s last primeval forest „Perućica“ that has survived throughout the ages. Sutjeska is also host to Bosnia’s highest peak at 2386 m. Maglić mountain borders Bosnia and Montenegro and is accessible through the park – it’s a great challenge for mountaineers, climbers and nature lovers alike. The Sutjeska river has carved its way through this  rugged canyon land over the millennia and flows through the heart of this 17 500 hectare park. It is hard to measure the natural beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina but Sutjeska certainly offers the best of the best. Its mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, and thriving wildlife are amongst the most magnificent in Europe. The range is an extension of the Swiss Alps… these Dinaric Alpine ranges extend deep into the Balkan Peninsula to the Prokletija Mountains bordering Montenegro and Albania. Its rough terain assisted the locals in defeating the advancing Germans in a crucial battle during the Second World War.

If you’re looking to get lost in Robin Hood like forests and fairytale lands of pristine, wild beauty this is one place you must see, feel and live. There area campgrounds, mountain lodges, guided hiking, climbing, tour skiing, fishing activities, restaurants and cafes, youth group excursions and quite possibly the most amazing nature experience of your life. We guarantee peace, serenity, untamed nature, professional and safe guiding and of course warm and genuine Bosnian hospitality. Our newly built mountain lodges provide comfortable and affordable lodging with homemade organic foods. Whether it be the fresh teas and herbs picked from our mountain meadows, free range mountain meadows, free range mountain grazed meats, traditional cheese and milk from our old world villages, homegown vegetables, or a fine taste of homebrewed whiskies and moonshine – Sutjeska is your ticket to natural living and an unforgettable nature experience.

 

Nature Park and Bird Reeserve

In the south of Herzegovina, not far from the ancient Roman settlement near Čapljina, is Hutovo Blato the famous reserve of migratory birds.

This Nature park has been a shelter for hundreds of species of birds and game. Its waters are rich in eel, carp and other fresh water fish. The park is ideal for fishing, birdwatching and photo safaris. The park also offers regular boat rides with professional guides. Hutovo Blato is a great family place to visit and spend the day or a few. We are centrally located between the sea and the historic town of Mostar. We warmly invite you to one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s most unique nature parks and only bird reserve. Bring your binoculars and your camera… you won’t want to forget this experience!

 

National Park Kozara

Kozara was proclaimed a protected national forest in 1967. Situated between the rivers Una, Sava, Sana and Vrbas in the northwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the dense forest and hilly meadows have earned it the nickname of the Green Beauty of the Krajina. Kozara has been a popular hunting spot with over 18 000 hectares of regulated hunting areas with a wide range of game such as deer, wild hare, boar, fox, martens, pheasants, and wild duck. Photo safaris, walking, her and flower picking, biking, jogging and climatic treatment have a long tradition in Kozara. Cool walk through conifer forests or strolls through wild flower covered hills and meadows make it an ideal place for a break from the rat race.

In winter months there is a small ski lift and ski equipment available for renting. There are catering, lodging and recreation facilities on site. If you love o hunt or would simply like a quiet, relaxing day in nature… Kozara is a great spot for families with a wide range of activities for all!

 

Bjelašnica

Just 20 min. Outside of Sarajevo the Bjelašnica mountain range towers up above the skyline. An area loved by hikers and skiers alike, Bjelašnica hosted several components of the 1984 Winter Olympic Games. The mountain range stretches from Sarajevo to Konjic and includes a wide range of traditional Bosnian villages, watermills and mountain huts linsx aifh canyons, waterfalls, rivers and lakes. While large tracts of lush forest hug the base of the mountain range, no forest will be found above the 1700 m tree line. It is here that Bjelašnica opens up ino numerous bald peaks inhabited y wolves, wild boar and bear. The serenity of the landscape is apparent immediately upon arrival. Soft gusts of wind blow through young grass and the occasional oak. Numerous trails have been marked and are maintained by the various mountain clubs in the region. It is not uncommon to find other outdoor enthusiasts roaming this area. Bjelašnica is a natural wonderland ideal for nature lovers of all types. Once you get a small taste of her beauty, we’re sure you’ll want to come back for more.

 

Blidinje and Livno

Ideal for an alternative ski experience, Blidinje and Livno offer great skiing in the great Bosnian ouback. If you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track excursion these well-groomed slopes offer challenging skiing in true pristine nature settings. Great for family trips or for a group of the hardcores to grab their boards and take off into the wilderness. You will find affordable skiing and great accommodation in all of these places. So reak out your map and choose your next skiing adventure.

 

Vlašić mountain

Two roads and more han 100 km of mountain road make Vlašić one of the most accessible at the Balkans area, opened at all seasons. Its geographical position is unique, it is equally distant from the Adriatic sea and larger continental cities. The hghest peak named Opaljenik 1943 m high, dominates the mountain. You can see snow at the mountain for almost five months a year with a few number of stormy days and during summer time, because of the richness in forest, meadows with the variet of flowers, river Ugar and catling which most successful product is famous „Cheese from Vlašić“, the mountain has all the pre conditions to develop different foms of tourist offers during the entire year. Sports and recreation centre „Babanovac“ on the hight of 1260 m at Vlašić is connected to Travnik with two roads and that way it is the centre of winter ourism at this area. Recognisable for International competition in ski jumping named „Pokal Vlašić“ with 90 m high diving board, considered as one of the utmost natural and furhest on the south side. Its name is „Srebrena Pahuljica“, crowned as the best arranged ski winter centre in ex Yugoslavia in 1979. These days it is returning the lost glitter and experiencing expansion in tourism, being in the top of Bosnia and herzegovina and its surroundings.

Vlašić Cheese – It has become widely knon by its quality and even though it is prepared of sheep milk, shepherds from Vlašić like to say that the main secret of this specialty is numerous nights spent with herd in the unpredictable mountain. If you have not yet, than come to Travnik and Vlašić o taste the whiteness of Vlašić cheese!

Tornjak – During your stay at Vlašić you will inevitably meet at least a few mountain sheepdogs – tornjaks. This is over a thousand years old breed, which survived until today in the area of central Bosnia, primarly in the area of Vlašić mountain. Though the dimensions of these sheepdogs are terrifying, they are actually good-natured and responsible animals, which are ready to sacrifice their own life to defend their herd and their master. Long hair, fast and elegant moves, make these dogs one of the prettiest breed and conditions of life made him become extremely persistant and watchful.

 

Kupres

Area of Kupres municipality represents an attractive tourist destination. Kupres is an ideal place for vacation in the arms of nature as during the ski season (November-April) so throughout the year. Even during summer months no less attractive area of Kupres offers plenty of options for so called active vacation. Kupres plateau, surrounded with with high mountains, is ideal fo those who love adventure and which will find satisfaction in paragliding, hiking, huning or relaxing picnics.

The nature was really generous in its gifts to Kupres area.

There, where eternal blueness of sky meets whiteness of snow fairytale or where grass, like girls hair, swings on summer breeze, on brisk mountain air, among pines and firs, where karst springs quietly murmur and tell eternal story about harmony between nature and man, that is whre you should look for your peace, rest for soul and body and you will come again.

Various options for vacations, clear, almost brisk air, tradition, warm-hearted hosts and home made food are the present and will be the future of the tourist offer of Kupres.

Tradition has deep roots in the being o Kupres people. Each year, the first week of july is known as „Harvest Days at Kupres“ – a unique manifestation of tradition, folklore, old crafts and skills, country sport which date from the age of Turkish Empire.

 

Our wish and reality

From february 8-19, 1984, Sarajevo was the host of the 14th Winter Olympic Games. There were 49 national Olympic committees participating in the Games and the number of participants was the highest ever in the history of the Winter Olympic Games. Beside the 2500 sportsmen, a record figure of 7283 media (radio, tv) representatives, as well as several tens of thousands winter sports fans from all over the world attended this event. All those numerous sportsmen, trainers and officials of he international sport organizations experienced in Sarajevo the true triumph of the Olympic spirit, peace and human happiness. The Sarajevo Olympic Games were an inspiration for all the people working on behalf of peace and cooperation, for this city welcomed and welcomes all good-willed people, regardless of race and religion, ideological and political orientation. In 1984 Sarajevo became a synonym for overcoming numerous barriers which burden the modern world – Sarajevo is a city of friendship without frontiers, the city of peace and international respect without prejudices. Sarajevo is a city with a rich history, a tragic recent history and challenging future. The Olympic Games held in Sarajevo were kept in the memory of the whole Olympic family – the city itself and its citizens did their best to make everyone feel at home during this magnificent manifestation. After the games, Sarajevo kept the tradition of the winter sport center through organizing numerous international sport competitions. When the aggression agains the country started in 1992, Sarajevo found itself at the epicenter of massive destruction which caused immense human victims and material losses. The larger part of what had been created within the past few decades was destroyed. A large part of this concerns the Olympic objects which the citizens of Sarajevo were especially proud of. During the whole 5-year period, the Olympic spirit had been stayed alive among the citizens and sportsmen of Sarajevo who participated in he international sport competitions. On the other hand, Sarajevo’s athletes and sport workers ha not been forgotten by the international sport community in those hardest days. We had been receiving different kinds of support, adjusted to the conditions we had here, but the most important of anything was the awareness that we were not abandoned, nor alone. Nowdays, the whole international community is making strong efforts toward helping the reconstruction process in Bosnia and Herzegovina and its capital. The international sport family would give the best contribution to that process if they would entrust Sarajevo the organization of one of the forthcoming Winter Olympic Games. The organizing of the new Games in Sarajevo would result in promoting sports as a factor of peace and friendship, rebuilding of the sport objects and supporting the citizens of Sarajevo in their attempt to create conditions for this massive sport engagement.

 

Hiking & Trekking

Old traditions here never seem to die… hiking and trekking are no exception. The southern-extension of the Swiss  Alps has shaped this little land and our ancient cultures and traditions have evolved from the magnificent highlands. The mountains are wild, beautiful and the most peaceful place to enjoy a wilderness challenge or to just feel again the essence of being. Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to dozens of peaks over 2000 m – no less than a natural phenomenon for a country half the size of Portugal. Young or old, fit or not, there is a safe mountain here waiting to be climbed, walked, or hiked! Your next adventure?

 

Alpine & Rock Climbing

Engulfed in such mountainous terrain it’s surprising that climbing isn’t a national sport… Bosnia and Herzegovina hosts the highest rock face on the Balkan Peninsula – Veliki Kuk at over 1000 m of ure hard core rock. Few have made it – but it has been done. On a more realistic scale Bosnia and Herzegovina is dottee with ideal faces for beginner, novice or pro climbers. Most towns have outdoor climbing „gyms“ and there are several organizations that do climbing excursions throughout the entire country. Forget the big name peaks for a moment… this is virgin land for hose of you searching for an intense extreme climbing experience. It’s not the Himalayas, but this place will give the best climbers a run for their money. Are you up or the challenge?

 

Extreme Sports

In a land where nature reigns supreme… extreme is not the exception but the rule. Paraglide off Visočica Peak over Rakitnica Canyon… kayak down the raging Tara… or mountain bike across the highland plateau of Prenj – he Herzegovina Himalayas! Few have been here… fewer have conquered the extreme wilderness that governs all… we’re looking for a few good men and women who are up for an extreme challenge… think you can hack it? Only har-cores need apply.

 

Una

The Una river is a magical place to jump on a wild rafting ride. From beginers to professionals he Una offers water rides that we are certain you will never forget. Whitewater rapids, cascades and waterfalls at all levels of difficulty are waiting for you to plunge into. The Una is part of us – her crystal clear waters, steep canyon walls, and magnificnt scenery are yours for the taking. Every year we host the Una Regatta – an international weekend of rafting, kayaking, canoeing or just plain fun in the sun. If you are up for a challegne – then you’re up for the one and only Una!

 

Tara

A jewel among the world’s natural heritage spots with its clean drinking and navigable waters, its eye soothing views and soul warming abience… the Tara iver canyon awaits you. The river Tara is 140 km (85 miles) of natural wonder… raging through Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. 30 km of the deepest canyon in Europe borders the two countries. Second only to the Colorado River in depth, this 1300 m canyon provides the best rafting, kayaking and canoeing in Europe. This paradise and protected area has a long tradition of extreme water sporting and easy family outings. The Tara is made for all… and the only way to see her inside and out is to jump on her rapids and ride them.

 

Neretva

The Emerald of Herzegovina… this wild canyon river flows over 100 km into the Adriatic Sea. In the Upper Canyon are some of the most breathtaking views in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Deep canyon walls, endemic pine trees and flowers and a wild pristine ambiance that only the Neretva can provide. The lower Neretva is an ideal vacation destination with its beautiful lake systems lined with beaches, holiday homes and nature motels for swimming, boat rides, water skiing, fishing or just a peaceful day in the sun.

 

 

Culture and art

It is the inner voice of its people that makes Bosnia and Herzegovina such a special place. There is a special blend with influences from every corner of the globe that make culture and art here a mosaic and a melting pot – all with a delightful balance of the old and new. One can roam through the many museums in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar, Bihać and find Roman mosaics, Neolithic era pottery, Oriental architecture, ancient Catholic and Orthodox decoration, crosses and paintings. Bosnia and Herzegovina has a very specific local art culture where people are very attached to where they are from. From these deep roots comes the beautiful potery, nobel prize winning literature, world renowned paintings from all of her peoples, romantic music and than – BAM – you last into the future of the younger generation and there i a thriving culture of jazz, theatre, youth, and film festivals held annually in Sarajevo. Culture and Art here have been a saving grace… for it knows no prejudice. Wander through the museums, hop from show to show during a festival, see life here in its true colours through culture and art… the true voice from within!

 

Sacred Crossroads – Bosnia and Herzegovina’s religious heritage

In few places has history created out of a single geopolitical unit, such an unusual society tying centuries long contacts of different peoples, cultures, religions and customs together. In the Illyrian-Classical, pre-Slavic period, the cults of the East, Roman Pantheon and young Christianity met in a very creative way. The wealth of archeological remains, the shrine to the god Mitras and early Christian basilicas are evidence of this. The Middle Ages were a culturally prolific period in which elements of East and West met and intertwined. There was Catholicism and Orthodoxy versus the Bosnian Church; the Cyrillic, Latin and Glagolithic writing versus the Bosnian Cyrillic writing (Bosančica). Byzantine Serbian fine arts, Western European romanesque and Gothicism art brought via Croatia met the natve artistic traditions like the handcarved tombstones that line the countryside (stećci).

One of the most predominant spiritual characteristics of this time was the Bosnian Church. Research to date has not fully clarified the theology, doctrine, ritual, character and organization of this church. However, the transition initiated by the Franciscan order starting in 1340 illustrates with what influence and strength the Bosnian Church has instilled Christian doctrines into medieval Bosnia.

After the fall of the Bosnian Kingdom and the inclusion of Bosnia and Herzegovina into the Ottoman Empire, some far-reaching structural changes occured. The spread of Islam made the strongest mark. A completely new spiritual and cultural framework was created. In a small territory and among a small number of inhabitants, all speaking the same language and all of similar Slavic origin, he three great Mediterranean civilizations met: Western European in the form of Catholicism, Byzantine in the form of Orthodoxy, and Islam in he form of the Ottoman State. When the Jews were banished from Spain and Portugal at the end of the 15th century, the Ottomans offered them asylum. They introduced a fourth cultural component to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Notwithstanding inter-religious and inter-ethnic temptations and conflicts, the diverse cultural systems inherited throughout the generations created a Bosnia and Herzegovina in which the people have maintained a native consciousness and pride regardless of creed or ethnic background.

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s religious traditions are testament to a rich cultural and religious heritage. It is here that you find the mystical and quaint Orthodox monasteries in pristine natural surroundings, the Franciscan monks serving their communities in the same fashion as their medieval predecessors, the beautiful Ottoman style mosques and minarets that dot the skyline and the small but significant influence of the Jewish settlers and their ancient trades. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a magical mix of the great Mediterranean civilizations. One that you can only experience here. One that will fascinate and inspire you!

 

Sarajevo

Sarajevo is a city that is etched in the archives of history. Sarajevo became a city at the hands of the Ottomans, who for centuries built Sarajevo into one of the most remarkable oriental cities in southern Europe. The beautiful Ottoman style mosques and architecture dot the skyline and the old quarters still maintain an authentic Turkish carsija with oriental sweet shops, cafes and traditional Bosnian foods. In the same quarters and even on the same street corner you will find the Catholic Cathedral, not too far from there an Orthodox church, and just around the bend a Jewish synagogue. The Austro-Hungarian empire also left a significant mark on the cultural, historical and architectural heritage of Sarajevo and much of the city center will remind you of Vienna. The National Museum and Librar were built during the short Austro-Hungarian rule here. It brought a tramway system and many of the most remarkable buildings in town. But Sarajevo is not about its ancient or Viennese architecture… Sarajevo is about its people and its enchanting natural surroundings. Once here you will be impressed by the great soul of this lace. In Sarajevo people take the time to talk to you, treat you to a coffee, or invite you to a bar for a drink and a chat. It is a place hopping with jazz, film, theatre, folk and art festivals all year round.

If you venture just a few kilometers out of town you will find stunning and serene nature, ideal for hiking, skiing, biking or simply a romantic walk along an oak tree-lined alley. You may get a real taste of old world Europe in Bjelasnica Mountain’s medieval villages such as Lukomir and Umoljani. Or you can head north to Skakavac waterfall on Bukovik Mountain. Ilidza to the south was an ancient Roman settlement. There are parks, horse and carriage rides and wonderful thermal spas which probably enticed the Romans to stay as long as they did.

Jahorina and Bjelašnica hosted the unforgettable 1984 Winter Olympic Games and offer some of the best and most inexpensive skiing in Europe.

Sarajevo is the fastest changing city in Europe. After quickly recovering from the war devastation Sarajevo once again claims to be the crossroads of civilizations. It’s a magical mix of east and west… and it’s waiting for you!

 

Međugorje

Međugorje is the Shrine of Our Lady located amidst the hills of southwestern Herzegovina. It has had over 20 million visitors since the miracle in the early 1980’s. According to six teenagers the Blessed Mother appeared in this small village on June 24, 1981 on a hillside. She introduced herself as the Queen of Peace and peace was indeed her main message.

Since her first appartion many miracles have been reported in Međugorje. Priests, monks, believers, and just those curious of the visions have flocked to this humble mountain own.

In 1981, there were not more than 500 people living in Međugorje. There were no proper municipal services such as telephone, electricity, water supply or asphalted roads. There were also no hotels, restaurants, shops or coffee bars. It was quite literally in the middle of nowhere. Today, 22 years later, Međugorje is a different place. It has become a real tourist paradise for the faithful and is now the most visited place in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Believer or not, we expect that Međugorje will touch you in a very special way!

 

Banja Luka

We welcome you to the city of Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosni and Herzegovina. The city is surrounded by mountains and sof rolling hills where the cold mountain river Vrbas flows from through the center of town. Banja Luka is dotted wih parks and its tree lined avenues makes it a very attractive, healthy and relaxing place to visit. Located on the new Balkan crossroads of the west and the orient… Banja Luka has grown to be an important regional center of business, education, arts and culture.

For centuries Banja Luka has seen visitors and conquerors. Even Roman legionaries wrote of the unusal beauty of Banja Luka and he banks of the Vrbas. Castellum, a Roman for later fortified by the Ottomans is situated in the center of Banja Luka and is a popular place for children to play, artists to draw, old folks to walk and talk, youth to swim and enjoy a drink in a cafe and locals and foreigners alike to dine in the fort’s restaurant.

The legend and charm of the town has turned many visitors into residents, which is why Banja Luka’s population has grown tenfold in the past 50 years. We invite you to enjoy the city’s rich history and culture, to taste its fine foods and wine, and to see the beauty and energy of its young and old. We welcome you to Banja Luka.

 

Mostar

Mostar is an extraordinary town in every sense of the word. Its beauty goes far beyond its ancient „Old towne“ and the old bridge that once stood uniting the city over the emerald Neretva river. The Mediterranean climate makes it the warmest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its days are mostly sunny with clear blue skies and the Neretva river turns the dry arid surroundings green with figs, kiwis, grapes, pomegranates, rosehips and even mandarin and lemons. The fertile grounds along the entire Neretva valley have made Mostar a setlement dating back over 10 000 years. But let’s talk about today…

Today Mostar is a city in transition. It was devastated by the war but the reconstruction has seen the town bounce back to life. Recovering from the devastation is no easy task… thy physical aspect of reconstruction is the easier part, soul healing comes a bit slower. But the world has begun to return to Mostar. Its cobble stone streets in the old town are once again filled with visitors from all over the world, the cafes are teeming with young and old enjoying the fesh air and breathtaking views of the Neretva and the surrounding mountains. Mosques and churches alike have been rebuilt and museums have been reopened. It’s a place you’ve got to see.

You can visit the Austro-Hungarian public baths and have a swim or sit in the jacuzzi’s. Stroll along her lovely streets and admire the centuries-old Ottoman architecture. Sit and enjoy a fine bottle of Herzegovinian red or white wine and smell the fresh array of wild flowers that stem from every patch of grass and every balcony along your way. Handicraft shops take you deep into Herzegovina’s past by upholding the tradition of quality, handmade goods. You’ll love their beauty and apreciate the time and effort that has been put into each item.

Walking through Mostar is a walk through the past. Its ancient walls tell timeless tales of the way it used to be. Its present struggle to keep its identity as a multi-ethnic community is an inspiring model for the future.

Mostar is far more than beautiful architecture and sunny weather… it is about a peace-loving community rebuilding itself from the ravages of war. You will affect Mostar as much as it will affect you… just go and see. The hardest part about going to Mostar may be leaving it!

 

Neum & The Sunny Adriatic

Neum is favourably situated in the middle of the southern Adriatic coast. Ideally located between Dubrovnik and the rich vineyards of Herzegovina, Neum is a great central place for discovering  the magic of the entire region.

Neum is rich with medieval stećci tombs, which are the emanation of the national spirit, passing down the messages that run through centuries and time in parallel with church records.

With its 24 km of splendidly diversified coast, Neum is the only entrance of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the sea. The land protected cove makes it ideal for swimming, jet skiing, snorkeling and scuba diving. Paddle a bit further out and the sea opens up to those looking for wind whipping parasailing or great deep sea fishing.

Neum is close to attractive towns such as Dubrovnik, Mostar, Korčula and Međugorje as well as to the Hutovo Blato Bird Reserve and Kravice waterfalls. This all enhances the tourist offer of Neum. Whatever you have in mind… it’s all here on the Sunny Adriatic!

 

Bihać

As the western gate of Bosnia, Bihać is the crossroads of many ages. You will be delighted with the town of Bihać and its warm hospitality. This town offers you a delicate taste of east and west… a balance only matched by or pristine naure which are cherish so much – our mountains, fresh air and the crystal flowing waters of our beloved Una river.

The Una is a member of our family and many generations grew up on her banks. The Una is the cleanest and best kept river in the country. We take great pride in preserving her natural beauty and protecting her for our children.

This beauty, as legend has it, left a Roman legionnaire breathless up first sight and he uttered in Latin „Una“, „the only one.“ The only river of its kind and we treat her as such.

This unique river has been an inspiration to artists over many generations… it is eternalized b the brush and pen of those who find it so clear.

Once you’ve stopped to listen to and see for a moment this natural miracle, you will be as captured by her wonder as the famous poet, Skender Kulenović, who said „the beauty, the beauty… my eyes to small to see, my lungs too little to breath.“

 

Trebinje

Trebinje is one of the most precious gems of Herzegovina. It is the most southern town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, located only a half-hour from the famous town of Dubrovnik. Trebinje too, has a rich history that dates far back into the middle ages. The town is surrounded by high dry southern Dinaric Alp mountains and fed by long and fertile valleys. Trebinje is a warm, sunny place with a truly authentic Herzegovina ambiance. Its old stone walled city will impress you with its perfection. The flowers in bloom that decorate the city at every corner will absorb you with their aroma. Trebinje is a slow paced town, ideal for walking, biking, resting and going for a refreshing swim under the hot sun in the crystal clear Trebišnjica river. Enjoy the Arslanagić bridge, built in Ottoman times, and St. Tvrdos, an Orthodox Monastery that was built in the 15th century.

The food and climate are great… an ideal place to get a true taste of old Herzegovina and its fresh fruit, fine wines, organic honey and relaxed atmosphere. Things go slow here and that’s the way we like it!

 

Travnik

Travnik, the former residenc of the Ottoman rulers of Bosnia is now the political center of Central Bosnia. Travnik is situated in the narrow valley of the Lašva river which is bordered by Vlašić mountain to the north and Mount Vilenica to the south. Wherever you may wander here you will find traces of a rich culture and an eventful history. Like other central Bosnian towns, Travnik has preserved its medieval character well. The ancient castle is of particular interest with its piercing fotresses that defended the city from outside invaders and its still intact city walls.

Travnik was once the „European Istanbul“. It bosted many Ottoman mosques and Islamic schools and was a main trading post between Dubrovnik and Belgrade.

Many beautful rivers run through Travnik… the old town is especially blessed with cascades, brooks and fountains.

Walking through her streets you’ll find the birthplace of Ivo Andrić, the Yugoslav Nobel Laureate and author of the novel „Bridge over Drina“. His home is now a museum of local heritage and natural history… not to mention the great meal you can have in the garden! Travnik has long welcomed visitors from far and abroad… we’re sure that you too will feel welcomed by the fine folks of Travnik!

 

Spas

For those who want to recover and recreate and particularly for those who want to heal and rehabilitate, B&H offers accommodation n more than 15 spas suitable for curing various illnesses: cardiovasclar and heart diseases, rehabilitation of broken bones and after orthopedic surgeries, neurological patients after brain strokes, ankles, bones and muscles, neurosystem, skin and blood vessels, consequences of inflammations in abdomen, chronic intoxications and gynecological diseases, chrotherapy or use of mineral mud, hydro-massage and galvanization, curing of chronic rheumatic diseases cuased by disorder in metabolism, inflammatory and degenerative genesis, post-traumatic conditions of locomotion system, chronic gynecological diseases, psoriasis, some type of eczema, diabetes, light neurosis and chronic gastritis, lumbar and cervical syndrome, neuro-muscles diseases, sterility and respiratory illnesses, illnesses and injuries of central and peripheral neurosystem, muscle illnesses – hereditary and gotten and conditions after acute har attack of heart muscle and coronary surgeries.

Ilidža near Sarajevo, thermal spa Mlječanica sulfur mineral water, Laktaši curing heart illness, Slatina rheumatic and degenerative disorders, Gata near Bihać, as well as Kiseljak in Kiseljak and Sanska Ilidža in Sanski Most are healt resorts and recreational centers. A unique one is Guber, Crni Guber is ideal for curing anemia. Vrućica near Teslić is a modern center for ultrasound diagnosis, Aquaterm in Olovo is famous by its clear water of 36 degrees Celsius, Vilina Vlas is situated in East Bosnia, not far from Višegrad with beautiful pine forest, so at the same time it is a source of themal water and air-spa and Kulaši where the water is completely sterile in terms of bacteriologies and it is one of seven spas of this type in the world and the main quality is high content of alkaline (ph. 11,75) and low mineral content (168 mg/l). Ilidža Gradačac belongs to spas rich in mineral and healing water, Dvorovi near Bijeljina, source of thermal-mineral water from 1345 m depth and temperature of 75 degrees Celsius. Characteristics of Slana banja near Tuzla and Reumal near Fojnica are healing of ll types of boh inflamatory rheumatisms nd those is low phase as well as post-traumatic and post-surgery conditions.

 

Souvenirs

There are many types and styles of handcrafts made here in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Gold jewlary, oriental rugs, Turkish style coffee and tea sets, beutifully carved wooden boxes or tables, traditional attire of the ancient highlanders, colorful woolen socks, jumpers, and hats can all be found in the old quarters of any town.

When you’re shopping for yourself or a friend make sure to haggle a bit… it’s the way of the east and that tradition too has held strong through the centuries. Craftsmen and women here are good, honest folks and a friendly bargain is just a part of the trade. Good luck!

Few crafts are given as much appreciation and significance as the craft of processing and shaping gold, an art that has developed int he Balkans throughtout the centuries.

The goldsmith craft counts among the few crafts which have survived the rapid changes in the developmen of human society. One of the places where this craft has been cherished and developed is Sarajevo. The famous work of the Sarajevo goldsmith’s makes the city even more attractive – in a way even exceptional.

Mostar is also famous for its authentic oriental old town and hadcraft shops. Many artisans have eternally frozen the unforgetable image of the Old Bridge the national symbol of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bronze work portrays all the symbols of Herzegovina: the ancient medieval tombstone carving, pomegranates, ancient forts and town centers.

In most places in Europe these ancient techniques have been replaced by technology… in Bosnia and Herzegovina these traditions are still passed down from father o son, mother to daughter. The people here take great pride in the quality of handmade crafts. Hese rare trades have not only managed to survive the onslaught of mass produced souvenirs but thrive as a matter of national pride and respect for our ancestors.

 

Traditional and Homegrown foods and wines

We don’t have a French kitchen here, quite honestly not even close – but we take pide in the gourmet tastes of homegrown traditional foods. Our metas, vegetables, wines, fruits and cakes all come directly from our natural surroundings. We have a long tradition of Oriental style sweets, Bosnian and Viennese style meats, and Herzegovina wines that may take you in spirit to the roaming fields of the south of France. Free of techno-agriculture our foods and drinks are healthy, tasty and straight fom Mother Earth. If you try ćevapčići (specialty „sausages“ cooked over an open flame) in downtown Sarajevo you’ll notice the freshness of its taste straight away. The fruits in our fruit stands come from our gardens grown on the sunny mountainsides.

Coffee is the rule here, Turkish style or espresso, it doesn’t matter. Be sure to enjoy a marvelous oriental sweet while you’re at it. Bosnians have long upheld the tradition of great sweet shops and many Albanian migrants from Kosovo and Macedonia (from the old Yugoslavia days) have set up shop all over the country to bring you sweet specialties from the Orient.

If you get a chance do shop by for some fresh goat or sheep grilled, in its entirety, right in front of you over an open fire. From he moountainside to your dinner plate you won’t be able to find as fresh and tasty a meat dish as this! Then there is pita (pie) made of meat, potatoes, spinach or cheese. It is a wonderfully tasty and inexpensive Bosnian lunch. Careful – you may get addicted! Many varieties of cheese are also available and served with most meals. Mladi sir (young cheese) and Travnik cheese are the most popular. Prijatno and Dobar tek!