From wine tours to dark tourism, Bosna and Hercegovina gives its visitors plenty to choose from for their private guided tours. Balkan Tales offers numerous locations within this country and you can easily add it, no matter how big or small your group is.
Balkan Tales presents you with several sights, landmarks and towns that have been highly popular for inspiration. Have something else in mind? We like to keep our tours different and unexpected.
Bosnian Intangible Cultural Heritage
Skiing conditions and facilities, plus landmarks like the Gazi Husrev-beg mosque, the city’s cathedral, and the Vrelo Bosne park will provide ample interesting days for tourists keen on winter sports and on sightseeing. Parks abound within the city and on its outskirts. There is a skate park named Hastahana. In the centre, you can delight in games of street chess. For a high point view, go to the Avaz Twist tower.[/accordion-item]
The Stari Most is in the old town, which is also unmissable. It abounds in picturesque buildings, churches, a clock town, a hamam or an Ottoman time bath, etc. Don’t miss the cemetery dedicated to World War II partisans, with unique architectural pieces blended with nature. Nearby is the ancient town of Počitelj, dating from the 13th century, the Dervish Monastery in Tekija, the Hutovo Blato nature park, and the famed Vjetrenica cave.[/accordion-item]
The bridge bears the name not of its constructor, but of the then toll collector. Unfortunately this structure built in 1574 was swept down by Gorica reservoir’s high waters, but was rescued stone after stone, and reconstructed for 6 years. Now the reassembled structure is 10 km downstream from its previous site. The Hercegovacka Gracanica is a new monastery, built in 2000, with its church constructed as a replica of a 14th century church in Kosovo. The amphitheatre and the summer garden are other highlights of the complex, and the view from the monastery hill on Trebinje is worth seeing.[/accordion-item]
Where the Drina and the Rzav rivers merge, Višegrad town spreads. The most eminent site in it is the bridge named after Mehmed Paša Sokolović, which is UNESCO listed. The construction was implemented by an engineer with the Ottoman Turks, for the grand vizier Mehmed Pasha, in the period between the years 1571 and 1577. The tourist site named Andrićgrad, in honour of the writer Ivo Andrić, is located near the bridge. The writer and poet described mostly life in Bosnia, his native country, and his talent was marked by awarding international recognition via the bestowing of the Nobel Prize for literature in 1961. [/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”Travnik and Jajce”]
Jajce will fascinate first with the waterfalls: nowhere else in the world can waterfalls be observed in the very city. The Pliva Waterfalls are formed where Pliva flows into another river, Vrbas. Near the city, two lakes, the large one and the small one, lie. Near the small lake, the Mills are of interest for tourists.
Travnik, near Jajce, is steeped in history. One of the ancient sites, the Ottoman forts, is preserved well, although dating from the 14th century. Travnik is also famed as the home town of Ivo Andrić, eminent writer and Nobel Prize winner. The sights worth visiting and photographing are the Coloured Mosque and two clock towers.[/accordion-item]
Near Višegrad, the Drvengrad village lies. Its name means “Timber Town”. The famous director Emir Kusturica had it constructed, according to the idea he had of a village to hold seminars and concerts there.
In the village, diverse facilities cater for the Kusturica family and for other visitors: a library, a gallery, and a cinema complex are located. In the cinema complex, named after Stanley Kubrick, besides the cinema hall, there is a pool, a gym, a sports hall, a restaurant, shops, and rooms for Kusturica’ s family. There is even a church, St Sava church. Near Drvengrad, a hotel and a ski slope provide more facilities for visitors.
As many other places in Bosnia, Lukomir has its ancient history. There are remains from the 14th and the 15th centuries. Among legends linked to the place is one in which a dragon lived in the canyon nearby, the canyon of the Rakitnica river.
The Lukomir name means “harbour of peace”. Indeed, that is a peaceful area. It belongs with the Dinaric Alps, a fascinating mountain range, the principal one for Bosnia, covered with verdant forests. The Via Dinarica route, a hiking trail with a length of almost 2,000 km, passing from Albania to Slovenia, is a rewarding choice for hikers.
[accordion-item title=”Banja luca”]
Not just the second largest, but, too, the most important city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Banja Luka is replete with parks. It is in a valley forming a transition from lowlands to mountainous terrain, and the river canyon is picturesque. There are a host of hotels, one of them being on the Vrbas river which flows through the city.
Tourists are pampered with thermal springs and spas, and also pools. Trips to the medieval fortresses, and to the nearby waterfall on the Vrbas are a must. Leisure activities like fishing, rafting on the river, hiking and rock climbing in the river canyon are enormously popular.
[accordion-item title=”The Tunnel of Hope in Sarajevo”]
The tunnel enabled people from lands under Bosnian rule to send humanitarian supplies, and those from Sarajevo, which was isolated by Serbian army forces, could get away. There are three parts: covered trenches on both ends, and 340 metres comprising the tunnel. The height varies from 1.6 to 1.8 metres. The entrances in the two Sarajevo neighbourhoods were secret: in Dobrinja it was a garage, in Butimir it was a house, now a museum.[/accordion-item]
Famed for numerous apparitions of the Holy Mother, the Apparition Hill will invite you to climb the steep path to the site where Our Lady has been seen. The path upwards goes among rocks strewn on the hill surface, but the reward when you climb to the holy spot is immense.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”The abandoned bobsleigh slight”]
The damage during the siege lasting from 1992 to 1996, riddled with holes, the track is now mostly abandoned. But it is appreciated by graffiti artists, and is still convenient for cycling. Tourists keen on walking can reach it on foot, by always striving to see the section of white stone. The abandoned track is just behind it. But comfortable shoes, plus, too, a bottle of water are indispensable for walkers.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”Kravica waterfall”]
The complex has also other facilities at the disposal of tourists: a cafe, a camping site, a picnic site, and a rope swing. For great sights of the fullest beauty, visit in the spring, to admire the abundant water, and the verdure around. The area is dotted with restaurants too, where fish specialities and other dishes will make great lunch menus. The small grotto near the waterfall boasts stalactites, and the area also prides itself on an old mill, and a sailing ship too.[/accordion-item]
The Blagaj Tekija, which is the local for the Dervish monastery, dates from the early 15th century. The elements of Ottoman style are mixed with Mediterranean architecture. The tekija material is half timber. The Buna spring comes out of a cave, and is picture perfect. On the way to these sights, there is a mini museum with an old Ottoman homestead.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”Tara River Canyon”]
The length of the canyon is 144 km; of them, 104 are in Montenegro, and the remainder in Bosnia. Part of the canyon, 36 km, forms the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The greatest depth is 1,300 metres. On Tara, rafting is popular. The Durmitor Park comprises a mountain range and its limits include two canyons: the Tara Canyon to the north, and the Komarnica to the south.[/accordion-item]
Maglić is in the Sutjeska Park, where the Sutjeska river flows. Durmitor, a national park, is, too, a UNESCO site, with the Tara river forming a beautiful canyon, and also with lakes and lush pine forests. The most appropriate hiking period is June – September. Winters come with hefty snow; however, even in summer you can be overtaken by snow and hail.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”Wine tours”]
Tvrdos Monastery will leave an indelible mark with its two cellars. The barrels in the older one are very old, great for maturing wine. The new cellar boasts the latest technology. In the Vukoje winery, wines have been produced since 1982, and aged in oak barrels, in 8 metres deep cellars. The winery has a wine bar for 300 people.[/accordion-item]
Tara’s canyon, in the Durmitor park, is breathtaking. The canyon is the second deepest worldwide, and 144 km long. Combine visiting this UNESCO site with rafting, which can take several days there. Rafting down the Neretva is an experience of about 6 hours, along a section of 25 km. The rapids are four, and the emotions are upped by a waterfall. The end point is Konjic.[/accordion-item]
[accordion-item title=”Dark tourism”]
The old bridge, a famed landmark of Mostar, ravaged in the war, was later rebuilt. The country is riddled with ruined or dilapidated homes. But Sarajevo is the highlight as a dark destination. There, visit the War Tunnel and the museum, the assassination site and museum, and the siege exhibition. In Srebrenica, the tale of the 1995 massacre, taking the toll of 8,000 people in the Bosnian War, will impress and sadden you.[/accordion-item]
Have a concrete idea where you want to go in Bosna and Hercegovina? Get in touch with Balkan Tales staff at [email]. If you need a little bit of assistance in creating your itinerary, then answer your questionnaire.