Hiking in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Everything You Need!
Last Updated on July 27, 2021
Bosnia and Herzegovina isn’t often somewhere people consider when they’re looking for an outdoor-friendly holiday. But nature lovers will be blown away by the beauty of this relatively unknown Balkan gem.
In fact, few people realise that the country’s terrain is predominantly mountains and valleys; the mountains are even considered an undiscovered pearl in Eastern Europe. The options for hiking in Bosnia and Herzegovina will have any avid hiker booking a ticket!
Best time for hiking in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Before you decide where to go hiking, you probably want to know when to visit. It’s best to avoid the harsh winter months. Spring and autumn can be great weather for hiking Bosnia and Herzegovina, however some months are still quite chilly for the higher altitudes.
If you’re happy with colder temperatures, or you’re only looking for easy hikes to the waterfalls, then anytime between April and October is lovely. Otherwise, the ideal time to go on hikes in Bosnia and Herzegovina is from June through to October.
Alternatively, snowshoeing is quite popular in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is offered throughout the country during the winter months. As are winter hiking tours if that’s your cup of tea.
Guided Hikes in Bosnia and Herzegovina
One of the most frequently asked questions about hiking in Bosnia and Herzegovina is whether or not a guided hike is needed.
However, it is extremely important to note that there are still active landmines in some of the forested areas within the country. If you plan on exploring off of the official hiking trails, or are prone to wandering off path, then you need to go on a guided hike in Bosnia and Herzegovina for your own safety. This is not the place for discovering unknown spots by yourself.
But for the most part, hiking here is completely safe. All the official hiking trails in the country have been cleared of landmines – or they never had any to begin with. So long as you plan on visiting the more popular hiking trails in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and you stick to the trails, you will be fine. Hiking trails are well marked, and locals are always friendly if you’re a little turned around.
So ironically, if you’re more independent and adventurous, a guide is highly recommended to help you discover more hidden gems. One of the best tour companies for guided hikes in Bosnia is Green Visions. They are a team of passionate and avid hikers, climbers, rafters, etc and they will work to ensure you have the best trip possible.
The Best Hiking Trails in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is an excellent choice for hikers. There are 197 hiking trails in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and over 60 mountain ranges that are 1,500 meters or higher. Additionally, there are four national parks and eight nature parks considered protected land.
Whether you are looking for an easy 45 minute casual hike, or a more difficult multi-day trek, there is a hiking trail in Bosnia and Herzegovina for you.
Sutjeska National Park
One of the most popular hiking spots is Sutjeska National Park, near the border with Montenegro. Sutjeska National Park was established in 1962. It is not only the oldest national park in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but home to the highest mountain peak in the country – Maglić Mountain.
Maglić Mountain, which stands at 2,388 meters, is perfect for hiking in Bosnia and Herzegovina. There are several options for multi-day hikes up the mountain, which offers captivating views of Trnovačko Lake (in Montenegro) and Perućica.
Perućica is one of Europe’s last remaining primeval forests, and contains Skakavac, a 70 metre high waterfall. It can only be explored in the company of park rangers, although this can normally be arranged as part of a guided tour. Visiting Perućica is a truly unique experience, and worth including in any hiking itinerary of Bosnia and Herzegovina
While you’re in Sutjeska National Park make sure to visit the famous Tjentište Spomenik. This WWII monument commemorates those that died during the Battle of Sutjeska in 1943.
Hiking Near Mostar
There are several popular hiking trails near the city of Mostar.
A hike that’s suitable for beginners is Mostarska Bijela. This hidden canyon along the Bijela River is a real gem. It has old abandoned villages and a beautiful waterfall where you can take a dip and cool off.
Outside of the city is Mount Velež. This peak overlooks Mostar and is a symbol of the city. Mount Velež used to be a communications base for the Yugoslav National Army, but today boasts breathtaking views of Mostar, Buna River and Neretva River. The mountain’s western side is the easiest way up, with other routes only suggested for more experienced climbers with proper climbing equipment.
In the other direction is Blidinje Nature Park and the Čvrsnica Mountain range. The main attractions here are the Roman trails and the Hajdučka Vrata arch; a stunning natural monument that overlooks the valley.
Alternatively, Velika Vlajna on Čabulja Mountain stands at a modest altitude of 1,786 meters. It is not an easy climb, but as you descend you might come across wild horses, which makes the hike worthwhile.
The Prenj mountain range (also known as the Bosnian Himalayas) is nestled in the Dinaric Alps, which stretch from Italy across the entire Balkan region. They are also referred to as the Dinarides.
A great hiking trail to start with here is the Old Tobacco Road, a rugged path once used for illegal tobacco transportation. This route is by no means easy, but it’s worth doing for the historical significance alone.
For this reason, it is best to go on a guided hike so they can regale you with the stories of smugglers travelling by cover of moonlight to transport illegal goods such as tobacco across the mountains.
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