Bosnia and Herzegovina is perhaps one of Europe’s hidden treasures. This Balkan state has as colorful a past as the people who call this country home. So you’ve stumbled upon this hidden gem online and have fallen in love with it immediately. You’ve found many Airbnbs in Bosnia and you’re all set to board the next flight. The only problem is you don’t know what to do when you get there. You’re in luck because in this article we give you 4 of the best activities you can do in the gorgeous country whether you are a solo traveler or with a group. If you want to know more, read on.
Step back in time
Bosnia and Herzegovina have centuries worth of history and heritage that history buffs will surely enjoy. Before it came under Ottoman rule, it had a flourishing Catholic Medieval culture. It reached its peak during the 13th century and was one of the most powerful West Balkan states at the time. Notable ruins and monuments to visit is the fortress Cajengrad, castles like those in Vranduk and Maglaj.
When the Ottomans came, they brought with them the Islamic cultural and architectural influences that deeply changed the country. These can all be seen in the many mosques, like the Gazi-Husrevbey Mosque in Sarajevo, and various houses and hamlets that still survives to this day. But Bosnia’s really came to flourish during the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Under their rule, many notable public spaces, buildings, and infrastructure were built. Parks and other open green fields started to crop up and magnificent European inspired edifices were commissioned under their rule.
Go waterfall chasing
If you are up for something adventurous then checking out Bosnia’s breathtaking waterfalls should be on your list.
First on our list is Kravica a gorgeous cascading tufa waterfall 30-minutes away from Mostar. This is quite popular among tourists that come from Mostar, Medjugorje, and other nearby places both as a swimming site and picnic area. Nearby are a number of restaurants that offer local delicacies especially grilled seafood. This 25-meter high waterfall is best visited during spring when the surrounding woods is at it’s greenest and water at it’s fullest.
Another notable waterfall to visit is Pliva. Unlike other waterfalls in the world, this amazing 22-meter high waterfall is located inside a medieval town like it’s straight out of a fantasy novel. This marks the end of the Pliva river that is known for its history of watermills that dates back to medieval times. The stunning fusion of natural and man-made beauty in central Bosnia is certainly a must-visit for people who want to enjoy nature’s beauty without going off the path.
Another great waterfall you should definitely check out is Štrbački buk. Tucked away in the beautiful Una National Park, this magnificent stepped waterfall is the largest in the country. It is easily accessible to tourists with its wooden paths and a lot of viewing stations to get that awesome photo.
Immerse yourself in the unique culture
Bosnia and Herzegovina have one of the most colorful and unique histories in all of the Balkan states. This country was host to clashing cultures met culminating in the unique fusion of western and eastern influences. Nothing shows this more than the country’s capital city of Sarajevo.
This historic city was founded by the Ottomans in their conquest of the area building many mosques and unique pieces of architecture that are still visible to this day. The culture of the west also had a foothold in the city thanks to the influence of the Austro-Hungarian empire. This fusion of contrasting cultures is best experienced through the many walking tours that visitors will surely love. The city also has a stunning cable car ride so you can marvel at Sarajevo’s beauty from high up.
Another must-visit is the town of Mostar in the Herzegovina region along the banks of Neretva River. This picturesque town used to be a small town in the center of what used to be the trading routes of Bosnia and the Adriatic sea. Over the years, the village grew in importance as trade flourished in the region. The town is known for its gorgeous historic architecture that has stood the test of time. Notable places to visit is the Stari Most, a wonderful Ottoman stone bridge that is truly breathtaking.
Marvel in Nature’s wonder
Aside from history and culture, Bosnia and Herzegovina also boast a myriad list of outdoor activities perfect for nature lovers and adventure junkies. Here are three things you should try to get your adrenaline fix:
Canyoneering in the Rakitnica canyon. This adrenaline-pumping adventure a must-try for people who want to push their bodies to the limits. You get a mix of trekking and rock climbing that culminates into exhilarating water sliding that would surely delight adventure seekers. The trek lasts 8 hours so be sure to bring enough hydration.
If you prefer breezing to scenic trails then you should definitely give biking a try. Some tour companies offer mountain bike rentals on some of the most popular routes in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s mountains complete with experienced guides for the best experience.
If biking isn’t your thing but still want to experience being surrounded by nature and the fun outdoors then hiking is the perfect activity for you. Aside from the gorgeous scenery though, you also get to visit the few remaining ethnic villages in the country. Lukomir is a favorite destination because of its wonderful pastoral views and charming stone houses. Be warned though, never stray from known paths as there are still threat of landmines in the area. A grim reminder of Bosnia’s troubled past. Getting a knowledgeable guide would be very helpful at this point.
Bosnia and Herzegovina truly are a stunning and beautiful country that is filled to the brim with history, culture and wonderful people. No wonder many travelers from far and wide have fallen in love with its unique identity and vibe. A visit here would surely be a delight.