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Bosnia and Herzegovina

Located on the Balkan Peninsula, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country with medieval villages, rivers, lakes and the craggy Dinaric Alps. The capital of Sarajevo has a well preserved Old Quarter, Baščaršija with the 16th Century landmarks of the Gazi Husrev-beg Mosque and Ottoman Latin Bridge, the site of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which ignited World War I. Bosnia and Herzegovina is truly a lovely place to visit with the stunning Una River and towns like Mostar and Stolac where Ottoman and Byzantine, Roman and Balkan, Slavic and other styles all come together between their ancient streets.

Sarajevo, the bustling capital city is transforming itself into a modern city and shedding its former reputation of a ravaged war zone however, you will still find memorials to the fallen throughout the city. Sarajevo has an elegance that flows through its streets with striking Mosques, aromatic Turkish restaurants, parks and arched stone bridges and enchanting bazaars.

The jewel of the country is definitely Mostar, a city radiates with Bosnian history. The main highlight is the 16th Century arched Ottoman Stari Most (Mostar Bridge) a UNESCO's World Heritage List Site, that spans the Neretva River in the heart of the town. Situated around the bridge you will find Dalmatian buildings and Franciscan Churches and Arabesque Mosques, with gold sellers ready to barter with you in the Old Bazaar. There are some lovely al fresco terraces where you can stop for a coffee or a beer along the riverside.

Blagaj should be on any Bosnian trip bucket list. Nestled in a rugged gorge of the Mostar Basin, where the Buna River explodes into life from the subterranean depths below. Full of Ottoman styles including the great Sufi Lodge of the Tekija, Ottoman mansions and a serious of Byzantine arched bridges and terraces.

The Kravice Falls are definitely a photogenic wonder as they cascade in countless streams over the verdant ridges south of Mostar. 25 metres high, the cataracts here attract swimmers and hikers during the summer months, while others will come to simply gasp as the mist rising from the freezing plunge pools and roaring Trebižat River.

One of the most beautiful towns in the country would have to be Stolac with its enchanting old centre. The town has a unique architectural and cultural heritage from the remnants of the 3rd Century Roman Diluntum to the elegant Austro-Hungarian Baroque style. You will also find evocative tombstones of the Radimlja Necropolis on the outskirts of the town as well as pretty riparian stretches of the Bregava River, complete with clicking wooden watermills and stone bridges.

With elegant 18th Century Ottoman rises and original eastern façades Trebinje contrasts stunningly against the waters of the winding Trebišnjica River as it works its way through the historic city centre. The beautiful arched bridge of Arslanagić can be found on the outskirts of the town along with a gorgeous Serbian Orthodox Cathedral. The remnants of the Klobuk Fortress on the hill offer fantastic views over the Trebišnjica River Valley.

Banja Luka is the largely unknown capital of the Republika Srpska region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Unfortunately, Banja Luka has not retained its historic Ottoman and Slavic splendour except for the UNESCO Ferhat-Pasha Mosque and the Cathedral of Saint Bonaventure. However, this does not stop people coming to the city as visitors flock here to sip beers, sample Trappist wines in the Pivara Banjalučka Monastery or to take to the hiking trails of the nearby mountains.

Divided by the Lašva River as it flows through the central mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the pretty town of Travnik is a balance of its past, as the capital and the old Ottoman sub-region and today’s modernity. The town has many eastern style edifices and monuments including two Ottoman Clock Towers and a stunning 15th Century Old Town centre. Travnik is also close to the Vlasic Mountains where you can Nordic Walk, Ski and Hike.

Jajce is a favourite gateway to the lakes, waterfalls and gorges of the pretty Bosanska Krajina region in the north. Jajce has some fascinating museums including the AVNOJ, which chronicles the resistance efforts of the Yugoslav partisans in World War II, underground Catacombs, charming Bosnian homes clad in painted timber and the Citadel that stretches over the central hill, a remnant of the town’s medieval past.

Perched on the Dinaric Alps, Jahorina is the home to one of the best ski fields in Bosnia and was also the former host of the 1984, XIV Winter Olympics. With no fewer than 10 chairlifts and pistes and a future gondola that all serve 30 kms of alpine runs. Nearby Jahorina you will also find hunting lodges and pre-historic wonders of the Orlovača Cave system along with the lovely town of Pale in the valley below.

The Una National Park is one of the more recent additions to Bosnia and Herzegovina’s outdoor jewels. It makes its home amidst the wild hills that roll down from the Dinaric Alps on the cusp of Croatia, protecting great stretches of riparian woodland and the channels of the Una and Unac Rivers. Here you can visit the stunning Martin Brod Waterfalls, see the towering Ostrovica Fortress and the newly reconstructed Rmanj Monastery. Located between the ranges of the verdant Una Valley, Bihac is a pretty town complete with a medieval keep and concomitant Church tower, fountains and an interesting Arabesque Ottoman Tomb. There is even a series of islands that pop up inundated by the turquoise green channels from the Una River. The town has a lot of green urban spaces where you can wander around and where you will be lost in the blooming coniferous shades of green and the rugged hills of the Bosanska Krajina.


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