Underrated and thus relatively undisturbed, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a treasure trove for adrenaline junkies seeking adventure activities in The Balkans. Right now, with still a pretty much under the radar status beyond Mostar, that means epic hikes into crowd free wilderness and white water rafting with friendly price tags.
Sure, the Albanian Riviera is touted as the next big beach destination, and Kotor in Montenegro seems on the path to becoming the next Dubrovnik, yet Bosnia and Herzegovina so far seems to have avoided most of the spotlight. Trust me when I say though, it won’t be long until all of this countries best bits are discovered. I’ve made no secret that BiH is one of my favourite countries in the world, and I really hope you’ll make the visit to discover why.
Ten adventure activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Don’t get me wrong, there are many reasons to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina beyond the unspoilt nature, but if you’re an addict for adrenaline or craving fresh mountain air with a touch of history and culture thrown in, then perhaps this Balkan nation should be your next adventure holiday. Here’s what to expect.
1. White water rafting on crystal clear waters
What better place to start your Bosnia and Herzegovina adventure than in my favourite small town of The Balkans; Konjic.
Lining the banks of Konjic are a handful of guest houses and a couple of beautiful Mosques, but just moments away along the Neretva river you’ll find raging white water rapids that then relax into tranquil waters, so clear you can see the bottom and so clean, I’d say it’s drinkable.
Visit Konjic have fast become one of the premier adventure activity suppliers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and I highly recommend the half day rafting with a BBQ lunch on route. You’ll enjoy a mix of adrenaline and relaxation and the views on the way down the river back to Konjic are seriously dreamy as these photos prove!
2. Skiing without breaking the bank
Bosnia and Herzegovina is, in my opinion, an ideal Ski destination for numerous reasons.
One, the nearest ski resort to Sarajevo, is just over 40 minutes drive away, and secondly, the cost is a lot more palatable here than the likes of central Europe. This makes it appealing for both those who want to hit the slopes and those that just want a snowy mountain air getaway.
The two largest resorts in the county are Jahorina and Bjelasnica, hitting a peak altitude of around 2000 metres.
3. Mountain hiking and ethnic villages
The mountains throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina are stunning, and I found them to be surprisingly devoid of hikers even in the summer.
Sticking to the semi-beaten path is the best idea here though, as landmines are still being discovered in parts of the country, a tragic reminder of the nations relatively recent past. If you want to really work your boots out, hire a local guide to enjoy the best roots.
Again, I went with Visit Konjic along the route through Lukomir, one of the last remaining ethnic villages in the country. Not far from Sarajevo, the simple stones houses and farming way of life in the mountains offers an insight into a more traditional way of life.
4. Cycling across borders and ancient train lines
The CIRO cycling route is an impressive project, and I’m seriously surprised it hasn’t had more coverage in European news.
The old Austria-Hungarian railway, which ran through the country is long gone, but the route it followed now links Mostar with Dubrovnik in neighbouring Croatia. If you don’t want to pedal across the two borders, you should aim to do at least part of the route which takes you past hidden gems and stunning countryside.
My personal favourite part of the route runs through Zavala. You can likely count the population here on one hand, but the old train station has been converted into a boutique B&B and between the monastery on the hill, incredible star gazing, local wine and the Vjetrenica caves, it makes for a great overnight cycle stop.
5. Exploring caves with unique biology
Located in Zavala, the Vjetrenica caves are a must visit if you find yourself travelling nearby.
The Vjetrencia caves are the largest in the country, stretching over 7000-metres into the rock face, but with only around 2000-metres open to the public. The formations of these caves have a few important qualities. Firstly, the chimney like holes throughout the caves creates a micro-ecosystem and constant breeze and wind, while unique wildlife, such as the ‘human fish’ with four legs lives in the caves waters.
6. Canyoning lesser explored lands
During the summer months, the Rakitnica river plays host to groups of adventure lovers who want to head Canyoning into its rocky waters.
Heading off from the village of Kašići, you can float along the angry waves through tiny rocky gaps and canyons. Professional gear and guides are a must here.
The deep rocky gorges, with green mossy sides, makes for an epic setting and while the water is reasonably cold all year round, a wet suit and sense of adrenaline will keep the chills away.