City of Sarajevo / Bosnia & Herzegovina
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Sarajevo is a capital city typified by the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but it also possesses a unique ambience that seeps into the soul. This city epitomizes a partial centuries-old struggle against outside influences combined with the absorption of these influences into one of the most diverse cultures in Europe. Indeed, few places on earth feature an Orthodox and a Catholic church, a mosque and a synagogue within easy walking distance of each other.
Bjelasnica and Igman
Bjelasnica and Igman mountains are very popular winter resorts located only 25 km from Sarajevo. These two mountains were the host of the 14th Winter Olympic Games in 1984, featuring Alpine and Nordic skiing and ski jumping competitions. The mountain range stretches over 300 kilometers and features the mixture of the Mediterranean and Continental climate. Bjelasnica is thus known to have all four seasons in a single day.
Jahorina is the mountain range to the southeast of Sarajevo. Its ideal geographical position more or less guarantees three to four months of good ski snow. Its highest peak reaches 1,910m. The ski lifts climb to 1,894m with fabulous views towards Sarajevo. The slopes of Jahorina are covered in tall pines till about the 1,500m mark. From there the mountainside is relatively bare with some thick patches of klek, a high-altitude pine that doesn't grow higher than 2m.
Situated 12km southwest of Sarajevo, Ilidza has long been a close retreat for city dwellers to enjoy the thermal springs, recreation centre and the lovely park at the source of River Bosna called Vrelo Bosna. The park has acres of lush green fields, gushing fresh waters that spring from the surrounding mountains, a recently upgraded park where children can play and two tasty traditional restaurants near one of the largest cascades in the park.
The Old Town 'Bascarsija'
The Old Town 'Bascarsija' may be hard to pronounce but it is certainly one of the most impressive and charming market centers in the country. Bascarsija has been a trading and meeting place since the 15th century as caravans from Asia minor, Dubrovnik and the west met here to trade their wares.
Sutjeska National Park
Sutjeska is one of Bosnia and Herzegovina's oldest parks. It is famous for the Partisan victory over the Germans in WW II and there are large stone monuments commemorating the event. The park itself is 17,500 hectares of magnificent and untouched wilderness. It hosts one of the last two remaining primeval forests in Europe, called Perucica. Bosnia and Herzegovina's highest peak, Maglic at over 2,386m, is located in the park, directly on the border with Montenegro.