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Hidden Gems
Macedonia on Wheels

Via Dinarica in Bosnia (Guided)

Overview

On the Via Dinarica trail, nature meets culture in enchanting ways. It is here that one can find the last remnants of traditional European highland lifestyles, and these still-thriving highland communities prove that no matter how remote you go, you’re never terribly far from an adventure or a hot, hearty meal shared with a friendly local.

During this trip in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you will enjoy fantastic, diverse landscapes each day. It also includes several cultural and historical sites such as the mysterious Stećci medieval necropolises, now listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites. Throughout the four-day hike, you will explore some of the most scenic peaks of Bjelasnica mountain, as well as some authentic villages, where life seems to have stood still as it was centuries ago.

This is a small group guided tour, on which you will share the experience with other passionate travellers and will be accompanied by a local guide who will give you the best insights into the places you visit. Mind that some of the overnights are in huts, in dorm rooms with shared facilities, and you will also have to carry the luggage you will need for a multi-day hiking adventure.

Highlights

  • Sarajevo, one of the most historical and culturally diverse Balkan cities
  • Hranisava peak (1964 m) & traditional shepherd summer settlements 
  • Lokvanjsko Lake & Vlahinja summit (2056 m)
  • Umoljani & Gradina villages
  • Obalj summit (1896 m) and Lukomir village – highest populated place in Bosnia

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Sarajevo

Arrival in Sarajevo on your own. Depending on the time of your arrival, you will have the rest of the day for exploring the cultural riches of this historical city.

Day 2: Into Bjelasnica Mountain | 5-6 hrs

Today you will meet your guide and the rest of the group. A transfer will bring you to the starting point of your mountain adventure in Bjelasnica Mountain. The hike will take you through a pine and beech wood forest up to the Gate of Wind where you will be gently and pleasantly greeted by warm Bjelasnica breeze (or a loud piercing south wind). From there you will traverse up to a small shepherd’s hut (at 1620 m), where you’ll have lunch. In the afternoon, you will get on a 1-hour climb to the top of Hranisava (1964 m), it is rather steep in some places but offers lovely views of Central Bosnia and Herzegovina and its peaks. From the top you’ll continue hiking down to Krosnje (1660 m), a traditional summer settlement for shepherds coming from as far away as Capljina in Herzegovina. After a brief rest in this truly mystical place, you head back to a cosy mountain hut where you stay for the next two nights.

  • Walking for the day: 5-6 hrs
  • Accommodation: Mountain Hut Stanari (Bjelašnica Mountain)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

As the following two overnights (today and tomorrow) will be in a hut, mind that you will have to carry a backpack with a sleeping bag and the belongings you will need until you reach Pension Umoljani on day 4, where your main luggage will be waiting for you.

Day 3: Lokvanjsko Lake and Vlahinja Summit | 6-7 hrs

After breakfast, you walk across the northern part of Bjelasnica towards Lokvanjsko Jezero, a tiny lake perched high in the mountains surrounded by high altitude alpine pines called ‘kleka’. After a short break in the quiet surroundings and the lake with its numerous frogs, endemic salamanders and water snakes you set off to Vlahinja summit (2056 m). After an hour and a half, you arrive at the peak with its rare view of the Olympic skiing resort of Babin Do. Here you will enjoy a picnic lunch before hiking to Sitnik through the beautiful mountainous terrain of Bjelasnica’s interior. The hut is a lonely reminder of Bosnia’s great mountaineering past. You will return to the hut circling the lake while being treated to great views of Hranisava and Krvavac.

  • Walking for the day: 6-7 hrs
  • Accommodation: Mountain Hut Stanari (Bjelašnica Mountain)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Umoljani Village | 7-8 hrs

Today you are leaving your “base camp” at Stanari hut and continue over Bjelasnica ridge, towards Ljeljen peak (1938 m) and Greda pass to your final goal for the day, Umoljani village. In about an hour and a half, you begin your gradual climb to Greda, a beautiful pass between Krvavac (Bjelasnica’s second highest peak, 2062 m.) and Debela Brda (1987 m). Here you’ll be treated with today’s prize, views of Bjelasnica’s highest peaks, Treskavica, Visocica, Zelengora and Jahorina mountains. While walking through soft mountain grass, you wind your way down to Grkarica river source, a true lifesaver in summer. Leaving the source behind you begin to walk through the long valley, passing through the beautiful summer village of Gradina and reaching today’s final destination, Umoljani village.

  • Walking for the day: approx 7-8 hrs
  • Accommodation: Pension Umoljani (Umoljani Village)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Obalj Peak and the Village of Lukomir | 7 hrs

Today’s hike has it all, amazing scenery, old water mills, stunning views of the Rakitnica canyon and great hiking. You will enjoy a full day of walking in the Bjelasnica Mountains, ascending Obalj peak (1896 m) and visiting Lukomir, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s highest village (1469 m). From Umoljani, you walk to the summer village of Gradina. From there you will start ascending towards Obalj ridge, slowly rising above Studeni Potok (cold stream), and enjoying views of the Treskavica and Visocica mountains. Once you reach the peak, you will see the Lukomir village below with its ancient stecci (medieval tombstones) where villagers still follow a traditional shepherd way of life. On the edge of the village, you will be treated by a rare view of Rakitnica, Obalj, and Visocica. After a simple but tasty homemade lunch, you will hike back around Obalj. You walk down to Umoljani zig-zagging through cultivated fields, where you will be picked up and transferred back to Sarajevo for overnight.

  • Walking for the day: approx 7 hrs
  • Accommodation: Pension Kandilj (Sarajevo, Bosnia)
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Departure

Departure after breakfast, or extension upon request

  • Meals for the day: Breakfast

What to Expect

Accommodation

In Sarajevo, you will be accommodated in a cosy B&B (private rooms, en-suite facilities), located in the central Oriental part of the city. You will spend two nights in a mountain hut (dorm rooms, shared facilities), enjoying the natural peace and quiet. Please note that you will need a sleeping bag or sheets for the overnights at Mountain Hut Stanari (it is possible to rent one on request). In Umoljani Village, you will be accommodated in a local pension (private rooms with shared facilities). We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Show the default accommodations for this trip

Accommodations are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide full accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Meal plan, as listed in the itinerary: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunch packs and 3 dinners (in Sarajevo you have plenty of restaurant options).

Difficulty & terrain

We rate the difficulty of this trip as moderate, with an average walking time of 6-7 hours per day. Being in good shape and having some previous hiking experience is highly recommended to get the best of this trip (read more about difficulty grades).

When to go

Departures for this trip are available in May, June, July, August and September; please click the Book Now button for the exact dates. During the hiking season, the weather is normally pleasant and sunny. More rain is expected at the beginning and the end of the season, and it gets warmer during July and August. However, short cold waves and even snow during the summer is not unusual in the Dinaric Alps.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options and route planner

By Plane

Recommended arrival/departure airport: Sarajevo

By train or bus

Inclusions

Included

  • Transportation from and to Sarajevo
  • Luggage transfer to Umoljani village on day 4
  • English speaking local tour leader/guide
  • 2 nights in twin/double rooms with ensuite facilities
  • 2 nights in а mountain hut, dorm rooms with shared facilities
  • 1 night in a local pension, private rooms with shared facilities
  • Meals as specified in the itinerary

Excluded

  • Airfare and airport transfers
  • Luggage transfers on days 2 and 3
  • Meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Tips for the tour leader and local staff
  • Personal expenses
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement for members of a group (only possible in Sarajevo)
  • Sleeping bag or walking poles rental (10 EUR per person, paid locally)
  • Extra nights in Sarajevo
  • Private airport transfers

Gallery

Reviews

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Rating

     

Average rating:  5 stars  from 2 reviews

Stephen S5 stars

WOW! what an experience. I challenged myself both physically and emotionally and the result was an experience that I will never forget. It was amazing and I thank you so very much for putting an experience like this together.  The people and families I met will forever be instilled in my thoughts of Bosnia.

Most memorable were there trails on days 4 and 5; up the mountain to a stay in the lodge/hut and back down in the morning. Actually the entire trip was so memorable I can say enough good things about it.

My advice to other travellers is to fly into Bosnia Sarajevo for convenience and to gain a better understanding of this beautiful country. Personally I could have skipped Mostar because it was a bit touristy and would have preferred to stay at the local town at the end of the trek.

I give everything a 5. it was an amazing experience.

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