Located in the heart of the Balkans, Bosnia-Herzegovina is an underexplored destination which offers an intriguing mixture of contrasts - Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian architecture; mosques sharing neighborhoods with Catholic cathedrals, Orthodox churches, and synagogues; the youthful and lively capital Sarajevo and the quaint tradition-bound villages in the countryside.
Did we mention the great outdoors? The Central Dinaric Alps not far from Sarajevo are crisscrossed by hiking and biking trails which often follow ancient trading routes between mountain communities. For watersports lovers, the Tara River canyon ranks among Europe’s best for whitewater rafting and will pleasantly surprise you with its pristine wilderness and idyllic landscape.
If you have a week or less, spend a few days in Sarajevo to walk around its historic Old Town which is home to countless craft shops, bazaars, kebab restaurants and cafés, stop at the Latin Bridge – the site of the historic event which sparked the First World War, and visit the moving War Tunnel Museum. Use Sarajevo as a base for day-trips to hike, bike, or snowshoe in the surrounding mountains (which hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics) or to visit the traditional highland village of Lukomir. From Sarajevo, head south to Mostar to explore the cobblestone streets of its compact old quarter and walk across the UNESCO-listed Ottoman bridge across the Neretva River. You can spend a few days in Mostar itself and take a day-trip to the nearby Blagaj to climb up to its medieval fortress, or to the small town of Pocitelj – a hidden gem boasting some well-preserved Ottoman architecture.
With a few extra days to spend, you can hike to the picturesque mountain towns of Podvelez and Stolac south-east from Mostar, or spend a day or two whitewater rafting through the canyons of the Neretva or Tara rivers.