Sutjeska National Park: European Yosemite in the Balkans

Ljiljana Krejic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

It is hard to measure the natural beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but Sutjeska National Park certainly offers the best of the best. Its mountains, lakes, rivers, forests and thriving wildlife are among the most magnificent in Europe. So if you dream of getting lost like Robin Hood in fairytale forests and lands of unspoiled and wild beauty somewhere in Europe, this place must be on your bucket visit. European Yosemite invites you to the once-in-a-lifetime journey in the heart of the Balkans.

Perućica Rainforest, Europe's last jungle

© istock/brunette

Stretched over 17,500 hectares of magnificent and untouched wilderness, Sutjeska is the oldest national park in Bosnia & Herzegovina. It hosts one of the last remaining primaeval forests in EuropePerućica. This pearl can be visited only with an accredited guide, either hiking or off-roading, known as Perućica safari. Beech trees tower over 60 metres, and endemic black pines stem from the rocky faces that protect the ancient forest. Another important feature of the Sutjeska National Park and** Perućica Rainforest is Skakavac Waterfall**, one of the highest falls in the country, formed on the Perućica River.

Mt. Zelengora & its mountain eyes

© National Park Sutjeska / unknown author

Some of the most valuable treasures of this national park are eight glacial lakes, also known as the "mountain eyes of Mt. Zelengora". Scattered around the mountain, these Zelengora Lakes are a genuine paradise for all nature lovers. Bears, wild cats, foxes, wild goats, bears, wolves, and martens are some mammalians inhabiting Sutjeska National Park. In addition, over 300 species of birds, including the rock partridge, peregrine falcon, and blackbird, reside in the park habitat.

Mt. Maglić, Bosnia' highest peak

© National Park Sutjeska / unknown author

The country's highest peak Mt. Maglić (2,386 meters), is part of this park, directly on the border with Montenegro. It presents a challenging climb even for experienced hikers, but absolutely worth every effort for the view that we open in front of your eyes once you reach its top. And if you are up for another challenge with a magnificent view, try to reach Trnovačko Lake, a heart-shaped emerald just across the border with Montenegro. If you are more into hiking and walking, do not miss Mt. Zelengora, Bosnia's most beautiful mountain with several newly renovated mountain huts. There are campgrounds, mountain lodges, guided hiking, climbing, tour skiing and fishing activities. And when you are already there, I bet you would like to check what European Yosemite looks like from an eagle's perspective. So, head to  Borić Viewpoint and enjoy the mesmerizing panorama.

Where to stay

© Booking / uknown author

When you come to explore Sutjeska National Park, finding accommodation might be a bit tricky. Hence, I have two suggestions to make your stay even more enjoyable - Vila Volujak and Vila Maglić. Both villas are actually charming wooden cottages boasting a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and stunning mountain views. Vila Maglić even has a sauna. They are situated at Tjentište, the starting point for all your trips. An à la carte, continental or vegetarian breakfast is available every morning at the property. 

Once-in-a-lifetime journey

© National Park Sutjeska / unknown author

As mentioned at the beginning of this story, visiting Sutjeska National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime journey. It would take you months to explore all the hidden corners of European Yosemite. If you plan to travel to this part of the Balkans, devote at least a couple of days to Sutjeska. You will certainly come back one day.

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