Where to ski around Sarajevo?

Ljiljana Krejic | Live the World

November 23, 2022

You have probably never considered booking your ski holidays in Bosnia & Herzegovina. But that might change after this story. Blessed with long ski seasons on magnificent snowy mountains, this country is the best-kept winter secret in Europe and the perfect budget-friendly alternative to the popular & costly winter destinations. Plus, its ski resorts are much less crowded and still relatively undiscovered. So, if you decide to fly to the Bosnian Olympic city, here is where you can ski around Sarajevo

The Olympic mountains

© Zoi'84 Olimpijski Centar Sarajevo/unknown author

Thirty-five years ago, Bosnia & Herzegovina (at that time, it was a part of Yugoslavia) hosted Winter Olympic Games, which brought worldwide popularity to the country’s mountains. Sarajevo was chosen to host the 1984 Winter Olympics since in its vicinity are the three most popular mountains in Bosnia & Herzegovina – Mt. Jahorina, Mt. Bjelašnica and Mt. Igman. They are only half an hour's drive from the capital city, and they have first-class slopes, the best accommodation & renting capacities, and après skiing activities. 

Mount Jahorina

© Olimpijski Centar Jahorina/uknown author

Perhaps less known to European ski lovers, but Mount Jahorina is pretty famous among skiers from the Balkans for the best value-for-money skiing. It is the largest ski area in Bosnia & Herzegovina, with the highest peak, Ogorjelica, reaching 1,916 m above sea level. Only 28 km from Sarajevo, this mountain is easily reachable once you are in the capital city. Mt. Jahorina is one of the most popular winter getaways in the Balkans, with 30 km of groomed slopes. The ski season lasts between December and April, thanks to plenty of natural snowfall. This mountain can host more than 8,000 skiers per hour with eight lifts. Mount Jahorina offers everything you need – skiing & snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country trails, lavish off-piste and great après ski. The additional attraction here is night skiing. Evenings are reserved for entertainment with DJs and parties. And the best accommodation and ski services are provided by Aparthotel Vučko.

Mount Bjelašnica 

© Zoi'84 Olimpijski Centar Sarajevo/unknown author

Only 25 km from Sarajevo, Mount Bjelašnica is nestled in the rough and rolling Dinaric Alps. This is the tallest and steepest mountain in Bosnia & Herzegovina, with the highest peak at 2,067 m of altitude. Actually, it is a dreamland for adrenaline junkies since it offers the steepest of all slopes. A ski race from the highest peak (2,067 m) to the base (1,200 m) lasts only 10 minutes. Mt. Bjelašnica is one of the mountains that hosted the men’s alpine ski completion during the Winter Olympic Games in 1984. This is unsurprising as some of its trails are on the top European ski slopes. Also, its challenging forest runs are ideal for skilled skiers and snowboarders. However, among 14 km of slopes groomed daily, there are trails for all types of skiers – from beginners to advanced. You can also explore Bjelašnica Olympic Mountain Ski Resort on a snowshoe tour. Regarding accommodation, book this hotel for the best stay enriched with wellness and spa experience. 

Mount Igman

Not far from Mount Bjelašnica and a mere 22 km from Sarajevo, Mount Igman is located. It is actually the north face of Mt. Bjelašnica. Since this place offers a great ski jumping station, it also hosted competitions during the Winter Olympics in 1984. Mt. Igman (1,502 m) is a smaller and cosy ski resort, more suitable for families with children. It is renowned for its exceptionally high air quality due to the abundance of pine trees.

Europe’s best skiing on a budget

© Olimpijski Centar Jahorina/unknown author

Bosnia & Herzegovina is called “the best-kept winter secret in Europe”, with very reasonable prices and no rush of tourists, as opposed to the expensive mass winter tourism. Perfect alternative ski heaven on the slopes that hosted the Olympics, and voila - the location for Europe’s best skiing on a budget. So, now that you know where to ski around Sarajevo, the last thing you need to do is to choose one of the three ski resorts - Mt. Jahorina, Mt. Bjelašnica or Mt. Igman. If you wonder if there are other winter destinations in Bosnia & Herzegovina, check the ski resorts around Mostar and find out where you can ski around Banja Luka. Enjoy your winter holidays in the Balkans!

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