The Outdoors and Adventure Company Scorpio, are an adventure company run by local mountaineering instructors organizing outdoors activities on the mountains of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Why the Neretva Valley in Bosnia and Herzegovina for a holiday destination?
Bosnia and Herzegovina is emerging as a new holiday destination for sustainable tourism, it is an intriguing mixture of East and West culture with churches, mosques and synagogues the one next to the other and the genuine hospitality of its inhabitants, always ready to welcome you and make you feel at home. This is the most known aspect of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the one that is the most familiar to those spending one day in Mostar or Sarajevo. But there is much more to it. The country is still unspoiled by mass tourism, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities and real adventures. Its mountains, especially during the winter, are largely untouched and very few persons visit them. Thats where the real adventure begins.
Favourite spot for ski touring in Bosnia and Herzegovina?
There are many areas where ski touring can practiced: almost all the main mountains of BIH are well suited for this activity: it is enough to follow the summer hiking trails. However, there is an excellent concentration of mountains in the area between Sarajevo and Mostar, that is the boundary between Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this area you will find the most attractive and different mountains. From Bijelasnica, the mountain where the 1984 Olympic games took place, to Visocica, a long ridge, in the middle of a very beautiful plateau, which provides an excellent view on the most important mountain of Bosnia and Herzegovina, before skiing down the south face of Visocica mountain, a natural slope with excellent powder. Bijelasnica and Visocica represent an excellent training, a perfect introduction for Prenj and Cvrsnica, two impressive mountain ranges, separated by the Neretva River, which represent the highlights of ski touring in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The access to these mountains is quite difficult, the distances relatively long, but the experience is highly rewarding, as you will enter a completely different environment, where the tracks of yours skis will probably be the only ones during the whole winter. There is some reasons why the Prenj massive is called the Bosnian Himalaya. Although its main peaks are little more than 2,000 mts, reaching them during the winter is a real challenge. The same is with Cvrsnica Mountain, located in a near valley. It is a 2,200 massive dominating the lake of Blidinje, with two impressive peaks and a number of separate valleys where skiing is possible even in May, in a spectacular environment.
Favourite places to grab some food and drink in Neretva Valley?
Along the route, you will find many places for homemade food, where you can taste food locally made A few outstanding places can be Dzafers hut in Luka village, an excellent relax once back from Visocica mountain, and probably the only place in the remote village, as well as the restaurants in Konjic or Blidinje area, perfectly in line with the best of Bosnian tradition: bureks, roasted meat, cheese, salads, soups a unique mix of taste and energy.
Whats the best time of year to come to Bosnia and Herzegovina?
For ski touring, the months of February-March-April are definitely the best ones. The snow is abundant, the days are long, we can even enjoy springtime in the valleys, while skiing on the top of the mountains.
Top locals tips
You can arrive to Bosnia and Herzegovina via land or via air. Direct flights connect Sarajevo to Munich, Frankfurt, Vienna, Istanbul, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Stuttgart. Via land, you continue from Zagreb either along the coast or inland. Getting around is easy amongst the main towns, but public transport is still relatively problematic, especially if you have large luggage. When it comes to reaching the mountains, very often an off road vehicle, is required, especially during the winter months. A local guide is often necessary as there are is no GPS data available and the maps are very hard to find. As for gear, proper skitouring gear, including crampons and iceaxe, is necessary as weather conditions can become very difficult. Amongst the things not to miss, Mostar and Sarajevo with their own rich cultural heritage represent two excellent city breaks, to rest after a few days of ski touring…
Don’t forget to check out Scorpio’s fantastic adventures, including their ski touring holiday!