As Seen in…
Places to visit in Bosnia-Herzegovina and on our Balkan tours
Why visit Bosnia-Herzegovina?
Modern Bosnia-Herzegovina is a complex fusion of cultures: the main ethnic groups of Orthodox Christian Serbs, Bosniak Muslims and Catholic Croats has once more rediscovered its social harmony and mosques and churches stand proudly together in a nation that has traditionally celebrated its diversity. Yet a tour of the array of remarkable historic sites and natural wonders offers the visitor an insight into a land which has experienced the highs and lows of dramatic shifts in social influences.
The nation’s origins lie in the highly successful Illyrian-Greek civilisation which gave way to Roman conquest and then the westward onrush of the Ottoman Empire in 1482. Growing rich on an enviable blend of salt and silver trade, the region was to experience further conquest from the Austro-Hungarians, famously leading to its pivotal role in the commencement of the First World War over the assassination of Franz-Ferdinand of Serbia in Sarajevo’s streets – a site still commemorated with mixed feelings. Since the rise and fall of communism in the Yugoslav region, under Tito, Bosnia has battled through the horrors of the 1992-95 civil war in order to once more carve out a proud sense of national heritage.
Peace and tolerance were hard won and the Bosnians are at real pains to embrace outsiders – the coffee culture smacks of a blend of Slavic and Turkish hospitality and you will seemingly find a coffee house on every corner. Local markets are a rich source of handicrafts from copper goods and jewellery to lace and beautiful hand-made carpets. Visitors come to marvel at the southern region of Herzegovina’s capital, Mostar with its grand Stari Most (‘Old Bridge’), to explore the stunning 600 year-old Dervish monastery of Blagaj and to explore the array of beautiful mosques and churches at the heart of Sarajevo, the northern Bosnia region’s centre, but there is always time to also enjoy the plentiful and little-known traditional fare on offer: cured meats and rich stews are popular choices, served with flatbreads and crisp burek, stuffed with cheese and served with exotic salads.
Bosnia is a world which still eludes most travellers, but one which boasts natural and historic beauty to whet every appetite.