Artificial by creation but beautifully nature-shaped, Buško Lake, the largest man-made reservoir in Europe, located along the western border of Bosnia & Herzegovina, showcases how those nature and man can live in symbiosis. In spite of its dominant size, Buško Lake remains pretty much untouristy and off the radar for many travellers, which is actually excellent news for all nature admirers. So, if you happen to be on vacation on the Adriatic Coast, keep in mind that this hidden gem is only 50 km away, and it guarantees you a truly unique experience.
Positioned on the westernmost side of the country in the region where Bosnia & Herzegovina and Dalmatia, together with their respective climates – continental and Mediterranean, come together, Buško Lake is a rather unique accumulation. A sort of a natural extension of the Livno Polje valley, the lake is elevated 716 m above the sea level and split between two towns – one third belongs to the municipality of Livno and two-thirds to Tomislavgrad. With its immense area of 55.8 km2, a volume of 782 million m3, as well as an average width of 4.1 km and the depth of 11,5 m, no wonder that the surface area of this lake makes the largest artificial accumulation in Europe.
The local name for this beautiful aquatorium is Buško Blato, which means “mud” or “swamp”. The origin of its name dates back to the period before the 1970s when this territory was farmland. At that time, the area was covered by meadows and grasslands, but also an arable land. Due to extensive rainfalls in autumns, the fields were flooded and later on frozen during winters. In springs, the melted ice would provoke so much mud, that the whole area was called Buško Mud. In 1974, by sinking all that mug, an accumulation lake was created when a hydroelectric power plant in Rudo was built. The idea behind this project was the electricity production for the Dalmatian coast, in neighbouring Croatia. Strangely, even though Buško Lake belongs to Bosnia & Herzegovina, the power plant and the electricity generated are entirely used by Croatia.
Considering its size and depth, it doesn’t come as a surprise that Buško Lake offers great conditions for many water sports. In late spring and during summer months, the water warm and therefore pleasant for swimming. But it’s not only about swimming. Actually, the conditions are ideal here for sailing and other sports that require the wind. Surrounding hills are excellent for some hiking and climbing experiences. Besides those adventure activities, this hidden gem boosts in fish, some of which are real endemic species, such as Dalmatian Barbelgudgeon, minnow-nase and European chub. Regular catches of specimens over 40 kg explain why this destination has become very attractive to anglers.
In a pretty much scenic setting on the shore of Buško Lake, one can find Eco-Village Grabovica, an authentic touristic complex. It might surprise you that in this rural idyll you can visit a mini zoo and ride a horse in their equestrian club. In this eco-village, they are very proud of their expertise with horses. It goes without saying that, during your visit, you need to try their homemade eco food. All the dishes, such as roasted veal and lamb under the bell are slowly cooked, and they should be enjoyed equally. So, let your taste buds enjoy the delicious cuisine of Buško Lake, the largest man-made reservoir in Europe.
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