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Čapljina: a legendary herons town

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Are you more into breathtakingly beautiful waterfalls in the middle of nowhere or perhaps into a Mediterranean marshland that is a wintering home for the birds of Europe? Or would you prefer adventurous canoeing in the untouched nature? What if I tell you that you don’t need to pick some of those activities because you can enjoy them all in a diameter of fewer than 20 km? All you need to do is to pin Čapljina, a legendary herons town in southern Bosnia & Herzegovina, on your bucket list. And of course, hurry up to book your trip.

A town with four rivers

Placed on the right bank of the Neretva River, Čapljina is a town with four rivers. Besides Neretva River, it is surrounded by three other watercourses – Trebižat River, Bregava River and Krupa River. As the legend explains, the origin of its cute name comes from a Latin word ‘ardea’ (‘heron’ in English) which is ‘čaplja’ in the local language. Today, you will not find that many herons in the town, but close to the town there is a renowned nature & birds reserve called Hutovo Blato, that is a home of many herons. Hence there is no coincidence with the name.

Kravice Waterfalls – Monica Bellucci’s hidden gem

©iStock/Ellica_S
©iStock/Ellica_S

Instead of going to Niagara or Iguazu Falls, equally stunning but less crowded waterfalls are hiding in this part of Bosnia & Herzegovina, not far from the town of Čapljina. Between 26-28 meters high, the Kravice Waterfalls contain a chain of 20 amazing falls, with 120 meters large lake below. As if swimming under cascades and climbing on the rocks behind the falls weren’t enough, a rope swing has even been added for extra thrills. Get ready to eternalize those moments, as seeing something so spectacular doesn’t often happen in life. Even famous actress Monica Bellucci has chosen this hidden gem for filming her last movie “On the Milky Road”.

Memorable bird-watching at Hutovo Blato

©iStock/undefined undefined
©iStock/undefined undefined

If bird-watching is your thing, there is no better place in Southeast Europe than Hutovo Blato, a nature park with over 240 migratory bird species and dozens of others that make the marshlands their home. A unique Mediterranean swamp and one of the largest wintering places for birds in Europe is located on the left bank of the Neretva River, close to the town of Čapljina. Teeming with freshwater fish, wild duck, geese, coots, hawks, herons, pheasants, wild boar and wild horses, it accommodates birdwatchers & nature lovers. This reserve is a must-see for all outdoor enthusiasts, as it provides a unique oasis for memorable bird-watching.

Canoeing the Trebižat River: Wildlife at its purest

©Unknown
©Unknown

If you look for untouched nature and the rise of adrenalin at the same time, you need to try canoeing the Trebižat River, in the vicinity of Čapljina, since this is one of the rare places where a man can admire the wildlife at its purest form. With a total length of 51 km, it is one of the longest underground streams in the Balkans. This spectacular river is the only underground watercourse in Europe that disappears into the ground nine times, and consequently, it has nine different names. Doesn’t it sound like a perfect canoe safari destination for your summer bucket list? And coming to Čapljina, a legendary herons town, is an excellent way to start discovering Bosnia & Herzegovina. When in the region, it would be pity to leave without experiencing the time-travel journey in the Neretva Valley as well.

Trebižat River
Trebižat River
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Kravica waterfall
Kravica waterfall
Studenci, Bosnie-Herzégovine
Photo-safaris & birds-watching at Hutovo Blato
Photo-safaris & birds-watching at Hutovo Blato
Hutovo Blato, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Čapljina
Čapljina
Čapljina, Bosnia and Herzegovina

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The author

Ljiljana Krejic

Ljiljana Krejic

I am Ljiljana, from Bosnia & Herzegovina. Being a journalist, I can't escape from that perspective when travelling. My mission is to make you explore the last Europe’s undiscovered gem.

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