Being one of the richest European countries when it comes to water, Bosnia & Herzegovina is home to more than 100 lakes, some of which are true hidden gems. Whether natural or human-made, these water treasures, together with its countless rivers and waterfalls, attract many passionate nature admirers, but also athletes and curious travellers. Besides the artificial accumulations, some of the best water beauties this country has to offer are its glacial lakes. True nature connoisseurs unanimously agree that three glacial lakes from the heart of Bosnia & Herzegovina, are the crème de la crème of the untamed wilderness and heavenly beautiful nature.
In a pretty much scenic setting, not far from the small town Fojnica, lies Prokoško Lake, a real natural gem. Situated only 80 km from the capital city Sarajevo, it is the highest and the most beautiful one in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Hidden between the summits of Mt. Vranica, known as “Swiss Alps” of Bosnia, this glacial lake is nested at 1636 m above the sea level. This “mountain eye”, as many people call it, is surrounded by old shepherds’ huts, which makes the setting very unique.
What makes this lake the most interesting, is a fact that it is home to some endemic species, namely blindcave salamander and endemic lizard – Triton, that lives only here. Due to its exceptional position in the heart of the mountain, its endemic species and authentic environment, Prokoško Lake has been declared the National Monument, protected by the state of Bosnia & Herzegovina. Hugged by numerous peaks higher than 2000 m, this gorgeous gem is reflecting the beauty of the mountain, just like a mirror or an eye. One thing is sure. When you see it, you will understand why people call Prokoško Lake - the most beautiful “mountain eye”.
Ideally located between Sarajevo (80 km), Mostar (80) and Konjic (20), Boračko Lake is the biggest glacial lake in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Snuggled between Mt. Prenj, Bjelašnica and Visočica, some of the highest mountains in Bosnia & Herzegovina, it is located at 405 m above the sea level. It was created by the glacial erosion millions of years ago. Its elliptical shape and mesmerizing colour somehow hypnotize you. Surrounded by the dense forest, from the bird’s perspective, Boračko Lake looks like a turquoise mountain eye.
All along the whole coast, this lake has natural beaches and walking paths, which makes it very attractive for swimming and canoeing, or just for sunbathing. At Boračko Lake, all nature lovers are at home. Not only the view of the surrounding mountains is breath-taking, but exploring them is even more. Coniferous forests, still wild and unspoiled are at every step. If hiking is your thing, you will be spoiled for choice. On one side you have the Mt. Prenj, well-known as Bosnian Himalayas, with its peaks that reach 2000 m above the sea level. On the other side, there is Mt. Visočica with its spectacular highlands. Not to forget bikers, as the region is ideal for that kind of activities as well.
Not that far from Boračko Lake, also only 20 km from the town of Konjic, one can kind another glacial wonder of nature - Blatačko Lake. Located on a karstic highland of the Mt. Bjelašnica, on 1156 m above the sea level, this lake is named after the nearby village called Blaće. Moreover, the lake is positioned on the edge of the Rakitnica Canyon. Thanks to its position, together with the surrounding Raktinica Canyon, as well as historical heritage (prehistoric grave mounds and medieval necropolises with stećci tombstones), this hidden gem has been designated the National Monument of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Reaching Blatačko Lake is not an easy task, and it requires some hiking skills and a high level of fitness, but all efforts will pay off when you arrive and see the splendid views of the Rakitnica River and Mt. Visočica. The very last point of this journey will be Lukomir, known as Europe’s last village. Situated at almost 1,500 m, Lukomir is the highest and the most isolated permanent settlement in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
If you feel like testing your gorge walking skills, why not making Rakitnica, Europe’s most unexplored canyon, your next destination? Dropping up to the fantastic 800 m, it is the second deepest canyon in Europe. For the first time, it was examined barely 70 years ago, and due to its challenging factor, only a few hundreds of hikers had explored it to date. So, it is a canyoning paradise that waits to be discovered. After all, high-thrills adventures are an excellent way to get to know the country of the untouched wilderness and heavenly beautiful sceneries, where glacial lakes from the heart of Bosnia & Herzegovina, are just the icing on the cake.
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