© Wikimedia Commons/Petkovic Boris
© Wikimedia Commons/Petkovic Boris

Sutjeska National Park: European Yosemite in the Balkans

2 minutes to read

It is hard to measure the natural beauty of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but Sutjeska National Park certainly offers the best of the best. Its mountains, lakes, rivers, forests and thriving wildlife are among the most magnificent in Europe. If you are dreaming of getting lost like Robin Hood in fairytale forests and lands of unspoiled and wild beauty somewhere in Europe, this place must be on your bucket visit. European Yosemite invites you to the once-in-a-lifetime journey in the heart of the Balkans.

Perućica Rainforest, Europe's last jungle

© istock/brunette
© istock/brunette

Stretched over 17,500 hectares of magnificent and untouched wilderness, Sutjeska is the oldest national park in Bosnia & Herzegovina. It hosts one of the last remaining primaeval forests in EuropePerućica. This pearl can be visited only with an accredited guide, either hiking it or off-roading, which is known as Perućica safari. Beech trees tower over 60 metres, and endemic black pines stem from the rocky faces that protect the ancient forest. Another important feature of the Sutjeska National Park and Perućica Rainforest is Skakavac Waterfall, one of the highest falls in the country, formed on Perućica River.

Mt. Zelengora & its mountain eyes

© National Park Sutjeska
© National Park Sutjeska

Some of the most valuable treasures of this national park are eight glacial lakes, also known as “mountain eyes of Mt. Zelengora". Scattered all around the mountain, these Zelengora Lakes are a genuine paradise for all nature lovers. Bears, wild cats, foxes, wild goats, boars, wolfs, marten are some of the mammalians inhabiting Sutjeska National Park. Over 300 species of birds including the rock partridge, peregrine falcon, and blackbird, reside in the park habitat.

Mt. Maglić, Bosnia' highest peak

© National Park Sutjeska
© National Park Sutjeska

The country’s highest peak Mt. Maglić (2,386 meters) is part of this park, directly on the border with Montenegro. It presents a challenging climb even for experienced hikers, but absolutely worth every effort for the view that we open in front of your eyes once you reach its top. And if you are up for another challenge with a magnificent view, try to reach Trnovačko Lake, a heart-shaped emerald just across the border with Montenegro. If you are more into hiking and walking, do not miss Mt. Zelengora, Bosnia's most beautiful mountain with several newly renovated mountain huts. There are campgrounds, mountain lodges, guided hiking, climbing, tour skiing and fishing activities. And when you are already there, I bet you would like to check how European Yosemite looks like from an eagle's perspective. So, head to  Borić Viewpoint and enjoy the mesmerizing panorama.

Once-in-a-lifetime journey

© National Park Sutjeska
© National Park Sutjeska

As mentioned at the beginning of this story, visiting Sutjeska National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime journey. It would take you months to explore all the hidden corners of European Yosemite. If you plan to travel to this part of the Balkans, make sure you devote at least a couple of days for Sutjeska. You will certainly come back one day.


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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