If you are a nature enthusiast who is about to visit Trebinje, the southernmost city of Bosnia & Herzegovina, the best would be to start your journey with a good adrenaline-raising plan. After you check some of the hiking, cycling or caving activities around Trebinje, one thing is sure – you will need to refresh yourself. If you ask me, during the summer months, there is no better refreshment than to plunge into rivers, lakes and waterfalls. Swimming, diving, kayaking, canoeing, jumping or perhaps fishing, you name it - everything is possible for water enthusiasts in Trebinje.
A unique phenomenon that crosses the valley of Popovo Polje and consists of many above and underground watercourses, Trebišnjica River is the most spectacular gem of nature that this region has to offer. On its way to the Adriatic Sea, the river once called the Arion, flows underground and reappears many times on the surface. With a total length of 187 km, and half of it below the ground, Trebišnjica is the world’s longest sinking river. The place where this river emerges in its full beauty is Trebinje.
Thanks to its peaceful flow and crystal-clear water, this river is an ideal location for many sports activities such as swimming, diving and fishing. If fishing is your thing, you would like to know that some endemic species of fishes, including famous olm (proteus) that lives in underground rivers, can be found here. But if you more into adrenaline raising sports, kayaking is a great option to try out, or jumping off the bridge, if you come in the summertime. The most demanding water activity on the Trebišnjica River is a canoe safari, which offers shorter and longer paddling rides along this watercourse, passing by five bridges, including the 16th-century masterpiece Arslanagića Bridge.
Located only 17 km from the city of Trebinje, one can find Bileća Lake – a true paradise for archaeological divers. Don’t expect to see an ordinary lake. Firstly, you will be impressed by its never-ending size (33 km2), which can be understood if you know that it is the second largest artificial lake in the Balkans. Secondly, the real treasure and many secrets of this place are hidden below the surface, such as the Roman site called Leusinio, from the 3rd century.
Situated almost on the border with Montenegro, with even a tiny part belonging to that country, Bileća Lake covers the upper and central part of the Trebišnjica valley, the most fertile land in the country. Besides its grandeur, Bileća Lake hides the whole underground world below its surface. Actually, on the bottom of the lake exists an entire world that preserves many secrets. And there is no better way to discover it than by diving. No wonder that Bileća Lake and its underwater villages are, slowly but surely, becoming a popular destination for archaeological divers.
Two real hidden gems that only locals know about are Lastva and Jazina. The first one is located on the shore of Lastva Lake, 12 km from the city of Trebinje. This secluded resort is a preferred summer getaway for the locals, as it hides wonderful natural and man-made pools. The second resort called Jazina is situated on the Sušica River, a tributary of the Trebišnjica. If I had to choose the best that Trebinje offers to water enthusiasts among the rivers, lakes and waterfalls, I would go for Jazina magnificent falls. This remote marvel with its emerald and crystal-clear waters and untouched nature will make you want to spend the whole day refreshing yourself.
Photo credits: Miljan Ratkovic & Tourism organization of Trebinje
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