Often overlooked and off the ski radar, Bosnia & Herzegovina is slowly but surely becoming one of the world’s fastest-growing winter destinations. With its 17 ski resorts and long snowy winters, it has enough to offer to all winter joy lovers. At the same time, it has by far less crowded and less expensive ski resorts than other famous resorts in Europe. Besides the Olympic mountains near Sarajevo, ski resorts in central Bosnia and two Mostar skiing sites, you can also enjoy the winter sports in the proximity of the second biggest city of Bosnia & Herzegovina – Banja Luka. So, if you visit this city in winter, for instance to check how to celebrate New Year’s Eve twice, here is where you can ski around Banja Luka.
Only 50 km from Banja Luka, one can find Mt. Kozara, Bosnian northernmost ski resort. This skiing site actually belongs to Kozara National Park, widely known as an aerial spa. Being the sole ski area in northern Bosnia & Herzegovina, Mount Kozara attracts ski lovers from the broader region. While skiing is what makes this destination distinctive in winter, many other sports activities are available during the rest of the year.
Ski resort on Mount Kozara, with a total of 1800 m of trails and a capacity of 2850 skiers per hour, belongs to rather small ski destinations in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Nevertheless, it offers almost all the pleasures of winter sports, including night skiing. There are three ski runs – two of them are for experienced skiers and one for children. One ski slope is 900 m long, and it is equipped with an anchor ski lift with a total capacity of 1500 skiers per hour. The second ski run, 700 m long, is served by a ski lift whose capacity is 900 skiers per hour. This ski run is illuminated, so it is ideal for night skiing. The ski slope for children is 200 m long and equipped with a mini ski lift that transports 450 skiers per hour. If you are coming for a one-day trip from Banja Luka, don’t worry it is possible to rent the ski equipment at Kozara Ski Resort.
Mt. Vlašić is a remarkable mountain range located 100 km from Banja Luka, near the town of Travnik. It is also a major ski centre in this region. With its alpine-like peaks, breath-taking sceneries and at least five months of snow, it has everything for winter sports lovers of all levels. Its highest peak Paljenik (1,943 m) can be reached only by foot, which is a great challenge for mountaineers. The most popular resort is Babanovac situated at 1,260 m above the sea level. On Mount Vlašić, one can find around 10 km of groomed slopes, 15 km of cross-country trails, and six lifts that can serve 4300 skiers per hour. Facilities also include ski jump hill, with 4 take-off ramps, the biggest being 90 m long. In winter, here you can ski, snowboard, snowshoe or even hike, with night skiing being the main highlight. To the attractiveness of Mt Vlašić also contributes a very rich nightlife.
When on Mt. Vlašić, you will be spoiled not only for a choice of snow activities and amazing landscapes, but your palates will thank you as well. Itis impossible not to indulge in the local gastronomy based on well-known sheep cheese, the main trademark of the region, whose production is centuries old tradition here.
Now that you know where to ski around Banja Luka, here is the last insider’s tip: one thing is sure - the feeling of being on totally off-the-beaten-path slopes, that somehow succeeded to preserve its peace and wilderness, will overwhelm you in both ski resorts.
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