This 5-day trek through the the hinterlands of the Bjelašnica Mountains follows part of the Via Dinarica White Trail, passing traditional alpine villages and old water mills, plus views of the Dinaric Alps and Rakitnica Canyon. Start your trip with day hikes from your secluded mountain hut, summiting Hranisava and Vlahinja peaks, visiting the shepherds village of Krosnje, and hiking around Lake Lokvanjsko. Then head to the traditional villages of Gradina, Umoljani, and Lukomir, ending your trek over Mount Vito.

Highlights

  • Summit Hranisava Peak and explore a traditional shepherd summer outpost
  • Climb to the summit of Mount Vlahinja vis the scenic alpine lake, Lokvanjsko
  • Visit the traditional alpine villages of Krosnje, Umoljani, and Gradina
  • Trek to Bosnia's highest village Lukomir and enjoy views of Rakitnica Canyon
  • Ascend Obalj Ridge for views of the Bjelašnica Mountains

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Hike to a mountain hut - Summit Hranisava Peak Bjelasnica Mountain
Day 2 Day hike to Mount Vlahinja via Lake Lokvanjsko Bjelasnica Mountain
Day 3 Traverse Bjelašnica Mountain to the alpine village of Umoljani Bjelasnica Mountain
Day 4 Hike to the traditional shepherd village of Lukomir Bjelasnica Mountain
Day 5 Summit Mount Vito - Depart Sarajevo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Hike to a mountain hut - Summit Hranisava Peak

Hiking the Bjelašnica Mountains
Hiking the Bjelašnica Mountains

Welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina!

Your trekking trip begins in the Bjelašnica Mountains, located southwest of Sarajevo and home to Babin Do, a popular ski slope that was used during the 1984 Winter Olympics. Today you’ll hike from Bjelašnica Mountain to a cozy alpine hut set just 45 minutes from the trailhead. You'll follow a less-traversed route that runs opposite of the ski slope, ensuring a less populated and more peaceful hike.

The hike cuts through a pine and beech wood forest, leading to the famous and unpredictable Gate of Wind. Here you'll experience either a gentle and warm Bjelašnica breeze, or a rugged and piercing south wind. You'll hope for a welcoming breeze, as the rest of the trek is an uphill climb to a small shepherd's hut, set at over 5,000 feet  (1,620 m). Enjoy lunch at your hut, with views of endless hills and the bare peaks of the Bjelašnica range.

After you've settled in and refueled, your guide will take you on a steep day hike. This 1-hour climb summits Hranisava Peak at 6,400 feet (1,964 m), with incredible views of the countryside along the way. From the top, you can see several peaks in the Central Dinaric Alps, including Treskavica, Prenj, and Čvrsnica, the country's third-highest peak, plus the local favorite, Vranica, with its picturesque alpine lake.

Once you've enjoyed the view, follow your host  to explore the traditional summer settlement of Krosnje. Shepherds from as far as Čapljina in Herzegovina continue to use this alpine outpost, a local haven with views of rugged Mount Krvavac. Many of the shepherds tell tales of wolves and bears in the wintertime, warning you that this area is truly wild.

After a brief rest, you'll return to your mountain hut via a stream. You'll have plenty of time to rest and enjoy the scenery before dinner. 

Hiking Duration: 5-6 hours

Day 2: Day hike to Mount Vlahinja via Lake Lokvanjsko

Hiking in the Dinaric Alps, Bosnia
Hiking in the Dinaric Alps, Bosnia

After breakfast, you'll start today's day hike across the northern part of Bjelašnica Mountain towards Lake Lokvanjsko. This tiny alpine lake is surrounded by the region's unique high-altitude juniper trees called ‘kleka’. Take some time to sit and absorb the sounds and smells of the area, which is home to many frogs, salamanders, and water snakes.

From the lake, you'll hike for about 1.5 hours to reach the summit of Mount Vlahinja, which sits at nearly 7,000 feet (2,056 m). At the top, you'll enjoy rare views of the ski resort while you eat a picnic lunch. Then, you'll continue through peaceful and untouched terrain to an old mountain hut in Sitnik. The lonely hut is a reminder of Bosnia's great mountaineering past, a sport that was negatively impacted by the conflicts in the 90's.

Your guide will lead you back to your cabin, taking a slightly different route around the lake so you can enjoy views of both Hranisava and Krvavac peaks. Settle into your hut and relax a bit before dinner.

Hiking Duration: 6-7 hours

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Day 3: Traverse Bjelašnica Mountain to the alpine village of Umoljani

Traditional Village of Gradina near Umoljani
Traditional Village of Gradina near Umoljani

Today's route leaves your hut behind and continues over Bjelašnica Ridge toward Ljeljen Peak and Greda Pass, ending in the small alpine village of Umoljani.

In the early hours, you'll make your way through the scenic interior of Bjelašnica, occasionally meeting shepherds with their sheep grazing on the steep slopes of the mountain. The views from within the valley are endless, filled with the summertime staple of yellow and purple wildflowers. After an hour and a half, you'll begin your gradual climb to Greda, a beautiful pass in between Mount Krvavac and Debela Brda, a smaller peak at about 6,500 feet (1,987 m). From the pass, your trek is rewarded with views of Bjelašnica's highest peaks, which you can enjoy as you eat a leisurely lunch.

As you start your descent, you'll hike down a valley of soft mountain grass on the way to Grkarica, a welcome source of fresh drinking water. After hours of empty mountain terrain, you may be a little surprised as you pass through the summer village of Gradina, then into today’s final destination, Umoljani. Settle into your accommodation and enjoy strolling through the town before meeting up with your host for dinner.

Hiking Duration: 5-6 hours

Day 4: Hike to the traditional shepherd village of Lukomir

River Canyons in Bosnia and Herzegovina
River Canyons in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Enjoy an early breakfast as you prepare for today's scenic day hike, which includes views of alpine pastures, old water mills, and Rakitnica Canyon, all while passing through the hinterlands of Bjelašnica.

After a quick visit to the Bosnian mosque in Umoljani, you'll walk back to Gradina, which locals have used for centuries as a base for summer pastures. From here, you'll start your ascent toward Obalj Ridge, slowly rising above Studeni Stream. As you gain altitude, views of several peaks will start to emerge, including Treskavica and Visocica. Once you start on the slopes of Obalj, you'll progress to the summit where you can view the village of Lukomir below.

Lukomir is Bosnia’s highest village at 4,800 feet (1,469 m), known as the edge of the world and where you'll enjoy a rare view of Rakitnica Canyon, Obalj, and Visocica Peak. With its ancient stecci (medieval tombstones), the villagers still follow a traditional way of life. Traditional dress, turbans, and fez are still worn throughout the village.

After a homemade lunch, you'll hike back around Obalj while viewing the canyon below and the mountain peaks in the distance. The trail is well maintained by residents of the various villages, who created convenient switchbacks along cultivated fields back to Umoljani.

Hiking Duration: 7 hours

Day 5: Summit Mount Vito - Depart Sarajevo

Dinaric Alps, Bosnia
Dinaric Alps, Bosnia

Today is your final hiking day before heading back to Sarajevo. You'll start with a brief transfer (15 minutes) to the village of Tusila, which sits at the base of Visocica Mountain. The entire area is home to karst stone, with water sources and underground rivers found as high as 5,500 feet (1,700 m). During spring and autumn, the meadows and valleys are dotted with lakes.

After leaving the village, you'll follow the Via Dinarica White Trail to the summit of Mount Vito, which is about 6,500 feet (1,960 m) tall. The trail takes you through open meadows and beech forest, ending with some of the country's best views across the mountain range. You'll have plenty of time to take in the scenery as you enjoy lunch on the summit. 

In the afternoon, you'll descend the peak to where your driver will meet you and transfer you back to Sarajevo for your departure.

Hiking Duration: 4-5 hours