Bosnia snowshoeing holiday
Description of Bosnia snowshoeing holiday
Rugged and rolling, Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of Europe’s best kept secrets when it comes to snowshoeing holidays. Many will recall that the Winter Olympics were held in Sarajevo in 1984 but still don’t connect that with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Or BiH, as many people call it nowadays. But the beautiful backdrop for the Olympics was the Bjelašnica mountains and their eponymous peak, a winter wonderland for Bosnia snowshoeing. Travel from peaks such as Visocica and Crveni Kuk, over 1700m high, pass through tranquil mountain villages where winter walking and snowshoeing is the norm and pad peacefully through ancient pine forests. Bosnia and Herzegovina is still much undiscovered in terms of tourism all year, but in winter you really will have the mountains, crispy white canyons and glacial lakes to yourselves.
Because Bosnia and Herzegovina is small and easy to get around, this itinerary also allows time to explore Sarajevo, a capital that has culture emanating from every cobble stoned street. Or Mostar, famous for its Ottoman influences and also the Stari Most bridge, destroyed during the 1990’s war, but rebuilt as a symbol of reunification and peace. And if ever there was a holiday that embraced peace, this snowshoeing one is it.
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As we spend the majority of this trip snowshoeing around Bosnian mountains we have a relatively low impact on the environment. By hiring our snowshoes and poles locally, we are also ensuring that the community benefits from our activity. We operate on a ‘leave no trace’ basis and guides are careful to enforce this with briefings on responsible tourism issues.
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
PeopleAccommodation and Meals:
We will spend 7 nights in small hotels and pensions. All accommodation is locally owned and staffed, which provides employment and income alternatives for many locals. Where meals are provided, locally sourced, traditionally used ingredients like yoghurt, meat (pork, lamb and veal) and seasonal vegetables will be provided. Guides will be able to recommend authentic restaurants to visit for dinner and these will often be family run. In Sarajevo there is a popular market called Markale, where guests can buy local produce, like seasonal fruits and vegetables grown by the vendors themselves.
Local Craft and Culture:
Although we spend a lot of time in the wilderness, this also has opportunities for culture: we can explore the many sights and museums in Sarajevo or take a trip to Mostar with its reconstructed 16th Century Ottoman bridge. However, the best way to culturally explore on this trip is to engage with local people. We arrange to eat a dinner in a locally run restaurant and encourage clients to use markets to purchase traditional crafts. Woollen gloves, jumpers or socks and carved wooden relics are all popular handmade items.
This trip designed to allow a high degree of economic benefit to the local communities; we buy local produce, eat local food and use local services, thus ensuring that as much money as possible is retained within the local economies and the host communities. By visiting cultural sites in Mostar and Sarajevo we are contributing towards maintaining, restoring and protecting these valuable monuments and facilities.
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.