If you’re after more than just good food and surreal peace, you can ride horses, drive in a horse carriage or tour the estate in a horse wagon.
As you leave Bihać and head towards Sarajevo, some 30 kilometres down the regional road and only 12 kilometres away from the irresistible beauty of Una National Park, you will get to Čardaklije Rural Estate, a perfect spot for everyone eager to experience the way our forefathers lived, first hand.
Old Trades and Plum Jam
The ancestors of the present-day owners, the domicile Radošević family, moved to this region from Lika, back in the 14th century. According to the legend, the group was led to the foothills of Mt. Grmeč by a blind village elder, riding a blind horse, who commanded suddenly: “This is where we settle!” The lean, tall houses they used to build were known under the local term: “čardak” and so were their tenants appropriately named: “čardaklije”, soon after having made this place their home. That’s the story of how this place was named.
Today, Čardaklije is a magical oasis, so close to the civilisation, and yet, somehow on its own, tucked away and isolated from the rest of the world.
The guest house is the centre of this small oasis. It features a large restaurant on the top floor, with about 70 seats. The open summer terrace has additional 200 seats. The ground floor of the Guest House features a small bar where one can experience heart-warming hospitality, taste traditional dishes and enjoy one of many home-made drinks.
The Bosnian House, also located within the estate, is where one can see people involved in the old trades. One can also see how jams and fruit preserves are made and herbs picked in pure and unpolluted nearby meadows to be dried and used later for herbal tea.
In Čardak, the highest building within the estate, meat and milk are prepared the old-fashioned way. Lovers of the home-made booze will feel at home in here.
Čardaklije estate offers its guests the opportunity to experience the pleasant and calming setting and enjoy traditional food and drinks. If you’re after more than just good food and surreal peace, you can ride horses, drive in a horse carriage or tour the estate in a horse wagon.
Smoked Meat and Buckwheat Fritters
The estate also features a conference room, suitable for organisation of conferences and seminars. It is often visited by organised groups of businesspeople, since the venue is ideal for teambuilding.
The estate features traditional village cottages with four or six beds.
Kind hosts will set the table and offer the most fragrant bread you can imagine (forget about the diet) made of organic grains of your choice. Whether your meal of smoked meat, cheese, sour cream or fruit jam will be complemented by fritters made of corn, wheat or buckwheat flour, is entirely up to you.
There are many places across our country which serve dishes prepared under the baking bell, but very few of them will prepare it for you, right by your table, in the open brick oven in the yard.
All buildings on the estate are made of natural materials, mostly stone and wood.
The Animal Kingdom
Čardaklije Estate also features a mini zoo which houses autochthonous species of domestic animals (Bosnian Mountain Horse, Buša cow and Bosnian Shepherd Dog). This peaceful setting takes children and adults into the learning adventure and exposes them to animal and plant species native to this area.
In cooperation with their partners from Bosanski Petrovac and Una-Sana Canton, the Estate owners can now present visitors with the opportunity to participate in mushroom picking and collection of medicinal herbs, in addition to enjoying a mountain hike or cycling, exploring the caves, participating in rafting excursions or visiting Una-Sana Canton, Martin Brod, Drvar, Korčanica and Bihać. There are many reasons to head to Čardaklije this weekend.