National Park “Sutjeska” – The pearl of B&H
Peaceful oasis that feeds the soul and prepares the body for new challenges.
“For me this is almost heaven”, said popular rapper Edo Maajka about National Park Sutjeska. Zvonimir Đukić Đule, the frontman of band Van Gogh, was also full of compliments: “This isn’t Photoshop, this is nature, blue skies, fresh air, a campsite… Take care of Tjentište!”
It would be difficult for the oldest national park in B&H to leave a different impression when it has the last remaining rainforest in Europe – Perućica, the highest mountain peak in B&H – Maglić, a great challenge for mountaineers, alpinists and nature lovers, beautiful mountains Zelengora, Volujak and Bioč, rivers, lakes, deep canyons, forests, pastures, tame valleys and preserved wilderness.
The views from the lookouts
Situated at the border of B&H and Montenegro, NP “Sutjeska” stretches out over an area of around 17, 250 ha of hilly terrain. It is impossible to see it all in one day, which is why there are, apart from one-day excursions, also multi-day packages, which will take you to a peaceful oasis and feed your soul and prepare your body for new life and business challenges.
You will go through the national park with guides specializing in mountain tourism, canyoneering, scientific and educational tourism, cultural and historical tourism and eco-tourism, depending on what you are interested in.
When it comes to sports, you can really enjoy Tjentište, where a sports and recreation center was built with grounds for soccer, athletics, basketball, volleyball, handball, and there’s also an outdoor pool that has an area of 16000 m². When you move away from Tjentište, you come across lookouts, which offer unforgettable views. The first one you come across, the Dragoš Sedlo lookout, some 1306 meters high, offers a view of Perućica, and Skakavac waterfall, which in the heart of the rainforest drops from a height of 70 m. It takes about 20 minutes by foot from the main road to the Beškita lookout. Here, from a height of 1275 m, you can see Perućica and the valley of heroes – Tjentište. If you keep going another 8 km, you reach Prijevor, at a height of 1668 m, beneath the peak of Maglić. Here there are herders’ cottages, where during the summer months you can drop by for some real mountain cheese and cream cheese with bread under the bell.
Also, do not miss the Borić lookout, which is located near Donje Bare Lake. From an altitude of 1475 m, you can see the canyon, mountains, rainforest, lookouts, the valley of Tjentište, the remains of old towns Vratar and Vratac, as well as Kosman.
Biking towards mountain food
An attractive way of getting to know the park is certainly by bike, which you can rent at info center NP “Sutjeska”. The length of the track, which starts at Tjentište, is almost 50 km. It passes through various interesting destinations, including, among others, Stari katun (The Old Herders’ Cottage), which is attractive as a vacation spot for guests, offering them the opportunity to see a part of the ethnographic heritage of this mountain area. As each summer season Herzegovinian herders spend time there with their cattle, visitors can purchase milk products in this herders’ cottage. The last part of the track reaches Orlovačko Lake, where there is a hunting lodge and campsite.
At NP “Sutjeska” significant events also take place, such as Parkovijade, Kamp prijateljstva (Friendship Camp) and Planinarske akcije “Jezera Zelengore” (Mountaineering activities “The lakes of Zelengora”), perhaps the best mountaineering events in the wider region.
There are really a lot of reasons why it is worth coming here. Especially when you think of all the places you could stay! Because, apart from hotels, there are villas, mountain houses, bungalows, pavilions, and a new type of accommodation at NP “Sutjeska” – herders’ cottages. Everything is as if from a fairy tale.