Surely the Republic of Srpska’s mountains, such as Zelengora, Treskavica, Jahorina, Romanija, Grmec, Kozara, Ozren and many others, with their huge forest and hunting reserves, are a gem to be singled out from the country’s natural riches. Thanks to a specific vegetation and favourable microclimate, the mountains in the Republic of Srpska represent a sort of an air spa.
Once you are in the Republic of Srpska you should not miss to see the winter beauty of Jahorina, which played host to the unforgettable 14th Winter Olympics in 1984. The long tradition of skiing and organised winter games started in the distant 1923, when the first pair of skies was brought to Jahorina, whilst the beginning of organised skiing goes back to 1933. Skiing schools, ski rentals, courses for mountaineers, alpinists and paragliding with trained instructors are a guarantee that you will overmaster skills of these sports and adventurous disciplines over a short period. Skiing professionals, amateurs, as well as the young visitors have more than 25 km of arranged ski runs for Alps skiing, ski lifts taking up to 7500 skiers at one time.
For admirers of Nordic skiing, the 1300-1450 m high run of “Dvorista” is a true pearl, with 17 km of arranged runs available to competitors and amateurs. A contemporary shooting range for Biathlon provides conditions for top quality competitions, such as the Balkans championship held right on this run in March 2004. Different activities: sport fields, closed swimming pools, arranged footpaths and fresh air at an altitude from 1550 up to 1900 m offer excellent conditions for basic preparations of sportsmen of all categories, as well as a sojourn and active vacation throughout the whole year. In comparison with other mountains, Jahorina is adorned with an extremely rich flora and fauna, pastures overgrown with mountain grass, forest fruits and mushrooms.
The Republic of Srpska inherits two national parks:
- The “Sutjeska” National Park, a unique national park in Europe. It is the home of the best preserved rainforest of Perucica, covering the area of 1291 hectares. It is situated on the Belgrade – Visegrad – Foca – Tjentiste – Bileca – Trebinje – Dubrovnik Highway. The Park was named after the river of Sutjeska. This mountain river cut its course through the massif of mountains of Zelengora, Lelija, Maglic and Volujak. Tjentiste – situated on the river bank of Sutjeska, the sport-recreation centre and the biggest open swimming pool in the Balkans (16 000 m2) should on no account be missed out for its beauty. Sutjeska is the home of the Republic of Srpska’s highest mountain, Maglic, with an altitude of 2386 m. Flora and fauna are extremely versatile in the “Sutjeska” National Park. That is why this area was and still is very attractive for numerous scientists, botanists, geologists and zoologists. Rich flora contains over a hundred types of edible mushrooms, as well as a huge number of rare, sensitive and endangered species. Fauna is also tremendously rich. Almost all species characteristic for the Balkans mountain area can be found in these dense forests and over the mountain highs. The riches of the Park are reflected in over a hundred cultural monuments, almost 30 of which have their origins in ancient history (Middle Ages).
- The “Kozara” National Park, covering the area of 3520 hectares, was declared a national park in 1967 for the purpose of protecting cultural-historical and natural values of the Kozara Mountain. Kozara is the mountain with a dynamic relief and an altitude of under 1.000 m. Its mildly continental climate, a great number of sunny days and gentle mountain tops – belvedere over Gradiska, Prijedor, Kozarska Dubica and other places – give this mountain an exceptional value. It is rimmed with the livid river of Una, the pearl of Krajina, the river of Sana, the wide river of Sava and the fast Vrbas River. Kozara is a gentle mountain, with rich hunting of wild animals such as deer, wild boar, fox, hare, pheasant, wild duck, partridge, which makes it a hunting reserve rare in this area of the Balkans. At the top of the mountain, a luxuriant memorial “Mrakovica” was raised in memory of the last war’s victims. Evergreen deciduous forests and pastures intersected by abundant wells stretch down the mountain foothills. Besides accommodation capacities in the bungalows of the Park, there is also a 4 star Hotel in this Park.