Whether skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, or if you just fancy a break from the slopes, there are plenty of fun and relaxing winter activities to enjoy around the mountains of Sarajevo.
As the saying goes, “If you can walk, you can snowshoe.” Strap on a pair of snow shoes and enjoy the fresh air, beautiful scenery and snow. Technically you just need some appropriate winter footwear, warm clothing, a pair of snow-shoes and maybe a pair of poles and off you go. Due to the risk of landmines that remain after the 1990s war, following a guided path or joining a guided tour is recommended. There are a number of companies which offer snowshoeing which include walks around Trebevic mountain and the stunningly beautiful Skakavac waterfalls.
Spend some time relaxing and reward yourself with a massage or treatment. Hotel Termag at Jahorina has a spa which includes a swimming pool, sauna, steam bath and Jacuzzi. Both Thai and Classic massages are available as well a chocolate treatment! The 4* Terme Spa Hotel in Ilizda also offers full wellness service and treatments. You’ll also find several modern spas in the city.
Visit the city
In around a 40-minute drive from the mountains, you will be in the heart of Sarajevo. This fascinating and diverse city has so much to do and see. Learn more about the city’s long history and rich culture by visiting the Bascarsija (old Ottoman quarter) and various museums. Sample the best of Bosnian cuisine by eating at one of the many restaurants or try authentic Bosnian coffee. Or how about some shopping. Watch skilled craftsman in the Bascarsija where you can purchase traditional ware or head to Sarajevo’s mall for a range of fashion stores. Joining a guided tour of Sarajevo with a local is also a great way to get some insider knowledge of the city.
This is such a fun activity to do and especially great if you are staying in the mountains of Sarajevo on a family skiing holiday. You can hire sledges in both Jahorina and Bjelasnica at a very affordable price, where you’ll find several snowy hills to whizz down.
Visit Vrelo Bosne
At the foot of the mountain Igman, is the national park and spring, Vrelo Bosne. The stunning area spans some 603 hectares and is an ideal place to take a leisurely walk. There is also an onsite restaurant serving delicious fresh trout from the river Bosna. You can drive to the park or arrive in style via a horse and carriage which departs from the nearby town of Ilidza.
Tracing Olympic History
Sarajevo hosted a very successful winter Olympics in 1984. Both Jahorina and Bjelsanica were used for downhill skiing. On Igman you can see the ski jumps that were used and on Trebavic you can visit the luge and bobsled track. The jumps and track are no longer in use but serve as a legacy of the great winter competition that was held here.
Eating & Drinking
What better way to spend your time than checking out the local cuisine. Bosnian food is hearty and tasty and you’ll find several restaurants serving traditional food in the mountains. Cevapi, Bey’s soup or Bosanski lonac are all great winter warming dishes. For refreshment, warm up over a Bosnian coffee. Or for something stronger, try a local shot of rakija. An eating & drinking tour of Sarajevo is a great way to sample some of the local delights.
Typically for several months throughout the winter period, pop up ice skating arenas are placed in locations around the city. Previous locations include the Tetra Olympic Complex and in front of the BBI building. You can hire skates and buy tickets for 1 hour sessions.
The Sarajevo Holiday Market opens up to celebrate the Catholic and Orthodox holiday on 6 December and runs until 13 January. Here you can buy local crafts, feel festive around the large central Christmas tree before heading to the PAN Winter Pub for a warming drinking and listen to some live entertainment. There is also a children’s area including a Santa’s House. The Holiday market takes place along Trg Oslobođenja – Alija Izetbegović and in front of BBI Center.
Playing in the snow
In my opinion you’re never too old to play in the snow! With lots of snow falling throughout the winter you’ll have plenty of the white stuff to throw as snowballs or to a build a snowman.
Enjoying the peaceful beauty
You’ll find beautiful snow dusted mountains all around Sarajevo. There’s something quite serene about the winter and snow.
Cross country skiing
If it’s going downhill skiing or snowboarding that doesn’t appeal, maybe cross country or Nordic style might suit you better? One option is to follow the trail used in the Winter Olympics, which is located on Igman at Veliko Polje.
Learn to ski
Or perhaps you have never skied before and are thinking about trying it? There are several baby slopes on the Sarajevo mountains, ideal for beginners and professional instructors so you can receive some lessons first. Or maybe acquaint yourself to this winter sport during a Beginner’s Ski Day with us. You can also read about our experience learning to ski in Sarajevo.
Visiting Sarajevo this winter and need some non skiing ideas? Pin this post.