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Crossing the Border from Bosnia to Montenegro Without A Passport

Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Hillary and I had already joined Green Visions for a hiking tour of the Highlands and Lukomir Village in Bosnia and Herzegovina and had been impressed, not only with the scenery and cultural insight, but, with the service, the attitude, and the attention to detail of the guides. 

Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lukomir, Uncontained Life

So, we were ready to see if a second day trip to Sutjeska National Park with Green Visions would produce the same experience. They did not disappoint. The national park is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bosnia.

Mountains, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Arriving at Sutjeska National Park

This time, we were with a larger group in a larger van. The drive itself is beautiful. For much of the ride, we followed a river that had cut through the mountain by sheer force of nature and time. Note: the roads in Bosnia (especially going up to the mountains) are long and winding. If you have issues with motion sickness, we suggest you sit toward the front of the vehicle.

We made one quick stop at the park entrance. This is really more of an opportunity to get out and stretch your legs, take a quick photo of the mountains and a less-than-impressive waterfall, and (if nature calls) “go to the bushes.”

Map, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Once we arrived at Sutjeska National Park, we were given a few food items to carry (though the guides to most of the heavy lifting) and began our journey.

Sign, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Immediately, we were in hiker’s heaven.

Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Hiking Bosnia’s Yosemite

This place is known as Bosnia’s Yosemite. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and camping trips to my favorite national park were an annual family adventure, and Yosemite was the last place Hillary and I visited before leaving the US for our world-travel adventures. I have a very high view of Yosemite, and to make that kind of a comparison was more like a challenge to me. And I can say, Sutjeska National Park met the challenge.

This walk in the woods follows a trail that leads across a rocky mountainside…

Trail, HIking, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

down tree-filled hatchbacks…

Woods, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

across a retired lake bed meadow…

Meadow, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Pond, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

up a natural stone staircase…

Rock Staircase, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

through a forest of ferns and foliage… 

Trail, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Forest, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Forest, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

 …and finally reaches the heart-shaped, Glacier Lake Trnovacko, surrounded by snow-capped mountains.

Lake Trnovacko, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Lake Trnovacko, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Did I mention that this was one of the best places to visit in Bosnia?

Lake Trnovacko, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Crossing Over

As it turns out, that is an untruth. Because, along the way, we came across a tree next to the trail. On this trail was sign. The sign essentially said, “you’re now crossing the border from Bosnia into Montenegro. No passport needed, no border patrol, no fence…just a sign.

Montenegro Border, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

(Yes, we took the obligatory “I have one foot in each country” photo.) Upon our arrival at the lake, we were greeted by a few local fisherman. Our guides went to work setting up a veritable feast made more delicious after an hour and a half hike.

It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies. However, it was still early spring and the water was icy cold. That didn’t stop me from shedding my shoes to walk barefoot along the lake’s edge and   dip my toes in the water. I’ll repeat: the water was ice cold.

Barefoot, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Hillary (wisely) kept her shoes on and enjoyed the sunshine. 

Sunshine, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

The walk back was equally stunning. I took the time to notice more of the details beside the trail.

Fungus, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Tree roots, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Wildflowers, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Back to Sarajevo

We returned to the start of the trail, settled into our seats in the van and watched as the familiar scenery changed colors with the arrival of sunset.

Though we had, technically, crossed the border into Montenegro, Hillary and I were, once again, delighted by the unexpected beauty of Bosnia.

Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

If you were to ask me what I knew about Bosnia and Herzegovina a few months ago, I would have replied only with what I knew from it’s difficult past.  But, this country, this countryside, this pristine outdoor palace is a traveler’s dream. Green Visions has taken so many positive steps to preserve, explore, and share the pristine national treasure and we were so fortunate to take part.

Green Visions, Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Please, if you’re looking for places to visit in Bosnia, visit Sutjeska National Park and any of the other amazing geological, botanical, biological, and natural places the country has to offer. Hillary and I think that you need to add Bosnia and Herzegovina to your “must see” list. Most travel bloggers will suggest Mostar and Sarajevo (and we agree that Sarajevo is awesome), but, the plethora of outdoor adventures and activities available outside the cities is the country’s best kept secret.

Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

Happy hiking.

Places to visit in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sutjeska National Park, Uncontained Life

All photographs were taken with the Sony A600—a lightweight, mirrorless camera that’s perfect for world travel. You can find out more about the gear we carry when we travel HERE.


* Our thanks to Green Visions Bosnia for their support during our time in Sarajevo. As always, all opinions are 100% our own.

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Sutjeska National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Uncontained Life

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2 Responses to Crossing the Border from Bosnia to Montenegro Without A Passport

  1. PR July 7, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    Take a look also Slovenia, Triglaw national park, you will be suprised… and there is a trail where you can have one foot in Slovenia, Second in Italy and reach your hand into Austria. Similar scenaray though with a little higher mountains around and lakes…

    • UncontainedLife July 7, 2016 at 12:21 pm #

      That sounds amazing! We also fell in love with the beauty of Slovenia and we will most certainly return to go hiking in Triglaw National Park.

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