WHAT TO SEE IN HERZEGOVINA? THESE TWO FORTRESSES AND NATIONAL PARKS ARE A GREAT CHOICE!

 Herzegovina (a region in Bosnia and Herzegovina) has been my second home for years. I travelled it up and down. I often recommend visiting Mostar, the largest town in Herzegovina region.  Moreover, I regularly write about other cities and places worth visiting in Herzegovina.  However, there's more to this region that its lovely cities and villages. Today I would like to recommend places that aren't that well know and that might not be on the tourist radar yet. 

IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IDEAS ABOUT WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN HERZEGOVINA YOU HAVE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE!


 LET ME GIVE YOU SOME SUGGESTIONS! Today I will write about why you should VISIT TWO HISTORICAL FORTRESSES & TWO PROTECTED AREAS in Herzgovina! Scroll down to see and read more.


1) FORTRESS IN BLAGAJ- AKA KING STJEPAN'S TOWN!

 Let's start of with the fortress of medieval king Stjepan Kosaca. This fortress overlooking Blagaj village (near Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina) is simply a must visit for lovers of history. This fortress is known under two names: Blagaj fort and Stjepan grad (Stjepan's town). Dating back to 15th century, this gorgeous historical town-fortress is well worth the climb. It is officially protected and listed among national monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

YOU HAVE TO HIKE A PART OF THE WAY!
Back in 2021, we visited it with some friends. We drove to Blagaj (blogged about it here), asked the locals for directions and went our way up. You can drive up to a certain point, but then you have to climb your way up. It is not a long climb, about half an hour in my estimation. The views while you climb are beautiful but once you enter the fortress, the panorama becomes simply incredible. The panoramic view from the top of the fortress is one of the most beautiful I have seen in my life. 

HOW TO GET TO THE FORTRESS? Once you drive up hill from Blagaj, you'll get to a parking zone of sorts and then you just need to follow the path up. The path is a bit steep but not too much. There were quite a few elderly people and children when we visited (it was a national holiday of some kind) and I didn't notice anyone having difficulties with the climb, so you probably won't have issues either. 



OUR EXPERIENCE VISITING BLAGAJ TOWN- FORTRESS
We weren't the only ones who decided to take advantage of a sunny day (May 2021) and a national holiday to visit this beautiful town- fortress complex but the place wasn't crowded. This fortress is quite large so it could accommodate a larger number of visitors without it getting crowded. In fact, hadn't it been a non-working day, there probably wouldn't have been anyone around. 

IA WELL PRESERVED HISTORICAL SIGHT
It is always inspiring to see such a wonderfully preserved fortress. It makes you feel like you have really travelled back in time. I don't think there is any fee for entrance to this fortress, from what I know, the entrance to this fortress is always open. All you need to do is get there ( climb for a bit in the process) and you'll get to explore this wonderful historical site. We enjoyed it all, the climb, the views and exploring the fortress itself. Moreover, it was wonderful observing all the pines and breathing in the fresh air. The curious thing is that there was absolutely no wind at top. I expected the fortress to be windy because it is quite high but there was no wind and it was quite warm.

AS  LONG AS YOU'RE ALREADY IN BLAGAJ, WHY NOT MAKE THE MOST OF IT?Blagaj is a picturesque historical village located in Herzegovina region. This little green river oasis is an increasingly popular tourist destination and not without a reason. Blagaj village has got one of the strongest and most beautiful river springs in Europe. This stunning and potent water spring creates Buna river and is a impressive example of karst river formation. Right next to it you can find a historical dervish house (tekija) that is open all year round  




2) VISIT STOLAC FORTRESS


Back in 2019, I visited Stolac city in Bosnia and Herzegovina for the second time. What was the reason for my visit? A medieval fair called Tarča. This was my second visit to this lovely historical city located in Herzegovina. If you remember, I visited it and  blogged about it last year ( feel free to check these two posts to find out more: MEDIEVAL FAIR IN STOLAC, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA & STOLAC MEDIEVAL FAIR PART TWO). We were fortunate as far as the weather was concerned.The day of our visit was just as lovely and sunny as last year
.As far as I know, Stolac is the only city in Bosnia and Herzegovina that hosts a medieval fair of this magnitude. Last year I wrote that even if there was no medieval fair, a visit to this medieval fortress would be more than worth the trip. I stand by my words, the visit to the fortress itself is worth the trip, not to say anything of the beautiful city and the surroundings. I enjoyed strolling around this gorgeous historical fortress. As I noted last year, the views from the fortress are absolutely breath-taking!

HOW TO GET TO STOLAC FORTRESS?

First you'll need to get to Stolac city. A car or a bus would be a typical option. Once you're there, you'll need to walk uphill to get to this medieval fortress. If you choose to go on foot, you will  need to hike a bit to get to the fortress. It's about 15 minutes of walk uphill. If you have a good eye, you can estimate the height of the fortress and the hike it took from these photographs. As you see, it is not terribly high and the climb isn't difficult at all, but even if it was higher the view would be more than worth it. I heard that you can also drive to the top with a car, but not during the duration of the fair. So, if you visit Stolac keep that in mind in case you don't care for hiking.

If you visit Stolac fortress during the historical fair, you'll need to pay a symbolic entrance fee. Last year the fee was 2.5 euros for adults (no fee for children). I don't remember what was the fee this year, because the program hasn't started when we visited the fortress so there was nobody to charge us the entrance fee.  Once again, if you want to everything the medieval fair Tarča has to offer, be sure to check my last year posts: MEDIEVAL FAIR IN STOLAC, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA & STOLAC MEDIEVAL FAIR PART TWO.

Stolac fortress has a very rich and interesting history. Its complex system of walls and towers is fascinating to behold.  According to the UNESCO site, it is hard to precisely determine the exact stages of its construction. It was actually build in stages. The original design of the fortress dates to prehistorical times, but the fortress grew with time. Isn't there something poetic in that? Who knows what this fortress has lived to see? How many human destinies

Many people have worked on this fortress through the long centuries, as different Western and Eastern kingdoms fought over the right to colonize and exploit this rich land. Ancient civilizations ( Illyrians and Romans), noble Slavic families, Ottoman and Austrian Hungarian Empire, all of them left a mark on this area, turning it into a unique historical site.  Besides the rich history, this place can also boast of natural beauty. Stolac fortress is surely worth a visit. If you are planning to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina in May next year, be sure to make space for visiting this medieval fair. As you can see, this fortress is beautiful. In fact, the whole area is gorgeous and worth of visit.




IF YOU ARE A LOVER OF NATURE, CHECK OUT MY POST ABOUT NATIONAL PARKS IN HERZEGOVINA. 

According to my research, there are four national parks and three nature parks in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Don't hold me by my word, I'm not entirely sure is that a complete list. I did some research about protected areas in Bosnia and Herzegovina and that is the information I found. There are many beautiful parks in this country, but not all of them have the status of a Nature Park. Speaking of which, both National Park and Nature Park are terms used specifically for protected areas of nature. Both have to met certain standards to be awarded this title and are typically regulated by conservation laws. 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A NATIONAL PARK AND A NATURE PARK-  National Park and Nature Park are terms that are sometimes incorrectly used as synonyms, for there is a difference between them.  National park is defined as category II type of protection areas. Nature park is also a protected area, but it falls under III or IV type of protected areas. A Nature Park typically involves long term protection planning and protection, but the laws governing National Parks tend to even more strict. If you check Wikipedia (English article) for the definition of the word Nature Park, you'll see a photograph of Hutovo Blato listed as an example. Isn't that cool?

PROTECTED AREAS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA-  The three Nature Parks in Bosnia and Herzegovina are: Hutovo Blato (founded in 1995), Blidnje (founded in 1995) and Bardač ( also founded in 1995). The four National parks are Sutjeska (founded in 1965), Kozara (1967), Una (2008) and Drina National Park (founded in 2017). As the title indicated, today I will focus on two nature parks: Hutovo Blato and Blidinje. The reason why I'm focusing on these two is because I have visited both of them (and more than once). So, I think I can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect and give you some ideas about what to do there. I haven't visited the third Nature Park that is to be found in the country. Once I visit it, I might blog about that too, but for now I'll stick with what I know. 

NATURE PARK HUTOVO BLATO-  A WETLAND WORTH A VISIT






MY PREVIOUS  (YEARLY) VISITS TO WETLAND NATURE PARK HUTOVO BLATO
https://modaodaradosti.blogspot.com/2021/06/visit-hutovo-blato-wetland-nature-park.html- this was A SUMMER VISIT TO NATURE PARK HUTOVO BLATO . There you can find tips on what to do in this nature park as well as some nice photography. Bellow are links to more visits:


MORE OLDER VISITS AND  LINKS BELLOW: 
here and here (Winter 2017) 
here  and here (Autumn 2017)
here (Summer 2016)
 here (Spring 2015)
 here  and here (Summer 2015)
 here (Summer 2013) and here (Winter 2013)
here (photographs taken during Summer 2012 but published during Winter 2013)


NATURE PARK BLIDINJE 







Thank you for reading and visiting! 

Comments

  1. Izgleda kao da si se sjajno zabavila na putovanju i drago mi je da si uživala! Hvala na preporukama. <3


    http://www.couture-case.com/

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  2. Looks like the visit had so much to offer. Very inspiring with it's landscapes. Lovely post💗

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  3. Thanks for the article, its really very useful.

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  4. It really looks like a man has gone back in time! And the view around is like from a fairy tale :) Especially your pictures with the spear... Fantastic!

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  5. Hello dear!
    Great photo report, your photos are really beautiful! You can see that these are places worth seeing :) Thank you for your inspiration!
    Greetings from Poland!

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  6. Your posts always spark wanderlust. Thank you for sharing.
    www.rsrue.blogspot.com

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  7. You always find such beautiful views, and it's so good that there are so many nice lovely places to see around Herzegovina! :)

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  8. Talk About An Adventure - Just Think Of Everything There Is To Paint Now - Travel On You Two

    Cheers

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  9. Uy me enamore que bello lugar. Te mando un beso

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  10. Thank you for introducing me to the stunning scenery of Herzegovina, Ivana! xxx

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  11. This place is so interesting and is the kind of place I will like to visit.
    https://www.melodyjacob.com/

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  12. Thank you so much for this ideas, it seems to be a place with a lot of things to discover!
    Have a lovely week!

    www.luciagallegoblog.com

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  13. I love exploring your gorgeous area, you make a fabulous and very stylish tour guide! x

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  14. Looks like a beautiful and fun place. Thanks for the fashion photos too. All the best to your art projects. Thanks for your comment too!

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  15. Gorgeous pictures. I would love to visit Herzegovina one day. xx

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  16. Bosnia and Herzegovina is really beautiful, I was here one and visited Sarajevo, Mostar and Stolac.
    Definitely I would like to visit this country again and the places you show in this post.

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  17. Che bei posti, sempre molto dettagliati e interessanti i tuoi post!

    Kisses, Paola.

    Expressyourself


    My Instagram

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  18. Oh very cute photos, that place is amazing
    Thanks for your tips

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  19. You look radiant and serene in the sunshine. Hope you are feeling as good as you look! Ooh, it's getting closer, not that long now! xxx

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  20. Wow! Beautiful photos! I have never been in Hercegovina. Amazing place!

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  21. Beautiful pictures of Herzingovina Ivana :) I am also enjoying your fortress headgear look! The fort looks well defended ;) xXx

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  22. Nonostante l'Herzegovina non sia una meta molto pubblicizzata, almeno qui in Italia, sembra invece che abbia molto da offrire sia dal punto di vista naturalistico che storico!
    Bellissime foto, che paesaggi !
    E tu troppo forte in versione guerriera!
    Baci!
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

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  23. Did not know that there was so much to see in Herzegovina. Thank you for sharing. I have included the country into my bucket list :)

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  24. Oh wow both these spots look incredible. So much history in Europe. Must be nice to have both city life and country/nature so accessible plus all the history. And loving what you are wearing too!

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

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  25. Oh very wonderful photos darling

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  26. wow! the nature looks absolutely spectacular. I am a city girl in heart but nature just hits different here. Also super fun photos and cute outfits

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  27. Goodness, Herzegovina is a really beautiful country! I only saw it briefly on my journey between Split and Dubrovnik on the bus but I would love to return! I am especially attracted to the Nature and National parks but the Medieval fair sounds fun!x

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