Shaped like a jagged arrowhead, Bosnia-Hercegovina - for all its dominating of recent news reports - occupies an area of south-central Europe only slightly larger than that of Slovakia or the US state of Tennessee. Just east of the Adriatic Sea, it shares borders with Croatia to the north, south and west and with Serbia and Montenegro to the east. A skinny finger of Bosnia pokes through southern Croatia to wet itself in the Adriatic and give the country a full 20km (13mi) of coastline.
Within the country's post-Dayton Accord borders, Bosnia is almost evenly divided into a joint Muslim-Croat Federation (about 51% of the territory) and a Serb state, the Republika Srpska (about 49% of the territory), which fit together like a psychedelic two-piece jigsaw puzzle.
The central and southern landscape is dominated by the Dinaric Alps, which mark the convergence of three distinct ecological zones: Mediterranean, Balkan and Central European. Plains and plateaux in the north flank the Sava River. The nation's highest point is Maglic in Hercegovina, which measures in at 2385m (7825ft) above its lowest elevation, the Adriatic Sea shoreline. All of Bosnia-Hercegovina is subject to powerful earthquakes.
Typical to the region, Bosnia has hot summers and chilly winters. Sarajevo's average daily high is 1°C (34°F) in January, 21°C (70°F) in July. Springtime (April and May) is the best time to come to get a glimpse of the country's rich flora and fauna, though upland areas may still be under snow.
3,989,018 (July 2003 est.)
51,129 sq km
Serb 37.1%, Bosniak 48%, Croat 14.3%, other 0.6% (2000) note: Bosniak has replaced Muslim
Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian
Muslim 40%, Orthodox 31%, Roman Catholic 15%, Protestant 4%, other 10%
www.walksworldwide.com Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) exhibited for the first time at London’s World Travel Market vowing to shake off outdated negative public perceptions, still in circulation over 10-years since the Dayton Peace Accord. Walking specialist Walks Worldwide is amongst the first UK tour operators to include BiH in its 2008 programme – providing a glorious opportunity to experience some of Europe’s least-visited high country! New 10-day small group expertly escorted walking tours depart London 15th June and 14th September 2008.
BiH offers a magical mix of mediaeval forest, 2,000 metre peaks, highland villages immersed in centuries-old heritage and traditions and a restored capital with elegant piazzas and boulevards leading to a maze of alleyways imbued with the aroma of Turkish coffee – elsewhere an overused cliché, but in Sarajevo travellers observe a genuine crossroads of East meets West. Despite a widespread misconception that BiH’s countryside is off-limits due to landmine risk, unfortunately reinforced by recent well-meaning though misinformed TV coverage, BiH’s striking landscapes are most definitely open for business. Home of Europe’s last primeval forest, this intriguing corner of the Alps is welcoming tourists back to discover the hundreds of hiking trails inherited from former Yugoslavia. From historic Sarajevo and Mostar, both home to icon bridges and both peaceful for over a decade, Walks Worldwide travellers will visit ancient mountain villages in the Bjelasnica hinterland and explore the magnificent mountains of Sutjeska National Park, including a challenging hike up mighty Maglic (the country’s highest peak at 2,386 metres) on the border with Montenegro. It is also possible todiscover the little-known paths of Herzegovina’s ‘Himalayas’, hiking in pristine wilderness along one of King Karadjordzevic’s old hunting trails. Finally there is thespectacular watery path of the Neretva, a constant emerald gem flowing through Herzegovina to the Adriatic.