In a true rise of the phoenix from the ashes scenario, Bosnia & Herzegovina has not only managed to re-build itself successfully but has also become a compelling destination and a major force to reckon with after the devastation of the civil wars that demolished the Balkan region in the 1990s. This South-Eastern European country is bordered by Croatia to the north, west and southeast, Serbia to the east and Montenegro to the southeast. Bosnia & Herzegovina is renowned for its varied landscapes be its rugged mountainous terrain, beautiful flowing rivers, lush greenery and picturesque coastline of the Adriatic Sea.
Kick-start the trip by heading over to the country's capital - Sarajevo. This city has become world-famous for triggering World War I owing to an event that occurred in this metropolis. Be sure to take some time out to visit the spot where Franz Ferdinand was gunned down by Gavrilo Pincip, a deadly event that ultimately led to World War I. Some of the other highlights of the city are Museum of Sarajevo, Stari Grad (Old Town), Sarajevo Orthodox Church and Sarajevo Cathedral. Hike to the hills surrounding Sarajevo and view the abandoned 1984 Winter Olympic sites from atop. Be sure to take a trip to the Bjambare cave, housed in densely-thick woods and lakes and admire the exquisite stalactites and stalagmites. Want to take part in winter sports? Then trek over to Mount Bjelasnica and Mountain Jahorina to participate in some of the best winter-sporting activity seen in all of Europe.
It would be a shame to visit Bosnia & Herzegovina and not spend some time at Mostar's Stari Most (Old Bridge). It is renowned to be one of the finest examples of Ottoman ingenuity and Dalmatian masonry in the western Balkans. It is considered to symbolically represent the crossroads of eastern and western civilization. Craving for sun and sand? Beach-a-holics can take a trip to the stunning Neum, a major seaside resort - a tiny strip of the magnificent Adriatic. It is the ideal spot for a quick inexpensive holiday and is not far from Mostar and Medjugorje.
Head over to Sutjeska National Park, famous for the massive battle of WWII when the partisans annihilated a huge German army. This park also houses one of Europe's last remaining primeval jungles in Perucica. Are you religious? Even if you're not, you must travel to Medjugorje atleast once while holidaying in this nation. This Herzegovina village has been turned into one of the biggest Catholic pilgrimages in the planet after a few teenagers claimed to witness a vision of Virgin Mary.
Be sure to stop over at the stunning waterfall in Jajce where the Pilva River converges with river Vrbas. Another incredible waterfall worth visiting is the Kravica Waterfalls that runs over 100 meters long and drops an incredible 25 meters. The Trebizat River is responsible for an extraordinary green belt in the midst of a dry landscape of western Herzegovina. The beautiful picturesque place is ideal for a picnic or a swim and be sure to take memorable snapshots.
Take a trip to Travnik for it is renowned for its famous Nobel Laureate writer Ivo Andric. This Ottoman town is still referred to as European Istanbul. Be sure to visit the ancient mosques and fortress that dominate the cityscape and marvel at the Bosnian architecture. Winter sports enthusiasts can stop by at the mountain ski resort of Vlasic - a haven for snowboarders.
When it comes to shopping, be on the lookout for traditional merchandise such as woodcarvings, brass, coffee-pots, ceramics, handmade carpets, woollen goods, wines, folk-art, embroidery and leather boxes. One can procure souvenirs that are reminders of the Yugoslav War such as the engraved artillery shell casings which can be purchased at the Bascarsija bazaar in Sarajevo.
As for cuisine, gorge on a few of their local specialities such as Bosanskilonac - meat stew cooked on an open fire, Burek - meat or cheese pie prepared with filo pastry or Baklava - sweet nuts and honey in pastry. Don't forget to sip delicious Rakija - a potent cocktail derived from usually plum or apple. The night-life in Bosnia & Herzegovina is said to be one of the best in South-eastern Europe with the variety of watering holes spruced around.
The stay options in Bosnia & Herzegovina are abundant with the best luxury hotels, expensive private apartments as well as modest and cheap accommodations. So tourists can select the type of holiday they desire based on their budget and taste.
Bosnia & Herzegovina experiences two distinct climates. In the north, one will find the semi-continental climate whereas the south has a more Mediterranean climate. The best time to visit Bosnia & Herzegovina would be during the spring and autumn months as the temperatures are relatively pleasant.