There are not much of the medieval castles left in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of them are in ruins today, and very few well preserved. Ostrožac, medieval castle nearby town of Bihac in western B&H, is one of the most beautiful and best preserved in whole the country.
It worth to see by all means. Here you can enjoy in endless tranquility and breathtaking sightseeing. Moreover, there are a number of sculptures inside the castle's walls, donations of the various sculptors from ex-Yugoslavia and abroad.
I suppose that I am basically a country boy. In most cases, I prefer small towns and rural settings to large cities. One of the joys, and dangers, of the visits that I have made to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was that I always had ample opportunities to visit villages and small towns. These villages, and especially farms, so often smell of harvests, freshly mown grasses or hay, have very fresh fruits and vegetables. There are so many babbling brooks, meadows, and other open spaces.
THE WARNING: DO NOT walk alone in rural BiH unless you have previously been there with someone very familiar with this specific area. It is the third largest repository of land mines in the world. Known mine fields are usually fairly well marked with red, downward pointing triangles depicting an explosion.
Hutovo Blato is the name of this area I accidentally got into going from Mostar to Neum. There was a sign "Neum" pointing to the left. What it did not say, that this (nicely paved) road was one lane for most of the way and lead through an area that looked like dinosaur country. The 3 meter width was no problem, because nobody goes there. We only saw and talked to one person, who was completely drunk. No wonder, everybody else had left.
I was too stunned to take a picture of the incredible lake with dozens of little islands. This is a bird refuge for migrating birds and also the only Bosnian road to the only Bosnian coast town of Neum. Buy land now! This is incredible.
As we were spending holidays in Croatia, we made a trip through the Knin region to Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was quite a depressive experience and we were surprised, as we crossed the bosnian border, to discover a fine landscape, similar to southern Alps. We reached Drvar , a small town with friendly people. There we found a hotel and a little restaurant "Macera", up the hill on the road to Bosansko Grahovo, were we ate delicious grilled meat.
This is quite hard to find (that was the idea!). It is down some little lanes on the opposite side of the airport runway. We drove to the airport & asked a taxi to show us the way, following in our car. It cost us 10euros but it was worth it (unless you have really good directions)
The Sutjeska National Park with 17,500 hectares of wilderness, hosts one of the two remaining primeval forest in Europe & the highest mountain (Maglic 2386m) in BiH. Changing our route meant we had the opportunity to go through some of it. Many of the hiking trails have not been cleared of mines yet & wilderness huts destroyed by bombing so generally it is recommended to stay on well used roads/ trails throughout BiH at present.
Something that I would often look at when I drove by where the trees that were planted to spell Tito. Although last I was by there a portion of the trees have died you still can make it out. Be warned that apparantly the trees are heavily mined and booby trap so it is best to view from the road. It is located off the road the runs between Bos. Petrovac and Drvar.
Drvar is where I spent my time the first time I was in Bosnia. It is the site of some famous world war battles and riots in the 1990s. It is not the most beautiful town in the country as you can tell it is a town meant for production but the surrounding area is quite nice and offers a lot of beautiful views. It is in a valley and you have to drive down hill on all sides to access it. Drvar is in the northwestren portion of the country not to far from the Croatian border.
On the mountain that is overlooking the city of Kljuc are the ruins of an old castle. There is a good path up to the ruins from the town and it is safe to walk around the ruins. These are not the best ruins in the world but it still is quite interesting and it offers good views of the surrounding area.
For the average tourist this city would be off the beaten path. It is a quaint little city that is being developed nicely. The main street is filled with bars, restaurants and various little stores. The surrounding area is quite nice especially if ignore the garbage piles. Kljuc is located in the Northwestren part of Bosnia near the internal border seperating the Croat-Muslim Federation from the Republic of Srpska.
River Una is famous for its clear, blue waters. It flows through northwestern BiH, in a beautiful natural environment.
In some regions around Bihac it is possible to go rafting and kayaking on the river.
To see a Bosnian village on a hill-top could be somethin memorable. Not that easy as you have to break your journey on the way between two big cities but its possible. A car can give you this flexibility.
Really Bosnia is off the beaten path and many people miss out on it. Simply put most people I meet view Bosnia as a dangerous place, but those who have been there know this is simply no truer than other places. Yes there are some precautions such as watching out for landmines and unexploded ordinance (bombs) but a little common sense goes a long way here. Really Bosnia is a whole lot more than just a war torn country but it presents a great opportunity to see and learn a little about how destructive war really is, certainly not what you see or hear on the news. Bosnia has a rich history and a variety of cultural influences which really to me make this an exciting place where I think most people would be hard pressed to find boredom as a companion.
Though partially in ruins, the castle is open for visitors and there is a guard who sells entrance tickets for 1KM (=0.5 E).
I was the only visitor, but the castle is a popular place for young local couples looking for a bit of privacy...
The large inner garden is decorated with modern stone statues.
The main castle house is open and it is in a wonderful position, overlooking the Una river valley.
The Ostrozac castle is located in the municipality of Cazin, about half way between Velika Kladusa and Bihac.
It is an impressive, huge, castle complex that dates back to the 16th century, just before the Turks invasion. The outer walls are more than 2 mt thick.
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