Skiing is one of the best ways to spend your winter vacations. Traditionally tourists head towards Switzerland, France, Italy or Austria to experience the adventures of skiing. However, the Balkans are also attracting more and more tourists each year. The Balkans have a lot of unexplored territories to offer for tourists; and is also much cheaper compared to the other popular skiing destinations. Moreover, if you are a regular skier, you may have already visited all the traditional ski resorts and explored them to the fullest. Skiing in a new place and exploring new slopes has a thrill of its own. The Jahorina mountains are a popular Balkans ski destination and have a lot to offer to the tourists.
Balkans Ski Destination: Jahorina
How to get to Jahorina
Jahorina, located in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is part of the Dinaric Alps near Pale. To reach Jahorina, you can take a flight to the nearest international airport situated at Sarajevo and then take a taxi or rent a car from the airport. The drive from the airport should take only about 40 minutes. There are also bus services that run between Jahorina and Pale and Jahorina and Lukavica. You can also reach Jahorina via road from any of the major cities in Bosnia. The residents of Sarajevo have been frequenting Jahorina since a long time for skiing. Most of the people in Sarajevo learned to ski on the slopes of Jahorina and hence it holds a special place in their hearts.
Jahorina, the location for the women’s alpine skiing event in the 1984 winter Olympics, was gaining popularity as a good location for ski vacations. Then the war took place. During the war, Jahorina served as a strategic stronghold during the war. There are still some remains of buildings that have been bombed. The mountains were a minefield during the war. The slopes for the skiing have since then been cleared of the mines. However, some areas are out of bounds and visitors are advised to avoid crossing over to these areas as there may be residual mines there.
Skiing in Jahorina
Jahorina has over 20 km of slopes for skiing with the majority of these slopes best suited for intermediate skiers. However, there are also, around 3 km stretches each for beginners and advanced skiers. Jahorina has 8 ski-lifts and 12 pistes. The old lift system has been replaced with new ones and today, Jahorina has some of the most modern ski-lifts in the Balkans. Apart from skiing, visitors can also participate in one of the many winter sports activities that are available here like snowboarding, alpine skiing, sledding, and hiking.
Best time to ski
Ski season in Jahorina typically starts around mid-December and lasts until early April. However, the starting dates are subject to the amount of snowfall the mountains receive. The day pass is valid from 9 a.m to 4 p.m and costs around 19.5 euros on weekends and 17 euros on weekdays. The slopes are well-lit at night owing to floodlights and you can get a night pass to 9 euros. The night pass is valid from 6 p.m to 9 p.m. This is definitely a good Balkans ski destination for budget skiers.
Jahorina has a wide range of hotels, private houses for rent and motels that tourists can choose to stay at. There is a hotel for every budget. And as most hotels are cheaper than the ones in other European countries you can stay at a 5-star resort without burning a hole in your pocket. However, it is recommended to book well in advance as the hotels do get filled up quite fast during ski season.
There are a number of restaurants along the slopes and you can always find a restaurant at the hotels you are staying. You can sample the Balkan cuisine at any of these restaurants. There are also restaurants offering the more familiar pizzas and pasta. However, I would definitely recommend you to try the veal soup offered at Motel Sport.
So head to Balkans ski destination and explore Jahorina this winter and ski your way to an adventurous holiday.