3rd Mar 2012 12:59pm | By Editor
Balkan Road Trip tour guide Mustafa Panjeta says now is the time to visit Bosnia Herzgovina, before too many other people find out about it.
Speaking at the TNT Travel Show at Earl’s Court today, Panjeta says while Bosnia may conjure negative images due to the war in the 1990s, he is not surprised to hear the country is on many traveller’s top 5 lists.
History and culture
“In one word: crossroad. One big melting pot of cultures. Take Sarajevo, you’ll find a Roman Catholic church, a Jewish synagogue, a Muslim mosque and an orthodox Christian church all within 300m all co-existing for centuries,” Panjeta says. “It really is the European Jerusalem, where east meets west.”
One big national park and as such it is a perfect destination for adventurers – mountain biking, cycling, horseback riding, hiding, white water rafting.
“You can’t have a better rafting experience than if you are thirsty while doing it, you can drink the water,” he says. “It’s real jungle you’re surrounded by - some of these mountains are the last untouched mountains in Europe. It really is off the beaten track.”
There’s even top-quality snowboarding, skiing and snow shoeing.
“There’s no better place for your adventures,” Panjeta promises. “And a bonus: there’s no mass tourism yet.”
Bosnia has a thriving nightlife scene, attraction party people from throughout the world. From clubs in caves to chilled-out locals partying at all hours of the day and night, it’s not hard to understand why.
“The number of young backpackers coming to Bosnia-Herzgovina interested in partying is exponentially growing,” Panjeta explains. “It’s an extremely relaxing atmosphere. Bosnians are known as the most relaxed people in the entire region. Most locals speak English and are really communicative and friendly.”
But don’t worry about breaking the bank in Bosnia-Herzgovina.
“It’s really, really cheap. Backpackers love our prices.”
Food and drink
Panjeta says the country’s food, a mix of Eastern and Western influences, is beyond delicious.
“We believe no one in the region can compete with us,” Panjeta says. “ And we know we are right.”
Try the Bosnian rolled pie – or burek – voted as one of Lonely Planet’s best street foods of the world. And keep an eye out for the Bosnian cevari – a delicious feed of ground beef and onion.
“It is so hard to describe the satisfaction after eating our food, so you’ll just have to try it for yourself,” Panjeta says.
Main image: The Kravice Waterfall, Bosnia-Herzgovina