Jump on a 2-day, 1-night journey connecting Zagreb or Ljubljana with Sarajevo, with an overnight stay in Banja Luka. This tour takes you through Central-North Bosnia and Central Croatia’s hidden gems, including Travnik’s rich heritage and Jajce’s stunning waterfalls and medieval sites.
Explore Kozara National Park’s natural beauty and history. Optional detours include Una National Park’s natural splendor, the enigmatic Željava Airbase, or Plitvice National Park’s famed lakes in Croatia.
Starting in either Sarajevo, Zagreb, or Ljubljana, this door-to-door tour ensures a full itinerary, covering each destination’s unique allure, blending nature, history, and culture.
Throughout this journey, you’ll gain a firsthand understanding of the Balkans, enriched by personal narratives and engaging storytelling that bring the region’s history and culture to life. The tour offers more than just sightseeing; it’s an immersive experience into the heart and soul of the Balkans.
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Departure Times:7.30 / 8.00 AM
Pick-up / Drop-off:This is a transfer tour, meaning we pick up and drop off at your address with your luggage.
Activity Note: The tour is adapted to all ages and is not physically demanding. Due to the distance of the locations, we use brand new vehicles for the most enjoyable ride through unique Central and North Bosnia. Conduct this tour from Sarajevo to Zagreb/Ljubljana direction, or vice versa.
Destination:Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Inclusions:4* Hotel in Banja Luka | Walking Tour of Banja Luka
Driving Time:3.30hrs | Private Vehicle
Meet and Greet:We’ll depart Sarajevo quite early, at 8 AM. After some 45 minutes, we’ll arrive in Visoko, and the day’s first stop will be the Bosnian Pyramid Complex.
Visoko Pyramids:One of the most intriguing recent stories, on a global scale, is the story of the Bosnian Pyramids. For some, it is only a “hoax”, but for others, it is true evidence that ancient civilisations have existed on present day European soil, which has left us with amazing structures, pyramids.
Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun (and 4 more: Pyramid of the Moon, Love, Dragon, and Mother Earth) aged roughly 12.000 years, with perfect cardinal points and Northern orientation, where thermal inertia analysis reported revealing faster heat loss than would occur with a plain hillside, exciting story of pyramidal tunnel complex and many more facts, are reasons good enough to see the exciting story of Bosnian pyramids.
Once at the site, we’ll have a guided tour of the Pyramids Tunnel Complex, where guests will get first-hand stories from local experts directly involved in site explorations and tunnel excavations. Be prepared to hear some fascinating stories, as this story might be one of the highlights of your Balkans travels.
Travnik:After finished at Visoko we move. We will pass some breathtaking regions of river Bosna and the canyon of river Lašva before we reach Travnik.
Ottoman time vizier’s town, later Nobel prize winner birthplace with stunning Plava Voda spring, Coloured mosque, and old Ottoman fortress are places worth stopping by.
Travnik is also famous for tasty Ćevapi or Travnik white cheese, so why not make this stop attractive and tastily interesting?
A break at Plava Voda with some good Bosnian coffee is also a must.
Jajce:As soon as we finish in Travnik, we continue, and after another hour of driving through amazing regions of Vrbas River, we arrive at Jajce.
Once there, the first thing we go and see is one of the World’s most beautiful waterfalls, and the only one in the World placed in the city center, the famous Pliva Waterfalls – the spot where Pliva river ends its flow and meets Vrbas is simply breathtaking.
After we bless our eyes and soul, we are ready for a walking tour through Jajce. We will visit Jajce Citadel (Fortress), the Museum of the Second Session of the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ), Medvjed Kula, the Tower of St. Luke, famous Catacombs – underground church, one of the World’s very few mosques named after a woman – Mosque of Esma Sultanija, and much more. All followed with exciting stories.
Jajce Citadel is an exciting place, giving us a great opportunity to see the whole area around us and Jajce itself.
Pliva Lakes & Pliva Mills – Lunch Break:After we have “tasted” Jajce for roughly 2.30 hours, we go for the Lakes. In the vicinity of Jajce on Pliva River, there are two lakes. We’ll check out large and small Pliva lakes only five kilometers away.
The exciting part of the Pliva Lakes story are Mills at small Pliva Lake. Amongst people famously called “Mlinčići”, once the primary promotional material for postcards and the tourist potential of the Great Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. We will make a stop there, too.
Canyon of Vrbas River:The Vrbas River Canyon is a stunning natural wonder known for its dramatic and picturesque landscapes. Carved by the Vrbas River, the canyon features a series of striking cliffs, lush greenery, and clear waters that create a breathtaking backdrop for a variety of outdoor activities.
Renowned for its white-water rafting opportunities, the Vrbas River Canyon attracts adventurers seeking to navigate its challenging rapids. The river’s varying difficulty levels make it suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters. Besides rafting, the canyon is a popular kayaking, canoeing, and fishing spot. Optionally extend this package for one more night and try the stunning white water rafting at Vrbas river.
A beautiful ride through the very heart of the Vrbas River canyon and witnessing its beauty is an attraction in itself.
Krupa na Vrbasu:Krupa na Vrbasu is particularly famous for its small waterfalls and old watermills, which have been beautifully preserved and contribute to the area’s traditional and rustic feel.
Krupa na Vrbasu is home to several cultural and historical sites, including the 14th-century Orthodox Monastery of St. Ilija, a testament to the village’s rich historical heritage. Short stop at Krupa na Vrbasu is a must.
Banja Luka:Upon arrival in Banja Luka, the vibrant heart of Bosnia and Herzegovina, you’ll be greeted by the city’s warm and inviting atmosphere. Your first stop is a seamless check-in at the 4* hotel at Banja Luka, where comfort and hospitality await to refresh you for the evening.
Treat yourself to a delightful dinner at a local restaurant as the evening descends. Banja Luka’s culinary scene offers an array of choices, from traditional Bosnian dishes like ćevapi and burek to international cuisine, all promising to tantalize your taste buds.
After dinner, experience the lively nightlife of Banja Luka. The city comes alive at night with its vibrant bars, clubs, and cafes, each offering a different slice of its culture and entertainment. Whether you prefer a cozy café ambiance or a dynamic club atmosphere, Banja Luka’s nightlife will surely provide an unforgettable end to your day.
Destination:Zagreb/Croatia or Ljubljana/Slovenia
Inclusions:Breakfast at Hotel | Walking Tour of Banja Luka
Driving Time:3.30hrs | Private Vehicle
Banja Luka Walking Tour: After the delicious breakfast, we will take a walking tour of Banja Luka to discover the city’s rich history and charming ambiance. Stroll through bustling streets, explore historical landmarks like the Banja Luka Castle, and marvel at the unique architecture adoring the city, including the iconic Orthodox Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and the Ferhadija Mosque. The Banja Luka walking tour will be followed with free time until departure from Banja Luka around mid-day.
Kozara National Park:Just an hour’s drive from Banja Luka, we arrive at Kozara National Park, located in the northwestern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a magnificent area of natural beauty and historical significance. Known for its dense forests and picturesque landscapes, the park is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
The park’s diverse ecosystem is home to various flora and fauna, making it an ideal spot for wildlife watching and botanical studies. The forested hills of Kozara are perfect for hiking and trekking, with trails suitable for all levels of experience. These paths lead through serene woodlands and offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Kozara is also known for its cultural and historical importance. During World War II, the area was a significant battleground, and today, the park houses a memorial complex honoring the fighters and victims of the Kozara Battle. This monument and the accompanying museum provide a poignant reminder of the region’s past and is an essential visit for those interested in history.
Jasenovac Memorial:As a last shortstop, which could be a highlight of today’s quite emotional trip, we are taking you to the notorious WWII extermination camp, Jasenovac.
Often referred to as The Auschwitz of the Balkans, the Jasenovac extermination camp was one of the largest concentration camps in Europe, which continued to operate even later in the SFR Yugoslavia.
It was a place of detention, forced labor, and murder of an enormous number of Serbs, Jews, and Croats who rebelled against the Ustaše regime.
Arrival in Zagreb will be in the late afternoon hours. If you opt to finish in Ljubljana, please add two hours of driving.
Una National Park:Una National Park, located in the northwestern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina near the border with Croatia, is a stunning natural reserve known for its pristine beauty and biodiverse landscapes. Established in 2008, the park is named after the Una River, which flows through it and is famed for its clear emerald waters and spectacular waterfalls.
The park’s centerpiece is the Una River and its tributaries, Unac and Krka. These rivers have carved out remarkable canyons and gorges, creating breathtaking scenery that attracts nature lovers and photographers worldwide. The Strbacki Buk waterfalls, a series of majestic cascades on the Una River, are among the park’s most famous and visually striking features.
Una National Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Activities such as rafting, kayaking, and fishing are popular on the Una River, renowned for its challenging rapids and serene stretches. The park’s diverse terrain, encompassing lush forests, meadows, and riverbanks, offers excellent opportunities for hiking, cycling, and wildlife watching.
The park is also rich in biodiversity, home to various flora and fauna, including some endemic and endangered species. Its forests provide a habitat for animals like bears, wolves, and lynxes, while otters and numerous fish species inhabit the rivers.
Culturally, Una National Park encompasses several historical sites, including old mills, traditional houses, and medieval fortresses that add to the region’s historical and cultural significance.
Plitvice National Park in Croatia:Plitvice Lakes National Park, located in Croatia, is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its extraordinary natural beauty. The park is famous for its series of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls that extend into a limestone canyon. The lakes are known for their distinctive colors, ranging from azure to green, grey, or blue, which change depending on the angle of sunlight and the minerals in the water.
Visitors can explore the park via a network of wooden walkways and hiking trails that wind around and across the water. The park also offers boat rides, providing a unique perspective on the stunning scenery.
In addition to its breathtaking water features, Plitvice is home to diverse flora and fauna, including rare bird species and European brown bears. The combination of its natural beauty and biodiversity makes Plitvice Lakes National Park a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers.
Despite its popularity, the park maintains a tranquil and pristine environment, making it a perfect place for those seeking a peaceful escape in nature.
Slunj and Rastoke in Croatia:Rastoke is the historic center of the Croatian municipality of Slunj. This old part of Slunj is known for its well-preserved mills and the picturesque little waterfalls along the Slunjčica River, which flows into the river Korana at this place. The Korana River originates at Plitvice Lakes National Park.
At Rastoke, similar natural phenomena are occurring as at the Plitvice Lakes. This location is, therefore, often referred to as “the Small Lakes of Plitvice”.
Croatian War of Independence Museum:The Croatian War of Independence Museum in Karlovac is a significant institution dedicated to preserving and presenting the history and events of the Croatian War of Independence, also known as the Homeland War. This conflict, which took place from 1991 to 1995, was a pivotal period in the region’s history, leading to Croatia’s independence from the former Yugoslavia.
Located in Karlovac, a city that experienced firsthand the impact of the war, the museum serves as a poignant reminder of the struggles and sacrifices made during this turbulent period. The exhibits offer a comprehensive overview of the war, including the political context, the military campaigns, and the human experiences of those involved.
Željava Airport:Željava Airport, also known as Željava Air Base, is a former military airport and underground airbase situated on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located near the village of Bihać, nestled in the Plješevica mountain range. This facility is a relic of the Cold War era and is known for its unique and impressive construction.
Constructed in the 1950s and 1960s by the Yugoslav Air Force, Željava was one of the largest and most expensive military engineering projects in Europe at the time. The airbase was designed to withstand nuclear attacks, featuring extensive underground tunnels and bunkers that could house aircraft, personnel, and equipment.
The base was equipped with sophisticated technology and considered one of Yugoslavia’s most secure and secret military facilities. It played a significant role during the Cold War, serving as a strategic point for the Yugoslav military.
However, during the Yugoslav Wars in the 1990s, the base was heavily damaged and subsequently abandoned. Today, the remnants of Željava Air Base are a haunting reminder of the region’s turbulent past. The deserted runways, hangars, and the labyrinth of underground tunnels attract urban explorers and history enthusiasts intrigued by its Cold War legacy.
White Water Rafting at Una or Vrbas River:Rafting on the Una River in Bosnia and Herzegovina is an exhilarating and unforgettable experience, offering a unique combination of natural beauty and adventure. The Una, with its crystal-clear emerald waters and diverse range of rapids, is considered one of the best rivers in Europe for white-water rafting.
The river’s rafting routes vary in difficulty, catering to beginners and experienced rafters. The most famous section for rafting is around the Strbacki Buk waterfalls, where the river cascades over a series of dramatic waterfalls and rapids. This part of the river offers a more challenging experience, with adrenaline-pumping rapids sure to thrill adventure seekers.
Authentic Truffle Lunch Delight:Indulge in the exquisite flavors of a genuine truffle lunch experience at Krupa na Vrbasu, just a stone’s throw from Banja Luka.
Nestled in a picturesque setting, this unique culinary adventure promises to tantalize your taste buds with the rich, earthy flavors of freshly harvested truffles. This is more than just a meal; it’s a journey into the heart of traditional gastronomy, offering an authentic taste of the region’s culinary heritage. Join us for an unforgettable dining experience where the show’s star is the elusive and luxurious truffle.
You’ll be able to learn more about our Truffle Experience in Banja Luka.
Ostrozac Castle:Ostrožac Castle, located near the town of Bihać in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is a historic castle dating back to the 16th century.
Originally built during the Ottoman era, it has undergone various modifications over the centuries, including additions during the Austro-Hungarian period. The castle stands on a hill with a commanding view of the surrounding area, offering a glimpse into the region’s rich history. Although it has been partially renovated, much of Ostrožac Castle retains its historical charm and character, making it a fascinating destination for visitors interested in the architectural and cultural heritage of the region.
What Do I Need to Bring?
Bosnia-Herzegovina – possible to see the highlights in three days with Funky Tours
When I saw some photos of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I was struck by its beauty so we decided to extend our trip from Croatia to cover Bosnia-Herzegovina.
We took a tour bus from Zagreb to Sarajevo, taking 12 hours, stopping by at various historical places: Jasenovac Memorial Park, Banja Luka, Jajce town, Pliva waterfall, lakes and old mills. The snow-covered Jasenovac Memorial Park was mysterious and holy and beautiful. At Banja Luka, we had a wonderful lamb sandwich, best in my life.
The following day we made another 12-hour trip to Mostar, stopping by at Pocitelj and Dervish House, where we had delicious trout. The gushing river was amazing.
These tours were organized by Funky Tours of Sarajevo. (Also a two-hour free city tour of Sarajevo). We had a comfortable 8-seat mini bus to ourselves with local guides explaining the places and history.
Bosnia-Herzegovina is a small country endowed with beautiful scenery- plentiful hills and rivers, and fresh produce. But more importantly, it has a very rich history and it is possible to witness the remnants of various different civilizations that crossed the country.
We were very glad that we used the Funky Tours for all our trips within the country, without which our understanding of the country would not have been possible to this extent. The war museum in Sarajevo is a must. The country is fully repaired with no trace of the destructive war, but it helps to remember that this atrocity happened not very long ago.
This is a great team!
We interacted with several people in the Funky Tours team, and they were all great. The office staff responded quickly and were very helpful, and the tour guides were also helpful and informative. I would go with them again any time!
Amazing Company & Tours
Me and 6 family members wanted to go on a trip that was a bit different to celebrate my Dad’s 70th birthday. We were a group with ages ranging from 28 – 70. I had visited Sarajevo previously, and thought it would be a good place to go. Sarajevo Funky Tours helped me customise the perfect trip before-hand, with Ema being particularly helpful to all of my many emails.
When our flight was cancelled on the evening before we were supposed to fly to Sarajevo, Ema was able to reschedule our first day’s city tour and combine it with our second day’s itinerary so that we didn’t miss out.
So for our trip, we combined three different tours to create a 4 day itinerary that took us from Sarajevo, through Mostar and on to Dubrovnik. Our guide was Arna (Armina), who I knew from a previous visit to Sarajevo, and she was fantastic for us once again. She speaks so candidly about what she lived through during the war, and also how her many years’ work with NGOs have shaped her thoughts on the country’s past, present and future. It was really important to us to try to understand Bosnia’s tragedy while we were there. But the country offers so much more than just learning about its painful past. It’s one of the most stunning countries I’ve ever visited (65 and counting), and Kravice Falls in particular were incredible. Sarajevo is such a vibrant city with so many influences, and the local beer is incredible (honestly!). Tito’s Bunker is a must, as one of the most fascinating and hilarious tourist attractions. Mostar and its bridge don’t even need me to eulogise about them.
Bosnia is a wonderful country. Sarajevo is one of my favourite cities in the world. Sarajevo Funky Tours are an incredible tour company, who are so accommodating, friendly, knowledgeable and just all-round great people to work with. I 100% recommend them for any sort of visit to Bosnia (and beyond).
100% Recommend SFT
From our contact with Ema some 6 months prior to our time with SFT to the end, we experienced nothing but helpfulness, kindness and warmth from the team.
Our booking involved a transfer from Budapest to Plitvice Lakes (stay overnight) and on to Sarajevo in a day doing the Travnik tour in reverse. We had an independent stay in Sarajevo for 2 nights then onto Dubrovnik on the Mostar tour over 2 days.
We were advised earlier there may be others on our tours, which we would have been happy with, but in the end it was just the 2 of us with Tiab, our guide and Nijaz our driver for all parts. We are so very thankful for their knowledge, their patience, their helpfulness and willingness to make our time about what we wanted with their help. They made a good team of young and old. Tiab, the younger spoke English while Nijaz spoke very little but communicated in a smiling fun manner and shared things through Tiab. We felt comfortable in their company at meal breaks along the way and felt safe all the time. It is an excellent idea to have a guide and separate driver to mind the car and luggage while sightseeing.
Our focus in deciding to go to Bosnia was the scenery and nature and it didn’t disappoint but in the end it isn’t just the countryside but the history, the struggles of the people and how they are recovering now that feature in our memories.
Well done to the team, great ambassadors for your country!!!!
Amazing time in Bosnia
I did three tours with Sarajevo Funky Tours and it was a great experience! Ema coordinated everything and was really helpful when doing the planning. I had two packages including 2D1N via Mostar from Zagreb to Sarajevo with Haris and Faris, and 2D1N via Mostar from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik with Adnan and Nino, and Total Siege Tour with Adnan. These guys are so friendly and full of knowledge. I not only saw the amazing views but also learned lots of history of Bosnia. They did their best to make the tours enjoyable. I had a really great time and a big applause to all of them! Love Bosnia 🙂