Discover the completely off the beaten path gem, and trace the stunning river Cvrcka. Enjoy the intact nature setting so surreal and captivating that it even found its place in heart and social media of Leonardo Di Caprio.
This is a fully customisable trip which will allow you to dictate your own level of difficulty. Over the roughly 7 hours you will have a once in a lifetime chance to admire completely intact nature, the stunning forest surroundings looming over the powerful and crystal clear waters, and indulge into experiencing fresh mountain streams along with an absolute exciting canyon jumps, waterfalls and natural slides abseiling down into the deep-water pools.
In order to fully understand the amazing agreement between human and nature, this experience will make you not only witness the best of nature, but also the very best of human. Meeting the villagers, being guided by locals, tasting the home-cooked food and ending a day at the small local winery while making a toast to incredible journeys that are yet to come over the finest of local wine and pleasant talks is a truly once in a life time experience that will satisfy each one of your senses.
Departure Times Standard departure time from Banja Luka is 7 AM. If needed tour can be adjusted to guests schedule.
Pickup Locations We shall pick you up at your desired location in Banja Luka. Please inform us if you are interested to in taking this tour from some other location.
Activity Note: Canyon of River Cvrcka is 17 kms long and it takes 6 to 10 hours to fully explore the almost unreal canyon of the river Cvrcka. With is abundance of waterfalls, cascades, steep cliffs and natural slides, this location makes a real challenge for canyoning lovers.
However, it is also attractive for a river trekking and hiking as the canyon itself is embraced by the hiking trails all the way through. This tour is perfectly created for anyone regardless of the age or fitness level and can be easily customised.
On the other hand, if you are adrenaline junkies and more into adventure, do let us know as it is possible to arrange a full day canyoning trip.
We will get the day going with a morning pick-up from your address. The Cvrcka river trekking is a perfect chance for first timers as well as those more experienced hikers and canyoning enthusiasts. During an hour of drive you will discuss the safety procedures by our fully qualified and experienced guide.
> During the walks, we will have a chance to hear some of the famous legends and stories from the locals.
After an hour of drive from Banja Luka, we will be welcomed by spectacular landscapes of the municipality of Knezevo embraced by the five mountains: Osmača, Tisovac, Čemernica, Vlašić and Ježica at an altitude of 600 to 1400 meters above sea level.
We will leave our vehicle at Zivinice, a small mountainous village, rich in numerous natural gems and charming local community. This is where we will stretch our legs and prepare for the day ahead with full briefing of the day’s activities.
>Starting a day without meeting with the local community and packing some fresh organic products for a hearty lunch is an absolute must on the way.
While saying goodbye to the villagers we will be guided by a macadam trail deep into the forest that cannot be found on a map. For a moment you will feel like straying away towards the right way.
For around 45 minutes, we will be guided by only the trees, smells of wet earth and sounds of water through hardly beaten trails and will be slowly descending into the embrace of a river that stubbornly, and almost unnaturally, built a canyon to make it as challenging and inaccessible as possible. We will feel the tree branches creaking while shuffling through the detritus guided by the sounds of stream bubbling over rocks along its bed.
By carefully ambling though the slippery rocks we will cross the top of the waterfall loudly descending into a canyon. This is, according to locals, one of the 80 springs of the river Cvrcka which springs from a small cave and turns into the waterfall that is, almost violently, trying to merge with the river. This is also the very moment we will finally face the emerald green Cvrcka in all of its majesty.
>One of the many Cvrcka Canyon caves nested on a top of the first waterfall we will encounter on the way.
We will take a break from descending through the forest and enjoy a short break admiring the river which is drinkable in its entire upper course and inhabited by indigenous trout (Adriatic Salmonna) making this canyon also a paradise for those who are into fly fishing.
We will allow ourselves to be guided by the mesmerising beauty of the river Cvrcka and continue our river trekking journey towards the famous location Bekica Zelenac, a favourite place for swimming among locals.
> We will wander through the amazing riverside rambles from the chalk streams and the gentle flows, ascend deep in the forest and descend back to the refreshing river waters while following the course of the river.
The river Cvrcka has cut parts of an almost impassable canyon so there will be not a single moment you will not be challenged or surprised by its trails. Jumping over rocks or, climbing, crossing the water and re-entering deep into the enchanted forest will have its challenges but no worries, this river walk is accessible to all with a measure of agility and a sense of adventure.
During our “forest bathing” we will continue ascending deep into the woodland while the sounds of the powerful river merge into meditative sounds of chattering, singing and humbling of nearby inhabitants of the forest.
> If you close your eyes for a moment, beneath all the captivating sounds, you will be able to feel the stillness that holds all the sounds.
As we approach to our destination the sounds of the water will become stronger and we will descend to, we promise you, one of the most beautiful river pools you have ever encountered. The thousands shades of green you will be witnessing will make you think you are seeing the true colours of the world for the first time.
> At Bekica Zelenac we will enjoy swimming, relaxing while being embraced by the peace providing us an escape from the hyper-connected state of modern life.
Yes, this place is the one that has become famous when Leonardo Di Caprio posted on his social networks the incredibly beautiful photo of Bosnian river as a support against building the small hydropower plants and we will soon discover why.
Our river walk will be a more extensive this time while using the forest paths only during the steep and unapproachable parts of the canyon. We will be bouldering, swimming, stepping into the refreshing water and, for those who are more into some nice hikes, we can always return to the well marked forest paths.
> Over the night, with the Leonardo Di Caprio posting the photo of Opaki Vir, this river pool became a symbol of an urge for protection of mesmerising Bosnian rivers.
The incredible advantage of the canyon river Cvrcka is that you are able to decide which path is the one you will take at every moment.
You will be aware we have arrived at the very moment we reach the Opaki Vir. Opaki Vir (Eng. Wicked Whirlpool) got its name because of its great depth and dark green color, which is why it has always been believed that only the bravest can swim in it. Swimming or not, you will surely enjoy the incredible setting with your entire being.
At this place, we will set you up with the hamcock and let you experience the glamping at its best while your team is preparing the lunch. You’ll be amazed at what can be cooked using only a gas camp oven and fresh products we picked up this morning at the village.
> Opaki Vir is a place where you will understand why following the waters has been written deep down in our genetic codes ever since our ancestors started exploring the planet by crossing oceans and chasing open rivers. Your mind will return to familiar spaces.
Combined together, the canyon and the forest, and every smallest inhabitant of the same will lead us to the final and spectacular location that will leave you breathless. Cvrcka is a cocky river. At some places it goes wild, foams and roars, rolls and cracks everything in front of it. Then it stops in as in making sure we are completely overwhelmed and fascinated. It’s as if at some point it redirects all its power into emerald and turquoise whirlpools and waits for the cameras to click.
As approaching to the amazing Vilenska Vrela (Eng: Springs of the fairies) it is the time to introduce you to the Bosnian fairies, which, according to legend, are born from the dew that falls on the leaves of a large tree that grows on a mysterious, unknown hill.
Far back in the time, Bosnian people believed that the children left behind after birth were actually the children of fairies. These children were believed to bring happiness and prosperity to the family who adopts them and their home is believed to be under the protection of the fairies.
> Vilenska Vrela are the best example of what happens when nature plays with everything it has, creating an image that seems unreal at the first glance. For a few minutes we will just watch in silence the water flowing, jumping and splashing down the rocks ending in the river Cvrcka.
Vilenska vrela are a natural phenomenon at an altitude of about 490 meters and consist of dozens of water branches and waterfalls that run through the sixty-meter-high polygon of travertine rocks into the embrace of the river Cvrcka creating a beautiful metaphor of disheveled long fairy hair.
This is a place where you will simply want to take out all possible cameras and try to capture and deeply memorize every detail, every drop of water, every stone and every sound of a drop rushing towards the river.
Legend has it that the waterfall was named Vilenska vrela because fairies gather under it, playing and scattering their hair. There are 8 springs next to each other in the area of about 10 meters. Each of them, it is believed, was created by a fairy. Locals claim that, deep in the canyon, you can still hear the sounds of carefree playful fairies.
There are many legends concerning this place, including the one that says if we drink the water from the same spring in one year, fairies will make any wish you have to come true. This is definitely not the only reason you will decide to come back.
> After a short break, with a little help of the improvised hanging bridge and climbing rope, we will safely reach the spring, admire the views and explore the cave known for its numerous water basins but with the water level being just enough to enter. The entire place is a perfect way for a nature to show off its endless imagination and creativity in the past few million years.
When we’re ready, we’ll head back. The trail will lead us through a forest that strives to merge with the Cvrcka canyon. Deep in the forest we will encounter springs of crystal clear water, and small waterfalls that one, being spoiled by incredible nature we have witnessed so far, can easily overlook. We will make sure to pay attention to every single sound, smell, spring and forest creature.
It is extremely difficult, in fact impossible, to convey in words the smell of the past in the air, mixing the smells of ancient earth, ancient trees and moist vegetation this places exudes.
Cvrcka river canyon is home to many inhabitants, including bears, wolves and foxes. Guided by the experienced local guides, it is very possible that we will notice some of the animals in the distance and have the opportunity to observe them in their natural environment.
> After an hour and a half of hike, before heading to the village, we will make our last stop and enjoy the serene setting of the mountains looming over and reflecting in the crystal clear waters of Cvrcka.
Our last stop will be the only winery in the region, winery Jungic. Located 15 kilometers outside Banja Luka, for those who love to enjoy a glass of phenomenal wine that will intrigue your taste buds, this will be an absolutely perfect closure.
We will take a walk through the captivating Jungic vineyards and, in the charming wine tasting area enjoy some of the finest of red Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and renowned white Rhine Riesling and Chardonnay Pinot Blanc.
According to the funder “Jungić Winery” was created out of spite and love for wine. Stubbornness was decisive to get going despite the difficulties, and a lot of love which was needed to cope with all the challenges and proving that top grape varieties can be grown in this region as well.
Seems the spite of the nature we witnessed earlier is strongly implanted into the local community as well.
> We will enjoy pleasant talks with family Jungic and learn more about their incredible story and winery that received numerous recognitions and significant awards for its perseverance, skills and quality.
What Do I Need to Bring?