The EU enlargement has opened a great window of opportunities in winter ski tourism and everyone is buzzing about Bansko in Bulgaria and apparently Romania is also on the «cool to visit» winter destinations list.
On the sentimental note, I am purposely lagging behind the new trends as I still remember 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo and that magic Bolero performance of Torwell and Dean and legendary ski jumps efforts of Eddie the Eagle.
While Bansko is becoming Chamonix of Eastern Europe, you may be wondering what has happened to Sarajevo’s skiing facilities?
The country has closed its war chapter, although certain wounds never heal, and it is playing a catch up game with the rest of the countries in the region to join the European Union’s carriage.
The spirit of Sarajevo people is always on the up despite life being hard for some of its inhabitants.
These days, mountains surrounding Sarajevo are favorite family outings and surprisingly enough Bjelasnica and its little sister Igman have risen from ashes and skiing is back on the agenda. At approximately 2000 m altitude is the highest ski slope point, the lowest being at 1200 m. There are 200 ski days with an average of 135 cm of snow. These stats do always baffle me as I often ask myself how reliable they really are. None the less, what really matters is that ski lifts and ski cables are operational, Bosnian hospitality is second to none and one can really look forward to «a smashing» holiday.
There are plenty of modernly equipped chalets to rent at affordable prices. Check out Austrian Airlines, Adria Airways for flight arrangements to Sarajevo. Even look out for British Airways winter bargain deals to Split and Dubrovnik. A five hour, idyllic scenery drive is worth «putting up» with.