Snowboarding in Bosnia, that didn’t quite go according to plan.

Due to a lack of snow and my timing, 4 days snowboarding in the mountains surrounding Sarajevo ultimately turned into just the one day.  Ah well, despite being a bit of a control freak, my powers do not extend as far as to be able to control the weather.  Where is Storm from the Xmen when you need her?

Typically a January day in Sarajevo will hit around -10C. This kind of winter climate combined with the mountainous landscape surrounding the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo are two of the golden reasons why the city once hosted hosted the Winter Olympics.   Feb 1984 saw the sporting eyes of the world on Sarajevo.

My snowboarding in Bosnia plan

So as per above, the plan had been to indulged in 4 days of boarding in the mountains surrounding Sarrajevo.  As such, I planned to split my time between the two main ski resorts, Jahorina and Bjelansnica.  Obviously it didn’t work out that way, and with only 1 day of snow, I had to make a choice between the two resorts.  I went for Jahorina.

Why?  Simply because I liked the look of the piste map a little more, and it looked the bigger of the two resorts, and therefore in turn was more likely to be operating and having a few more rental shops.

The costs of 1 days snowboarding in Bosnia (Jahorina)

So here they are, the costs of 1 days snowboarding in Bosnia, on the slopes ofJahorina.  In all fairness, £50 for a days snowboarding is far from terrible.  OK that doesn’t include food and drink (essential energy), or a new mask for dummies who forget theirs (oops), but on the whole it is none too shabby.

KM £ $
Boarding costs
Return taxi to and from Jahorina 80.00 33.60 55.60 40.88
1 day Snowboard and boot hire 20.00 8.40 13.90 10.22
1 day Lift pass 20.00 8.40 13.90 10.22
BOARDING TOTAL 120.00 50.40 83.40 61.32
Extras on the day
Food and drink 12.00 5.04 8.34 6.13
New mask 45.00 18.90 31.28 23.00
EXTRAS TOTAL 57.00 23.94 39.62 29.13
MY 1 DAY TOTAL 177.00 74.34 123.02 90.45

Jahorina photos and video

Jahorina Sarajevo snowboard

Jahorina Sarajevo snowboard

Jahorina Sarajevo snowboard

Jahorina

Jahorina Sarajevo snowboard

How my costs might have been reduced

The above certainly didn’t break the bank, but it could have been lower still had I caught a bus to the mountain earlier that morning, or travelled with a group of friends and split the taxi fare.  Why didn’t I get the bus?  Well, it simply wasn’t very well advertised.  In fact, up to date info on either Jahorina or Bjelansnica was very very hard to come by, and that leads me onto my next point …

A missed opportunity?

It took a day or so of getting used to travelling on my own again, but once I’d settled myself I soon came to really quite adore Sarajevo.  That said, I found it quite puzzling/frustrating that the mountains appeared a somewhat neglected attraction.  OK so it was the off season in terms of backpackers, most arrive in the warmer months, but for those like me who have a liking for some mountainside action, there was limited info around about the mountains, and even more limited options in getting to those mountains.

This probably sounds like me moaning, and to an extent I guess it is, but I honestly think there is a trick being missed here.  My trail of thought goes something like this …

  • Sarajevo has two great mountains on its doorstep which have played host to Olympic events.
  • In terms of other European cities AND ski resorts, Sarajevo is very much more affordable.
  • Transfers from the city to the mountain take less than an hour each way.
  • Sarajevo is an up and coming destination with Europe and has a unique, albeit sad history, that tourist/backpackers will be and are interested in.

 

Hopefully you can start to see where I’m going with the above? With a reliable ski information hub and affordable transfer buses to and from the mountains each day, Bosnia and Sarajevo would make the perfect ski-city break combo, a combo I’m not all that aware of anywhere else in Europe.  The only similar option I can think of would be Sierra Nevada in southern Spain (edit – Bled in Slovenia isn’t a bad option either!), which advertises slopes and beaches only an hour apart.

It’d be the best of both worlds, and would be an incredible selling point.  Again my trail of thought continues …

  • Someone likes the idea of skiing or snowboarding, but doesn’t want to commit and pay out for a full weeks mountain action for fear of finding out after the first day or so that its not really for them.  How can they get just a taste and minimize their risk?
  • Someone signs up for a weeks skiing but there is no snow when they arrive, what do they do now other than eat and drink?

 

Imagine having a historic city such as Sarajevo to explore as your alternative plan.  A weeks visit would be like testing the water (or should I say snow) with minimal risk of drowning.  If you don’t like it, skiing/snowboarding that is, there is equally incredible experiences to be had at the bottom of the mountains as their are at the top.

Unrealistic thinking on my part?

Unrealistic, or even wishful thinking on my part?  Quite possibly, as that kind of project/scheme would obviously require funding, and I very much appreciate that there are other area’s within Sarajevo where money might be better spent.  My thinking is based solely from my travelling mindset.

Still, it’s far from being my worst idea.