Sutjeska National Park

Sutjeska National Park

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 43.34647°N / 18.68760°E
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Aug 26, 2006
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Summer


Sutjeska as one, of just two National Parks in Bosnia and Herzegovina, is very precious area from many reasons for this country. I will try to turn around on those aspects which are most interesting for us as nature lovers, that is nature, of course, and beautiful summits which are surrounding the valley of Sutjeska river.
It is located in south-eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The park itself is founded in 1962, in a first place because of historical fact, that this area was huge battleground in II World War. The battle happened between Germans and Tito's partisans in 1943.
Tjentiste area (the name of one of local villages) is place where is placed main monument in commemoration of all those partisans who get killed in this battle. This place is not so much visited as it was in Yugoslavia time (yearly between 300.000-500.000 people). Since last war in Bosnia ('92-'95), people are here celebrating some other heroes.

Good for us, hikers and mountaineers, natural triangle of mountains Zelengora, Volujak and Maglic still looks very captivating and attractive.

But let's start from the beggining...

Last summer I spent quite a lot of time in Sutjeska National Park, so I'll try to introduce you this beutiful corner of Bosnia and Herezegovina...

Zelengora Mountain

Zelengora, with configuration of terrain, maybe most gentle mountain of these three, is hiding many secrets. It is most known for many glacial lakes.
Many local people will say that most beutiful one is Orlovacko lake, but the fact that there is a dirt road all the way to the lake, ruined it natural look. Big majority of Bosnian people don't have habbit to hike, so maybe that is also one of the reasons why they prefer this lake among many others.
Kotlanicko, same as Stirinsko lake are lying in totally untouched nature and you need about 2-3 hours of walk to reach them. And it is worth of walking!!
Next day I went to highest peak of Zelengora. Good start point is Orlovacko lake, as I said you can reach it with car, and from that point you need about 3 hours to reach Bregoc (2.014m), highest Zelengora peak. This not too often climbed peak, gives you opportunity to see big part of this beautiful mountain and while I'm sitting on the top, eating, I realise why this mountain is called Zelengora (in English it would be Green Mountain).
It really suits her!!


Kotlanicko lake


Bosnian Milka Chocolate


View on Maglic and Volujak...


Lillium Bosniacum

About an hour and 15 minutes driving from Tjentiste you can reach the point to search another two glacial lakes on Zelengora, Donje and Gornje Bare. On Donje Bare there is even small hut which you can use (check with management of Park) to stay overnight

From Donje Bare lake you can hike to Planinica (1.794m) peak, from where we had great view on Volujak ridge and Sutjeska river valley. Planinica is also known as a place where very often you can see chamoas (wild goats). From Planinica the trail goes first downhill and then easily uphill toward ridge of Tovarnica to Ugljesin peak (1.852m), which is highest peak in this part of Zelengora.

This trip and area you can pass in one day, and camping on any of lakes is allowed so if you have more days, even better.

Volujak Mountain

Volujak is second highest mountain in Bosnia with peak of 2.336m. It is really challenging mountain to climb.
Deep in the mountain there is still numerous number of old houses (called katuni), where people still live old style of life during summer. That means that they produce milk and milk products from their sheep and cows and later in winter they are coming down from mountain to villages on lower heights.
Volujak is actually quite long ridge, most of time higher than 2.000m, which is stretching opposite from Maglic (highest Bosnian peak). When the people makes borders, that usually doesn't make to much sense, so while you walking on ridge of Volujak you are crossing from Bosnia to Montenegro, from time to time, without knowing that. From Bosnian side of Volujak you have few peaks higher than 2.000m, which you can climb in one day.

We started from Prijevor pass (1.668m), toward Trnovacko lake, about hour and a half of walk. From lake the real ascent starts by ridge of Ostrikovac, there are two peaks on a way to Volujak ridge, Mali (2.034m) and Veliki (2.296m) Ostrikovac which you can climb, if you want, just for warming up. Once when you do the ridge and reach zone of 2.000m, everything becomes easier.

From this point I have feeling that surrounding peaks are not so scary anymore. Badanj (2.241m) and Previja (2.271m) peaks are standing from right side and Studenac (2.283m), Volujak (2.336m) from left side. For a long summer days you can climb all these peaks in one day. Demanding but possible.
Trnovacko lake, as you go from below it, stays behind and view is more and more impressive.
Check the lower panoramic photo...

Panorama view from Volujak

Whichever peak or side of Volujak choose, you have guaranteed couple of hours sweating and hiking, so you're welcome!

Perucica Primeval Forest

After few days hiking on surrounding peaks, it is good to walk through forest or even better Primeval forest, for a change. Perucica (Peruchica) is one of two remaining primeval forests in Europe and it is hiding amazing things. Jumping over streams and admiring to huge, but really huge trees (some of them are older than 400 years) we simply stay speachless. Perucica is one of rare places in Bosnia with such a huge protection, so any kind of man influence is strictly forbiden. Even trees which fall on a path are not removed, so you have to jump over them.
Perucica is also hiding very rich flora and fauna. A lot of colourfull flowers is growing near path and many different animal footprints in the mud near streams.


Perucica, Primeval Forest

Walking through Perucica is not physically demanding, but is very, very interesting.
We started our trip from Dragos Sedlo (just below the road) - near the monument to Nurija Pozderac (war hero from World War II). From here you need about 4-5 hours to come out on the opposite side of Perucica at Suha valley.

Maglic Mountain, highest Bosnian peak

The best thing comes at the end. Maglic! Highest Bosnian peak that really is. It is high 2.386m and is real challenge in any way. From three approaches to this peak, I choosed this time the one from Lokva Derneciste direction, generaly most frequent one.
From Tjentiste village, the dirt road goes across Dragos sedlo and after hour and 15 minutes you come to last stop. First part of ascent we go through pine forest and after an hour of walking the main part starts.


Aproach to Maglic (second...

After rock face of Maglic has shown in all his beauty, as you get closer, it is more and more impressive. When you get underneath it, ascent goes by rocky part and Via Ferrata, which can be quite unpleseant for those who have height fear.
After 2-3 hours of scrambling we came out on a ridge and peak is now just 20 minutes away and finally we can see our goal.
The view from the top is worth of trying. Volujak, Zelengora, Cvrsnica, Bjelasnica on Bosnian side, Durmitor, Bioc on Montenegrian side are visible during a nice clear day.


View from the peak of Maglic...

From the top it is possible to go down, same way or by ridge of Maglic and then toward Trnovacko lake.
From the lake we needed another hour and a half to get back to our car on Prijevor.


Trnovacko lake.

Good thing would be camping on a lake and from there you could climb some other peak.

For this area is quite hard to find any maps and biggest number of trails are not marked or they are but very badly. Only exception is Maglic route as most frequent trail from all three sides.
My opinion is that actually gives that note of adventure and you can explore how much you want.
Bosnia from the war in '90-es has a lot minefields but area of Sutjeska National Park was far away from all ex-frontlines, so it is totaly safe to walk in these mountain areas.

So if anyone visit this beutiful area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, you will not be sorry.
I enjoyed, hope you will too.

Note: If you check any mistake you mind, gramar or any other, please contact me. Thanks!


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-20 of 20

5ani - Jan 26, 2007 10:26 am - Voted 10/10


Vec sam prije citala, ne sjecam se da li na Zone ili Bjelasnici, tvoju reportazu i uzivala u slikama.


justahiker - Jan 26, 2007 3:32 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Odlicno

I na zonama, i na Bjelasnici... :)
Pa hajde rekoh da napravim i englesku varijantu, pa da stavim ovdje...


koskoci - Sep 3, 2009 5:16 pm - Voted 10/10

trip planning

We're leaving on a trip from Budapest to Trnovacko lake. If we start walking from Dragos sedlo, is it possible to go through Perusica and get to the Trnovacko lake by the evening? Thank you for your advice! Cheers!


justahiker - Sep 15, 2009 10:08 am - Hasn't voted

Re: trip planning

Yes, it is possible. It will be a long day, but you can do it in one day. The only thing is that your car will stay quite far away and management of the park is not allowing entrance to Perucica without their guide..
The other option is to walk from Prijevor. You pass Dragos Sedlo and continue by dirt road to the first turning right and then you continue to the end of the road below Maglic peak.

Hope I was not too late to give you this information.

Greetings, my friend!!

ris - Apr 29, 2010 5:58 pm - Hasn't voted

access to Trnovacko lake

Great pictures! I am planning to visit Sutjeska and the surroundings soon, with a family. Is it possible to go to Dragos Sedlo and further towards Trnovacko lake by my own car? I've heard of some necessary guides...
Alternatively I will go with my MTB, but in this case I will have to leave my family in Tjentiste.


justahiker - Apr 30, 2010 2:51 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: access to Trnovacko lake

Hello Ris!

You can drive all the way to Dragos Sedlo and Prijevor below Maglic peak. The road is not the best, but still it is drivable. Anyway be careful, cause after every winter road is full of holes and needs certain reparations.
Prijevor is closest you can drive to reach Trnovacko lake and from there you have 2, maybe 2.5h walk to the lake.
It is great area, for hiking but for biking too.

P.S. Mozda sam mogao pisati i na nasem jeziku??

Greetings and all the best my friend!

Samer aka justahiker!

bradipo9 - May 20, 2012 7:14 pm - Voted 10/10

Scout route

Hi justahiker,
we are a group of italian scouts and we would like to go hiking with tents in Sutjeska for around 4-5 days this summer.
Is there any route you can suggest us that can be started and ended in a village/town with connection to Sarajevo or Dubrovnik?
We will not have a car (we are 28) so we need something that can be done by feet + bus only.
Thank you very much :)


justahiker - May 21, 2012 2:31 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Scout route

To reach Sutjeska Park is not very simple, because only regular bus line is one from Sarajevo to Trebinje and the other way (passing Sutjeska on its way).
If you do not have a vehicle, my suggestion is to walk from the valley of Tjentiste up to Suha and from there to Trnovacko lake. On the lake you can make a camp (you have a water spring there) and from there you can make some great hikes to Volujak, Trnovacki Durmitor and Maglic (highest Bosnian peak, 2,386m).
The only thing is that in that area are no shops or any possibility to buy anything, so you will have to carry all your food from the valley for all days of your stay at the lake. The only way back is to come down the same way you hiked to the lake.

blutok - Jun 3, 2012 3:30 am - Hasn't voted

Trnovacko - Perucica


I have a couple of questions:
- is there the possibillity of getting a map of the park?
- how can we treck from Trnovacko lake to Perucica forest, the idea is to have a "base camp" at Trnovacko?
- is it possible to buy food (cheese, slibovitz...)from the mentioned farmers in the area?
Thank you in advance!


justahiker - Jun 4, 2012 9:53 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Trnovacko - Perucica

Hi there!
1. Unfortunately, no regular maps of the park you can buy.
2. As you drive from Tjentiste to Prijevor (start hiking point for Trnovacko lake), you pass Perucica forest on your right.
Trnovacko lake is great base camp for ascents to Volujak (2,336m), Trnovacki Durmitor (2,246m) and Maglic (2,386m) highest Bosnian peak.
3. The food and any other supplies you should buy in Tjentiste valley or somewhere before. As you start driving uphill toward Dragos sedlo and Prijevor, no more shops!

Enjoy, but be careful.
No maps which complicates the visit to this gorgeous area.
However from Trnovacko lake to summits of Volujak and Maglic, you have a fairy good marked paths.

Good luck!

Paveltm - Jul 13, 2012 9:06 am - Hasn't voted

Sutjeska NP

Hi there!
What is the best way to get there from Sarajevo (we are a group of 4 - 6 people without a car)? Bus Sarajevo - Trebinje should leave from Lukavica at 7:45, but we should arrive to Sarajevo by train from Budapest maybe at 21:15. I have heard about possibility to rent a combi for 8 person for 80€, but I don´t know where and how.
Second, I guess walking from Dragoš through Perucica to Skakavac and then to Prijevor is prohibited, but possible. The question is how to avoid the park guides ;-)
But my main question: Is it possible to walk from Tjentište to Donje Bare lake using any shorter path then the "official" paved one, which is 20 km long?
Thx, Pavel


justahiker - Jul 14, 2012 11:44 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Sutjeska NP

Hello there, my friend!
I see you did some research about the transport and area, which is good. Unfortunately, there are no regular bus lines here. So as you said, first morning bus is a bit before 8.00am. If you arrive late by train, you will have to spend a night somewhere.
I will suggest you, to make your life easier, to rent a vehicle (obviously in this case you need van). The roads in Sutjeska park are all unpaved, so you would need somewhat higher vehicle.
To reach any hiking start point to any of the peaks or lakes, you have to drive about an hour from the valley. Which means on foot, you will need more than two hours walking, depending how much gear you carry with you.
Avoiding a park rangers?? It is possible, but as a mountain guide, I should not suggest you that... ;)
You have plenty of hiking options, beside Perucica, where you do not have to pay any extra money, except regular entrance ticket (2,5EUR)...
To save yourself a time, don't walk to Donje Bare. You have much more to do up there, instead of walking through the forest without much views... :)
Other option is to walk on opposite side toward Trnovacko lake, make a camp there, and then ascend Volujak or Maglic mountain (highest in the country).
It pretty much depends how long you plan to stay there...

Anyway, be smart and enjoy your stay there!

iszlaiadam - Aug 8, 2012 5:34 pm - Hasn't voted

2 hungarians - sutjeska

Hi justahiker!

I've read all the comments and first of all thanks for the lots of info!
Me and a friend of mine want to spend a couple of days in Sutjeska, en route from Sarajevo to Dubrovnik. Could you please help is with a few advice?
1) Our train arrives from budapest at 13th evening, and we plan to hitchhike from Sarajevo to Trestinje in the early hours of August 14th. Do you think we have real chance for succesful autostop to Tjentiste or is that a bald idea? If it is, how much is a bus fare if there is any scheduled bus?
2) Is Tjentiste the "entrance" of the national park? Can we pay for all the entrance fees there?
3) We don't have special directions, but we would prefer a trip which includes: Perucica forest, Trnovacko lake (where we may take a night of rest in tent, is it safe and permitted?), and then we would like to climb one of the closer mountains. Could you help us with a route-advice with approximated time confines?
(We aren't too experienced mountaineers but we've hiked before in mountain areas and we are able to cover 25-30 km/day with equipment on our back, is Voljak or Maglic a realistic option for us? How much time may it take?)
4) Are there any landmines in the area? :)
5) After we've checked everything we wanted, we would like to set fort straight to Dubrovnik. What route would you suggest from our ending point? How big is the traffic on road no 20 (which leads to Dubrovnik as far as I see)?
We would like to start our journey from sarajevo on 14th, and it would be good te get to Dubrovnik by the evening of 16th, do you think, it could be set in accordance with our plans? :)

Sorry for the ton of questions, but we wouldn't like to go there hazardously :)


justahiker - Aug 18, 2012 11:04 am - Hasn't voted

Re: 2 hungarians - sutjeska

Hello dear friend!
Sorry for late reply, but I was out off Sarajevo and internet connection for a while.
Hope you had successful trip!

All the best!

iszlaiadam - Sep 12, 2012 6:29 am - Hasn't voted

Re: 2 hungarians - sutjeska


No problem, everything solved itself :) Our trip was fairly successful, the place is beatiful and we managed to visit everything we planned.
Soon me or my travelmate will post here a guide with some more photos and a map-like thing, with certain distance-data.


justahiker - Sep 15, 2012 11:53 am - Hasn't voted

Re: 2 hungarians - sutjeska

I have to ask you, have you camped at the lake when Nina and her friend (two girls from Serbia) have been there (in yellow tent)??
I presume your tent could be the one just above theirs!

iszlaiadam - Sep 16, 2012 12:14 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: 2 hungarians - sutjeska

Yeah, that was exactly us! :) But how did you learn about that part?


justahiker - Sep 23, 2012 12:57 am - Hasn't voted

Re: 2 hungarians - sutjeska

I do not know if you remember, but one afternoon the group of 6 people arrived to the lake. I was with a friend in tent not far away from theirs.
Nina told us that that two guys who camped nearby are Hungarians. So I realized it could be you. :)
Hope you enjoyed it!

birches - Mar 20, 2013 4:15 pm - Hasn't voted


Hello there,

Just wondering, would the road between Tjentiste and Prijevor be okay for bicycles? And do you have any idea of the distance in kilometers?



justahiker - Mar 24, 2013 5:47 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Biking?

We use this road for biking, but you must have proper mountain bike.
It is quite ascent, on gravel road, but definitely worth of doing it. Distance is approximately about 20km from Tjentiste to Prijevor!

Take care and enjoy!

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