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Jahorina Review

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Jahorina gondola above clouds

Jahorina Review

“Jahorina hosted women alpine events during 1984 Sarajevo Olympic Games. You can’t have better recommendation for a resort, can you? But since its golden age during the 80’s Jahorina has crossed the long way to hell and back. The 90’s war in Bosnia and Herzegovina threatened to completely destroy the resort. The beginning of the 21st century brought reconstruction but there was no progress. For a long time things were the same as in the 80’s. However, the last few years brought substantial investments in infrastructure, and the resort is on the right path again. Jahorina is best suited for intermediate skiers and beginners. You will get great value for your money. Food is out of this world. Locals are friendly and helpful. Read the rest of this Jahorina Review and see if the resort satisfies your needs.”

Pros: affordable, great for 3-4 days, tasty food, close to airport and Sarajevo (capital of Bosnia and Hercegovina), helpful locals, interesting night life…

Cons: small overall size, slope grooming can be better, it can get crowded during weekends.

Jahorina ski map
click to enlarge

SLOPES

Easy 20 km (45%)
Intermediate 20 km (45 %)
Difficult 5 km (10 %)
Total 45 km

Fact that Jahorina hosted the Olympic Games without investments was not enough to convince skiers to visit the resort. The season of 2018/19 brought huge improvements to the infrastructure of the resort. A new gondola, pistes and snow making system were built. Management invested a substantial amount of money, and Jahorina experienced a huge change. From the mountain stuck in the 80’s it became a modern snow resort. Jahorina is among the 3 best mountains in south eastern Europe, along with Kopaonik, and Bansko.  

Before the rebuilding the resort was best suited for intermediate skiers, but the new slopes made it more appealing to beginners. Ski schools are inexpensive. A nursery is situated at the bottom of Poljice ski lift (number 1 on the ski map). It can get crowded during weekends.

Jahorina’s peak lies at 1,916 m above the sea level. While it is not very high, the right orientation of the slopes and presence of snow-making machines can improve the situation in case of warm weather. Lower slopes are surrounded by beautiful evergreen trees. Although there are plenty of red slopes, expert skiers might get bored after 4 or 5 days due to a fact that the resort is not big. Piste grooming is not as good as in Western European resorts.

FREERIDE AND TERRAIN PARKS ON JAHORINA

Best slopes for off piste skiing on Jahorina are situated around ski lifts 4 and 5. Face under upper part of lift number 6 can also be interesting.There is also a passage through the woods on the right side of 6b run. Until recently ski piste number 6a was not groomed, but the resort’s management changed this practice. Be very careful because avalanches are a clear and ever-present danger. There have been several fatal incidents in last 10 years on locations I have mentioned above.

Jahorina doesn’t have a snow park, so make the most of the slopes.

Jahorina panorama, piste above cloud

HOW TO GET TO JAHORINA

Jahorina is situated close to the Sarajevo airport (35 km). Transfer by car is going to last less than an hour. The best way to get from the airport to Jahorina is to arrange a transfer with your accommodation. Taxis are not expensive in Bosnia. Otherwise you will have to catch a bus from the airport to Lukavica bus station, then from Lukavica to Pale. For the final leg of the trip find a taxi which will take you to Jahorina (cost of the ride is going to be around 15 EUR).

The road infrastructure in Bosnia and Herzegovina is among the worst in Europe. Unless you are living in a neighbouring country, it will take you a lot of time to drive to Jahorina. Forget about railways, they are similar to road infrastructure.

Jahorina radar

WHERE TO STAY ON JAHORINA

Jahorina has a wide choice of great value for money lodging. Another good thing about the resort is the fact that you won’t have to drive or take a bus in order to get to the slopes. If your accommodation is not already ski in/out, the closest piste will be in walking distance (5 minutes tops).

Hotels Termag and Lavina have nice rooms, good food and spa areas with a pool. Bistrica is the biggest hotel on Jahorina. It dates from the Olympics era, and is well-known for its abundant buffet breakfast and dinner. Sadly it is long overdue for renovation. If you want to eat out (food in restaurants around resort are superb), but still have your own kitchen, Vucko Aparthotel is the place for you. Rent a whole house with a group of friends for the holidays in the weekend-house part of Jahorina, situated close to piste number 7.

View from Poljice ski lift

WHAT TO DO AFTER DAY ON SNOW (APRES-SKI) ON JAHORINA

Another well-known fact about Jahorina beside it being the host of a Winter Olympics event is that it has delicious food. Have a break at Rajska Vrata during a day. They cook a great roast pork knuckle, and wheel sach (big ceramic lid stuffed with meat, potatoes, and vegetables, cooked for hours, covered with hot charcoal). It is situated close to the place where piste 6a passes over the road.

Lavina and Ognjište hotels have delicious food in their restaurants, which are open for the general public. You should try them out. Restaurant Koliba in Hotel Termag is also the place to visit. A day on the snow and the smell of that tasty food will make you hungry.

Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina is only 45 minutes away. It is the city where the Orient and Europe meet, so it is built in a great mixture of Ottoman Turkish and central European architecture. As I mentioned at the beginning of this Jahorina Review, Sarajevo was the host of 1984 Winter Olympics.

The city is full of history (even too much if you ask the locals for their opinion). Sarajevo was under siege for several years during the Bosnian conflict. Visit the place where Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, an event which led to WWI. Explore Baš Čaršija, Sarajevo’s old bazaar. Try the local grill specialty ćevapčići (you can’t say that you visited Sarajevo otherwise). Small fast-food restaurants serving ćevapčići are scattered across the city, and the ones to visit are: Željo, Mrkva or Hodžić. In order to soak up the authentic atmosphere, have a break from sightseeing and drink a domestic coffee in one of many coffee shops just as the locals do .

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