My Favorite Ridges in the Balkans


There’s  something magical about mountain ridges. Ever since I came to the region I think it’s the steep and sharp karst ridges that have caught my imagination. You can’t get to them immediately and most of the time you have to make a real effort get there. Once there they greet you with endless views and dizzying height from all sides. To me ridge walking naturally lends itself to planning. I Look at them from a distance and my mind automatically starts plotting out a route along the slender knife like edges leading up to a peak or into the distance.

On Mosor, in Croatia lies the first ridge that caught my imagination in the region.  Just behind Split, the dry rocky outcrops of Mosor, provide one of the most stunning and dramatic views of the deep blue Adriatic and the rough Croatian hinterlands. It’s hot and unforgiving but my oh my what sights to soak in.


Then there is Velež, Herzegovina’s sleeping giant, with its easily approachable southern side and steep impenetrable white marble cliffs in the north. Don’t visit this rocky oasis in the summer unless like me you simply adore the combination of heat and dust. What makes this a special ridge is that I’ve seen the Adriatic from here.

Tovarnica, Sutjeska National Park, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bjelašnica know for its 1984 winter Olympics has a ridge that stretches over 15 kilometers in between three of its peaks.. Krvavac, Bjelasnica and Vlahinja.  While in the North you see Sarajevo and its suburbs, you only have to turn around and see nothing but empty wilderness, canyons and more high peaks. It is here that I became acutely aware of the stark contrast between Bosnia’s bustling capital and its surrounding forests and peaks. It is here that I disappear to when I need to reconnect to my core.

Who hasn’t heard of Sutjeska National Park with Perucica, one of Europe’s last remaining old growth forests and Maglic, Bosnia’s highest peak? Wonderful places, full of magic and natural beauty. There are however a few ridges in the Park that can easily compete with Perucica and Maglic. Located along the Planininica, Tovarnica and Bregoc peaks on Zelengora and just below Maglic towards Trnovacko Lake, they instill in me a sense of belonging. Peering down into the vast dramatic abysses surrounding these places I know that I’m whole and complete. Making them for the time being my all time favorite places to be.

Do you have a favorite ridge to share?

Zelengora Sutjeska National Park

Coming down from Maglić

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Comments (4)

  1. The photo is somewhat aged, from an era of film cameras, and the ridge on it is one of the approaches to the peak Vito on the Visocica mountain in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This ridge has been my favorite from the first time I lay my eyes upon it.


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