• About Vareš

  • About Vareš

  • About Vareš

  • About Vareš

  • About Vareš

Vareš ... the real Bosnia
Vareš has been on the maps since ancient times. Whereas the town is most - ly known for its old mining industries it has actually been a vital hub of life in this region for several millennia. The synergy of the cultural and natural heritage makes Vareš a Don’t Miss Destination for many reasons. It’s people are open, warm and friendly. The cultural manifestations like the annual ‘Pekijada’, Art Colony at Borovica, and VlaCaf are a fun and fascinating experience of small town gatherings. The Via Dinarica and Star Trails offer nature lovers, both novice and pro, a truly raw and rustic hiking or biking experience through some of the most beautiful forests in southeast Europe. You won’t find a long list on any menu in Vareš but what you will find is superb, organically grown local food. Don’t Miss the goats cheese, trout, and honey from Vareš. It is second to none. Ocevija Village of - fer visitors a rare window to the past with its pre-industrial blacksmith workshops. So cool off in the summer. Escape the smog in the winter. A visit to Vareš will leave you eager for a return visit. Vareš is a real taste of the real Bosnia!
Top 7 reasons to visit Vareš
Vareš was once best known for its large, now defunct, industrial complex. We were a proud mining town of hard working folks. Times have obviously changed, with a new future on the horizon for Vareš. What we didn’t know the whole time we were mining steel and coal is that we were sitting on a gold mine. Vareš, tucked away in the rolling, forest covered hills just an hour from Sarajevo, is a gem of a town. This is our top seven reasons to Visit Vareš. We don’t wrap our tourist offer in fancy paper or sophistication. We have here is a true, authentic taste of truly remarkable nature, exceptional home grown, organic foods, and a truly multi-ethnic community where each of our citizens will treat you as an honored guest. So if you’re ready for something different, a bit more rustic, with some of the most beautiful forested areas in the wider region…Vareš will not disappoint you.
Nature's Way
Hike the Via Dinarica or bike the Star Trails…

If there is one thing that stands out in Vareš, it is the remarkable beauty of Mother Nature. Flanked on both sides by Perun and Zvijezda Mountains, Vareš is a nature lovers paradise. Endless tracks of thick conifer forests, an abundance of wildlife such as bears, wolves, boar, birds of prey, and deer, quaint old-world villages in the highlands, are all connected by first class hiking and biking trails. Nature’s Way for bikers is blazed by the Star Trekkers Trail that expands the entire range of mountains that encompass Vareš. The hiking trail is highlighted by the Via Dinarica, one of the world’s best new trails and nominated by National Geographic Adventure as one of the World’s Best Destinations in 2017. 

The Via Dinarica Green Trail goes straight the heart of Vareš and joins it with a larger trail that covers over 1,500 km in Bosnia and Herzegovina alone. The Via Dinarica Trail is well marked, making it a perfect few day outing to Vareš, with private accommodation in the local villages or in mountain huts available on the entire length of the trail. In Vareš, our aim is to take you back to the basics, the way nature intended. Along the Star Trail one can also see a diverse range of cultural and historical monuments. Be sure to not miss the cultural and historical monuments of the old mosque in Karićima from the Otoman era, the oldest Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the protected medieval necropolis’.
The People
...because people always make the place

It is often said that people make the place… and Vareš is no exception. Vareš has a reputation of superb hospitality and always going that extra mile for our guests. We take pride in the fact that we are one of the most multi ethnic communities remaining in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We cherish that fact and see it as our strong point rather than a weakness. In our diversity we celebrate a wide range of holidays and special occasions but what brings us together is our common humanity. We are friendly and easy going people in Vareš. We enjoy food and drink with friends and are honored to show our visitors just a small taste of our rich cultural and natural history…which is so intimately intertwined. We can’t promise you elaborate museums and five-start restaurants…but we can promise you truly genuine people who will go out of their way to share the pride and enthusiasm we have for our little mountain community..
Food glorious food
Homegrown, organic food is the rule rather than the exception in Vareš

No tourism experience would be complete without good food. In Vareš we’ve long been taught to do things on our own. We are hard-working, independent people. Being as isolated as we were for so long we always took full advantage of what Mother Nature endowed on us – the ability to grow and produce superb organic food. Food production, from honey and cheese to medicinal teas and rakija is a local pastime. The combination of untouched nature and our tradition of tasty homegrown foods has made Vareš one of the most underrated places in Bosnia for fresh produce, homegrown jams, top-notch cow, sheep and goats cheese, fresh trout, wild tea assortments, wild mushrooms, fresh bread and the best, free range meat you’ll ever had. We take our gastronomic offer quite seriously and take the time to nurture the old traditions that make our food, well, glorious. The best place to enjoy Vareš’ is at one of nearly ten family restaurants scattered around the Vareš Municipality or to stock up before you go at the marketplace or direct from the households that produce.
Bobovac Royal Town
The medieval seat of the Bosnian Kingdom

The It would be impossible to speak of Vareš without speaking of Bobovac in the same breath. It is an integral part of our culture. It defines our place in history. Having been built in the mid 14th century this royal medieval fortification played a key role in protecting the Bosnian Kingdom and the Royal Kotromanic Family. Bobovac played a key role in the history of the Bosnian kingdom and our royal dynasty – Kotromanića. The first historical sources mention them as early as the mid 14th century. With the arrival of the Ottomans and the fall of Bobovac the fortification lost its significance in Ottoman Bosnia. But that is no longer the case. Having been the administrative and military seat of the medieval Bosnian State, Bobovac is now a protected national monument. It was the royal burial area for Kings Ostoja, Tvrtko II, and Stjepan Tomas. The mausoleum has been refurbished, paying tribute to the dynasty of the Bosnian Kingdom. What is perhaps most enchanting about Bobovac today is its inspiration natural setting. It sits perfectly along a ridge, surrounded by forest covered mountains and crystal clear trickling streams. The walk there, either via hiking trail from Kraljeva Sutjeska or a longer walk from Vareš along the Via Dinarica route, makes for a perfect day outing to get a bit of culture and nature in one-go. The remains of the fortress are modest but they still clearer depict the ingenuity of the Bosnian Royal Family to protect the vulnerable kingdom well over 700 years ago.

Oćevija Village
Where the ancient, pre-industrialblacksmith trade is alive and well

Iron forging probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of Vareš. But this 800 year old tradition still has active masters melting and forging tools in the pre-industrial way in the tiny village of Očevija. These blacksmiths are at it every day, kneading axes, hoes, pots, pans and other practical everyday amenities from molten iron. The blacksmiths of Očevija have opened their doors to the public and allow guests to visit their iron forging workshops where one can witness a rare handicraft practice that has long died out in most places in the world. Situated in the forest thick foothills of Zvijezda Mountain a visit to Očevija is a great few hour stopover for a peak at an ancient trade in beautiful natural surroundings
Beat the Heat
We all know the sad truths of global climate change. Some places are more adept to dealing with the negative consequences of this imminent change than others. Vareš happens to be one of those places. The long, hot summers that have been blazing Herzegovina and affecting Sarajevo over the last years makes summertime extra hot. Our geographical positioning, coupled with heavy coniferous forest cover, makes us the best place in the region to beat the heat. Whether it be a simple day trip for a refreshing meal in the mountains or to rent a weekend house to escape from the 40+ degree heat in Sarajevo, Vareš will always be a cooler, more comfortable option to spend your weekends or summer holiday. Most of our hiking and biking trails traverse through beautiful forest cover and the ideal altitude, ranging from 900-1400 meters makes it the perfect spot to stay cool and be cool.
Escape the smog
The other side of the weather coin is the cold winter months that often bring unwanted quantities of smog and poor air quality, especially to the bigger cities. Sarajevo continues to suffer from poor air quality over the coldest winter months. That’s the perfect time to buckle up the boots and head to Vareš for weekend rentals in the mountain villages all around the municipality. The highlands around Vareš are perfect for winter cross country skiing, Nordic skiing, snow-shoeing or trekking on the Via Dinarca or the Star Trek Trails. Weekend home rentals or B&B’s are very affordable in the off-season so be sure to book a few weekends to give your lungs a rest from the smog and recharge your batteries in the enchanted forests of Perun and Zvijezda Mountains.
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