Did you know that Bosnia comes from Indo-European name ‘Bosana’, which means ‘Water’? The size of Bosnia and Herzegovina is only 51,209m2, but very impresive to inform that it has 262 rivers, 100 lakes and even 4 national parks. The country is rich with water sport activities, such as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, rafting, diving, boat trips and swimming. Historically, the rivers were also used as defending strategies of Ottoman empire, from 15th  to 19th century. Whenever the Ottomans would find a river behind a hill, they would construct a fortress on the top of hills, set up their canons and settle there. The strategy itself was that if another empire tries to conquer the Ottoman Empire land, they would firstly have to cross the river and reach the fortress up, while Ottomans would at same time defend the hills with cannon-balls shots from the top. Another interesting fact is that Bosnia and Herzegovina is positioned in Eastern Europe continent, more precisely in Balkan Peninsula. The name ‘Balkan’ is derived from two Ottoman words, ‘Bal’, which means Honey, and ‘Kan’, which means ‘Blood’. So, why a country in the land of ‘Honey and Blood’? Due that this region is rich with nature beauties (honey), but historically and approximately, each 50 years Balkan countries were in a war (blood). Let me introduce you with finest and more remarkable water sources in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


In the unique King’s city of Jajce, Central Bosnia, there are 4 water beauties, the 2 Pliva lakes, Pliva river waterfall and Vrbas river. The Pliva lakes, Big and Small ‘Plivsko Jezero’, are both largest natural lakes in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and due to their specific density of water, they are perfect places for kayak and canoe sport activities and tournaments. Both lakes are 3350m long with great water temperatures in summer time of more than 20 degrees Celsius, ideal for swimming and relaxing in nature. In 1963., on Big Plivsko Jezero was held the European Championship in kayaking and canoeing.

Between these 2 lakes, in 1562., were constructed watermills, as small fabrics for the bread production. The water flows through the watermills and turns inside the machines for mixing the floury for breads, without using electricity or any other similar cost. Make sure to explore them while traveling through Central Bosnia.

Lakes are surrounded with beautiful green hills and flow into the Pliva river. The river then continues to flow through the city of Jajce city and produces a natural phenomenon, the Pliva river waterfall. The fall is 20m height, as the only waterfall in the world that falls in the center of one city. Now, you can understand why the first presence of historical Bosnian Kingdom starts from the city of Jajce and its fortress. The very first King, Tvrtko Kotromanic I, has chosen the most beautiful spot of his kingdom, where the waterfall and fortress are strongly connected. Today, the Waterfall is used during the summer for High Diving international and domestic tournaments.

At its end, the Pliva river flows into Vrbas river. Vrbas is one of the longest rivers in the country, with the length of 190km. Its flow is an opposite direction of Pliva river, which makes a unique natural wonder where 2 rivers meet. It is also famous for rafting activities and in more quite areas of its flow, for boat trips and swimming.


Herzegovina, also called the ‘Bosnian California’ has the largest number of sunny days in the country. During the whole year, approximately 280 days are sunny, as ideal place for nature lovers and enthusiasts. In Herzegovina, 2 gorgeous rivers, Neretva and Buna, are meeting on the place between Mostar and Blagaj cities, more precisely called the ‘Bunski Kanal’. They both make a nature phenomenon, where the highly green and highly blue water colored rivers flow into each other and produce few small green and blue waterfalls. Make sure to visit it while exploring Herzegovina.

The green Neretva river is the symbol of largest city in Herzegovina, Mostar, above which you can find the old Ottoman and UNESCO heritage protected ‘Old Bridge’ attraction in the old town part of Mostar city. It has a length of 230 kilometers, known as the most beautiful river in Dinaric Alps in Western Balkans, due to its green color. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the water of the river has a very low temperature through out whole year, approximately around 5 degrees Celsius. It also flows through the most beautiful landscape of the country, only 40 kilometers north from Mostar city, behind the road. If traveling with the car, make sure to stop and enjoy this open-air natural museum in Adriatic area.

The most famous activity is rafting, where you can raft between the canyons of Herzegovina, especially in the city of Konjic. The city which actually connects Bosnia with Herzegovina, or divides them by the Neretva river flow through the downtown of Konjic. For the locals of Herzegovina, the cliff diving sport is core activity. Each year, the domestic diving tournaments are provided through whole Herzegovina, as well as international Red Bull Cliff diving championship event, where foreign competitors dive from a constructed scale on Old Bridge in Mostar, making a clearance of exactly 35 meters for acrobatic dives. If visiting Herzegovina in August, make sure to attend this unique event.

Besides rafting and cliff diving, the Neretva river is used for fishing tournaments, but not for swimming activities, due to its cold water temperature, mentioned above. At the end it flows into highly unique part of Adriatic Sea, the Dalmatian coast in Croatia.

Another pearl of Herzegovina is the blue Buna river. This unique river has a spring from the cave in the very calm city of Blagaj, once used from the Ottomans as a spiritual area for religious performances. The river has highly and naturally blue color, known as the smallest river in Herzegovina, with length of only 9 kilometers. Today, the river is visited by local and international campers. A great location for camping, relaxing, wine tasting and fishing. After only 9 kilometers from Blagaj city, the Buna river flows into the green river of Neretva.


Driving only 30 minutes south from Mostar, you will find the symbol of Čapljina city in Herzegovina, the Trebižat river. With its length of 52 kilometers, the river provides ideal places for canoeing and relaxation. While visiting this area, make sure to stop at river club ‘Divine’ on Trebižat river, known as ‘Bosnian Maldives’ spot. There, you can eat river fishes, taste local wines and swim or simply relax your body and connect your soul with the nature.

Only 10 kilometers south from the river club ‘Divine’, you will reach the best oasis in stone of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the famous ‘Kravica Waterfalls’. The waterfall has a a width of 120 meters and clearance of 28 meters, making it the largest waterfall in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is a perfect place for nature lovers, who are seeking for a one-day swimming or naturally relaxing day on the waterfall, combined with its beaches and surrounding restaurants. The waterfalls are open for visitors during the whole year, due to the good Adriatic climate in the area. Unfortunately, the swimming activities are only provided from beginning of June and end of September, due to fast river flows and higher surface level from October until end of May.

In addition, if you do not know when, how to reach or any information you might need about the natural pearls of Bosnia and Herzegovina, please feel free to contact us or join our Nature Tours.