The first comment proud Sarajevans made about themselves and their city is: “We hosted the Winter Olympic Games in 1984.”

As a tourist coming to Sarajevo during the winter, what else can you possibly do if not hopping on an automobile whether it is your car or the local bus to one of the mountains in the area? For the first timers, try Bjelanica; it is the closet mountain from Sarajevo.


Getting there

From the centre of town the drive takes approximately 45 minutes. There are bus services during the season that run from the National Museum across from the Holiday Inn. Bus leaves to Bjelasnica two times a day at 8:00 and 11:00, and from Bjelasnica to Sarajevo at 12:00 and 16:00. On Saturday, there is only one bus departing at 9 a.m. from Sarajevo and leaving the mountain at 4 p.m.

Ticket: 4KM one way and 7.40KM roundtrip.

From the suburb of Ilidza though there are minibuses that travel twice daily to Igman-Bjelasnica-Sinanovici via Hadzici. The cost is a mere 2KM. From the south the best access route is again from Hadzici (20km south of Sarajevo centre). The distance from Hadzici to Bjelasnica is 24km.

Rental cost

Ski lift: 20KM

Snowboarding gear (board, bindings, and shoes): 15KM. Skiing gear, I figure, would cost the same amount.

Condition

There are two types of lifts: the cable carts where you sit on and cable anchors where you are dragged with your skies or snowboard touching the snow surface. I tried the latter a few times and hopelessly slipped off the anchor when I was not able to control my snowboard until one ski instructor took a pity of me and escorted me to the top with me clutching the lift cable on one hand and the yanking his jacket on the other’s.

It was extremely windy at the top to the point that sometimes I couldn’t see anything in front of me. It was this reason that they stopped operating the cart lift. Feeling discouraged from trying the anchor lift, I decided to find a covered place to sit and wait until the cable cart lift was operated again. Obviously, when you’re at the mountain full of snow, the only warm place available was the sort of place that you have to pay to be.

Food

There was a small wooden grill restaurant that looked fairly decent; unfortunately I did not stay inside for long because there wasn’t any seat. You can try your luck at another restaurant which resembled a gray metal box. It had a capacity of over a hundred dinners, I supposed. Still, I couldn’t find any seat. The last resort is to try the fast food one of which provides a covered room so that you don’t have to sit out in the cold.

Where to stay
Hotel Marsal on Bjelasnica Mountain.
Babin do Bjelasnica
+387 (0) 33 279 100
279 149
279 147

Single with breakfast : 65 KM
Location :
$ WBF[adresa]

Double with breakfast : 40 KM


http://www.hotel-marsal.ba/English/index.html
rezervacija@hotel-marsal.ba

Hotel Marsal located on the Olympic mountain Bjelasnica, on 1273 meters above sea level, about 30 km from the Lukomir village, and 23 km away from Sarajevo.

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