When someone mentions Jahorina, the first thing coming to one’s mind is snow and skiing, because only Jahorina has the Paradise valley. It is characterized as paradise-like by the skiers due to its beauty and peculiarity.
Jahorina is located in the south-eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina, near Sarajevo (28km) and Pale (12km). It is also the largest and most modern ski center in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The highest peak is the Ogorjelica which is located at 1,916m above sea level. Javorina is the original name of the mountain of Jahorina. The name was given by the mountain or greek maple, whose most peaceful habitat is this mountain.
Jahorina offers the skiers more than 20 km excellently designed ski runs for alpine skiing, connected by ropeways and ski lifts with a total capacity of 10. 500 skiers per hour, including an always functioning baby ski lift for the youngest ones.
The start of skiing in Jahorina dates back to April 4, 1905, when a branch of the “Natur friends” society was founded in Sarajevo by a the Working Tourist Company. Winter hiking, or hiking with the use of mountain buses, is one of the activities of this advanced society, whose independent activity continued even after the end of the First World War.
The first ski lift in Jahorina was opened on November 29, 1952. The base station of the cable car was located at Hotel Jahorina at an altitude of 1660m and reached the peak of Jahorina at 1885m. The cableway was 1050 m. It was one-sided with 102 seats, with a capacity of 360 passengers per hour. From the starting station to the top the ride lasted for 8 minutes.
In 1984, Jahorina held the Winter Olympics when Jahorina had the greatest flourish. Mount Jahorina hosted the women’s alpine skiing events of the 1984 Winter Olympics. The idea itself was created on Jahorina, and at the time of the Olympics the other centers of the environment were developed: Bjelašnica, Trebević and Igman.
During the war in the 1990s, the ski resort was devastated and most of the accommodation facilities were destroyed. Only at the beginning of the new millennium, serious investment in infrastructure modernization began.
Jahorina belongs to the Dinaric mountain system. The length of the massive dominating the surroundings and lacking clear morphological, biological, and hydrological boundaries or a clear boundary to the neighboring mountains is 25-30 km, with a width of 5-15 km. The highest peak is Ogorjelica – 1916 m. The fact that it is under the impact of two types of climate (Mediterranean and continental), its relief, geological composition, vegetation and river basins, as important climate modifying elements, render it peculiar. There is snow on the mountain for around 180 days per year, from November to April. The average height is 106 cm, and the lowest temperatures occur in January, with an average daily temperature of -9.9 ⁰ C. Fog is rare and can occur in spring and fall. There is no strong north wind, and southern winds are blowing on the peaks of Jahorina.
Thanks to its water-proof geological composition, Jahorina is rich in springs, especially in its upper parts and usually on the same level above the sea. Around hundred springs are laid out like spider webs towards rivers Miljacka, Prača and Željeznica. Cold, clear and pure water of Jahorina’s brooks and rivers is rich in fish, and even the most passionate fishermen can satisfy their needs here. The most frequent types of fish are river trout, chub, gudgeon, grayling and huchen, and there are even river crabs.
A large part of Jahorina is covered by forests. The green beauty of coniferous forests has a pacifying effect, and the smell of coniferous resin refreshes the body. Zones of oak, beech, fir and mixed fir and spruce forests follow one another from the first clearings towards the top. Mountain maple trees may be found above them. At the peak the forest becomes less dense, with fallen mountain pine trees, and the highest peaks are covered by moss.
Jahorina Olympic Ski Resort is the biggest and most popular ski resort in Bosnia and Herzegovina and offers a variety of outdoor sports and activities. It is primarily a destination for alpine skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and sledding, with over 20 km of ski slopes and modern facilities. The average snow depth on ski runs during February is 106 cm (42 in) (ten-year average).
The Jahorina ski lift system was upgraded in 2012 and 2013 with new Leitner chairlifts, together with a gondola lift , Jahorina has one of the most modern lift systems in the region. An 8-passenger gondola connects the town of Pale and the ski resort.
Jahorina trails are located between 1300m (Prača) and 1880m (Ogorjelica) altitude, representing a solid 600m altitude difference. The total length of the route for Alpine skiing is 20km. When it comes to vertical transport, there are three Leitner lift with six seats, four ski lifts and two older twin and new gondola lift.
In Jahorina there are ten trails, 7 red, 2 black and one blue, but one should be aware that almost every red line has its blue “variant” while the black slope “Olympic (female) down” is not currently in use. All the trails are on the north side of the ski slope, because the ski center is huge.
Thanks to the new accumulation lakes and artificial insemination installations covering Poljica, Ogorjelica and Prača, skiing will now be guaranteed even in the period when there are not so many natural precipitation. This is above all important for the Prača, which is a good alternative to the mentioned paths in conditions of strong wind or fog, which has so far often had problems with the height of the dumbbell. Also, the tracks will be much longer to resist the “south” since the mixture of natural and artificial snow is much more resistant to this phenomenon.
From the 2014/15 season, night skiing on Jahorina is possible. Skiers and borders will have a chance to enjoy a 15€ price on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. In these days, the ski lift “Poljice” will be in operation from 18h to 21h.
- the individual ticket – 3 €
- daily ticket – 15 to 20 €
- a season ticket for children – 100 €
- season ticket for adults – 250 €
Getting to Jahorina
Jahorina can be reached easily and fast from Sarajevo from two directions: the highway with a length of 28 km via Pale and 32 km via Trebević.
Jahorina is 320 km away from Belgrade and is reached in the following way: Take the motorway towards Zagreb and exit at Šabac-Ruma (direction Šabac). When you arrive in Šabac, follow the ring road and the signposts for Loznica and Zvornik. If you do not want to make a big roundabout, after you cross the bridge to Sava, you can continue right and go through the center of the Sapa, which slightly shortens the route.
Immediately after passing by Loznice, you reach the first border crossing of Trombita-Šepak. Do not forget that you still need a green card for Bosnia and Hezegovina. As soon as you cross the bridge you turn left and go to Zvornik. If you are lucky enough to go through Serbia, you will enter BiH at the next border crossing at Mali Zvornik.
Next, follow the signs for Vlasenica after a climb to Rome. Follow the direction Han-Pijesak, Sokolac. Immediately after Sokolac you reach the intersection where you go to Rogatica and Višegrad and to the right Sarajevo and Pale. You continue on the way to Sarajevo and after 40 km you reach the intersection where you turn left for Pale and Jahorina. In the center of Pala you pass the loop and after 12 km you arrive at Jahorina.
As far as arrivals from other cities are concerned, Jahorina is 210 km from Banja Luka, Novi Sad 290 km, Zagreb 350 km, Split 320 and Podgorica 270 km.