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The Quiet Adventures of Banja Luka Come to whl.travel

  • whl.travel
  • 26 August 2011

ZA PREVOD OVE PORUKE NA LOKALNI JEZIK POGLEDAJTE DOLJE / SEE BELOW FOR THIS MESSAGE IN THE LOCAL LANGUAGE

Tucked away in a quiet northwest corner of Bosnia-Herzegovina lies one of the last untouched natural ecosystems in Europe. While that sounds like something many tour companies say these days about their own homes, you would be hard pressed to find more unspoiled countryside than that around Banja Luka, where lack of easy access and limited infrastructure once halted the usual tourist swell to this region. Nowadays, though, under the careful guidance of Zepter Passport, the new whl.travel local connection in this part of the world, Banja Luka is now opening up a little.

The rivers surrounding Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina, support some of the liveliest fish populations in the world.

The rivers surrounding Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina, support some of the liveliest fish populations in the world, which is ideal for fishing enthusiasts. Photo courtesy of Zepter Passport Travel Company

Fortunately deeply dedicated to preserving the natural beauty of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Zepter Passport has taken careful steps to make sure that human impact is minimal in Banja Luka. In some ways, this has been helped by the company’s relative youth, which means that it doesn’t have many bad habits to work against. It can really help steer Banja Luka on a greener path toward the future.

Travellers to Banja Luka therefore suffer only an embarrassment of riches, deciding between the incredible variety of exciting things to see and do. While Banja Luka city has its share of clubs and bars, old fortresses, presidential palaces, funky cafes, oh-so-hip student eateries and stunning locals (it’s reputed to be home of some of the world’s most beautiful women), visiting the outlying region is perfect for what some might call ‘quiet adventure.’

Banja Luka River Systems

The area surrounding Banja Luka includes lush forests in which there is a smattering of tiny villages and more wildlife than people. Feeding all this verdure, though, is a complex river system that is teeming with fish and other aquatic creatures, and arguably the main draw of this tiny pocket of the world.

+ The Pliva River, known for its spectacular multicoloured waters and large grayling fish, attracts fly-fishers from all over the globe.

+ The Una River was given its name, meaning the ‘only one,’ by Roman explorers. This intricate system of waterfalls, rapids and calm waters shelters unique species of fish and plants.

+ The Unac River brims with rainbow and brown trout. This mountain river is famous for its twilight activity, when the majority of its fish and flowers spring to life.

+ The Ribnik is the wildest river in the Banja Luka region and home to the largest grayling in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Snag one of these cunning fish and claim the ultimate trophy.

+ The Sanica is a tiny tributary of the larger Sana River, but it makes up for its size with the sheer weight of its fish population: 70 percent of the region’s grayling population can be found here, while the rest is brown trout.

+ The Krusnica River’s waters are diamond clear, sourced from a nearby mountain spring that is absolutely pure (don’t be timid about drinking from these waters). Near Banja Luka, the spring reaches a depth of nearly 120 meters, allowing for a wider variance of wildlife and larger fish.

+ The Neretva River has one of the richest instances of soil erosion in the Balkans due to seven nearby mountain peaks and a vast tangle of tributaries. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful fly-fishing spots in the world and is said to have the most copious flow of any waterway draining into the Adriatic Sea. A wide variety of fish flourish in the Neretva, from brown and marble trout to grayling, softmouth and lat.

The Old Town of Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina, is packed with shops, quiet eateries and funky cafes

The Old Town of Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina, is packed with shops, quiet eateries, funky cafes and what some say are the most beautiful women in the world. Photo courtesy of Zepter Passport Travel Company

Active Adventures

With such a rich complex of rivers, Banja Luka draws back angling enthusiasts year after year, especially fly-fishers. Fly-fishing entails multiple casts of an artificial insect or ‘fly’ using a nearly weightless fishing line. It’s a practice that requires significant deliberation and skill and has consequently often been dubbed ‘the contemplative man’s recreation.’

Fly-fishing tours led by Zepter Passport are strictly catch-and-release only. Barbless hooks are mandatory, making their removal easy after a trophy photo is taken so that the fish can be released back, unharmed, into the water.

For non-anglers and anyone else taking a break from the rivers, the surrounding landscape offers a great mix of activities. Traverse the Kozara mountain system and look out over the entire western half of Bosnia; raft down the Vrbas River, one of Europe’s best and the site of the World Rafting Championship in 2009; or, for a piece of Banja Luka’s cultural history, explore the country’s rich ethnic and religious history by foot and visit the numerous monasteries dotting the countryside.

Banja Luka’s weather draws visitors year round to the city and the region’s main draw – the vast, wild countryside of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In support of this, a wide variety of Banja Luka hotels is available, both in and outside the city, from budget to luxurious.

Though the term ‘getting away from it all’ has been overused, Banja Luka, while hardly remote, is admirable in its ability to live up to its promises. For example, any map of Banja Luka reveals a sense of a city so isolated yet so close to Europe’s hotspots that it is serviced by most European airports. Fortunately, the few local travel companies operating in Banja Luke have made sincere efforts to protect the natural beauty.

www.banja-luka-hotels.com is the latest Bosnia-Herzegovina destination to join the whl.travel network, following Medjugorje and Sarajevo.

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IN THE LOCAL LANGUAGE / NA LOKALNOM JEZIKU:

Smjesten u mirnom sjeverozapadnom dijelu Bosne i Hercegovine lezi jedan od poslednjih netaknutih prirodnih ekosistema u Evropi. Iako to zvuci kao nesto sto mnoge kompanije koje se bave turizmom govore o svojim sredinama, tesko cete naci vise netaknutih predjela od ovih oko Banjaluke, gdje je nedostatak lakog pristupa i ogranicena infrastruktura u proslosti kocila masovni turizam u ovoj oblasti. U sadasnje vrijeme, ipak, pod pazljivim vodstvom Zepter Passport-a, novog whl.travel lokalnog partnera u ovom dijelu svijeta, Banja Luka se polako otvara.

Fly-fishing is superb near Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina. All fishing with Zepter Passport is catch-and-release using barbless hooks.

Fly-fishing is a unique type of sport, using an artificial fly to counter a weightless line. All fishing with Zepter Passport is catch-and-release using barbless hooks. Photo courtesy of Zepter Passport Travel Company

Srecom veoma posvecen ocuvanju prirodnih ljepota Bosne i Hercegovine, Zepter Passport je preduzeo pazljive korake da osigura da ljudski uticaj bude minimalan na prirodu. Na neki nacin, to je potpomognuto i relativnom mladoscu kompanije, sto znaci da nema mnogo losih navika protiv kojih bi se borila. To zaista moze pomoci uputiti podrucje Banjaluke ekoloski prihvatljivijim putem u buducnost.

Putnici u Banjaluku stoga pate jedino od velikog izbora, jer moraju da odluce izmedju velikog i raznolikog spektra stvari koje mogu da vide i urade. Dok grad Banja Luka ima veliki broj nocnih klubova i barova, staru tvrdjavu, predsjednicku palatu, otkacene kafice i mjesta za provod, kao i nevjerovatne ljude ( Banja Luka vazi za jedan od gradova u svijetu sa najljepsim zenama ), posjeta okolnom regionu je savrsena za ono sto bi neki mogli nazvati “tiha avantura”.

Rijecni sistemi u okolini Banjaluke

Podrucje oko Banjaluke ukljucuje bujne sume u kojima ima mnogo malih sela i mnogo vise zivotinja nego ljudi. Ono sto daje zivot ovom podrucju je veliki rijecni sistem koji je prepun ribe i drugih vodenih stvorenja, koji je vjerovatno najveca vrijednost ovog dijela svijeta.

+ Rijeka Pliva, poznata po svojoj kvalitetnoj vodi i velikim lipljenima, privlaci ribolovce iz cijelog svijeta.

+ Rijeka Una je dobila ime od rimljana koje znaci “jedna jedina”. Vodopadi, brzaci i mirna voda se ispreplicu njenim tokom, koji cuva jedinstvene vrste riba i biljaka.

+ Rijeka Unac prepuna je kalifornijske i potocne pastrmke. Ova planinska rijeka je cuvena po aktivnosti ribe u sumrak, kada rijeka prosto procvjeta od brojnosti ribe.

+ Ribnik je jedna od najljepsih rijeka u okolini Banjaluke i dom za neke od najvecih lipljena u Bosni i Hercegovini. Uhvatite neke od ovih opreznih riba i uslikajte znacajan trofej.

+ Rijeka Sanica je mala pritoka vece rijeke Sane, ali nadoknadjuje svoju velicinu bogatstvom ribe, u kojoj sa oko 70% preovladjuje lipljen.

+ Voda rijeke Krusnice je kristalno cista, izviruci iz planinskog izvora ( nemojte se plasiti piti iz ovog izvora ). Njen izvor premasuje dubinu od 120 metara, dozvoljavajuci tako veliku raznolikost vodenog svijeta.

+ Rijeka Neretva dobija jako mnogo vode i minerala sa 7 okolnih planina i velike mreze pritoka. Mnogi je smatraju jednim od najljepsih mjesta za musicarski ribolov na svijetu. Mnoge riblje vrste zive u Neretvi, od potocne do mekousne pastrmke, preko lipljena i drugih.

The countryside of Bosnia-Herzegovina is packed with dense forests and misty rivers

The countryside of Bosnia-Herzegovina is straight out of a Grimm's fairy tale: packed with dense forests and misty rivers all far enough from civilisation for nature to exist in its wildest forms. Photo courtesy of Zepter Passport Travel Company

Aktivne avanture

Sa tako brojnim rijekama, Banjalucka regija privlaci brojne ribolovce, posebno musicare. Musicarenje je ribolov vjestackom musicom ili insektom, koristenjem nekoliko tehnika kojima se lagana ribolovna snjura koristi da prezentuje imitaciju. To zahtijeva veliku vjestinu, koncentraciju i preciznost, pa se cesto smatra da je to i “umna rekreacija”.

Musicarske ture organizovane od Zepter Passport-a su strogo u rezimu “uhvati i pusti”. Kukice bez povratne kuke su obavezne, jer se ribe lako skidaju s njih po ulovu i slikanju, i riba se odmah vraca nepovrijedjena u vodu.

Za one koji ne pecaju i sve koji zele da naprave pauzu od rijeka, okolni pejsazi nude veliku mogucnost raznih aktivnosti. Obidjite planinu Kozaru i s njenih vrhova pogledajte skoro cijelu sjeverozapadnu Bosnu; probajte rafting Vrbasom, jednom od najboljih Evropskih rijeka za rafting i mjestom Svjetskog prvenstva u raftingu 2009. godine; ili, za dozivljaj istorijskog naslijedja Banjaluke, istrazite bogatu etnicku i religijsku istoriju pjeske i posjetite brojne manastire koji su svuda po okolini.

Zbog blage klime, Banjaluka privlaci posjetioce cijele godine u grad i okolinu, zahvaljujuci i velikoj i skoro netaknutoj prirodi Bosne i Hercegovine. Da bi to podrzali, razliciti hoteli u Banjaluci su u ponudi, u gradu ali i izvan njega, od jeftinih to luksuznih.

Iako uzrecica “pobjeci od svega” je i previse koristena, Banja Luka, iako je dosta jednostavno doci do nje, moze da ispuni sva obecanja. Na primjer, bilo koja karta Banjaluke otkriva grad koji je izolovan a opet tako blizu evropskim glavnim i popularnim destinacijama, dostupan sa nekoliko evropskih aerodroma. Srecom, nekoliko lokalnih turistickih kompanija iz Banjaluke su ucinili znacajne napore da zastite prirodne ljepote.

www.banja-luka-hotels.com je poslednja destinacija u Bosni i Hercegovini koja se prikljucila mrezi whl.travel, poslije Medjugorja i Sarajeva.

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adventure travel, Bosnia and Herzegovina, ecotours, Europe, forests & jungles, lakes, local knowledge, new local connections, Southern Europe, WHL Group news, whl.travel,

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