Europe has named Bosnia and Herzegovina as one of its most hospitable destinations, seemingly implying that there could be more to this country other than being the starting point of WWI and the land of tribal warriors that gave the Romans the hardest fight of their lives. Today, construction is in full swing to revive the cultural and architectural glory left by the 500-year-domination of two of the world's greatest empires: the Ottoman Turks and the Austro-Hungarians. The thick smog of war has also given way to the dense foliage of the Balkan Mountains and the blue waves of the Adriatic Sea.
Winter sports haven
Formerly a part of Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked in southeast Europe, bordered by Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. The nation, however, provides a less-crowded and a less expensive European skiing experience as its mountains are an abode of snow come winter. The Olympic Mountains at Bjelasnica, the ski resorts at Igman, Jahorina and Vlasic (near Travnik) feature naturally on the snowboarders' map.
In the capital, Sarajevo, the bridge where Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife were assassinated is a major draw, along with onion-shaped domes, minarets, scinicas (soup kitchens) and the ancient crafts of workshops at Bascarsia. Outside the capital, the Bosnian Pyramid of the Sun at Visocica Hill serves the European twin of the pyramid at Teotihuacan, Mexico, while Medugorje lures thousands to its Virgin Mary apparition site.
Spas and thermal waters
Near Sarajevo is Ilidza, a spa resort town, where one can drink mineral water or just witness the grandeur of the falls. The tired can head for the thermal waters of the spas in Fojica, Tuzla and Olovo. Those with an inclination for warmth can visit Neum, a town on the Adriatic with as many as 270 sunny days.
Canyons, rivers and lakes
Flowing down a scenic canyon are the rivers of Rakitnica and Krusnica, which rival the beauty of lakes like Prokosko and Boracko and waterfalls like Kravice and Skakavac. The Una River cascades along a hilly scenery, providing another venue for rafting and kayaking.
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