Balkan ski holidays

Best Balkan Ski Holidays (Bosnia)

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Are you looking for the best Balkan ski holidays ? The best way to have a cheap ski holiday in the Balkans, is to ski in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Let’s be honest, skiing is an expensive sport. A week ski pass in Zermatt, Switzerland, and Whistler, Canada will cost you around USD400.

Once you add renting ski equipment, accommodation costs and food to the expense list, suddenly getting a sugar daddy/mamma seems appealing O_O

However, if you want to know how to ski for cheap,  one of the best Balkan ski holidays options, is to ski in Bosnia and Herzegovina!

I skied just over a week there with my family and spent no more than USD690 for the entire week.

I actually spent much less as accommodation and car rental costs were split between 4 people

skiing in Bosnia

Best Balkan Ski Holidays (Bosnia)

5 day Ski Pass                      : $115

Ski equipment                     : $55

Accommodation                 : $240

Car rental                              : $140

Food                                        : $140

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Total                                        : $690

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Where is Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Situated between Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina is land-locked so it can be driven to, but it is relatively easy to get to the main airport – Sarajevo.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has a war-torn history but despite having experienced severe hardship and suffering in the past, Bosnian people are resilient and extremely hospitable. (I experienced this first hand)

Tourism has grown at double-digit rates in recent years, as it is known around the world for its cultural heritage and natural environment.

I can attest to the raw wild beauty I saw during my ski and hike trips in Bosnia

Bosnia and Herzegovina hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics, where alpine events such as skiing, ski jumping took place. So, it tops the list for cheap ski holidays.

Today, the mountains still offer an array of options to ski in Bosnia for every type of skier, all at affordable prices. It is perfect for short ski breaks.

cheap ski holidays

That’s great, but now lets get to the costs!

Ski Pass

The Jahorina Olympic Ski Centre

All-day ski pass:                   $26

5 days:                                      $115

Ski Centar Bjelasnica

All-day ski pass:                     $20

5 days:                                        $85 

There are two main ski resorts, The Jahorina Olympic Ski Centre and Ski Centar Bjelasnica. Both offer well-groomed slopes with options for both novice and expert skiers.

They also have off-piste skiing, night skiing and an interesting après scene.

By interesting, I mean pumping music with men and women energetically dancing in ski boots fist-pumping, while sipping hot chocolate and eating barbequed meat. It’s wild!

Jahorina is situated 28 kilometers from Sarajevo and has 17 ski slopes and six chair lifts.

On the other hand, Bjelasnica sits approximately 45 minutes from Sarajevo, has eight ski lifts and 12.5 km of ski slopes.

Why did you only quote a 5-day pass?

I assume you are going to want to have a day or two to get settled, try the hot pools and then spend the rest of your time skiing in Bosnia.

Tip– If you end up skiing at Jahorina, MAKE sure you check out Café Restaurant Peggy. As you walk in, you will see meat being smoked over a fire.

Upstairs has plenty of seating options and I would happily do a tough black ski run if it meant I could savor their creamy hot chocolate with whipped cream again. The whole place has such a great vibe.

Ps; Prepare to loosen your hips as a mixture of Balkan/90’s pop music comes on after midday and you can expect questionable hip shakes and twirls from all directions. Get used to it and join in!

No Balkan ski holiday is complete without a little hip twisting !

Tip: The café at Bjelasnica has fantastic pizza as well as juicy sausage and chips.

Balkan ski holidays

Ski Equipment

One day     : $11

5 days.       : $55

Unless you want to get charged for excess baggage (no thanks) for your short ski break, you should rent your skis and poles to ski in Bosnia. It costs around $11 per day or $55 for 5 days to rent ski equipment.

Jahorina will have an array of ski rental places. Rent your skis at Ski Rental Kristal’. Ask for Mario or the other guy in this picture, show them my picture and tell them I said hi  🙂 They will hook you up with the most comfortable boots.

Balkan ski holidays

Ps; If you are really nice … they offer generous discounts and Rakia, a fruit brandy popular in the Balkans.

Tip- If you want to get ski apparel like gloves, a helmet, and base layers, Nuhanovic offers a range of options at affordable prices.

short ski break

Car Rental

1 day : $20

7 days : $140

The best way to get around is by car as their public transport system isn’t great.

However, it’s common for your accommodation to offer free airport pickups and shuttles to the ski resort for a minimal fee. You can enquire when you make a booking.

Renting a car in Bosnia is extremely affordable, which will allow you to ski on a budget.

The cost of renting a car including ski racks and insurance should not exceed USD20 per day. You can get it for cheaper, but we opted for a nice big spacious car.

They drive on the right side of the road and the roads to the ski resorts are well maintained and safe. I use SIXT whenever I travel through the Balkans and have had a great experience with them.

However, Bosnia-Herzegovinacar.com is a local company that connects you with all the Bosnian car rental agencies.

Balkan ski holidays

Something to watch out for during your Balkan ski holidays

If you are renting a car outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina and driving into the country, many car rentals exclude Bosnia and Herzegovina out of their permitted countries list.

Check the small print and call them beforehand as you want to be able to claim on insurance if anything happens.

Something else to watch out for  

Rouge policemen looking for a bribe. Sometimes they may pull you over for no apparent reason. Insist they bring you to the police station and take down their details. Be firm but polite.

Accommodation

1 night      : $40

6 nights.  : $240

Apart from ski passes, accommodation is going to make up the bulk of your expenses. But the good news is, there are PLENTY of affordable options! Have a look at the alternative options on Booking.com.

My favorite place to stay when I ski in Bosnia is a family-owned hotel Bergkranc Hotel & Resort. It is 25 minutes from Sarajevo and 15 minutes from the Jahorina ski resort.

The Bergkranc family has German roots, so they take the warmth of their lodges seriously. Expect delicious Bosnian meals with a twist, free Netflix and excellent hospitality.

Balkan ski holidays

Food

1 day     : $20

7 days.  : $140

Food in Bosnia is extremely cheap and tasty. A few examples of things you can eat are below

Balkan ski holidays
  • Cevapi, a lamb or beef kebab dish served with somuna Bosnian pita bread
  • Burekaflaky pastry with spinach, cheese, or meat filling
  • Klepe, minced dumplings
  • Suho Meso,a deliciously smoked, salted meat that you can munch on to keep the hunger at bay.
  • Grah, a delicious soup consisting of beans, onions, and smoked beef.
  • Sitni Cevap, a traditional beef stew

Tip– If you like grilled fish,  Vrelo Miljacke offers freshly-caught fish made to order

Balkan ski holidays

Other winter activities

Snowboarding                       : $50

Hiking                                       : $55 

Hot pools                                 : $28

Private ski lesson                 : $20 per hour

Cheap ski trips

Since you have managed to ski for cheapand save costs, maybe you can indulge in other winter activities. I know a tough-looking but kind-hearted Bosnian named Bato who took us on an adventure on snowmobiles.

You can also steam yourself like a dumpling at the hot pools in Termag Hotel

If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can hike the Bosnian mountains with a local guide for $55, which includes transportation and guide services, for groups of two to five people.

There you have it, one of the best Balkan ski holidays!

Skiing in Bosnia opened up my eyes to a short ski breakfor a fraction of the normal price. The people are warm and hospitable, the skiing is good, the food is delicious, what more are you waiting for!

Balkan ski holidays

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