HERZEGOVINA & CROATIAN ISLANDS - 12 DAY GUIDED TOUR ITINERARY

DAY 4 - Herzegovina - Dinaric Alps - Blidinje Nature Park


 


  • Dinaric Alps

On our way to Blidinje Nature Park we will have a short stop at Drežanka river canyon. Dipper breeds here.

  • Dinaric Alps

Enjoying magnificent views and crystal clear Drežanka river.

  • Dinaric Alps

Our second stop will be in village of Jablanica - nested between Dinaric Alps mountains .

  • Dinaric Alps

The "Bridge on the Neretva" is the memorial bridge on the Neretva river, in Jablanica, dedicated to the famous World War II battle, fought between Yugoslav partisans and Axis forces, as part of the 4th Enemy Offensive in February–March 1943. The battle is also known as the "Battle for the Wounded on the Neretva".
It was one of the most significant confrontations of World War II in Yugoslavia. The offensive took place in early 1943, between 20 January and mid-to-late March. The Axis operation prompted the Partisan Supreme Command to enact its plans to drive toward eastern Herzegovina.
In order to do this, Tito formed the so-called Main Operational Group, which eventually succeeded in forcing its way across the Neretva in mid-March 1943, after a series of battles with various hostile formations. Other Partisan formations, the 1st Croatian and 1st Bosnian Corps, managed to evade Axis blows and, despite significant losses, reclaim most of the territory they had held before the beginning of the operation.
After Tito’s orders, partisans destroyed all the bridges behind them. When everyone expected partisans will head north, and not east across Neretva, Tito ordered destroying the railway bridge in Jablanica. Which they did, and while the train was crossing it! That was a bold and tricky decision, which nobody expected, especially The Axis forces. They deployed all their troops up north, in the valley of river Vrbas, waiting for partisans.
After blowing up the bridge, a new and improvised wooden bridge was built in only 19 hours, and it was a salvation for partisans and the wounded, after which they headed to mountain Prenj. You can still find a war memorial on Prenj dedicated to partisans who climbed this beautiful but cruel mountain. This hard battle ended on March 31st, with partisans coming out of it as winners. It went out in history as one of the most difficult battles of WWII and victories against all the odds.

  • Pablo Picasso

"Battle of Neretva" - Film poster made by Pablo Picasso.

During his lifetime, Pablo Picasso has also done film posters. One of them was the poster for the most expensive Yugoslav film of all time "The Battle of Neretva" directed by Veljko Bulajić. Veljko Bulajić met Picasso in Monte Carlo in 1964 at the film festival. When the movie was filmed and its worldwide distribution started (the film was nominated for Oscar in the category the Best Foreign Film and was screened in more than 80 countries), Veljko Bulajić commissioned from Picasso's agent in Paris a poster for the film that will be used on the western market, primarily in the UK.
Picasso found it interesting to design a poster for a film coming from Yugoslavia, so he decided to watch the movie first in order to make the final decision. After watching the film and getting to know the history of Yugoslavia, he decided to use the motifs of his painting "The Rape of the Sabine Women" for the poster and to paint them red (symbolism of anti-fascist fight for freedom ).
Pablo Picasso refused a fee for this poster, but in return sought 12 bottles of wine from Yugoslavia. The contemporaries remember that Veljko Bulajić, a genuine winelover, prepared a collection of 12 bottles of wine from Dalmatia, Serbia and Macedonia and handed it personally to Picasso.

  • Dinaric Alps

Blidinje Nature Park in Dinaric Alps - mountain spring.

  • Spring Gentian

Spring Gentian

Gentiana verna

  • European Crested Tit

European Crested Tit

Lophophanes cristatus

  • Dinaric Alps

Blidinje Nature Park - Dinaric Alps.

  • Eurasian Treecreeper

Eurasian Treecreeper

Certhia familiaris

  • Dinaric Alps

Late spring floral displays in Dinaric Alps.

  • Dinaric Alps

Late spring floral displays in Dinaric Alps.
  • Balkan Fritillary

Balkan Fritillary

Boloria graeca

  • Rock Partridge

Rock Partridge

Alectoris graeca

  • Dinaric Alps

Čvrsnica mounatin in Dinaric Alps.

  • Black Woodpecker

Black Woodpecker

Dryocopus martius

  • Dinaric Alps

Late spring floral displays in Dinaric Alps.

  • Dinaric Alps

This medieval stećci necropolis covers the surface of 90 by 36 meters and consists of 150 such tombstones. Of these, 32 are decorated with a different motifs, such as hunting scenes, medieval battles, wheel dance. On one a mythical figure, most likely Pegasus, is positioned next to the snake. All are carved from limestone coming out from quarries in Vran mountain.

  • Lady Orchid

Lady Orchid

Orchis purpurea

  • Dinaric Alps

Blidinje Nature Park in Dinaric Alps.

  • Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush

Turdus viscivorus

  • Dinaric Alps

Blidinje Nature Park in Dinaric Alps.

  • Dinaric Alps

Blidinje Nature Park in Dinaric Alps.

  • Sand Lizard

Sand Lizard

Lacerta agilis

  • Dinaric Alps

Today we will lunch nin Hajdučke Vrleti restaurant. In the centre of the Blidinje Nature Park, the mountain paradise and the forest spa of Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is an atypical catering facility – the hotel- restaurant Hajdučke Vrleti. The three pillars on which the Hajdučke Vrleti are based are traditional Herzegovinian cuisine, a homely atmosphere and a family approach to business.

  • Dinaric Alps

Blidinje Nature Park in Dinaric Alps.

  • Langs Short-tailed Blue

Lang's Short-tailed Blue

Leptotes pirithous

  • Dinaric Alps

Blidinje Nature Park in Dinaric Alps.

  • Eurasian Nuthatch

Eurasian Nuthatch

Sitta europaea

  • Dinaric Alps

Blidinje Nature Park - Dinaric Alps.

  • Eurasian Bullfinch

Eurasian Bullfinch

Pyrrhula pyrrhula

  • Dinaric Alps

Alpine Chough habitat - Dinaric Alps.

  • Dinaric Alps

Čvrsnica mountain – realm of Rock Partridge, Golden Eagle and Alpine Choughs.

  • Common Firecrest

Common Firecrest

Regulus ignicapilla

  • Smooth Snake

Smooth Snake

Coronella austriaca

  • Dinaric Alps

Blidinje Nature Park - Dinaric Alps.

  • Dinaric Alps

Blidinje Nature Park - Dinaric Alps.

  • Wild Boar

Wild Boar

Sus scrofa