Blagaj: Discovering Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Hidden Gem

Bosnia and Herzegovina, a country rich in history and culture, is home to many hidden gems waiting to be discovered. One such gem is the charming town of Blagaj, located in the southern part of the country. In this article, we will take a closer look at what makes Blagaj so special and why you should add it to your travel bucket list.

Introduction: Blagaj’s Charm and Appeal

Blagaj is a small town located at the source of the Buna river, near Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The town is best known for its stunning natural beauty, Ottoman-era architecture, and the famous Blagaj Tekke, a Sufi monastery built into the cliffside overlooking the river.

The History of Blagaj

Blagaj’s history can be traced back to the 15th century when the Ottoman Empire ruled the region. The town was an important trading and cultural center, and many of its historic buildings and landmarks date back to this period. The Blagaj Tekke, for example, was built in the 16th century and is one of the most important Sufi shrines in the Balkans.

Exploring Blagaj’s Natural Beauty

One of the main attractions of Blagaj is its stunning natural beauty. The town is situated at the base of a towering cliff, which is home to the Blagaj Tekke. The cliff overlooks the Buna river, which emerges from a nearby cave and flows through the town. Visitors can take a boat ride along the river or enjoy a leisurely stroll along its banks, taking in the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside.

Blagaj’s Ottoman-Era Architecture

Blagaj is also known for its impressive Ottoman-era architecture. The town is home to many historic buildings, including the 17th-century Muslibegović House, which is now a museum showcasing the traditional lifestyle and culture of the region. The town’s mosque and hamam (Turkish bath) are also popular attractions, offering visitors a glimpse into the town’s rich cultural heritage.

The Blagaj Tekke: A Spiritual Center

The Blagaj Tekke is one of the most important Sufi shrines in the Balkans and a major spiritual center for Muslims in the region. The tekke was built in the 16th century and is home to a community of dervishes who practice Sufism, a mystical branch of Islam. Visitors can explore the tekke and learn about the history and traditions of Sufism, as well as enjoy a cup of traditional Bosnian coffee in the tekke’s courtyard.

Enjoying Blagaj’s Culinary Delights

No visit to Blagaj would be complete without sampling some of the town’s culinary delights. The region is known for its delicious food, including traditional Bosnian dishes such as cevapi (grilled minced meat), burek (savory pastry filled with meat or cheese), and klepe (dumplings filled with meat). Visitors can enjoy these dishes at one of the many restaurants and cafes in the town, or at the nearby village of Kosor, which is famous for its trout.

Getting to Blagaj

Blagaj is located just 12 kilometers south of Mostar, the largest city in Herzegovina. Visitors can reach Blagaj by car or bus, or by taking a taxi or private tour from Mostar. The town is also accessible by train, with regular services from Mostar and Sarajevo.

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Accommodations in Blagaj

Blagaj offers a range of accommodations for visitors, including hotels and guesthouses. Many of these are located in or near the town center, offering easy access to Blagaj’s main attractions. Visitors can also choose to stay in nearby villages, such as Kosor, which offer a more rural and authentic experience.

Conclusion: Blagaj’s Timeless Charm

In conclusion, Blagaj is a hidden gem in Bosnia and Herzegovina that is well worth a visit. Its stunning natural beauty, Ottoman-era architecture, and rich cultural heritage make it a unique and memorable destination for travelers. Whether you’re interested in history, spirituality, or just want to enjoy the natural beauty of the region, Blagaj is sure to delight and inspire.


What is the best time of year to visit Blagaj?

The best time to visit Blagaj is during the spring or fall when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller. However, the town is also beautiful in the summer when the Buna river is at its fullest.

Is Blagaj safe for tourists?

Yes, Blagaj is a safe destination for tourists. However, visitors should take standard precautions to ensure their safety, such as avoiding unlit areas at night and being aware of their surroundings.

How long should I plan to stay in Blagaj?

One or two days is enough time to explore the main attractions of Blagaj. However, visitors who want to fully immerse themselves in the town’s culture and history may want to stay longer.

Are there any other attractions near Blagaj?

Yes, there are several other attractions near Blagaj, including the historic city of Mostar, the Kravice waterfalls, and the village of Pocitelj.

Can I visit the Blagaj Tekke as a non-Muslim?

Yes, visitors of all faiths are welcome to visit the Blagaj Tekke. However, visitors should dress modestly and show respect for the site’s religious significance.

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