Lukomir: BiH’s most isolated village

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Lukomir is like a living museum and is said to be the most isolated village in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It lies at the top of the Bjelasnica mountains and from the capital Sarajevo is about 50 kilometres away. Surrounded by sheep fields,shepherd dogs keeping watch, and overlooking the Rakitnica canyon, you will find a unique piece of culture and heritage here. The tombstones (stecci) scattered around the village indicate that this area was already inhabited in the 14th and 15th centuries.

“On the way we hardly encounter anyone, a flock of sheep and shepherd dogs, few houses but above all an unprecedented silence and beauty”

An unforgettable tour

As the village is quite remote, and you drive on unpaved macadam roads in some parts, we decide to hire a guide. At 9 am, we are picked up in the heart of Sarajevo city centre by Faruk; our guide and owner of Superbadventures. Soon we are driving out of Sarajevo in an SUV 4X4, leaving the hustle and bustle of the city behind us. It’s about a 2-hour drive, on the way we stop for a typical Bosnian breakfast. It is May, a beautiful spring day. On the way, we pass a few villages, some cows grazing peacefully in the meadow and a few stećci (medieval tombstones). Faruk is a great guide, and fills our time with interesting stories about the area, stops at a natural water source where we refill our bottles with fresh water.

We decide to stop in Umoljani, and have a typical Bosnian dish there; ustipci (deep-fried dough dish) with cold cuts, kajmak and homemade elderflower juice. Of course, we finish with strong Bosnian coffee and rahatlokum (Turkish fruit). Umoljani is home to a remarkable 200-year-old mosque and about 1.5 km before the village you will find a slope known as Dolovi, and since 2016 a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Landscape slowly changing

After a hearty breakfast, we continue driving across the Bosnian landscape. On the way, we hardly encounter anyone, a flock of sheep and shepherd dogs, a few houses but, above all, unprecedented silence and beauty. As we drive further away from civilisation, the landscape around us changes. It becomes barren and rockier. We drive the last 10 kilometres on unpaved narrow roads. There is still snow on some stretches (it is already May!). Finally, we arrive in the village of Lukomir. The village has no schools, shops or restaurants. We hear from our guide Faruk that the inhabitants live here only during the summer period and often make a living from tourism. In winter, they often move to the city or to the lower-lying villages, as Lukomir is then full of snow.

Time stands still

When we get out, time seems to have stood still here with simple stone houses with small windows, most with corrugated iron roofs, and a few with traditional wooden roofs. We see few residents, apart from an old couple, who greet us kindly, while the woman quietly continues knitting traditional knitted woollen socks. These socks, by the way, can be found all over Bosnia and are often made by grandmothers. Especially along the road, improvised stalls selling woollen socks, honey, carpets and various seasonal products are common. In Lukomir, people live mainly from tourism in the summer months. It is possible to try the second most famous dish after cevapcici here: pita (rolled pasta with a filling of spinach, meat, potatoes or cheese).

Photo: Mirel Masic

View of the Rakitnica canyon

We decide to explore the village a little better. We take a seat on fold-out chairs we brought ourselves, enjoying the nature around us and views of the Rakitnica canyon, Europe’s most undiscovered gorge. Our guide Faruk had planned to do a hike around Lukomir, but when he saw our city clothes and white trainers (laughs) he decided to show us the area mainly by driving. Tip! Bring good hiker shoes and clothing with layers.

Great view of Rakitnica Caynon

Back to civilisation

Afterwards, Faruk drops us off in the old town of Bascarsija. And like a good Bosnian host, he decides to end the day with us, how different from eating. Still full of impressions and scrolling through our photos, we order a generous portion of cevapcici (deset u pola, 10 pieces). If you are in Sarajevo, this is definitely a dish you must try!


We unfortunately didn’t have time to stay overnight, should you want to, here are two options we can recommend.