Europe probably isn’t at the top of most people’s minds when they think of rainforests. But the continent is actually home to several temperate rainforests which thrive in milder temperatures than tropical forests such as The Amazon.
There’s even quite a few rainforests along the UK’s western coast, such as Devon, Cornwall and Cumbria. But the continent’s largest rainforest is in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Perućica rainforest in Sutjeska National Park in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a “jewel in the Green Crown of Europe” according to UNESCO.
It’s a primeval forest, which means that it hasn’t been affected by human activity and development. The result is an incredible untouched forest that’s one of Europe’s most impressive natural wonders.
It’s thought that many of the trees concealed in the depths of Perućica rainforest are at least 300 years old. In some areas, the forest is nearly impenetrable.
There’s over 170 species of trees and bush in Perućica while it’s also home to one of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s highest waterfalls, Skakavac.
At 98m tall, the waterfall cascades from a limestone cliff and often freezes during the winter months.
Perućica is so unique, it’s under heavy protection and it’s primarily used for science and research rather than a tourist attraction.
However, tourists can travel to Sutjeska National Park, which is around three hours drive from the capital city, Sarajevo. Although buses do run to the park, it’s much quicker and easier to rent a car and drive.
Tourists can then join a tour to explore some of the park’s highlights, including viewpoints of the Skakavac Waterfall and the rainforest.
Travellers should always stick to designated paths and follow the advice of local authorities at all times.