Nature Park Blidinje is located in Hercegovina, in the northern zone of the Dinarides, northwest to Mostar, on the right bank of the Neretva. To the east it borders with the Neretva gorge, on the north side by the canyon of river Doljanka, and on the southern by the canyon of the river Drežanka. The park covers an area of 358 km2, and includes the area of mountain ranges of Čvrsnica, Čabulje and Vrana.
Due to its favorable geomorphologic characteristics and impressive landscapes, Blidinje was declared the Nature Park in 1995. The main motives for the establishment of NP Blidinje are found in a variety of endemic plants, the diversity of the animal life that inhabits the beautiful forests, abrupt cliffs, deep abysses, living freely to develop by the laws of nature, far from the influence of man.
Natural Park Blidinje covers most of the massifs: Čvrsnica mountains, Vran mountains, valleys Dugo polje (long field) and far western parts of the massif Čabulje. This is an area of high mountain features of 1000 m to 2228 m. Close to 40% of the Park area is covered with forest. The central part of the park is dominated by the beautiful, vast expanse – Dugo polje (long field), a typical closed karst depression. It has a tray shape, it is about 12 kilometres long, wide from 2 to 3 km, and is located at an altitude of 1250 m. Blidinje Nature Park is named after the Blidinje Lake which is located in the bottom of Dugo polje (long field) at an altitude of 1184 m. The average area of the lake is 3.2 square kilometers with a relatively shallow depth. The water in the lake comes primarily from the surrounding mountains Vrana and Čvrsnica with spring snowmelt. In summer, a large portion of water from the Blidinje Lake vanishes in sinks, which significantly decreases the level of the lake.
Sources, lakes, valleys and caves, and other geomorphologic forms represent the magic of this Nature Park. Even the two last glacial epochs in this area did not stop the life process. Numerous plant and animal species have managed to survive, like several of gentian and mountain salamander.
Most of the endemic species in the NP Blidinje is located in the mountains belonging to the Herzegovina endemic center: Čvrsnica, Čabulja and plateau Plasa. Among the numerous animals the brown bear and, decoration of Čvrsnica, the chamois stand out. Besides fauna, the content of flora is rich as well, which is characterized by the diversity of plants, from Mediterranean to high mountains species. Among them there is a large number of endemic species, from the mushrooms (fungi) to the beauty of the Park, a special kind of pine - white bark pine, which grows in the field of Masna Luka, making the largest forest complex of its kind in Europe. It is assumed that in the Park there are about 1,500 different plant species.
The most famous sights of the park along the lake are rich in archaeological sites and necropolis with 150 medieval tombstones (stećak) in Dugo polje that obtained the status of National Monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina in January 2004. In terms of cultural places the Franciscan monastery is worth mentioning, which is located at the foot of the peak Pločno in the place Masna Luka, where the art gallery is located. The massive Čvrsnica is worth mentioning, and as a special geomorphologic reserve Diva Grabovica, which in the context of the beautiful unit covers also the canyon of the river Grabovica.
Blidinje in terms of tourism offers diversity and a wealth of natural attractions, unique regional characteristics, good climate, landscapes, cultural - historical and archaeological value. Park provides a variety of activities for visitors:
• Tourism and recreation
• Walking along the pedestrian paths
• Sports recreation
• Educational activities with the aim of getting acquainted with the flora, geology, hydrology
• Scientific activities
In the park is also located a modern ski-centre which is a destination for many visitors during the wintertime, primarily from Herzegovina and Dalmatia.
Due to the very steep slopes from the Neretva valley, Draženka, but also from the Diva Grabovica (lower part of the NP), only pedestrian access is possible to the more difficult accessible, high-altitude part of the Park. The exception is road access along the valley of river Doljanka, which from Jablanica, over Sovićka Vrata leads to Dugo polje. The access to the west side is much easier, from which there are three routes from the direction of Tomislavgrad, Posušje and Prozor. The Park area is framed by two European roads: E65 Split - Dupci - Ploče and E73 Ploče – Mostar - Jablanica, and the two regional roads: Dupci- Bugojno and Mostra-Posušje.
Nature Park Blidinje