On Mount Maglić lies Perućica, Europe’s largest primeval forest, nestled within the Sutjeska National Park in Bosnia and Herzegovina. As one of the last preserved primeval forests in Europe, Perućica boasts untouched natural beauty, featuring the spectacular Skakavac waterfall, standing over 70 meters tall, at its heart.
Covering 1,434 hectares, Perućica is one of only two remaining primeval forests in Europe. Aptly named the “lungs of Europe,” it is part of the Sutjeska National Park, the oldest and largest in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
With trees over 300 years old and towering above 50 meters, the forest’s age is estimated to be around 20,000 years, dating back to pre-Ice Age times. Recognized for its scientific and educational value since 1952, Perućica has been on UNESCO’s preliminary list since 2017, representing a strictly protected natural reserve – Europe’s unparalleled natural treasure.
With over 170 tree and shrub species, and more than 1,000 herbaceous plants, Perućica boasts a botanical wonderland. Some areas are nearly inaccessible, with towering trees over 50 meters high and a remarkable wood volume exceeding 1,000 cubic meters per hectare. Witness the majestic spruce, measuring a towering 63 meters—the forest’s pinnacle.
The animal kingdom thrives with a variety of invertebrates, including butterflies, amphibians, reptiles, and fish, alongside 36 mammal species across 18 families, featuring rare and elusive creatures like the wildcat, lynx, and blind mole. Key mammals include bears, deer, wild boars, wolves, foxes, and badgers.
Did you know that in the park’s strict natural reserve, Perućica, nine woodpecker species, making up 90% of the Picidae family in Europe, flourish among old trees essential for their food source and nest construction?
Keep in mind that due to its dense and protected nature, access requires advance notice and guidance from the Sutjeska National Park, along with purchasing tickets at the Information Center or the toll booth 5 kilometers from Tjentište.
Venture independently to the panoramic viewpoints of Beškita and Dragoš Sedlo on foot or by car to witness the breathtaking scenery of Perućica and the Skakavac waterfall, cascading from over 70 meters in the heart of the untouched forest.
Revel in the satisfaction of experiencing a small part of primeval nature, preserved for current and future generations, as the deep, forested valley unveils its awe-inspiring beauty, with the rocky cliffs of Volujak rising on one side and the majestic Maglić, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s highest peak, looming in the distance above the Sutjeska River canyon.
This view is truly magnificent!