Hiking a new mega-trail in the Balkans

A long-distance wilderness route will eventually link seven Balkan countries. We walk a stretch from Bosnia to Montenegro

Close to the top of Mount Maglić, on the Bosnia-Montenegro border, a deafening clap of thunder rips across rugged Piva national park. The summit of the 2,386-metre limestone peak is not far away, but with a glance at the darkening sky, our guide Lorenc decides it’s best to turn back.

We weave our way down towards perfectly heart-shaped Lake Trnovačko, just reaching a forest as the downpour hits. When the storm passes, the view across the valley is our reward – glittering, luminous and streaked with post-squall mist. The slopes are lined with tufted grass and a golden eagle floats overhead. The scene silences us, and we walk in quiet contemplation until Lorenc stops us to point out a sign: “Welcome to Bosnia”.

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