Craggily beautiful Bosnia and Hercegovina is most intriguing for its East-meets-West atmosphere born of blended Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian histories filtered through a Southern Slavic lens. Many international visitors still associate the country with the heartbreaking civil war of the 1990s, and it's still hard to escape the horrors of that era. But today, visitors will likely remember the country for its deep, unassuming human warmth, its beautiful mountainscapes and its numerous medieval castle ruins. Apart from modest Neum it lacks beaches, but easily compensates with cascading rafting rivers, waterfalls and bargain-value skiing.
Major drawcards are the reincarnated historical centres of Sarajevo and Mostar, counterpointing splendid Turkish-era stone architecture with quirky bars, inviting street-terrace cafes and a vibrant arts scene. And there's so much more to discover in the largely rural hinterland, all at prices that make the country one of Europe's best-value destinations.