Bosnia and Herzegovina is a mountainous country located in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. The region of Herzegovina lies south of Bosnia, but the country is often called Bosnia for short. To the north and west lies Croatia; east and south is Yugoslavia. In the southwest, a 20 kilometre coastline briefly touches the Adriatic Sea.
The Bosnian north is the country’s agricultural centre, a region of plains, plateaus and important rivers such as the Sava and the Drina, along which are numerous cities and towns. Southward the land rises into hills and mountains. Running along the Adriatic, the Dinaric Alps dominate much of western, central and southern Bosnia. The highest mountain is Maglic, at 2,386 metres, though many other peaks are over 1,700 metres high. Sarajevo, the capital city, is located in the central mountains. In southwestern Herzegovina lies the Karst region, a dry, limestone plateau. Wildflowers and trees such as oak abound in this area. Further south, the Neretva River flows by the regional capital of Mostar on its way to the Adriatic.
Almost half of Bosnia, particularly the north, is covered in forests. Fir trees line mountain slopes, while valleys are dense with woodlands. The forests support wildlife such as bears, wolves, boars, foxes, lynx, rabbits and deer, although many animals died during the war.
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s rugged geography make it prone to strong earthquakes. The land also abounds in natural springs. The convergence of three distinct ecological zones - Central European, Balkan and Mediterranean - give the country a varied climate that supports a wide range of agricultural crops. Most of the country experiences a Continental climate of hot summers and cool winters. In the lower mountains, daily temperatures in areas like Sarajevo average 1°C in January and 21°C in July. Higher elevations are characterized by short, cool summers and very cold winters, while temperatures near the Adriatic tend to be warmer, with rainy winters nurturing an abundance of plants and animals.