The most striking features of the local terrain are valleys and mountains which measure up to 2386 m in height. The country is mostly mountainous, encompassing the central Dinaric Alps. The northeastern parts reach into the Pannonian basin, while in the south it borders the Adriatic sea.
The country's natural resources include: coal, iron, bauxite, manganese, forests, copper, chromium, lead, zinc and hydro power.
The country's name comes from the two regions Bosnia and Herzegovina, which have a very vaguely defined border between them. Bosnia occupies the northern areas which are roughly four fifths of the entire country, while Herzegovina occupies the rest in the south part of the country.
The major cities are the capital Sarajevo, Banja Luka in the northwest region known as Bosanska Krajina, Bijeljina and Tuzla in the northeast, Zenica and Doboj in the central part of Bosnia and Mostar, the capital of Herzegovina.
The south part of Bosnia has Mediterranean climate and a great deal of agriculture. Central Bosnia is the most mountainous part of Bosnia featuring predominate mountains Vlašić, Čvrsnica, and Prenj. Eastern Bosnia also features mountains like Trebević, Jahorina, Igman, Bjelašnica and Treskavica. It was here that the 1984 Winter Olympics were held.
Eastern Bosnia is heavily forested along the river Drina, and overall close to 50% of Bosnia and Herzegovina is forested. Most forest areas are in Central, Eastern and Western parts of Bosnia. Northern Bosnia contains very fertile agricultural land along the river Sava and the corresponding area is heavily farmed. This farmland is a part of the Parapannonian Plain stretching into neighbouring Croatia and Serbia. The river Sava and corresponding Posavina river basin hold the cities of Brčko, Bosanski Šamac, Bosanski Brod and Bosanska Gradiška.
The northwest part of Bosnia is called Bosanska Krajina and holds the cities of Banja Luka, Prijedor, Sanski Most, Jajce, Cazin, Velika Kladuša and Bihać. Kozara National Park and Mrakovica World War II monument is located in this region.
The country has only 20 kilometres (12.4 mi) of coastline, around the town of Neum in the Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, although surrounded by Croatian peninsulas it is possible to get to the middle of the Adriatic from Neum. By United Nations law, Bosnia has a right of passage to the outer sea. Neum has many hotels and is an important tourism destination.
There are seven major rivers in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina:
- The Una in the northwest part of Bosnia flows along the northern and western border of Bosnia and Croatia and through the Bosnian city of Bihać. It is a very beautiful river and popular for rafting and adventure sports.
- The Sana flows through the city of Sanski Most and Prijedor and is a tributary of the river Sava in the north.
- The Vrbas flows through the cities of Gornji Vakuf - Uskoplje, Bugojno, Jajce, Banja Luka, Srbac and reaches the river Sava in the north. The Vrbas flows through the central part of Bosnia and flows outwards to the North.
- The River Bosna is the longest river in Bosnia and is fully contained within the country as it stretches from its source near Sarajevo to the river Sava in the north. It gave its name to the country.
- The Drina flows through the eastern part of Bosnia, at many places in the border between Bosnia and Serbia. The Drina flows through the cities of Foča, Goražde Višegrad and Zvornik.
- The Neretva river is a large river in Central and Southern Bosnia, flowing from Jablanica south to the Adriatic Sea. The river is famous as it flows through the famous city of Mostar.
- The Sava river is the largest river in Bosnia and Herzegovina but not the largest river that is flowing through Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Sava river flows through Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. Sava is making a natural border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and towns like Brčko, Bosanski Šamac, Bosanska Gradiška lies on the river