Wednesday, June 3, 2015

The Perfect Road Trip through South Bosnia and Herzegovina

The warm days of spring here in Mostar are ideal for a ride through the country. And lots of tourists seem to be doing it, since these areas are very popular for solo travel, group tours and adventure travel. But why spend money on guided tours when you can easily visit all of the places by yourself. Rent a car in Mostar and start your adventure. Here are some tips and places for the perfect road trip through south Bosnia and Herzegovina. The road trip I have constructed here is for one day, but you can most certainly expand it over a couple of days, depending on how long you will be staying.

1. Begin in Mostar and head over to Blagaj

Drive duration: 15 minutes


 Above: The spring of the river Buna in Blagaj; Below: The outer walls of the Herceg Stjepan fortress

Start your road trip early. You want to head out at 8 in the morning, to have as much of the day as possible. While in Mostar make sure to get some food and drinks for your trip, exchange money if needed (see Logistics section below). If you haven't seen anything of Mostar while on your trip, make sure to visit the old town of Mostar. You will start your trip towards the charming little town Blagaj, known for the beauty of nature that surrounds it. Park your car at the entrance of the old town of Blagaj. Here you can visit the Fortress of Herceg Stjepan, which is more for the adventurous traveler, or simply head over to the old town of Blagaj and see the spring of the Buna river, enjoy coffee in one of the many river side restaurants.


2. Drive south from Blagaj to Pocitelj

Drive duration: 25 minutes




This is a part of the road that you will travel down the river Neretva on the M-17. There are a couple of lovely spots along the river where you can park your car and take some pictures. We are heading down to Pocitelj, which is an old city from the 13th century, that is almost completely still there, waiting to be explored. Parking is just on the side of the road, and you will not have to search for it, or for the city for that matter. It will be on your left hand side if traveling from Mostar. While there visit the Pocitelj Tower, buy a souvenir in one of the lovely shops and simply roam around.


3. Head over to Capljina for Lunch

Drive duration: 7 minutes




Above: Lunch in Calipso; Below: Entrance into the nature resort Hutovo Blato

Have lunch in Capljina at the Calipso restaurant towards the east exit. Address is Ante Starcevica b.b., Capljina. After you freshen up, you can continue your road trip. Actually from Capljina you have two options. You can go further south to Hutovo Blato, which is an amazing Nature resort, or you can continue west, towards two more destinations. Hutovo Blato is a 10 minute drive from Capljina, and you can also have lunch there if you don't want to drive into Capljina. I will continue writing this post as if you are going west, since there will be more to see there.


4. Drive from Capljina to Mogorjelo

Drive duration: 4 minutes



It's only a short drive to Mogorjelo from Capljina. Amidst the large winter green trees, you will discover this awesome site. Mogorjelo is a so called Roman villa rustica. A Roman villa was originally a Roman country house built for the upper class during the Roman republic. Entrance is free and you can park your car for free in front of the entrance. You will not spend much time here like in Blagaj or Pocitelj, but it's interesting enough to catch a break and take some photos.


5. Drive west to the Kravica Waterfalls

Drive duration: 20 minutes



This is the last stretch of driving you have to take in the road trip (except the drive home). After a 20 minute drive you will arrive at the site of the Kravica waterfalls. The waterfalls are a great natural sight and in summer people are swimming here (even though it's at your own risk). You leave your car at the parking on top of the hill where the road ends, and then you hike into the valley where the waterfalls are. This is a place you will not forget so soon.


6. Return to Mostar

Drive duration: 50 minutes



You can return to Mostar the same way you came, or you can take another road, marked in the map above to get to Mostar faster. This way you can also see some more of the country while you're here. But it's your choice.


Logistics of the road trip


Car Rental

This is the best way to travel here. Yes, you could use buses, but a lot of the spirit of discovery and adventure will be gone. Also, it's nearly impossible to manage buses so that you visit a lot of places in one day. As I said the best option is to rent a car. There are many services in Mostar, like Carrus Rent-a-Car, that is very affordable. If you are traveling with others, then you can share the cost and won't even think about this as an expense. Daily rental fees start at 30 €/33$. All cars are fully insured, air conditioned, and you have unlimited mileage.

Food and Drinks

South Bosnia and Herzegovina is very hot. Daily temperatures are around 30C/86F in late spring, and climb up to 35C/95F in Summer. So make sure to always have water at hand. If you begin your trip in Mostar you have two big grocery stores called "Bingo" at the north (adress: Put M-17 br. 5, Mostar) and south (adress: Bišće polje bb, Mostar) exit.

Entrance Fees

Most of the places I have listed do not requre any entracne fees. Places like the Old Town of Blagaj, Herceg Stjepan Fortress, Pocitelj, Hutovo Blato are completely free to enter. Only the Kravice waterfalls require a 1€/1,1$ entrance fee. Of course some places do charge parking (like Blagaj). But that is usually 1€/1,1$ per hour.

Currency

The local currency is Konvertibilna Marka (KM, international code BAM). By law, only the local currency is allowed, but most toursit places do except Euros. You can exchange money in various banks in Mostar, before you head out, like at the Sparkasse Bank (address: Husnije Repca b.b., Mostar)



This is only one of many road trips you can take in the area, but it is a very good one, and one that you will remember fondly. If you have any more questions let me know in the comments below.

This is also my 800th Blog Post!

53 comments:

  1. What a well written travel log illustrated with marvellous images. I love the wall with your all peeping out and I am glad we stopped for lunch as it looks delicious.

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    1. Glad you came along :) Thanks for visiting.

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  2. A grand trip. You put a lot of work into this post.

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    1. Thanks Adrian. I really did try to be detailed and write it the way I would take this road trip.

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  3. Really, really good. You have a definite knack for travelogues. Loved the peek-a-boo wall.

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  4. Hallo Mersad,
    dein Bild von diesem Blagaj ist unglaublich schön.
    GUt gefällt mir auch das Bild, wo die drei Köpfe rausschauen.
    Aber auch diese Bilder, wo dir Berge als blau erscheinen - das hast du aber nachträglich mit irgendeinem Effekt erreicht, gell?
    Liebe Grüße

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  5. Beautiful photos, and congratulations with your jubilee!

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  6. So lovely! I truly had no idea what to expect when I read the title of your post - I knew virtually nothing about this part of the world. But I found your photos entrancing!
    Thank you for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/06/nesting.html, and congratulations on reaching the milestone of 800 posts!

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  7. Happy 800th anniversary.. LOL... the photo with your friends looking out of the crevices is my favorite today. just love it. we have friends here who leave there car at home and rent one to travel, keeps theirs like new and if they have a problem on the road it is not their problem...

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  8. I have found that your area, which I really knew nothing about, is quite stunning. Thank you for always showing me something new!

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  9. Wonderful road trips. You also have beautiful assistants. Looks like you had fun doing this post.

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    1. I really did. Took me some time, but I think it turned out great. Hope to do more road trip posts like this in the future.

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  10. Beautiful! I'd love to visit those waterfalls. And those old castle ruins too.

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  11. Würde ich auch immer so machen...Leihwagen und los gehts. Man bekommt viel mehr zu sehen, und dank dir kann man sich auch super darauf vorbereiten. Wieder tolle Tipps die du gibst und die Fotos sind fantastisch.

    Herzliche Grüsse

    N☼va

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    1. Ich hoffe das Du auch eines tages einen Besuch machen wirst.

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  12. A wonderful travel log indeed, Mersad!! Such a beautiful place! I would truly enjoy spending some time there!! Your captures are the next best thing!! Thank you for sharing, as always! Hope your week is going well!!

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  13. I love to read your posts and imagine Iam traveling there! Hope I can do it some day.

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  14. Well done! Great post, Mersad!

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  15. Very nicely done, Mersad. If I were to plan a trip to your country, the spring at Blagaj and the Kravica waterfalls would be on my must-see list!

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    1. Those are really great choices, and both are very popular tourist spots.

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  16. Oh great, that is a very well-written and complete guided tour. I love also the photos placed in there, the falls, the last landscape are awesome. How i wish i can be there and follow that route. And 800 posts is mostly awesome too! Have more fun.

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  17. ugh, your photos are TOO beautiful! I especially love the 1st and last images!

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  18. Happy 800th! Love this post with the interactive maps. I love maps, so I'm instantly drawn in!

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    1. Thanks. I love maps as well, that's why I keep including them in all my new travel posts.

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  19. Odlična tura kroz jug BiH. Bio sam na nekim od ovih mjesta, ali nažalost Kravice nisam vidio uživo.

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    1. Definitivno mjesto vrijedno posjete, hvala na posjeti.

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  20. What a great landscape you have there. Really good shots presented. Very inviting. Up to the next 800.

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  21. really nice pictures here..I specially liked the third picture of ruined building!

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  22. I love these pictures, beautiful landscapes of nature!
    Have a wonderful weekend !!

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    1. There really is a lot to see on this toad trip.

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  23. love those old castle-like stone buildings!

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  24. Love the variety of views in this scenic road trip. The tower looks as if it has small trees growing from the walls and the Roman villa has just walls only now?

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    1. Yes, Mogorjelo only has the walls left now. It's very, very old.

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  25. What a great post. The spring of the river Buna is gorgeous!

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  26. Congratulations on your 800th post! That is a huge milesteone!

    This road trip looks like a ton of fun! You are in an amazing place, and your post gives such good information about how to go about your travels. I love posts like these that are so informative.

    Thank you for joining us this week for Photo Friday!

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    1. Thanks for visiting. So glad you enjoyed reading it. I will continue to make posts like these, and you can find many similar ones under the "Travel" section in the menu on the top of the blog.

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  27. Gorgeous colors and a nice share about the trip with the logisitcs!

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  28. this indeed would be a great road trip.

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  29. What an absolutely charming place! I love the ruins and the water and the sky and the landscape!

    I've never thought of visiting this magical place. I wonder if I will ever have the chance. I certainly hope so.

    The picture with your family peeking out of the stone walls was especially charming.

    Thanks for linking to the letter C.

    A+

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  30. This is wonderful, Mersad! What a help for people making the trip...lots to see & enjoy very closeby!

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  31. Hello,

    That is a great article. We want to make a long road trip trough Bosnia and Croatia and in one day of this trip I planed a route very similar to this one. I want to do Mostar -> Blagaj -> Počitelj -> Kravice -> Ston. I do have a question, can you tell me how much time you have spent on Blagaj,Počitelj and Kravice? We have to arrive a bit earlier in Ston as we do have to build up our tent, so I am unsure if we will have enough time to also visit and enjoy Kravice or if the plan is to ambitios for one day.

    Maybe you could give me an advice, it would be really appreciated.
    Best regards

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    1. Your plan can work out that way. Parking in all three places (Blagaj, Pocitelj and Kravice) should not be a problem. You can spend an hour in Blagaj (it's quite small) if you wont be having lunch there or something like that, pocitelj 2 hours and the rest for Kravice. Keep in mind that you will have to cross the border three times in order to get to Ston so there could be some traffic there.

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  32. Thanks for the advice!

    I was not thinking of the borders as a place where we would have to wait but I will keep it in mind.

    Best wishes

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    1. Yeah. For the road trip described in this post you wont have to, but since you are going to Ston which is in Croatia you will have to cross borders and re-enter Bosnia and enter Croatia once more for Ston. You can see it more clearly on Google Maps

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    2. Actually maps gives me the route trough Bosnia till Duži. Is that way not so good or why would you suggest to go HR-BIH-HR?

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    3. Yes you can drive that route but it's not a good one. It's veeery narrow and goes along cliffs. I don't use it either. Go to Metkovic and from there towards Neum and Ston.

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  33. Such beautiful places to see in your country!

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  34. Gorgeous post filled with images of beautiful landscapes and buildings

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