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.
Above: The spring of the river Buna in Blagaj; Below: The outer walls of the Herceg Stjepan fortress
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 PociteljDrive 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 LunchDrive duration: 7 minutes
Above: Lunch in Calipso; Below: Entrance into the nature resort Hutovo Blato
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 MogorjeloDrive duration: 4 minutes
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 WaterfallsDrive duration: 20 minutes
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 MostarDrive 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
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$. All cars are fully insured, air conditioned, and you have unlimited mileage.
Food and Drinks
South Bosnia and Herzegovina is very hot. Daily temperatures are around 30C/86F in late spring, and climb up to 35C/95F in Summer. So make sure to always have water at hand. If you begin your trip in Mostar you have two big grocery stores called "Bingo" at the north (adress: Put M-17 br. 5, Mostar) and south (adress: Bišće polje bb, Mostar) exit.
Most of the places I have listed do not requre any entracne fees. Places like the Old Town of Blagaj, Herceg Stjepan Fortress, Pocitelj, Hutovo Blato are completely free to enter. Only the Kravice waterfalls require a 1€/1,1$ entrance fee. Of course some places do charge parking (like Blagaj). But that is usually 1€/1,1$ per hour.
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!
This is also my 800th Blog Post!