Bosnia Road Trip: Itinerary for Bosnia-Herzegovina [10 Days] in the Balkans

Bosnia Road Trip: Itinerary for Bosnia-Herzegovina [10 Days] in the Balkans

How awesome is Bosnia-Herzegovina – there are epic waterfalls, stunning clear rivers and charming little towns. 

When considering a country in eastern Europe for a road trip, Bosnia & Herzegovina should be one of the first countries on your mind. This idyllic country often gets overshadowed by its neighbour, Croatia. Don’t get me wrong, Croatia is a magnificent country in itself but Bosnia & Herzegovina is just something else.

Driving in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Driving in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Nature-lovers will be astounded by the abundance of natural marvels that are hidden within Bosnia & Herzegovina. It is a surprise that it is often less travelled than its neighbours, but that also means that it is typically less crowded. This also means that you will be able to travel around without seeing the full effects that tourism has on the society. You can expect genuine, unforgettable experiences.

Even though this post has a recommended itinerary for a road trip in Bosnia-Herzegovina, we recommend not making concrete plans but having a rough idea where you want to start and end. Enter Bosnia, go find a river and drive along it.

Check Car Rental Prices in Bosnia-Herzegovina

We drove along the Drina and got to see some of the most amazing scenery on our rented car. On our second trip here, we explored the area around Una and Krka rivers in our Camper van

One of the many scenic spots while road tripping in Bosnia

One of the many scenic spots while road tripping in Bosnia

Believe it or not, the above picture hasn’t been edited and these colors are real. This place was right along the Drina river a few hours after crossing Visegrad.

Yes, “Bosnia and Herzegovina” is a pretty long name, so throughout this article, we often mention just “Bosnia” or “Bosnia-Herzegovina” instead of using the full name. Yes, these are acceptable nicknames for this lovely country, pars pro toto!

Starting Point for Bosnia & Herzegovina Road Trip:

Us with our van in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Us with our van in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Most people start their Bosnia road trip from Croatia and it makes total sense to start at Una National Park, which is barely 30 kilometers from Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes. Both these countries share a long stretch of border with each other and it is a good idea to combine a Croatia road trip with Bosnia & Herzegovina. Be sure to read the post about our Croatia road trip.

In case you’re flying to Bosnia-Herzegovina, then your starting point will be Sarajevo and from there you can rent a car and do this itinerary in a loop. This way, you can return your rented car back in Sarajevo. The first time we rented a car here, we were quite stupid and went from one car rental shop to another at the airport to compare prices, cars and what not. We wished if there was a SINGLE website we could go to in order to compare everything. We know better now, of course there is a website and it is a pretty reputed one. If you want to compare car rental prices for different destinations, you can do this here on this website.

Check Car Rental Prices in Bosnia-Herzegovina

In case you’re entering from Serbia or Montenegro, your starting point will be Visegrad, it is situated close to both Serbia and Montenegro borders. The first time we visited Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was on a road trip from Serbia and we drove to Montenegro right after that. Check out this ultimate Balkan road trip itinerary to see our trip.

 

Una National Park – 2 Days

Milančev Buk - Martin Brod Waterfall in Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Milančev Buk – Martin Brod Waterfall in Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Una National Park is situated just off the border shared with Croatia and is much easier to get to while driving. It was established to protect the Una River; which is it centered around; Krka River and the Unac River. This park is known for its tufa formations. Picture stunning limestone formations but more porous; with holes that allow water to flow through and create magical waterfall systems.

Amazing camping spot in Una National Park -Camping & picnic place Lucica

Amazing camping spot in Una National Park -Camping & picnic place Lucica

At Una National Park, you will feel like you have escaped to a shrouded wonderland surrounded by lush flora and the sound of the powerful cascades. There are also many spots around the park where you can stop to set up a picnic for the day or camp for the night.

Jajce – 1 Day

Jajce - Bosnia-Herzegovina Road Trip

Jajce – Bosnia-Herzegovina Road Trip – CC0 VIA Pixabay

Jajce is a medieval town characterised by its fortress that sits atop the city and the waterfalls that flow beneath. Jajce is an interesting place to stop at on your Bosnia road trip not only because it’s breathtaking sites, but also the historical importance of this town. 

It once was a bustling capital of the Bosnian Kingdom and Jajce Fortress was the home of the last Bosnian King before it fell under Ottoman rule. Nowadays, the landmark is a great place to catch memorable views of the sunset. 

The waterfall that is “under” Jajce is called Pliva Waterfall and it is located right next to the town so it is very easy to get to. Lots of people opt to cross the river in order to get a photo of the Jajce Fortress, the town, and Pliva Waterfall together in a composition that looks almost unreal.

Mostar – 2-3 Days

Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina - Travel to the Balkans

Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina – Travel to the Balkans

Our next stop on this Bonia Road Trip is to Mostar, a city most known for the impressive Stari Most Bridge. Mostar Bridge is a well reconstructed and preserved Ottomanesque bridge that is impossible to miss while in Mostar. If you are lucky enough to be in Mostar at the end of July, you will have the chance to witness the local diving competition. This is a tradition where the bravest, young men take on the 24 m leap into the Neretva river.

Mostar was exposed to a variety of different cultural influences in the past which can be seen in the architecture as you wander the streets of the Old Town. The traditional food here is no different, sampling flavours from Middle Eastern dishes with a Central European twist.

Lastly, Mostar is a town that loves the arts. There are countless galleries, museums, and theatres to view works from Bosnian Natives and it is also the location of some really exciting summer festivals. 

Blagaj – Day Trip from Mostar

Blagaj on Buna Spring in Bosnia & Herzegovina - Road trip itinerary

Blagaj on Buna Spring in Bosnia & Herzegovina – Road trip itinerary

During your three days in Mostar, you might want to explore a bit outside the city and Blagaj is the perfect place to go! A short 15 minute drive will take you to the small village of Blagaj which is the location of an ancient Dervish Monastery and Vrelo Bune; a captivating natural spring.

I’m sure we say it often enough but we love being in natural environments and Buna Spring will not fail to enchant you. Its main alluring feature is the contrast between the rigid structures of the building and the organic flow of the landscape surrounding it.

You can go into the Blagaj Tekija (the Blagaj Monastery) if you wish for two and a half euros or simply spend the day wandering the village. There are also a few restaurants next to the spring that you can stop at for a bite to eat before heading back to Mostar.

Kravice Waterfalls – 1 Day (stay in Studenci town or Međugorje for the night)

Eating and Drinking in Kravice Waterfalls Bosnia

Eating and Drinking in Kravice Waterfalls Bosnia

Another popular day trip from Mostar is to the incredible Kravice Waterfalls but we think that they deserve a longer visit. To experience the true beauty of the falls, consider spending the night in Stufenci town or Međugorje. This will allow you to spend as much time as you want to enjoy Kravice falls as well as explore the grounds after the tour bus crowds leave.

Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina - travel the Balkans

Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina – travel the Balkans

Kravice waterfalls are a system of tufa cascades surrounded by lush forests. The falls empty into a crystal clear pool which you are allowed to swim in. Aside from taking in the spectacular sites of the falls, there are numerous spaces to set up a picnic, a swing to get that perfect ‘gram photo, and spots to relax. We have a lot more information in our blog post about Kravice Waterfalls.

Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia & Herzegovina - Balkans Road Trip itinerary

Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia & Herzegovina – Balkans Road Trip itinerary

There are 4 major waterfalls in this area of land that’s shared by Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina – and they’re all spectacular and have tufa formations. These are Kravice, Plitvice (Croatia), Krka National Park (Croatia) and Una National Park (Bosnia) and out of all of them our best experience was at Kravice. It was because we could swim and experience the true beauty and it wasn’t as crowded as Croatia’s Krka National Park.

Vjetrenica Cave – Stop here for an hour on your way

Inside Vjetrenica Cave in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Inside Vjetrenica Cave in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Next on our Bosnia road trip itinerary we suggest heading to the southern part of the country and even staying in Dubrovnik, Croatia for a few days but first, stop by Vjetrenica cave. 

Vjetrenica Cave is located outside the small village of Zavala and is completely worth a short visit while travelling around southern Bosnia. You don’t need to stop here for long but just do a little tour that will take you 30 minutes. It is one of those stops in your road trip itinerary where you can just stop for a snack and toilet and see something beautiful.

Albino cave salamander or Human Fish in Vjetrenica Cave

Albino cave salamander or Human Fish in Vjetrenica Cave

If you enjoyed watching BBC’s Planet Earth documentary series, then maybe you remember the episode about caves. It features a rare albino salamander, and I never imagined in my lifetime I’d get to see a creature as elusive as this, but I did in Vjetrenica cave. It is also sometimes called a “human fish” because of its skin color. 

Walking inside Vjetrenica Cave, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Walking inside Vjetrenica Cave, Bosnia-Herzegovina

We highly recommend you take a tour into the first 600 metres of this massive cave filled with a unique biodiversity that you won’t be able to see anywhere else. Two hundred subterranean species call the 20 km of Vjetrenica cave home.

While here, you can also visit Popovo Polje which is an expansive karstic field unique to the region due to the nearby Trebišnjica River. 

Dubrovnik – 1-2 Days 

Dubrovnik - King's Landing in Game of Thrones - Croatia Itinerary

Dubrovnik – King’s Landing in Game of Thrones – Croatia Itinerary

This is a great opportunity to fit Dubrovnik seamlessly into your travel plans as you would need to cross through Bosnia & Herzgovnia regardless to explore this 16th century seaport. Dubrovnik is well-known for having an old town that is reminiscent of the renaissance era that spread across Europe. 

Dubrovnik - Croatia Road Trip Itinerary

Dubrovnik – Bosnia Road Trip Itinerary

The charming cityscape alone attracts visitors to Dubrovnik with its romantic gothic and romanesque structures. Along with walking around the Old City, you can spend a day at one of the glorious beaches and dip your toes in the Adriatic Sea. 

Any Game of Thrones fans won’t want to skip seeing the walls of Dubrovnik which you will probably recognize as King’s Landing. In fact, you can go on a walking tour around the city to all the spots that the series featured.

 

Višegrad – 1-2 days

The Bridge on the Drina - Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The Bridge on the Drina – Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The last stop that you should add to you Bosnia road trip is Višegrad. If you are coming in from Serbia, you are most likely going to want to stop here first and do this whole itinerary in reverse order. 

Višegrad and its notable historical bridge is the setting of the book, “Bridge over the Drina” which was written by Ivo Andrić. Raised in Višegrad, Andrić went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature and gained recognition for the bridge that he once played on as a child; the Mehmed Paša Sokolovic bridge which is elegantly placed over the Drina river. 

The lovely Drina river, near Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The lovely Drina river, near Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

After you spend the day exploring the town of Višegrad, we highly recommend having dinner at Anika. Feast on some delicious dishes while enjoying a view of the bridge over the Drina at this locally cherished riverside restaurant. 

Sarajevo – Optional 

Sarajevo - Bosnia-Herzegovina Road Trip Itinerary

Sarajevo – Bosnia-Herzegovina Road Trip Itinerary – CC0 via Pixabay

If you have extra time, you can visit the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina on your road trip. Sarajevo, much like the rest of Bosnia, displays remnants from the Ottoman era. For any history buffs, the city is filled with significant local history to learn about and there are no shortage of interesting museums to visit.

Sarajevo is said to be an interesting stunning city, but honestly, we haven’t visited it despite our two road trips in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Big cities aren’t really for us, but we feel it is important to let our readers know about their options. 

Tips for Driving in Bosnia & Herzegovina 

Paved road in Una National Park

Paved road in Una National Park

We highly recommend driving around Bosnia with your friends if you have the option as it gives you so much more freedom with your itinerary. Here are just a few tips that you should consider before taking your own vehicle or renting one to start your road trip around Bosnia & Herzegovina.

We mentioned making a stop in Dubrovnik and if that is something you are keen to do, you need to make sure you have a green card for your car if it is a non EU registration. This basically just ensures that you have the proper vehicle insurance to cover cross-border travel.

Right outside Vjetrenica Cave in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Right outside Vjetrenica Cave in Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina has quite a few traffic control stops where we saw people being stopped for speeding. We luckily weren’t stopped but if we can take one thing from this – Don’t speed and make sure to read and follow traffic rules to avoid any mishaps with the authorities.

If you notice someone signaling you by blinking their headlights, then they’re probably trying to warn you of an upcoming police checkpoint. Keep your speed in check as soon as you see this.

Try to get a car that has the ability to keep your devices charged. We don’t know what we would have done without access to google maps to help ensure we were going in the right direction. The last thing you want to happen is to be lost with no access to your phone.

No matter where you go, be sure to stay on the paved road. This is what we heard from everyone and is because of the threat of landmines.

We have a post on our website with tips for traveling in Europe with a campervan, it has a country specific section about Bosnia. Make sure you check it out as well. 

Best Time to Go to Bosnia-Herzegovina 

Lovely landscape in Bosnia-Herzegovina along the way - road trip itinerary

Lovely landscape in Bosnia-Herzegovina along the way – road trip itinerary

To be honest, Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country that you can enjoy anytime throughout the year because each season offers its own unique set of experiences. Some of the most popular times to go are during the spring from April to June as those months see the mildest temperatures and are perfect for enjoying the natural wonders of Bosnia.

Since most of the destinations mentioned on our Bosnia-Herzegovina road trip itinerary are natural wonders, then we highly recommend the time from April to September. 

The county sees its hottest temperatures in July and August and its coldest in January and February. If you love to partake in winter activities, Bosnia during the wintertime is a dream and the months of February and March will offer you longer days to play in the snow.

The Food in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Our dinner in Anika restaurant in Visegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Our dinner in Anika restaurant in Visegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina

I will be honest, I did not enjoy a lot of my food in Bosnia & Herzegovina because most of it was meat. I’m not a vegetarian or a vegan – I just love eating vegetables and dislike meat. The vegetables were very hard to find except in salads.

Salad in Anika restaurant, Visegrad, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Salad in Anika restaurant, Visegrad, Bosnia-Herzegovina – Limited vegetarian food options

If you enjoy meat then you won’t have a hard time in Bosnia-Herzegovina. You can eat the famous ćevapi, which is like a kebab or ćufte, which is like meatballs or kofte. This is what San usually ate while we were traveling here and he loved it.

You can also try burek – which is a pastry that’s usually filled with minced meat but I often found vegetarian options that were stuffed with spinach and cheese, which is usually called zeljanica. You can buy burek in most of the cafes and bakeries.

A really good vegetarian food option in Bosnia is tarhana, which is a simple soup made with homemade pasta. It tasted divine! I had tarhana as a part of one of our best meals in Bosnia was home cooked and prepared for us by our Bosnian hosts while we were in Una National Park.

Is Bosnia-Herzegovina Safe to Travel Alone?

Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia-Herzegovina

Yes! Although we travelled together around this beautiful country, I would feel completely safe travelling around Bosnia-Herzegovina solo. While I was traveling solo in Turkey in 2010, I met a Chinese-American girl who mentioned she was traveling solo in Bosnia-Herzegovina just a few months before Turkey and she loved it.

A lot of people still think about the conflicts that occurred in the 90s and are concerned that this has deemed Bosnia unsafe but that is quite far from the truth.

If you stick to the cities that we have recommended here, you will find yourself more often than not greeted by friendly faces. Travelling with a strong awareness and common sense is a given when making your way around Bosnia as with anywhere else in the world. 

Where to go After Bosnia-Herzegovina?

Croatia

If you didn’t go to Croatia before you embarked on your Bosnia & Herzegovina trip, then you should head here and travel around this country. There are so many interesting sites to see in Croatia and one of the best reasons to go is to soak up the sun on the Istria Coast.

With a relatively moderate climate all year round, Croatia is a favourite amongst travellers within the Balkans for a reason. There are many small islands to explore as well, which means that there are plenty of opportunities to avoid crowds and find your own natural sanctuaries to relax in.

Serbia

Banjska Stena, Tara National Park in Serbia, near Mokra Gora

Banjska Stena, Tara National Park in Serbia, near Mokra Gora

Following our ultimate Bosnia Herzegovina Road trip itinerary, we have led you right to Serbia which is only a half hour drive away from Višegrad. With bustling, urban cities, a rich cultural history, and flavourful local cuisine, Serbia is an amazing country to continue on to if you are travelling through the Balkans. 

Also, if you are in love with all the natural wonders that you witnessed on your Bosnia & Herzegovina road trip and would like to see more, Serbia is ready to wow you. There are quite a few established and hidden natural sites to stop at while travelling this underrated country.

Montenegro

Black Lake - Durmitor National Park near Žabljak, Montenegro

Black Lake – Durmitor National Park near Žabljak, Montenegro

Our last suggestion is to head to Montenegro. It is one of the smaller countries in the Balkans, but don’t let its size fool you. There are tons of astonishing sites to behold while travelling this country. The Dinaric Alps make up a large portion of the north of Montenegro which shifts to plains the more south you go.

Montenegro is also the home of the popular and stunning, Kotor Bay. The diverse natural terrain and charming old towns within this country are enough reasons to head to Montenegro after completing your Bosnia road trip. 

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Exploring Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina – from the Bridge on the Drina Book

Exploring Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina – from the Bridge on the Drina Book

Travel Guide for Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina 

We didn’t know about Višegrad, but we arrived here just by chance. On our Balkan road trip, we wanted to stop and sleep in the first scenic town in Bosnia-Herzegovina right after crossing Serbia. That’s how we found Višegrad, a romantic riverside town with mountains and an amazing atmosphere where I celebrated my birthday with my husband.

We’d like to mention that there is another town in Hungary called Visegrád, please don’t confuse it with Višegrad of Bosnia & Herzegovina.
 

Višegrad is a town in Bosnia-Herzegovina that’s historic, small, scenic and lively. With its spectacular Unesco World Heritage bridge that inspired many artists, clear Drina river, and curative Spas, Visegrad shines bright due to its beauty. Of course, the mountains add an extra special touch. 

Lovely Višegrad with the Bridge on the Drina, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Lovely Višegrad with the Bridge on the Drina, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The most famous part of Višegrad is its historical bridge. In fact, this small eastern Bosnian town gained international fame after Nobel Prize in literature winner Ivo Andric published the novel “The Bridge on the Drina”. 

Every year, many tourists visit Visegrad and its Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge, which stands gracefully on the River Drina, surrounded by a green limestone bed and amazing nature. Still – the number of tourists that visit here is small as compared to the more famous Mostar in the country. If you like small towns, then you will find Višegrad to be a perfect niche destination to be included in your Balkans itinerary.

The best way to reach Visegrad is by car. In fact, the best way to explore most of Europe is by car. If you don’t have a car then click here to rent one because it can end up being cheaper than other modes of transport if you’re not traveling solo.

Check Car Rental Prices in Bosnia-Herzegovina

We arrived in Visegrad on our rented car too, but from Tara National Park in Serbia, which is right on Sebia-Bosnia border.

About the Novel “The Bridge on the Drina”- written by Ivo Andric

Lost in his thoughts he looked out from his shop at the shining loveliness of that first day of March. Opposite him, a little to the side, stood the eternal bridge, everlastingly the same; through its white arches could be seen the green, sparkling, tumultuous waters of the Drina, so that they seemed like some strange diadem in two colours which sparkled in the sun. ”

– Ivo Andrić, The Bridge on the Drina

The world-famous bridge of Višegrad, the Mehmed Paša Sokolovic bridge owes its fame to the Visegrad-raised and Nobel Prize in Literature winner author, Ivo Andrić. His novel was originally written in Serbo-Croatian language in 1945 and is called Na Drini ćuprija. Its English title is The Bridge on the Drina and it features Visegrad’s splendid stone bridge. 

This impressive novel not only introduced the gorgeous bridge to the world but shared a story about its tragic role in World War II.

Things to do in Visegrad

Višegrad is only 10 km away from the border with Serbia and in total 27 kilometers from Mokra Gora, a little mountain paradise village. This lovely small town in eastern Bosnia & Herzegovina was once a natural border between the Western and Eastern Roman Empire.

Visegrad is tiny, but it offers many amazing things to do. From monasteries to boat tours and famous thermal baths in the Thermal Valley, Visegrad should be experienced once in a lifetime. If you are interested, here are some things to do in Visegrad.

Walk on the Bridge on the Drina – Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge

Walk on the Bridge on the Drina - Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Walk on the Bridge on the Drina – Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge is to Višegrad what Charles Bridge is to Prague. Walking on this bridge is an experience in itself. I will talk about the history of this bridge later, but let me share my personal experience first. 

The Bridge on the Drina - Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The Bridge on the Drina – Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

It was a warm summer night when San and I decided to explore Visegrad and we were thrilled how everything was just a quick walk away. One of the most romantic things we did was walking over the bridge on the Drina river. Time stood still as we stood gazing at the river while standing on this bridge. That was our loveliest Višegrad experience.

Visegrad at night with the bridge over the Drina river, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Visegrad at night with the bridge over the Drina river, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Being the most famous landmark of Visegrad, Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge spans the glorious Drina River. This glorious 11-arch bridge was built in 1571 by the chief architect of the Ottoman Empire, Mimar Sinan. Thanks to Nobel Prize winner author Ivo Andrić’s classic novel called Bridge on the Drina, this masonry bridge gained international fame. And today, people are still fascinated by its beauty and significance as a piece of architecture. 

The Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge also has a Unesco World Heritage site status since 2007.  In 2010, the bridge was fully restored to show its unique beauty once more. Due to fluctuations in the Drina river level, which might cause danger of collapse, the bridge is closed to traffic.

Witness the glory of the Drina River

The lovely Drina river, near Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The lovely Drina river, near Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Being an important battleground for centuries, the glorious Drina River divided the Eastern Roman Empire from the Western Roman Empire, and later the Austro-Hungarian Empire from Serbia. And today, this central Balkan river flows through southeastern Europe and acts as a border between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mountains, Drina river and Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Mountains, Drina river and Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

With its beautiful emerald-green waters and limestone bed, the Drina River carries strong waves that create amazing nature for every taste.  Whether you want to fish in its splendid lake Perućac while enjoying its glorious scenery or camp on the Drina river banks while sleeping under the clear night sky and enjoying the fresh air, you will find something for everyone.

Visit Andrićgrad – the “Stone Town” dedicated to Ivo Andric

Entry for Andrićgrad, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Entry for Andrićgrad, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Andrićgrad, which means Andric’s town in English, is a little town within Visegrad that is dedicated to the famous writer Ivo Andric, the Nobel prize winner that we have been mentioning in every section of this post.

Monument inside Andrićgrad, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Monument inside Andrićgrad, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Also known as the Stonetown, Andrićgrad was actually a project of a famous film director Emir Kusturica. Yes, the same film director who built Drvengrad, the bamboo village in Mokra Gora which is just 27 kilometers away in Serbia. We ended up visiting all these places without knowing anything about Emir Kusturica or Ivo Andric but found out during our visit.

The construction of this town started on 28 June 2011, and it was officially opened to the public on 28 June 2014. And since then, every year on Serbian slava Vidovdan, Andrićgrad celebrates its anniversary.

Inside Andrićgrad, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Inside Andrićgrad, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Here you can check out the Ivo Andric’s institute with a center for Slavic languages, Fine Arts Academy, Townhall, the Church of Saint Lazar, renaissance theatre, multiplex cinema, and of course, accommodation options with several cafes & bars, and souvenir shops. Yes, it is a little like Drvengrad but is all in stone instead of wood.

Artwork in Andrićgrad, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Artwork in Andrićgrad, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Besides its mixture of Byzantine, Ottoman and Renaissance styled buildings, you can also find images of Serbian heroes like Andrić, Tesla, Njegoš, and Princip all scattered around the town.

Eat in Anika, a lovely riverside restaurant

Kafana Anika, restaurant in Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Kafana Anika, restaurant in Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

We asked one of the locals to recommend a place to eat and he said his favorite restaurant is Anika. Honestly, we were expecting a casual noisy restaurant with loud chatter of locals with kids, but it ended up being a romantic restaurant along the river. No, it isn’t right next to the water but it on the other side of the street but yes, you can see the river and an incredible view of the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge

Our dinner in Anika restaurant in Visegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Our dinner in Anika restaurant in Visegrad, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Our dinner in Anika ended up being our most memorable one in our entire Balkan trip. We ate a fresh salad, trout and the locally famous cevapcici. San also drank the local beer and I drank lemonade since I was traveling during pregnancy. I’m a picky eater and did not have a good experience with the traditional Yugoslav food but Anika won my heart.

Salad in Anika restaurant, Visegrad, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Salad in Anika restaurant, Visegrad, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Anika riverside restaurant is definitely a must-visit restaurant in Visegrad for those who want to try the traditional food with an excellent service and view of the famous bridge on the Drina.  

We loved Anika so much that we drove back to Visegrad all the way from Montenegro, just to eat a lavish meal here.  With its great location which is very close to the town of Andrićgrad, to Mokra Gora and Mecavnik Ethno Village, you can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner here. And if you would like to stay overnight, you can book one of four rooms in the restaurant as well. 

See the Ivo Andric House and Monument

Thousands of tourists visit the town Travnik every year to see the birthplace of the literary Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andric and also his native house, which was converted into a memorial museum. In this memorial museum, you can see the birth room with furnitures, a library with the writers works in various languages, a room dedicated to the novel “Travnička hronika” and copies of drawings of Zuka Dzumhur as an illustration for a short story “Priča o vezirom slonu” in the corridors, and many more. You can also check out the photographs taken during the writer’s last visit of Andrić to Travnik and photos from the Nobel Prize award ceremony.

On Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge’s southeast, you’ll see a large marble monument of the famous author Ivo Andric. Designed by Sarajevian sculptor Ljupko Antunovic, this statue honors the author, which made this small town a famous tourist attraction with its well-known novel. It is definitely worth photographing for its importance.

Relax in the curative waters of the Visegrad Spa

Surrounded by thick pine forest, the Višegrad Spa offers an incredible experience to all the health lovers. Located just 5 km away from Visegrad, the health resorts thermal waters is used for the prevention and curing purposes of many diseases, no matter the age. With its radioactive carbonated water, the Visegrad Spa has been visited for many centuries.

Due to its radioactivity and the main element radon, the curative waters of this spa is capable of diminishing pain, increasing the resilience of body, and it is also used for the treatment of rheumatic diseases, neurological disorders, orthopedic disorders and deformities, gynecologic diseases, diseases of respiratory organs, and geriatric diseases.

Višegrad spa is the first listed spa by the level of its radioactivity in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but don’t worry, because the level of radiation is completely safe for medical therapies. Since there is no accumulation of radioactivity, you can enjoy the thermal waters of the Visegrad spa with a temperature of 34º C, without worrying about the side effects of the radiation. 

Check out the beautiful frescoes at Monastery Dobrun

Surrounded by a lush valley, this historic monastery that sits on the Rzav river’s edge welcomes its visitors by its theatrical location. Just 12 km away from the town of Višegrad, Dobrun Monastery was built by a Serbian duke called Duke Pribil and his sons Stefan and Petar in 1343. The monastery is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin. Sadly it was destroyed several times but restored before taking its present-day form. 

Still working as an active monastery, you can ask the current residents to unlock the door for you to check out this historic monastery beautiful chapel and its impressive frescoes. These gorgeous frescoes were painted on a very rich annex by a monk called Jovan in 1383. The most famous frescoes that is preserved until the present day are the ones with Tsar Dušan with his wife Jelena and son Uroš, and the fresco of the monastery founder of the monastery Duke Pribil with his sons and son in law Stan. It is said that these impressive frescoes survived a devastating fire by a restless intervention. Later, Dobrun Monastery was reconstructed by despot Stefan Lazarević and Princess Milica.

Boat trip down the Drina River canyon

Višegrad in Bosnia-Herzegovina with Drina river

Višegrad in Bosnia-Herzegovina with Drina river

If you are looking forward to spending some time gazing through amazing scenery and enjoy the fresh air, you have to take a boat tour on the Drina river, which shaped the third-largest canyon in Europe! Being a very fast river, in the past, the canyon of the Drina was known for its large streams and whirlpools. Since the dam of the hydroelectric power plant at Bajina Basta, the Drina river turned into a peaceful lake that offers many splendid river cruises.

Sailing through 52 km long the Drina river, you will witness some breathtaking scenery including the mouth of river Žepa, small springs and rivers, medieval fortifications, and of course, a great mix of different historic buildings from the Byzantine and the Ottoman era!

How to Reach Višegrad?

Bridge on the Drina signboard for Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bridge on the Drina signboard for Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

I have said this before in most of my posts but here I go again. The easiest way to travel in Europe is by to renting a car. It can turn out to be more economical than taking public transport if you’re 2 or more. Višegrad can be reached very easily by driving on the M5 road after 120 km from Sarajevo. 

If you are planning to fly to reach the town of Visegrad, the nearest international airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in Sarajevo, which is 120 km away from the town. If you are planning to use the railroad, the nearest railway station is also located in Sarajevo.

After arriving at Sarajevo, you can take a few daily buses to Višegrad from the Eastern Sarajevo-Lukavica station. If the bus that you took terminates in Visegrad, make sure to get off somewhere in the city center. Otherwise, since the main bus terminal on the south edge of town, you might have to walk to the city center by yourself. If that happens, don’t worry because the Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic Bridge is only 1 km away from there. So make sure to ask which direction you are heading to.

If you want to reach Visegrad from other towns, there are lots of daily bus departures also from Banja Luka, Trebinje, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Niš, and Užice. From Belgrade, Višegrad can be reached by the road M5 via Čačak and Uzice, after driving 280 km in total. But you can always use daily buses during your visit. 

Where to Stay in Višegrad?

Our bedroom in Harmony Apartments, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Our bedroom in Harmony apartments, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The cute town Visegrad offers an improving high-standard accommodation with its many luxurious hotels, as well as private accommodations for its visitors. Honestly, I am not a fan of resorts or big star hotels but I love booking apartments. They’re budget-friendly and you have your own kitchen, sitting area apart from just a bedroom and toilet.

Kitchen in Harmony Apartments, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Kitchen in Harmony Apartments, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

If you seek to accommodate at the heart of Visegrad, you can book an apartment from Harmony apartments. Just a few minutes away by foot from historic Mehmed-Pasha Sokolovic’s bridge, you can have both a pleasant stay and easy access around Visegrad. That’s where we stayed while we were here and we were amazing at how clean this place was. 

Toilet in Harmony Apartments, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Toilet in Harmony Apartments, Visegrad, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Our apartment was exactly what we needed after a hard day of driving. We relaxed here, used the surprisingly fast wifi and showered before heading off to the town. The owner was super helpful, he actually came and picked us up because we were a little lost. He also recommended us a few excellent places to eat and told us interesting stories about Visegrad. All this for just 20 euros per night – it was a steal.

Did follow our travel recommendations for Visegrad?

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Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina – Natural Paradise near Croatia

Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina – Natural Paradise near Croatia

Ever heard of Una National Park? It is one of the most underrated destinations in the Balkans. This National Park is in Bosnia & Herzegovina and it shares its border with Croatia. Hence, you can easily include a visit to Una National Park in your Croatia itinerary.

If you’re following me on Instagram, then you must have seen pictures of Una National Park already. I have been raving about this place on social media, and I’m finally penning down my travel experience in a post.

It was our second visit to Bosnia & Herzegovina and this little country never fails to surprise us. Last year we visited Kravice Waterfalls near Medjugorje, Visegrad near Serbia and Vjetrenica cave near Dubrovnik. 

Unac River, a tributory of Una river in Una national park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Unac River, a tributory of Una river in Una national park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

I did not end up writing a post about all these places for my selfish reason. I do not want to share information about them and invite the world to see them. [Yes, my blog DOES get visited by many people all over the world.] 

I do realize that places like Una National Park mostly get visited by road trippers. It is easier to reach with a car (you can rent one for cheap). After all, it is a headache reaching here on a bus.Check Car Rental Prices in Bosnia-Herzegovina

We did this trip on our camper van. Considering how massive this national park is, one has to be highly determined to see this national park to arrive here by public transport and walk (or cycle) a lot. 

What is Una National Park all about and Why Visit it?

A lovely house along Una River in Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

A lovely house along Una River in Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Una National Park is established around the Una river and its tributaries – Unac River and Krka River. Just like Plitvice, there is a lot of tufa in this national park too. As per the park’s official website, tufa makes Una beautiful. As a result of tufa, the park has cascades, waterfalls, river rapids and white water passages.

Tufa pools under Martin Brod waterfall - Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Tufa pools under Martin Brod waterfall – Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The park includes Krka river’s starting point, its entire course and its confluence with Una river. Krka river is just 6 KMs long and forms a natural border between Croatia and Bosnia. 

On the other hand, only the lower course of the Unac river is a part of the national park. It creates a spectacular waterfall where it meets the Una river. I will talk about that waterfall later in this post.

Rock formations and bench in Martin Brod, Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Rock formations and bench in Martin Brod, Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Una National Park is massive and covers an area of 196 square kilometers. There are several villages inside and many lucky people call this place their home. (Imagine – how awesome it would be to live inside a national park). In a way, it reminded us of Serbia’s Tara National Park or Montenegro’s Durmitor National Park – they also have villages inside.

Where is Una National Park?

Una National Park is very close to Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina border. It is Bosnia-Herzegovina’s northwestern part. It includes mainly Bihać area and a bit of Drvar and Bosanski Petrovac. 

The town of Bihac is just 30 kilometers from the extremely popular and heavenly Plitvice Lakes National Park of Croatia. We visited Una National Park right after Krka National Park in Croatia, and it is 120 kilometers from there. 

Us with our van in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Us with our van in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Here’s the distance of Una National Park from some of the nearby destinations: (Note, I’m calculating the distance to the nearest village inside Una National Park – for some is Bihać town and for others is Martin Brod. The distance between Bihać and Martin Brod is 50 KMs)

  • Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia: 30 KMs to Bihać
  • Zadar, Croatia: 119 KMs to Martin Brod
  • Krka National Park, Croatia: 120 KMs to Martin Brod
  • Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina: 160 KMs to Bihać
  • Split, Croatia: 195 KMs to Martin Brod
  • Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia-Herzegovina: 253 KMs to Martin Brod
  • Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina: 254 KMs to Martin Brod
  • Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina: 324 KMs to Martin Brod

Hopefully, the above information helps you as you visit Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia on a road trip. Check our Balkans road trip itinerary here.

What to see in Una National Park – Top Sights

Martin Brod Waterfall – Milančev Buk

My friend enjoying the view of the waterfall in Martin Brod - Milančev Buk, Bosnia

My friend enjoying the view of the waterfall in Martin Brod – Milančev Buk, Bosnia

Martin Brod waterfall was the first spot that we saw in Una National Park and our jaws literally fell. It is massive, has lovely pools and there’s lush green vegetation all around. It is where fairies are born in a fantasy world!

Milančev Buk - Martin Brod Waterfall in Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Milančev Buk – Martin Brod Waterfall in Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

We paid an entrance fee of 1 euro per person and walked around the hill to reach the waterfall. The walk barely took us 5 minutes. Towards the end of our walk, we heard the sound of water and got very excited. As we got a bit closer and caught the first sight, we realized it was the “perfect-looking” waterfall.

Entry for Martin Brod Waterfall - Milančev Buk in Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Entry for Martin Brod Waterfall – Milančev Buk in Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

It wasn’t as massive as KRKA national park’s main waterfall or the Kravice waterfall. It felt magical because of the area around it, the pools under it, the thick vegetation all around. It actually gave us a feeling of being in the middle of a forest and reaching a secret paradise.

Can you spot us - Martin Brod Waterfall in Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Can you spot us – Martin Brod Waterfall in Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

There is a wooden ramp that goes on top of the pools to go closer to the waterfall, we must have stood there for a very long time. Sounds cliche but all our senses came alive because on that spot we could feel the water on our skin, taste the freshness of the droplets, hear the swish-shoosh, smell the dampness and of course see the epic beauty. 

Us three in Martin Brod - Milančev Buk waterfall - Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Us three in Martin Brod – Milančev Buk waterfall – Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

We visited the Milančev Buk waterfall in the afternoon and there was literally no one around. Compared to the maddening crowds in the nearby Plitvice Lakes or Krka National Park – this was a refreshing change.

FYI: This waterfall is called Milančev Buk but you can just ask for “Martin Brod Waterfall” – that’s easier to say than the actual name. Martin Brod is the name of the village where this waterfall is situated. This is also the starting point for the “International Una Regatta” kayaking competition.

Unac River Picnic Spot in Martin Brod

Una River along Camping & picnic place Lucica, Una National Park

Una River along Camping & picnic place Lucica, Una National Park

Unac River picnic spot in Martin Brod is barely 1 KM away from the waterfall Milančev Buk. Out of all the time we spent in Una National Park, most of it was here. It is actually a camping spot too. The best part is that you can camp next to the river for free. How awesome is that!

Amazing camping spot in Una National Park -Camping & picnic place Lucica

Amazing camping spot in Una National Park – Camping & picnic place Lucica

This spot large open grounds, clean toilets, showers, wooden gazebos, and picnic tables. It is unbelievable that you don’t have to pay any parking or camping fee. I would have happily paid someone for maintaining it or at least tipped but there was no box. We almost camped here for the night but then we decided to get an apartment because started raining.

WC in Martin Brod picnic and camping spot - Una National park, BIH

WC in Martin Brod picnic and camping spot – Una National park, BIH

The part of the river that you can see and enter from this spot is very clear and blue. It is a part of the Una River called Crno vrelo, which means “Black Spring” in Croatian. 

Camping & picnic place Lucica in Martin Brod, Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Camping & picnic place Lucica in Martin Brod, Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The name of this spot on Google Maps is Camping & picnic place Lucica. If you’re planning on camping here then please note that you will have to take your van down the slope and not every car can handle this, especially the old ones.

Štrbački buk – Waterfall in Gorjevac

Štrbački buk waterfall in Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Štrbački buk waterfall in Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina – By Nacionalni park Una – CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia

Štrbački buk is the most visited waterfall inside Una National Park, mainly because you can also enter it from Croatia without crossing the border. The entry from Croatia is from Una Mamea Park. At 25 meters, it is the highest waterfall in Una national park, but not the most spectacular. (The one in Martin Brod is better looking).

Štrbački buk waterfall - Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Štrbački buk waterfall – Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina – By Trawide – CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia

Strbacki Buk is a multi-tiered waterfall and it is possible to do rafting here. The sheer volume of water that you will see flowing down here is massive as compared to even the biggest waterfall in Plitvice. Click here for information about Strbacki Buk rafting.

Štrbački buk Rafting - Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Štrbački buk Rafting – Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

You need to pay an entry fee of around 2 EUR to see the Strbacki Buk waterfall. The maintenance of this area is amazing. There are wooden benches and boardwalk that goes up and close to the waterfall. There are restaurants in this area too. 

Just like Milančev Buk, the waterfall at Martin Brod – this area also has a picnic spot that’s right outside the waterfall entry.

Tip: If driving to Strbacki Buk, don’t drive there directly from Martin Brod because the roads are horrible. Instead, drive here through Oraśac village.

Rmanj Monastery in Martin Brod

Rmanj Monastery in Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Rmanj Monastery in Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Rmanj Monastery in Martin Brod has quite a history. It is an Orthodox monastery that was founded in the 15th or 16th century by the village founder – Katarina Branković after she lost her young son.

This monastery has had a rough past. It was abandoned during the Ottoman Empire in 1578, burned by the Turks in 1663, rebuilt in 1737, yet again burned down during Austro-Turkish War of 1787–1791, renovated in 1863, again damaged in anti Ottoman uprising in 1875, repaired in 1883, used as a hospital in World War II and bombed by the Germans in 1944. Insane, no? It was finally renovated in the 1980s. It is now a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Anyway, I’m not into history, I usually don’t enter museums or religious buildings but I liked something about the Rmanj Monastery and enjoyed photographing it. It is near the bridge that goes over the river, very close to the waterfall entrance. 

Unac Tunnel in Martin Brod

There is a bridge that goes over the river that’s close to Martin Brod waterfall. There’s a path that goes for 2 KMs to Unac Tunnel. This bridge is close to Ramanj Monastery. 

The owner of the restaurant that’s outside the waterfall in Martin Brod told us about this tunnel. He also mentioned that there are bats inside the tunnel and it is divided into two parts. 

We visited Una National Park with our 8-month-old baby and it wasn’t possible to go inside this tunnel. However, I want to mention this place so that you don’t miss out on it.

How to Reach Una National Park?

Paved road in Una National Park

Paved road in Una National Park

We arrived here by driving from Croatia, which is definitely the easiest way of getting here. I can not imagine reaching here by public transport because it is a bit remote. 

In order to arrive here by bus, you have to first reach Bihac – the biggest town in Una National Park. You can take a bus from Bihac to Kulen Vakuf. The bus crosses Una National Park’s entrance 2, which is 4.5 KMs away from Strbacki Buk waterfall. You will have to walk to the waterfall and then walk back to the place where the bus dropped you. 

You can also take a bus from Bihac to Martin Brod and walk to the waterfalls. Martin Brod isn’t so big and hopefully walking here won’t be a problem. The only thing is, there isn’t any bus timetable on the internet and you will have to personally visit Bihac bus station and ask.

Walking inside Una National Park

Walking inside Una National Park

Again, I’d like to mention that it is not the best idea to arrive here on public transport. If you get stranded and do not find a bus to take you back, keep in mind that the national park is remote. Renting a car in the Balkans isn’t so expensive and can sometimes work out to be the same cost as taking public transport if you can split the costs.

If you’re a solo traveler and renting a car doesn’t make sense to you then the easiest way to reach and experience Una National Park is by joining a tour.

Bus from Plitvice Lakes to Una National Park

Reach Una National Park on a bus from Plitvice Lakes is possible. Get to Slunj, a town that’s close to Plitvice Lakes and get onto a bus to Bihac. From Bihac, you have to take a bus to Martin Brod or Kulen Vakuf. (See the previous section for more details)

I have visited Slunj town on two occasions, and it also has a waterfall that’s called “mini Plitvice Lakes”. Seriously, Mother Nature is going crazy here with her benevolence!

There is a bus that goes from Zagreb to Bihac and crossed Plitvice Lakes at 8 am. This bus is operated by Autopromet d.d. Slunj. Ideally, if you want to make this journey then you should visit the bus station in Karlovac or Slunj to find out about the exact timetable. 

Una National Park Entrances:

Una National Park entrance 1 near Štrbački buk waterfall, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Una National Park entrance 1 near Štrbački buk waterfall, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Una National Park park is massive and has multiple entrances. The time we visited, we did not know of all the entrances but I’d like to share this information with you to help you plan your trip:

  • Entrance 1 – Gorjevac (close to Štrbački buk waterfall)
  • Entrance 2 – Ćukovi (close to Kulen Vakuf village, this is a better road for Štrbački buk waterfall but entrance 1 is closer)
  • Entrance 3 – Ćelije (this is also close to Štrbački buk waterfall)
  • Entrance 4 – Račić
  • Entrance 5 – Martin Brod (Milančev Buk waterfall)
  • Entrance 6 – Lohovo
Martin Brod - road sign showing Camping Spot and Waterfall

Martin Brod – road sign showing Camping Spot and Waterfall

In our case, we arrived inside the part from entrance 5 and left from somewhere close to entrance 1 and drove towards Slunj in Croatia.

Villages inside Una National Park:

I will share information about the three main villages that you need to know about to experience all the top sights. Of course, there are more than just these three.

Martin Brod

Walking around in Martin Brod, Una National Park - Bosnia & Herzegovina

Walking around in Martin Brod, Una National Park – Bosnia & Herzegovina

This part has the largest concentration of waterfalls, has the stunning Milančev Buk waterfall, Unac tunnel, Rmanj Monastery. Be sure to check out the “natural washing mills” in Martin Brod called Bučnica. It actually means “a natural laundry machine”. You can find more information about the bučnica here.

Kulen Vakuf

This is the most inhabited village and here you can see the abandoned fort Ostrovica. 

Orasac

Abandoned fortress near Orasac village in Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Abandoned fortress near Orasac village in Una National Park, Bosnia-Herzegovina

This village is where we stayed. The views are stunning because there are mountains all around. We could see an abandoned fort here too on top of one of the hills. The biggest waterfall – Strbacki buk is just 8 KMs from here.

Difference Between Una National Park and Una Mamea Park

Una National Park is inside Bosnia & Herzegovina, whereas Una Mamea Park is a smaller park in Croatia. Una Mamea Park only features Strbacki buk waterfall but Una National Park has an area of around 190 square KMs.

Where to stay in Una National Park

Apartment Denis Una in Orašac

Apartment Denis Una, Orasac - Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Apartment Denis Una, Orasac – Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Our bedroom in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac - Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Our bedroom in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac – Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Apartment Denis Una is the perfect place to stay in Una National Park. This is where we stayed and loved it. It is an apartment that’s in Orašac village. There is a lovely Bosnian family that runs this place. Thankfully they speak decent English and it was easy to communicate with them. 

View from our dining table in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac - Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

View from our dining table in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac – Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The family lives on the ground floor but the apartment for the guests is on top, with a separate entrance. The upstairs area is perfect because there’s good view from almost every window. There is a large sitting area in the balcony where we enjoyed a very lavish Bosnian breakfast.

Morning view from the window - Apartment Denis Una, Orasac - Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Morning view from the window – Apartment Denis Una, Orasac – Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Breakfast with view on the balcony in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac - Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Breakfast with view on the balcony in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac – Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

The apartment has two bedrooms, kitchen, living room and a bathroom. There is a washing machine, oven, fridge, stove, TV – and we even had a baby bed in our room. We had a traditional Bosnian dinner here which we will never forget.

Kitchen in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac - Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Kitchen in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac – Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Our living room in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac - Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Our living room in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac – Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Orašac village is adorable, wish we were here for longer. The apartment is super comfortable and we paid just 30 or 40 euros for 4 people and one baby. We paid a little more for breakfast and dinner.

Bosnian Breakfast in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac - Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Bosnian Breakfast in Apartment Denis Una, Orasac – Una National Park, Bosnia & Herzegovina

Doesn’t this breakfast look super yum? It was and the best part was that most of the things were right out of their own farm. The fruits were really good and so were the tomatoes. I did not click any pictures of our lavish dinner here but that was also excellent. 

Where to Go After Una National Park?

Ostrožac Castle, Bosnia

Ostrožac Castle is 17 KMs away from Bihać in Una Valley. As per Lonely Planet, Ostrožac Castle is one of the top sights in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Plitvice Lakes, Croatia

I have mentioned this before but Plitvice Lakes is just 30 KMs from Una National Park. This national park is a natural wonderland because there are 16 lakes, 2 rivers and many waterfalls and cascades. Just like Una, even Plitvice thrives because of tufa. Be sure to read our detailed Plitvice Lakes travel guide.

KRKA National Park, Croatia

KRKA National Park also has waterfalls and one of them is massive. The best part is that you can swim in the natural pools under the biggest waterfall. We visited KRKA National Park right before Una, it is just 120 KMs away from Martin Brod.

Kravice Waterfall, Bosnia & Herzegovina (and Mostar)

Kravice Waterfall was one of our best swimming experience in a natural pool. It isn’t as big as the waterfall in Krka National Park but in our opinion is more beautiful. It is 253 KMs away from Una National Park. The nearby town Mostar is famous for its Ottoman styled brodge and is one of the most visited places in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia and Herzegovina – Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting

Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia and Herzegovina – Everything You Need to Know Before Visiting

Imagine a group of massive waterfalls with a paradisiacal natural pool at the base where you can swim. To make things better, the waterfalls are surrounded by the trees, giving the entire area a “hidden paradise” kind of a feel. Welcome to Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina – our favorite stop in the Balkans road trip. [or as locals call it Kravica Waterfall]

The 25 Meters High Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The 25 Meters High Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kravice Waterfalls are 25 meters high and are so spectacular that they are also called “mini-Niagara falls”. The water becomes steamy as it dramatically falls into the shallow pools.

Not many people end up visiting Bosnia and Herzegovina, but they visit the more popular neighbour – Croatia. Kravice Waterfalls are so close to Croatia that it makes total sense to include this stop on your Croatia road trip too.

Check Car Rental Prices in Bosnia-Herzegovina

San and I have visited both Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina – and we prefer the latter. Bosnia and Herzegovina is less crowded, much cheaper, and really as beautiful as Croatia [if not more]. Most of Bosnia and Herzegovina is forested and Kravice is in Herzegovina part of the country.

Kravice Waterfalls reminded me of a popular photo spot inside Croatia’s Plitvice Lakes National Park (picture below). Except in Kravice, there are no crazy crowds and swimming inside the pools is permitted! Much better, no? 

San and I in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

San and I in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia – this spot looks like Kravice Except you can’t swim here

Where are Kravice Waterfalls?

Kravice Waterfalls are in Herzegovina part of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The beautiful Trebižat River with blue – green water creates this 26 – 28 meter high waterfall. The falls are under protection as natural rarity since 1954.

Suggested: Durmitor National Park and Zabljak, Montenegro 

Kravice Waterfalls are very close to Dubrovnik in Croatia and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Both Dubrovnik and Mostar are popular tourist destinations, because of this, many travelers make a day trip to Kravice from these two places.

Kravice Waterfalls Map - How to Reach Kravica - Bosnia and Herzegovina

Kravice Waterfalls Map – How to Reach Kravica – Bosnia and Herzegovina

Dubrovnik is a walled beach destination that was made famous by the Game of Thrones series, while Mostar is famous for its Ottoman style old bridge, which was mostly destroyed in the war. Check out this post to see some of the best beaches of Dubrovnik.

The nearest town to Kravice is Studenci. Mostar has really picked up as a tourist destination in the last 2 years, and even more so this summer. As per Lonely Planet, jumping off Mostar’s bridge is the number 1 reason to visit Bosnia & Herzegovina.

How to Reach Kravice Waterfalls by Bus

If you’re already in Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is easy to reach Kravica waterfalls by local transport but be prepared to change your bus a few times. Ideally, you’d want to reach Mostar first where you can spend the night. After that, look for the buses that go from to Mostar to Capljina, then Capljina to Ljubuski. Or from Mostar to Ljubuski, then Ljubuski to Capljina. Check out Getbybus for pre-booking your ticket.

The Massive Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Massive Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Driving from Dubrovnik to Kravice Waterfalls

We actually drove to Kravice Waterfalls from a little riverside town called Visegrad. The drive from Dubrovnik to Kravice Waterfalls is barely 2.5 hours. If you’re a group of two or more, then it makes more sense to just rent a car and visit Kravice Waterfalls from Dubrovnik instead of public transport.

Check Car Rental Prices in Bosnia-Herzegovina

When you drive from Dubrovnik to Kravice Waterfalls, you will cross the Croatia – Bosnia and Herzegovina border where they will stop you and check your car papers, drivers license, passport and entry permit. Most likely your rented car will have an EU number, if not then your car needs to have a “green card” for border crossing.

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From Dubrovnik, you need to drive to Zaton, Trsteno on D8 and cross the border at Slano to enter Bosnia. From there, get on M6 to reach Kravice Waterfalls.

You can also book a “group day tour” to Mostar and Kravica from Dubrovnik. Here are a few tours that we have handpicked for you.

Do check the fine-print before booking the tours since not all of them include the entry fee for Kravice Waterfalls.

Mostar to Kravice Waterfalls

The drive from Mostar to Kravice Waterfalls is around 45 kms and will not take you more than one hour. You will have to go via Ljubuski.

From Mostar, you need to drive on to the R424 and cross Čule, Sretnice, Čitluk, Međugorje and then change to M6 from Ljubuski. From Ljubuski, Kravice Waterfalls are just 10 minutes away.

There are many group tour options from Mostar to Kravice Waterfalls and it makes sense to check them out in case you’re not renting a car.

Car parking outside Kravice Waterfalls

Yes, there is a big parking area outside Kravice Waterfalls and it was free when we visited. There is a spot here from where you can see the majestic waterfalls. Many end up missing this viewpoint.

Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia & Herzegovina - Balkans Road Trip itinerary

View from the Car Park of Kravice Waterfalls, Bosnia & Herzegovina – Balkans Road Trip itinerary

As per the official website, the entry fee is around 3 Euro for a day for a private car. It is cheaper for a motorbike and more expensive for a camper-van.

Best Time to Visit Kravice Waterfalls

The Spectacular Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Spectacular Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia and Herzegovina

We visited Kravice waterfalls in the middle of June and it was perfect. The water was really blue and still cold. I can imagine how cold it would be at the start and end of the main visiting season, which is from the month of May until October.

Many say that the best time of year for visiting Kravice waterfalls is during the springtime when the fall is at its fullest and the landscape turns a bright green. If you want to swim here, then I’d still say that summer is the best time because the surrounding pools become shallow enough for swimming.

Kravice Waterfalls Entrance Fee:

The entry fee in June 2018 was 7.5 euros for one person, which is very low when you compare it to the nearby Croatia’s attractions. Yes, they accept Euros and Croatian Kunas too apart from the local currency. The entry fee changes slightly per season and is cheaper from October to May.

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What to Carry

Carry your swimming gear, towel, change of clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses, and something to drink and eat. The ground is hard to sit without a mat, so carry one. Otherwise, the only other sitting options are the restaurant chairs or a bar stools. If you have a hammock, then carry it by all means. There are plenty of trees where you can put up your hammock and everyone will envy your comfort.

The Amenities Inside Kravice Waterfalls Complex

The Kravice Waterfall complex is not exactly small. Here are the basic amenities that you will find inside:

Waterfall Kravice Bosnia and Herzegovina

Waterfall Kravice Bosnia and Herzegovina

Changing Stations

There are changing stations with curtains directly next to the waterfalls. When I visited, there was a queue so I walked a little extra to the toilets and changed there.

Toilets

There is a big toilet complex with many booths. To access this area, you have to cross the waterfalls and go up a little. The area is well marked.

Restaurants and Bars

Eating and Drinking in Kravice Waterfalls Bosnia

Eating and Drinking in Kravice Waterfalls Bosnia – San and I sitting in a bar next to Waterfall Kravica

There are two restaurants and bars directly next to the Kravice waterfall pools. Personally I think just one would have been enough because they kind of spoil the natural beauty if the place.

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Swimming in Kravice Waterfalls

Swimming in Kravice Waterfall Pools in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Swimming in Kravice Waterfall Pools in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Swimming in Kravice Waterfalls is the best part of visiting them. The water was cold but lovely. It was very clean and we could see the bottom. There are rocks along the waterfall where you can sit, but it can get slippery so be careful. If you have sensitive feet, then you may want to wear swimming shoes.

Swimming inside Kravice Waterfalls - safety rope

Swimming inside Kravice Waterfalls – safety rope – by Mike Norton [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The many different waterfalls but the entire area can broadly be divided into three sections where  you can swim to and then sit under the waterfall. There is a rope along the rocks that you can hold on to while swimming. If you’re traveling with a pet, you should know that they would not be allowed to get inside the water.

Exploring the Area Around Kravice Waterfalls

The most obvious place to spend your time is right next to the waterfall. However, San and I stayed here for hours and ended up finding some other interesting points too. Here are some of them.

The Other Side of the Waterfall

On the Other side of Kravice Waterfalls

On the Other side of Kravice Waterfalls

The only way to reach the other side is by swimming. There is a patch of ground where you can sit and spend your time. You can put up a hammock here. We also saw a swing here.

On Top of One of the Waterfalls

On top of one of the waterfalls -Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia

On top of one of the waterfalls -Kravice Waterfalls in Bosnia

Yes, it is possible to go on top of one of the waterfalls but you need to be super careful. After you cross the ticket point outside Kravice Waterfall complex, there is a path that goes down to the main waterfall area. Before this path curves down, there is a point when it goes up as well and that’s where you can go to reach this place that’s on top of one of the waterfalls. Don’t walk in this water puddle because the speed may make you lose your balance.

Small Kravice – Mala Kravice

“Mala” means small in Bosnian and yes there is a smaller Kravice waterfall a little ahead. On my way to the toilet, I saw another path that was going further ahead and I saw a board that said “Mala Kravice”. San and I decided to follow the path to see the other waterfall.

Walking along Trebizat River to Mala Kravica - Small Kravice

Walking along Trebizat River to Mala Kravica – Small Kravice

The walk from the main Kravice waterfall to Mala Kravice took us around 20 minutes to half an hour. We walked next to the blue Trebizat river and honestly enjoyed the walk more than the other waterfall. At the end of the walk, we had to climb a little to see the other waterfall.

How Much Time do you need to Explore Kravice Waterfalls

If you love nature and swimming, then you will easily spend 4 – 5 hours here. We spent an entire day here and still did not want to leave. We left when it started getting a little dark and the restaurant owners politely asked us to leave.

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Kayaking and Canoeing at Kravice Waterfalls

Kayaking in Kravice Waterfalls Bosnia

Kayaking in Kravice Waterfalls Bosnia

You can rent a kayak or a canoe for the duration of 30 minutes, 60 minutes or a full day. The rental cost is 5 marks (2.5 Euros) for 30 minutes, 10 Marks (5 Euros) for 60 minutes, and 40 Marks (20 Euros) for a day.

Eating and Drinking in Kravice Waterfalls Area

As mentioned in the previous sections, there are two restaurants that are next to the waterfalls. You can get things like pizzas, fries, eggs, coffee, beer, etc. The food is ok and the prices are not high.

Camping near Kravice Waterfalls

Trebizat River near Kravice Waterfalls Bosnia

Trebizat River near Kravice Waterfalls Bosnia

There is a place to camp near Kravice Waterfalls. No, I’m not talking about the one that’s directly next to the waterfall that’s owned by one of the restaurants. This is along the river Trebizat and you will see it if you walk to Mala Kravica. I did not find a TripAdvisor listing or any information on a booking website, but this place is called Kravica Camp Trisela.

Where to stay near Kravice Waterfalls

Although most people prefer to stay in Mostar, we picked Međugorje instead because it is closer to the waterfall. Moreover, we had our own car, so didn’t have to worry about the buses. We booked Guest House Robi, which was 20 euros per night for two of us.

You can also check out hotels in Ljubuski or Mostar. If you want to stay in Mostar, try Apartments Konak or Old Bridge Terrace Apartments – these two places are right next to Mostar’s famous Old Bridge.

Where to go after Kravice Waterfalls

Mostar

Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina - Travel to the Balkans

Mostar in Bosnia & Herzegovina – Travel to the Balkans

Mostar is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is famous for it’s Ottoman Style bridge in the old town, that was partially destroyed in the war.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik - the Walled city in Croatia - Balkans Road Trip

Dubrovnik – the Walled city in Croatia – Balkans Road Trip

Dubrovnik is an ancient walled city that’s next to the sea in Croatia. It was made famous by the Game of Thrones and is one of the most visited destinations in Croatia.

Medjugorje

The small town Medjugorje suddenly came to fame in 1981 because people claim that Virgin Mary appeared here to six Herzegovinan children on Podbrdo Hill. I’m not religious so I will let you decide weather you want to believe this or not. Medjugorje is a Catholic pilgrimage destination. Honestly, we did not explore the town at all but just ate in a cafe and spent all our time at Kravice Waterfalls.

Blagaj

Blagaj near Kravica Waterfall in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Blagaj Tekke in Blagaj near Kravica Waterfall in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Blagaj is just 44 KMs away from Kravice Waterfalls and is also a lovely destination. Pictured above is Blagaj Tekke, a Sufi Monastery that was built in 1520. This little village is situated where the river Buna makes a spring.

Is Bosnia and Herzegovina on your travel list? Let us know in the comments.

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