Bosnia and Herzegovina 10-Day Travel Guide – Best Things To Do & See


Lake Trnovačko jezero

Many people asked us for
recommendations of what to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where to go, what to see, etc.

Unlike anyone else, we will not present you the list of main attractions but a comprehensive plan for an
unforgettable Bosnia trip. Of course, you will not miss the major attractions as they were also included; however,
they are incorporated into a unique travel guide, which is designed by nature-oriented travellers from the Czech Republic,
who drew from their own experience from the trips to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Therefore, I am asking you, why would you search for individual attractions when you can conveniently copy the entire travel
plan?

What to take with you on this Bosnian trip

  • a car
  • a tent and a sleeping bag
  • hiking shoes
  • hiking poles recommended

Our preferences

We wanted to do a lot – to hike, to raft and to enjoy. Therefore, we focused primarily on adventure rather than sightseeing.
And we wanted that cheap.

Map

See a bigger map

Day by day plan

Day 1: early mornig arrival to Jajce

We started our trip by leaving the Czech Republic in the evening and driving whole night. We crossed the borders to Bosnia
at around 6 a.m. and continued the road through
Banja Luka to Jajce. The road is one curve after another along a river carved in a rock valley, sometimes with
a small tunnel, so
drivers will really enjoy this. You can take nice pictures on this road.

Jajce is a lovely small town with a
rich history (also listed in UNESCO), great waterfall and a nice lake. Definitely one of the most beautiful
towns in Bosnia and Herzegovina (for us it’s just after Sarajevo and Mostar). We arrived Jajce at around 8 a.m. and first
drove to the lake. A perfect spot to take a nap after a sleepless night in a car. After a small breakfast on the pier,
we asked a guy if we can rent a small boat. So he rented us a nice battery powered boat. We used it to get closer to
the
water mills so we didn’t have to follow the road.

We spent afternoon walking through Jajce and then left to Sarajevo where we camped.

What to do & enjoy in Jajce

  • Rent a boat and take a ride on the lake.
  • See small water mills.
  • Explore a fortress ruins.
  • See a city waterfall.

If you have more time

  • Stay in the Plivsko jezero campsite.
  • You can stop in Travnik (between Jajce and Sarajevo) for a visit of a pretty big fortress.

Day 2: Sarajevo

If you arrive in the evening as we did, a normal camp like
Autocamp Oaza can save some marks (KM = convertible mark is the currency of Bosnia and Hercegovina). The camp
is located in Ilidža (western part of the city) –
see the map above. There’re also some cottages where you can stay. Anyway, you don’t have too many choices since
there are only few campsites in Sarajevo.

What to do & enjoy in Sarajevo

The capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina has quite a lot to offer. You can spend a whole day in the city and still not be bored.
But personally, I think that it is not worth it to spend two days of your trip on sightseeing in Sarajevo. Instead, you
could:

  1. Explore the old town

    • Get a map of the old town and take a tram which will take you there from Ilidža.
    • Enjoy a busy day life or a vibrant night life (clubs and bars Hacienda, Sloga and many more).
    • Taste the best muslim/Bosnian “Ćevapi” and drink some tap beer in a catholic/Croatian pub across the street.
  2. Learn about the devastating war conflict (1992–1995)

    • You can get the most comprehensive information about the war conflict in the Tunnel Museum. The museum is located
      near the airport because this tunnel was dug under the airport and was the only source of supplies in Sarajevo’s
      isolation during the war. To find it without GPS, it is better to be prepared that you might spend a couple
      of hours trying to find the museum. At least we spend an hour finding it and had to pay some money to the
      guy who took us there.
    • Because the war wasn’t that long ago, you can still see its marks on many buildings in the city.
  3. Hike in the surrounding mountains

    • Sarajevo hosted Winter Olympic Games in1984, so there are plenty of opportunities to hike (more about this later).

If you enjoy exploring cities and partying late at nights, then you would probably like to spend 1.5 days in Sarajevo and
keep this schedule. Or if you don’t want to party, you can spend in Sarajevo’s centre just half a day and go to Skakavac
in the afternoon (as described in Day 3). You’ll save 1 day from this plan and still visit the Tunnel Museum after returning
from Skakavac (as described in Day 4).

Day 3: Sarajevo and Skakavac

Ok, so you spent half a day in Sarajevo. What next? Let’s go for a small hike just beneath a big
waterfall Skakavac near Sarajevo and dont’ forget your sleeping bag!

The best time for us to leave Sarajevo was after lunch.

Trip to Skakavac – how to get there

  1. Drive north of Sarajevo through Nahorevo and leave your car near the turn to the left, where the road starts getting
    worse (marked in the
    Google map above).
  2. Take a sleeping bag (tent’s not necessary) and follow the road uphill to Dragan’s guesthouse. It’s a modest cottage but
    Dragan, the Serbian owner, is a great cook and can offer you a bed or at least a roof above your heads and a toilet.
    Plus, he makes his own pine and honey rakia – delicious! (Rakia = traditional spirit drink consumed in the entire
    Balkans).  He’ll gladly sell you a couple of bottles. Leave your sleeping bags here.
  3. Make a round-trip to Skakavac waterfall.  You may follow signposts along the road or you may simply ask Dragan, who will
    show you the way. It may take you approx. 3 hours.
  4. Enjoy a tasty dinner at Dragan’s cottage.

Day 4: Bjelašnica – arrival to Umoljani

Today’s program is to get from Dragan’s place above Sarajevo to
Umoljani (and take a small hike there). Once you get to the car, and you haven’t been to the Tunnel Museum yet,
now it is probably good time to do so.

On the way to Umoljani, you’ll pass a big ski jump and ruins of a bombarded military building.

You can spend the afternoon
hiking in Umolanji. We, for example, looked at a nearby hill north of the village and said: “Ok, let’s go there!” It
took us maybe 3 hours to go up and down, but the view was totally worth it. If you are afraid of stepping on a mine,
don’t be. They were not deployed that far in the mountains. This is what locals say. Moreover, the landscape is mainly
rocky with short grass, so you can see where you put down your feet.

Day 5: Bjelašnica – day trip to Lukomir

A whole day trip to Lukomir belongs among the top hikes in Bosnia. We took a longer NW road there and a shorter SE path back.

The village of
Lukomir (1495 m) is the highest altitude and most remote village in Bosnia and Herzegovina. During the winter
season, fallen snow isolates the village from the rest of the world. It is only a couple of years ago that they started
using electricity there. Lukomir is known for its traditional way of life. You may buy there handmade socks and other
wool stuff. There’s also a pub with local cheese specialties.

Lukomir lies on a ridge of the deep
Rakitnica canyon which drops 800 m below. On the way back to Umoljani, there will be opportunities to look down
this magnificent valley.

Day 6: Rafting on Neretva

Of course, here comes the unforgettable rafting experience. First you have to get from Bjelašnica to Konjic. The rafting
usually starts at 9:00 but it’s possible to come even later if you ask Sanel.

I remember Sanel telling us:
“There will be
4 adrenaline parts
. After the first white water part, we asked him:
“So 3 more to go?”.
“No,” he replied, “that wasn’t adrenaline yet.” When we finally got to the aforementioned parts, we had to paddle really
hard. After that, Sanel said that 

“sometimes, one raft daily flips here.” But thanks to Sanel (and our effort) we had no troubles in the rapids but
an amazing experience instead. Well, 99.9% of rafts don’t flip here, so there’s no need to worry.

And if 4 adrenaline parts is too little for you, you may also
jump from high rocks (or bridges) to the deep waters of Neretva.

Around noon, we stopped at a place where Rakitnica river flows into Neretva river. Sanel made a fire and prepared a
barbecue for us. After half an hour, we were enjoying his grilled sausages in a pita bread with vegetables.

So all in all, it was probably the best day of our Bosnian trip.

Day 7: Vrelo Bune and Mostar

If you would like to spend yet another day or more in mountains around Konjic, you might like
hiking in Prenj / Visočica mountains, swimming in and camping at Boračko lake, etc. They both lie SE of Konjic
up the Neretva river.

We, however, travelled on day 7 to Mostar.

As you will be getting closer to Mostar, which is by the sea, you will notice a rise in temperature and drier land. So it’s
nice to
cool down by swimming in a very long clean dam that regulates Neretva river flow to Mostar. The swimming spot
is marked in the
map. It’s under the bridge so not many tourists notice it (but locals know this place).

Before you visit the old town of Mostar, I can really recommend you to stop at
Vrelo Bune and
Blagaj tekke. It’s a place where the river Buna rises from a cave in a rock. You can order a boat that will
take you into the cave to the very source of Buna river. You can visit an interesting monastery of
Blagaj Tekke. It’s a religious place for Sufi brotherhood (islamic based, Persian influenced). When you get
hungry, go to a restaurant right on the river whe you can get a
freshly caught trout from the Buna river. Such sensational. Besides, the trout doesn’t cost much. Perfect.

What about an accommodation? There are a couple of comfortable
camps in the area between Mostar and Vrelo Bune.

Mostar after dark has got its charm. It’s pointless describing it’s sights here because you can read it anywhere
else. But here comes a valuable hint:
park your car in front of a big church with a skyscaper-high tower. It’s near the Mostar old town, free and
more secured than other parking lots. You can see it from a long distance plus it is marked in the
map.

Day 8: Mostar, Kravice waterfalls and sea

What to do in Mostar:

  • watch professionals jumping from the old bridge (don’t do it by yourself!)
  • visit a musem of the bridge
  • walk the cobblestone streets and buy some souvenirs

On your way to Kravice waterfalls, you’ll pass a medieval town
Počitelj with a nice castle ruin and steep cobblestone streets. It was bombed in the war but mostly repaired
after. It’s worth the stop.

After that, let’s go to
Kravice waterfalls. An amazing waterfalls that’ll cool you down. The waterfalls are marked on the map. It will
be a lot of people around the waterfalls but the waterfalls itself  aren’t crowded. You can easily spend there half a
day.

We ended this day with driving to the Croatian
sea and finding a camp at a long sandy beach. The beach is a great spot for
kitesurfing. If you’re not into sea relaxing or want to shrink the trip for one day, you could join this day’s
plan with the next day’s one.

Day 9: Under Maglić

Today’s task is to get under the highest mountain of Bosnia and Herzegovina –
Bosanski Maglić (2386 m).

Head back to Mostar and turn direction Gacko. Beware that you’ll enter the land of special administrative entity
Republika Srpska (yes, you’ll still be in Bosna and Herzegovina). Republika Srpska has it’s own alphabet (Cyrillic
like in Serbia) but even it’s own government and
police. And the police checks much more strict and frequent than the Bosnian. So turn on your lights and don’t
speed or a fine won’t miss you. 

Maglić lies in the oldest Bosnian national park
Sutjeska. You will also see a couple of abandoned monuments of the Yugoslavian era. When you arrive to
Tjentište and it’s too late, you can find a hotel with campsite. I don’t know how the hotel is but the campsite
is’t not that good. This village hasn’t much else to offer, maybe just a tiny grocery with pretty limited supplies and
a very often closed petrol station. Ok, there is the biggest outdoor swimming pool in the Balkans but in the time we
were there it was empty. Prominent people from whole Yugoslavia used to spend holidays in Tjentište, but those days are
long gone. On the other hand, I’ve seen recent pictures with people enjoying the pool, so you might swim there after
all. 

What’s important is
to find a road under Maglić:

  1. In Tjentište behind the petrol station, turn to the right on a dirt road. It’s a rough dirt road leading to a parking
    place under Maglič. It’s not steep but pretty rugged so your car should better have high chassis. We managed it with
    regular Chrysler van with a full load (6 people) but it wasn’t surely the best for the car. It’s not far but the
    drive will take you an hour. I don’t recommend you to drive there after rain if you don’t have a 4WD.
  2. After approx 10 km / 1 h of a careful drive, you’ll reach the first (obvious) junction. Turn right. Then, it’s just a
    short way to the parking place right under Maglić.

Leave your car there, take your tent and all you need for sleeping on the hike. Follow a marked way to
Trnovačko jezero – a heart-shaped lake with the elevation of 1517 m. Thanks to a flat surface, it is a suitable
spot for building your tents. Moreover, you will find a stream of fresh water nearby.

Day 10: The summit of Maglić

The summit of Maglić has an elevation of 2386 m above sea level. Which makes 650 m difference from the lake, so quite an
easy trek if you walk without a tent and a heavy backpack. You’ve got 2 choices:

  1. Leave your tent at Trnovačko jezero lake, climb to Maglić and easily descend the same way. Then you can
    camp there for another night or go back to your car the same way you came there.
  2. Carry your tent and all equipment to Maglić and descend a quite difficult way straight to your car. The
    descend is steep, roughly marked but it’s the fastest way to your car. If you opt for this shortcut, please be careful
    because you will be carrying a heavy load on your back. I wouldn’t recommend it in case of fog or after rain.

Also, be sure that you carry enough water with you, because there will not be any source of fresh water along the track.

Once you get back to your car and to
Tjentiště, I think that the best thing to do is to drive to
Foča, where it will be easier to find a more comfy accommodation for you after such a demanding trip. I can
recommend
Motel Brioni (marked in the map) which lies a bit aside of Foča at a beautiful place right between two small
rivers. You can get cheap cottages for bigger groups of people and there’s also a good restaurant.

Day 11: driving home

Here we go, driving back home! To be honest, I still can’t believe how much we managed to see, do and enjoy. It always feels
that the trip must have taken more than 10 days.

I hope that you found this plan useful. Feel free to share it with your friends 🙂

Tomas KoubaAuthor:

Tomas Kouba (
Google+)

 

Share this article