With its postcard-perfect old town, storied bridge, eclectic bazaars and fabulous food scene, magical Mostar is absolutely enchanting and also makes a fantastic base for further Bosnia travels. One of the more popular day trips from Dubrovnik, it’s ideally located just a few hours away from major cities like Sarajevo, Split and Kotor which makes it easy to include on a Balkans trip itinerary, and some of the country’s top sites are just a short drive away.
The best Mostar day trip is one that leads to cascading waterfalls and fast-flowing emerald rivers, through a world-famous pilgrimage site, below towering fortresses and even towards an ancient monastery tucked into a cliff. Best of all, the entire drive–an easy to follow, circular route–only takes about two and a half hours, and is easy to do on your own by renting a car (as long as you don’t get pulled over by the police!). Here’s how to see Blagaj, Pocitelj the Kravice Falls and Medjugorje on an incredible day trip from Mostar.
Blagaj Tekija, Bosnia
Don’t get too comfortable–the first stop on your day trip from Mostar is only 15 minutes outside the city, in the tiny village of Blagaj, Bosnia. There, a winding pathway tracing the shoreline of the Buna river (one of the fastest-flowing in Europe) leads to an incredible sight: a traditional house and Dervish monastery dating back more than 600 years, perched right over the water and tucked into the side of a steep cliff.
Blagaj Tekija (also known as Blagaj Tekke) was founded during the Ottoman Empire, and thanks to diligent restorations most of the muslim monastery’s original features remain to this day. Services are still held inside, and visitors are welcome to explore the interior which is covered in rich rugs and cushy throw pillows.
The Velagić House next door is a hidden gem that’s easily one of the most photogenic spots in Bosnia, thanks to its whitewashed walls which are a perfect contrast to the piercing emerald waters below. The best vantage points are from the trail on the other side of the river or from the stone bridge, and visitors can also take a boat ride into the cave and explore the rooms inside the Tekke.
There are a few restaurants overlooking the water, as well as stalls selling handicrafts and fresh fruit on the road leading up to Blagaj Tekija. Those with extra time may want to head over to the nearby medieval Blagaj Fort (Stjepan Grad), which was built high up on a karst hill where there’s evidence of settlements dating back to prehistoric times.
30 minutes further down the scenic M6 highway is Pocitelj, the southernmost point of this Bosnia trip and the kind of place that feels like time has stopped. Pocitelj is a lovely village overlooking the Neretva river which dates back to at least the Middle Ages, and was built into the hillside and edged by thick stone walls to fortify it. It’s under consideration to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is best known for its gorgeous Turkish architecture and winding stone steps built into the mountainside that lead up to the impressive fortress and Sahat-Kula (clock tower).
Budget at least an hour or two in this pretty spot to navigate the endless staircases, duck into the tiny stores tucked into wooden huts, browse the wares at the souvenir stalls and enjoy a bit to eat. If you’re up for a hike, it’s worth heading up to the fort and the nearby Ottoman-style Hadji-Alija Mosque, to get a closer look at the impressive architecture and enjoy fantastic views of the village spread out below.
Click below to book these Mostar day trips:
Kravice Falls/Kravica Waterfalls
The next stop on your Bosnia road trip is an absolute stunner, and sure to be the highlight of the whole day: the Kravice Falls, located along the Trebižat river. Rivaling the Krka Waterfalls in neighbouring Croatia (but with far less crowds), this serene spot features 20 falls towering 25 metres high, surrounded by a lush canopy of poplars, chaste trees, moss and figs. And yes, you can bring your drone.
The Kravice waterfalls (also referred to as the Kravica Waterfall) dramatically cascade off a limestone deposit into the glasslike, emerald waters below, which visitors can cool off in with a refreshing swim at the foot of the falls or take a boat ride around. A trail winds around the lake which makes a great spot for a leisurely walk, and sunbathers can relax on the shoreline while enjoying the magnificent view spread out before them.
The Kravice Falls are open from May to October, and admission costs between 3-5 euros depending on when you visit. There are washrooms on site, as well as a few restaurants and bars.
Finish off your Mostar day trip in Medjugorje, a larger town surrounded by rolling hills that’s best known as a popular pilgrimage site for Catholics due to the so-called Medjugorje miracles.
Back in the 80s, six children playing in the barren hills between Medjugorje and Bijakovici. reported that the Virgin Mary appeared and spoke to them–a claim initially met with skepticism, until the apparitions kept happening and made believers out of even the biggest cynics (save for the Pope, who has yet to be convinced). An estimated 15 million people have made a pilgrimage to the town in the years since, hoping to see what is now referred to as ‘Our Lady of Medjugorje.’
Most visitors head straight to Apparition Hill where the Virgin Mary was reportedly seen, which is pretty easy to find around these parts: just follow the large tour buses and endless souvenir stands selling religious figurines and rosaries. If time allows make the trek up during the golden hour for a godlike experience watching the sunset over the valley, which is the perfect way to end your Mostar day trip.
Where to stay in Mostar:
Mostar accommodation is extremely affordable (especially relative to North American or Western Europe prices), and here are a few of the top picks:
Apartments Solis- This family-run property is absolutely phenomenal, particularly given its budget-friendly pricing. The huge, modern, private apartments are spotlessly clean, fully stocked with kitchen supplies which makes it perfect for families or long-term stays, and include wi-fi and private, secure parking. The hosts are very helpful and gracious, and Apartments Solis has a great location just a quick walk from the old town. Click here to book
Hotel-Restaurant Kriva Cuprija– This Mostar hotel gets top marks for ambiance, with large updated rooms decorated with chandeliers and stone walls. It’s right in the old town, and guests rave about the excellent customer service. Click here to book
Villa Anri Mostar- This is one of the best hotels in Mostar, featuring patios and terraces overlooking the old town, Mediterranean gardens, and beautiful decor that seamlessly blends old with new and uses eco-friendly materials. The staff are wonderful, and parking and breakfast are included. Click here to book
Money saving tip: Some of the best places to stay in Mostar are listed on Booking.com as opposed to major hotel booking sites- click here to get $25 off your stay!
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