One of the most interesting region of this beautiful country is Herzegovina region – Bosnian Tuscany, and its capital, Mostar.
Through all year, main characteristic of Herzegovina region is Mediterranean climate. Area of karst, water, sun and unlimited supply of tasty exotic fruits and vegetables. Land of the great wines and stunning cultural diversity. Herzegovina is the pearl of the Balkans peninsula.
In this article we will give you 17 most important reasons why to visit Herzegovina region.
The capital of Herzegovina region and third biggest town in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Mostar. Famous for its Ottoman heritage and its most famous symbol, the Old Bridge or Stari Most, constructed in 1566. Mostar is crossroad between Sarajevo and Dubrovnik, so in spring/summer/autumn, daytime means crowd. We recommend you to have at least one overnight in Mostar, like that you can admire its beauty in the late evenings. Mostar is heart of Herzegovina region.
Bosnian Croats forces destroyed Old bridge in 1993. and in 2004. it was finally reconstructed. If you aim to walk across Old bridge more than once, we recommend you good shoes. Be careful while passing over, because it’s steep and surface is quite polished.
During the summer you will be able to see “Mostari” (Bosnian for “bridge guardians”), who are jumping from the bridge for fee of cca 25 EUR. In that way they earn money for their living and also to amuse tourists. We recommend you to find some nice position under the bridge, on one of the beaches and await one of their dives.
Amazing views are possible from the courtyard or minaret of Koski Mehmed Pasha mosque.
Pro Tip: If you are not afraid of heights our favorite view on the bridge is from the practice trampoline.
Perfect spot to take amazing photos and see divers from best perspective. Just under the bridge on the left side of river, which is approachable from the Maršala Tita street. It is always quiet even in the most busy days and often you are alone there.
Herzegovina region is home to tasty grapes and tons of unique winemakers. Region is annually blessed with roughly 300 sunny days. Herzegovinian wines of white kind called Žilavka and of red kind called Blatina are autochthonous only to this region. Most likely you will not have a chance to try them anywhere outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Maybe a bit in Croatia and Montenegro, where often they are exported.
If you have interest into bio dynamic wines, no problem. If you would like to try amazing award winning wines that have zero chemistry involved, no problem. Even best quality wines for increment of price, no problem. Combine them with locally made olive oil, prosciutto and cheese and you have jackpot.
Where Bosnia meets Herzegovina and where Neretva river leaves it’s upper, turbulent flow and enters easygoing Jablaničko lake, that is home to town of Konjic. Konjic is one of the oldest permanently inhabited settlements in Bosnia and Herzegovina, dating back 4000 years.
While you are there, make sure to visit old town of Konjic and Konjic Old Bridge (Stara Ćuprija). Explore its interesting Ottoman heritage.
Woodcarving industry is quite famous thing in Konjic, so pay some attention to Nikšić woodcarving, as you might think you never ever saw better furniture designs.
In Konjic make sure you try amazing white water rafting at Neretva river or spend some time at glacier Boračko lake, some 30 min driving from Konjic. It is great for camping during the summer period. Also you can rent nice accommodation at several places just at the lake.
Additionally, to your visit of Konjic, you have to pay attention to Tito’s Bunker. Facility is created during the years of Yugoslavian communist regime and it was a hideout in case of potential nuclear attack. Today serves as art gallery. Cost of 4,6 bln USD and 26 year to built this project was Yugoslavian best kept secret.
Pro Tip: Visit are possible almost every day at 10, 12 and 14:00 hours so make sure to find out what day and time suits you the best via Tito’s Bunker web site.
How to find it? For this one, you will also need a car. In case that you have it, follow this Google map, and you will reach the memorial.
Mystical place, built in mid XV century with sole purpose of celebrating the name of God. Placed under the 200m high rock, just where clean, cold water of Buna river sources out from over 100+m deep well. For centuries Blagaj Dervish house has been gathering dervishes from all around the world to perform “Zikr” (pronouncing words that point to glorification and magnificence of Allah, the Supreme One). Afterwards to have friendly and scientific discussions.
Today, it still serves its original purpose, but in the same time it is place for travelers and ordinary Bosnians to come and admire its beauty and peacefulness. Part of the complex is the beautiful cafe, where you can order the Bosnian coffee and enjoy local dessert, fig made cake called “Smokvara”.
Pro Tip: Visit the place in the later afternoon when the crowds are gone. Twice a week in the afternoon hours Dervishes from the region gather to perform rituals, so you might want to consider being part of this unique experience.
Imagine a combination of oriental and Mediterranean style of architecture. Think about what does it remind you of? Well no need to imagine, just go south from Mostar, around 20min and admire beautiful Počitelj. First mentions about Počitelj date from late XIV century and era medieval Bosnian Kingdom. City is nested on the cliffs on the left side of Neretva river. In late XV century Počitelj was conquered by the Ottomans who late made it into modern town, as we mostly know it today. Unfortunately 1993 war in Herzegovina huge part of this town was destroyed. In following years it never got fully restored, but still has kept is magnificence.
Pro Tip: Bosnian most prominent living painter Safet Zec commonly spends time in Počitelj. We recommend you find his house. If you are lucky and he is there, he might show you his workplace and his gallery.
Most of the local people at the higher parts of the town produce their own pomegranate juices. You might try to enter one of the courtyards “unintentionally” and get into chat with some of the locals. They will surely offer you some amazing snacks. Be wise.
Additional 20min driving from Počitelj, via Čapljina in direction of Ljubuški is home to Kravice Waterfalls. Many people call them Herzegovina’s Niagara falls. With is 25m in height and 120m wide this huge tufa cascade on Trebižat river is one the most beautiful locations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The best time to visit Kravice is the springtime. The falls are at the fullest and region is bright green. In the summer they are ideal for swimming, even though water is chilly. During the spring/summer you have active few cafe and restaurants, while in the vicinity there is picnic and camping site.
Pro Tip: The best time to visit Kravice falls in the early afternoon hours. Groups visiting on a short day visit are gone.
The most amazing activity on Trebižat river during the summer time is easy kayaking, made just for pure enjoyment. It enables you to see jungle kind of nature and access the most beautiful beaches on Trebižat river. Area completely preserved from any mass tourism.
World’s most bio diverse cave, with over 7km in length and constant annual temperature of 11,6 Celsius. Vjetrenica cave is the must visit pearl of Herzegovina.
Vjetrenica or “wind cave” is home to large number of endemic species. Most famous one being Olm/ Proteus or famously called “human fish” (Proteus anguinus).
Pro Tip: If visiting Vjetrenica cave make sure to have layered clothes and good walking shoes. Inside can be quite slippery.
It is only 1.30 hours driving from Dubrovnik and is ideal day trip.
Visit the nearby Zavala Orthodox monastery and have chat with local monks and have a lunch at Restaurant Zavala.
South-East European greatest Catholic pilgrimage site of Medjugorje is unique phenomenon. Since 1981 when the first apparitions of Virgin Mary have been recorded until today, Medjugorje has attracted more than 40 million visitors. So if you are religious or not, this place will surely capture your attention and will make you understand there is some divinity for sure involved in Herzegovina itself.
Walk up to the apparition hill the village is some 20/25min. Make sure to wear good shoes as stones are quite slippery and polished. On the way make sure to visit Blue Cross and say prayers.
In town visit St.James church and get a peak into variety of souvenir shops and some good quality restaurants. On the other side of the city there is another hill called Križevac. You can hike up to the cross, but this one is bit more demanding.
Pro Tip: It is located near Kravice waterfalls and Čitluk, so day visit to this regions is must. Čitluk is great for wine tasting.
Climbing up the Apparition hill is recommended in the later hours of the day as crowds are less and heat is much more bearable.
English language mass is everyday at 10 AM so if you are visiting this place for a day trip plan your arrival in advance. Check up their schedule here
There is a river which in the part of the day flows one way, and in the part of the day flows opposite. Name of the river is Krupa. It is the main river of Hutovo Blato, nature and bird reserve.
Hutovo blato is unique sub-Mediterranean swamp in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s one of the biggest reserves of wetland birds in the Europe. In the same time it is home to 240 migratory bird and around 45 different fish species of which some are saltwater fish.
River Krupa is only 9km in length and it enters river Neretva. It’s source and point of entrance of Neretva river are just couple of meters altitude difference and in the rapid change of Neretva river levels. It can happen to flow in different direction in one single day. Unique phenomenon in whole of Europe.
The most recommended thing to do in Hutovo Blato is swamp photo safari. It is hour long boat ride which will take you through some really amazing parts of the area. You will get to see tons of beautiful flowers and amazing birds. Pay special attention to Hutovo Blato “bird watching” and “fishing”, as those really are amazing things to do. For more information see official web site of Hutovo Blato.
Pro Tip: Try to do ride early in the morning as probability to see birds is greatest then.
Often boat operators don’t speak English, meaning you would not be able to ask too many questions during the ride, so perhaps an organised tour with English speaking local would be better option. If you are arranging photo safari on your own, price for boat ride (up to 10 people) is 60 BAM or cca. 30 EUR. If possible to share with some additional people on site will cut the costs.
Trebinje is the southern-most located town in Bosnia and Herzegovina settled around the flow of Europe’s largest underground river, Trebišnjica river.
Built in predominantly mediterranean style and famous for its old town and Ottoman fort, XVI century Arslanagića Bridge, Orthodox monastery of Hercegovačka Studenica, with great offer of amazing wines from the Emeperor’s vineyards, Trebinje is unique place to visit.
Pro Tip: If you are in Trebinje enjoy coffee at the shade of the plane trees at main piazza. Saturday market is when the people from nearby villages bring their homemade and homegrown product for sale. All organic with high quality.
Being only 28 km away from Dubrovnik, it is ideal peak into Bosnia and Herzegovina if you are spending some time in souther Croatia or central or norther Montenegro.
Some 4km from Trebinje in direction of Ljubinje and Mostar is home to Serbian Orthodox Monastery of Tvrdoš. It was built in XIV century on the foundations of the old church from IV. Is famous for its amazing wine cellars and wine production.
It is great for sampling Žilavka (white) and Vranac (red) wines at the banks of Trebišnjica river, with great souvenir shop where you can buy variety of product from Tvrdoš.
Pro Tip: Modest dressing is required. If possible try to organise a short walk in the church and monastery with one of the local monks/employees giving you a history class.
Consider just a walk (1 hour) or bike ride from Trebinje and use the rural roads and experience the local lifestyle from people of that part of Herzegovina region.
Located near Stolac, Radimlja is the the most famous medieval tombstone necropolis. One of many that lie scattered around Herzegovina and central and eastern Bosnian regions. It is enlisted as UNESCO World heritage in 2016. While the earliest of tombstones in Bosnia and Herzegovina date from XII century, Stećci (eng. tombstones) majority reached their peak in XIV century. In early XVI century under the Ottoman rule, they disappeared. Eldest one at Radimlja necropolis dates from 1480s.
Ethnic and religious origin of these monumental limestone tombstones is/are object to huge debate. While their affiliation is still being undetermined, scholars agree that “stećci are an original Bosnian-Herzegovinian cultural-artistic medieval phenomenon”. More about their origin, form and characteristics you can read here.
Pro Tip: Near the Radimlja necropolis, just one minute drive towards Stolac, on the left side of the road is home to once most famous Jewish pilgrimage site in Balkans, grave of the rabbi
of Sarajevo Moše Danon. More about this phenomenon of Herzegovina region read here.
Only one hour driving from Sarajevo you arrive to Konjic. Konjic is famous as Neretva river rafting destination. In 2012 NatGeo Travel Magazine listed rafting in Bosnia as “Best Tours in Europe“, ensuring that adventure activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina get great promotion. This is medium rafting level and it is adjusted to anyone of any fitness level, including small children. Main rafting area in Herzegovina region.
Several companies in Konjic offer rafting on Neretva river. Visit Konjic, Džajića Rafting (offering accommodation) or Raft Kor. If you are looking for rafting adventure to start from Sarajevo, consider Sarajevo Funky Tours rafting day tour.
Admire the green Neretva river and enjoy your time.
Pro Tip: You can take early morning train or bus from Sarajevo, and in the same way save money on transport, when you arrange rafting with one of the local Konjic companies. Combine rafting with overnight at Boračko lake and add one day hiking to Prenj mountain.
Famously called Herzegovinian Himalayas, Prenj is one of the most beautiful mountains in Bosnia and Herzegovina. On Prenj we have more than 11 peaks over 2000m. This magnificent mountain massif, part of World famous Dinaric Alps ecosystem, is unique hiking experience.
NOTE: Certain regions of Prenj mountain have serious mine issues. We recommend you to take a local guide, if you are planning a tour. Majority of the mountains is mine free, therefore taking precaution is always recommended.
Pro Tip: If you are planning visit on your own recommended time to visit is April to June, as summer days could be quite hot.
Being famous for its Ottoman heritage and famous Livno cheese, Europe’s largest artificial accumulation – Buško lake, several small river and lakes in vicinity, Livno region is heavily popular for it numerous herds of wild Bosnian horses.
Livno is a perfect place for you, if you like beautiful nature, and if you are animal lover. Livno is known because of wild horse safari. You can see at least 200 horses wandering around, usually divided in groups from 15 to 60. I’m positive that you will find one group and spend time with them.
When in Livno, one of the most famous things to do there is to try famous Livno cheese. Modern cheese production in Livno started in late 19th century, with arrival of Austria-Hungarian monarchy. Since then until today “Livanjski Sir” has become one of the most famous cheese brands in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Either if you are fan of sheep or cow cheese, either mix of both, Livno region is place to be.
At an altitude of 1185m Blidinje lake is largest mountain lake in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is glacier lake, supplied by the water from mountains of Čvrsnica and Vran. Region around the lake is ideal for mountain biking, hiking or easy walks.
At the very vicinity of the lake you have number of amazing private homes to rent, hotels to stay and restaurants to enjoy great local food. Place to consider is Hajdučke Vrleti.
As winter skiing destination, Blidinje gets heavily promotions. Čvrsnica mountain is an amazing hiking destination and with it’s most famous attraction, natural phenomenon called “Hajdučka Vrata”. It is one of the most interesting hiking trips in whole of Herzegovina region.