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Bosnia Herzegovina Croatia Itinerary and Questions

Bosnia Herzegovina Croatia Itinerary and Questions

Old Sep 27th, 2015, 05:23 PM
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Bosnia Herzegovina Croatia Itinerary and Questions

My husband and I are planning a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina next April or May. We are active and healthy, in our sixties, and used to traveling independently. We took a 16-day trip to Croatia in 2001, so we don't want to go places we went before.

We haven't been to the area around Ston, Mali Ston, and the Peljesac Peninsula, and they seem convenient to BiH. Will those areas be good to see? We're not interested in wine or wineries, but that's what you read about in the Peninsula. Will driving around there still be worth doing? Is there more to Orebic than a place to get the ferry?

Here is our tentative itinerary:
Day 1 Arrive Sarajevo
3 nights in Sarajevo
Day 4 Bus or train to Mostar
3 nights in Mostar. Rent a car and visit Blagaj one day and Pocitelj another day
Day 7 Drive to coast to Neum.
3 nights. Mali Ston, Ston, Peljesac Peninsula, Orebic
Day 10 Drive back to Mostar and turn in car. Bus or train to Sarajevo
Day 11 One night in Sarajevo
Day 12 Depart

I think my math is right, but you get the idea. It feels like a simple trip with lots of space and time, which is what we like. Can you help? I welcome all thoughts and suggestions. I've really enjoyed the trip reports in this forum -- very informative!
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Old Sep 27th, 2015, 07:04 PM
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Three nights in Mostar is a lot, unless you have unique things to see. One night is probably adequate for most people, though you might . The old town is small, and you can see it in a few hours. Presumably you want to see the Dervish monastery at Blagaj - that too doesn't take a lot of time to see.

If you are going to rent a car anyway, I probably rent it in Sarajevo and give yourself the extra convenience it provides, unless the car is very expensive to rent. Often it is cheaper to rent a car for longer instead of renting it for only a few days, anyway. The drive from Mostar to Sarajevo is very pretty. You could stop over in towns like Konjic - not an amazing town but worth a quick stop, see the pretty stone bridge, etc.

I can't comment on the Croatia portion. I took a bus a few years ago from Dubrovnik to Korcula via the peninsula and Orebic. It's a pretty drive, but I didn't feel compelled to want to spend more time there.

As an alternative, you might consider flying into Zagreb , renting a car, driving through BiH via Sarajevo and Mostar and out of Dubrovnik or Split. Then you avoid doubling back to Sarajevo, a waste of time. This would give you the chance to see more towns in BiH like Banja Luka, Jajce, and Travnik (Jajce is really nice; I saw Travnik also but missed Banja Luka). Sarajevo and Mostar are the towns everyone sees.

You might find international flights are more convenient into/out of Zagreb anyway; you might take a one-way Croatia Airlines flight back Zagreb from Dubrovnik or Split.
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Old Sep 27th, 2015, 07:19 PM
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Should be a good trip!

Have you already booked flights into and out of Sarajevo? If not, you might consider flying into Sarajevo and out of somewhere in Croatia so you can avoid backtracking. You can easily use public transportation to get from Sarajevo to Mostar and from Mostar to Croatia. If you have already booked, consider moving on as soon as you arrive and putting all of your time in Sarajevo at the end of your trip, just to cut out one change of hotels.

Sarajevo is delightful! If you prefer a slow pace of travel, which I think may be what you mean by "a simple trip with lots of space and time," then consider adding at least one day to Sarajevo.

I agree that 3 nights might be a bit much for Mostar unless you have specific interests in it or in areas nearby. YMMV.

I haven't been to the area around Ston, Mali Ston, and the Peljesac Peninsula; my understanding -- which could easily be wrong -- is that the area is of greatest interest for its wineries and seafood. Since you say you are NOT interest in wineries, maybe there are other areas that might be of interest that we can recommend? What are your interests, and where have you been already?

BTW, May is a lovely time to visit the area!
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Old Sep 27th, 2015, 09:35 PM
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We spent 2 nights in Mostar and that was enough . 3 in Sarejevo which was a good amount, 3 in Dubrovnik . We flew back from Dubrovnik easy jet to London - always pleased with them.
We travelled by train from Budapest to Zagreb, then to Sarejevo then Mostar - a fab scenic route, then by private hire car to Dubrovnij
K. We fell in love with BIH and would go back in a heart beat .
Andrew is "the expert" on the area esp car travel .
Sounds a great trip .
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 02:57 AM
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We spent a day seeing Ston, Mali Ston, and the Peljesac Peninsula on a trip to BiH and Croatia 5 years ago. it is a scenic area and the seafood especially mussels is very good but I don't think it would merit as much time as you are planning there. It sounds as though you are not interested in Split or dubrovnik?

You might consider going to see the Radimlja stećak necropolis located near Stolac from Mostar. You could easily do both that and Blagaj in a day. I think Mostar merits more than a few hours for sightseeing but probably not more than a day.

We really enjoyed our two trips to BiH and Croatia. I did a long TR for the first and a short one for the second and would be happy to answer any questions.
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 12:54 PM
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Thank you, everyone! I really appreciate the suggestions. Guess I'm going back to the guidebooks and will explore the BiH websites. It sounds like the Peljesac Peninsula isn't enough of a draw, which is the kind of information I was looking for.

In our previous trip we went to Zagreb, Plitvice, Zadar, Trogir, Split, Hvar, Korcula, and Dubrovnik. I've been trying to find other places on the coast close enough to BiH that we haven't been to. Just because it would be wonderful to be on the coast again.

Vttraveler, do you recommend going to Ston and Mali Ston?

Travnik looks very interesting, and I hadn't considered it before. However, we would probably go by bus. We like taking public transportation. The car would be for day trips from Mostar to the other places I mentioned (and Stolac now), plus possibly going to the coast (not sure now).
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 01:25 PM
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The BiH tourism website is very good--I have spent some time there (always planing the next trip), but have not made it to Bosnia yet. I do think a car would be good for exploring.
Like the others, I have only passed through the Peljesac peninsula en route from Dubrovnik to Korcula. I found it really stunning, and I'd be happy to have a couple days there to eat seafood and see the wall at Ston up close. At Orebic, you can hike Sveti Ilija, which I have only stared at from Korcula apartments. http://www.peljesactravel.com/hiking-walking/
The online tourist board website for this region may be of some use as well--stuff not likely to make it into the guidebooks.
You have the time, so you might consider Lastovo, the island past Korcula (accessible via Vela Luka).
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 02:23 PM
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I think Ston and Mali Ston are interesting and worth a visit. The wall is very impressive.

I thought that Makaska and Gradac on the coast north of Dubrovnik would be nice places to stay. I know there are buses from Dubrovnik--and there are water taxis in the harbor. Cavtat, south of Dubrovnik is also in a very beautiful setting. I think you would be able to find some cruises to different islands from the coastal towns.
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 06:17 PM
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Have you considered Montenegro?

Or, in the other direction, Sibenik and the Krka National Park, perhaps with some of the islands off the coast there?
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Old Sep 28th, 2015, 07:03 PM
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I wasn't making any suggestions outside of BiH, because it sounded like the OP wanted to limit the scope to a tiny bit of Croatia and to BiH. But I enjoyed all three of those places.
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Old Sep 29th, 2015, 03:32 AM
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One other thing you could consider doing from Mostar is visiting the lake region around Jablanica. That town is on the road from Sarajevo to Mostar and is famous for the many restaurants featuring lamb on a spit served with potatotes and cabbage salad. It is a very scenic area--driving slow with twisting roads and tunnels. You will pass Jablanica en route from Sarajevo to Mostar. I am not sure whether you might be able to find a bus trip that stops there to eat.

I know there was a recent thread about the train trip to Mostar from Sarajevo which is a beautiful ride and interesting to train buffs like my husband.
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Old Sep 29th, 2015, 04:30 PM
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Thanks for the further suggestions. Now I'm glad to hear that the Peljesac peninsula was seen as stunning, and I am drawn to the coastal villages of Ston and Mali Ston, so maybe we'll keep with that plan. I did think of Montenegro originally, but it seems too much right now.

Vttraveler, I loved your description of the train trip between Mostar and Sarajevo.

I'll let you all know what we decide. Nothing is booked yet.
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Old Sep 29th, 2015, 10:10 PM
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It is a beautiful trip from Sarejevo to Mostar by train. The trains in BiH are definitely local - no luxuries , one class and smoking even though it's not permitted but we loved train travel in that country . Lots of locals getting off at stations that are no more than concrete drops at the side of the line
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Old Sep 29th, 2015, 10:24 PM
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I agree! And it is SOOOO very nice not to have to watch the road while savoring the magnificent scenery of this part of the world!
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Old Sep 29th, 2015, 10:30 PM
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On the other hand, if you have a car, you can stop often and savor the view and take pictures, as I did numerous times on the drive. And I got to stop in places like Konjic. I would love to have taken the train too but given the choice, I'm glad I drove instead.
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Old Oct 1st, 2015, 06:55 AM
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The train sounds great! I read about the smoking, but it sounds worth it for the experience. Will try to take the early morning train from Sarajevo to Mostar, and then return by bus at the end of the trip. We will rent a car in Mostar for day trips and going to the coast. Thanks again.
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Old Apr 11th, 2016, 05:47 AM
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Now our trip is getting closer -- in just under three weeks, we leave for Sarajevo. I have a question: How long does it take to drive from Mostar to Neum, going through Pocitelj and Capljina? (not the back roads)
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Old Apr 11th, 2016, 03:56 PM
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Have you checked viamichelin.com? IME, it gives more accurate driving times than most online mapping services....
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 04:24 PM
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Thank you! I didn't even think of going to Google Maps and I didn't know about the Michelin site. It takes less time than I thought -- under two hours.
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Old Apr 12th, 2016, 05:41 PM
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Glad to be of help! But just to be clear, though -- IME, google maps consistently underestimates travel times by 1/4 to 1/3. That's why I specifically recommended viamichelin.com
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