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Driving from Split to Sarajevo - where to stay en route? Calling Stu T...

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Feb 16th, 2010, 11:22 AM
  #1
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Driving from Split to Sarajevo - where to stay en route? Calling Stu T...

I shall be driving from Split to Sarajevo at the end of May 2010.

I've already driven the (beautiful) Atlantic highway coast road in both directions, and up to Mostar from Opuzen / Metkovic.

This time I'd like to see more of Bosnia Hercegovina, and plan to drive north east from Split to Livno, Bugojno, and on to Sarajevo via Travnik and Visoko.

My flight gets into Split around 14.00 and I don't want to have to rush to reach Sarajevo before dark.

So please can someone advise me where might be a pleasant place to stay overnight along the way?

I have been considering Travnik - I'd be there in about 3 hours and then I'd have the evening and the next morning to look around, see the Plava Voda, the fortress and painted mosque, but does anyone have any other suggestions? Jajce perhaps? Zenica? Or should I just go straight to Sarajevo?

Also, I'd be grateful for any recommendations of hotels, pansion or sobes- with parking - to stay,
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Feb 16th, 2010, 03:00 PM
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Hi Julia:

The ride from Split to Sarajevo is very scenic..and you're facing about 300kms. Remember, it will not get dark until after 9. So leaving Split at 2 (you won't even have to go into town)....the airport road east takes you to the Sinj road (# E-71, and Hwy 16). Since it's a European designated HWY, it shoud be in good shape. It was pretty poor when I last drove it before the E designation. Just keep alert for the signs pointing toward Sinj while you are on the divided highway from the airport.

The stretch from Livno to Bugonjo is also scenic, just stay on Hwy.16. At Donji Vakuf (good sized town) be sure to follow all signs to Travnik/Sarajevo.

My favorite town in the region is Travnik...that's where Tito occasionally headquartered during WW II...and there were some major massacres in the vcinity during the 1990's war years. There will be the usual young people who will proudly tell you that they fought alongside Tito in 1942. Just smile..that's all you can do.

I've never stayed overnight in Travnik, but it is a tourist destination and I did spot some lodgings. The town is very picturesque and you can walk it in half hour. Traditional Ottoman architecture abounds. If you decide to stay overnight ...I'm sure you can find a sobe'..I don't know of any from personal experience.

Sarajevo was still suffering from the shock of war when I was last there in '02. Should be in good shape by now...fascinating place. We stayed at the venerable Hotel Europa several years back..a good 19th century experience..heard it's been renovated since.

Take in some folk dancing wherever you can find it. Sarajevo had several places that offered this traditional entertainment. My wife was an ardent Balkan dance enthusiast and danced her way through the old Yugoslavia...seems to have died down on our last two trips. Kids don't go for the old stuff...their loss. We had even crashed a wedding in Bulgaria...and guess who led the dancing!

Have a grand trip..pics??

stu T.
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Feb 17th, 2010, 06:28 AM
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Thank you so much for that Stu.

(And for not pointing out my error - of course it is the Adriatic highway along the Croatian coast, silly me!)

There is relatively little information about that part of BiH that I can find. I have the Bradt guide by Tim Clancy which is quite helpful but that is the only guidebook covering the area. There's not too much on the internet either so it is really helpful to have the advice of someone like you.

There are a couple of hotels to stay in Travnik, one is close to Plava Voda and seems to be the most recommended. Another option could be Jajce though that's a bit off my proposed route.

In Sarajevo I plan to stay at the Hotel Safir, in Bascarcija about 5 mins from the Sebili fountain. I've been wanting to visit Sarajevo for some years now and am really looking forward to it.

Hopefully I'll find some folk dancing along the way! Look for a trip report and pics in June, all being well.
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Feb 17th, 2010, 10:35 AM
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Julia:
Just looked at my journal again..yes, we had a very pleasant lunch at the rather rundown Hotel Orient in Travnik...only place open on a Moday afternoon....and if the Hotel Bristol is still around in Sarajevo, they put on a fun dance evening, folklore show and open dancing. I recall that the Holiday Inn had just opened in town and it was painted an awful mustard and red! A subject of great derision by the locals.

stu

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Feb 17th, 2010, 10:45 AM
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I have unfortunately yet to travel to Bosnia, but I have bookmarked the excellent tourism website:
http://www.bhtourism.ba/eng/default.wbsp
Just in case you have not seen it and find it helpful.
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Feb 17th, 2010, 11:38 AM
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Thanks again Stu, I think the Holiday Inn is still yellow!

yorkshire - I thought you had been adventuring in Bosnia, I always enjoy reading your answers to Croatia questions. Thank you, and yes, I know of that website and it's about the only place you can find out about off-the-beaten-tourist-track towns. I have also found virtualtourist quite useful - it has a few trip reports and personal experiences. And of course tripadvisor can be a valuable source of information from time to time, though is of no help about places to stay in Travnik and Jajce.

While the former Yugoslavia is well mapped so to speak, there is so little information about much of it outside the more visited countries of Slovenia and Croatia. It really does seem to be one of the last undiscovered tourist destinations in Europe, and for somewhere that is less than a 3 hour flight from the UK that is surprising. Though there are no direct flights any more, all now involve a change so are time-consuming and expensive. That's why I'm flying easyjet from Bristol to Split (70 GBP return) and renting a car to drive up. It works out cheaper and just about the same time spent travelling.

Plus the bonus of seeing some glorious countryside along this scenic route, and maybe in the future if more people venture over the Croatian border I might be able to offer some help.
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Feb 17th, 2010, 11:48 AM
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kja
 
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I used the Bradt guide during a recent (May 09) visit to Sarajevo and Mostar, and found that parts are out-of-date. It was useful, but I would recommend that you use it as a very rough guide. Staff of the tourist information office in downtown Sarajevo were very helpful. Enjoy!
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Feb 17th, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Yes Julia--I have the fortunate problem of compulsively returning to Croatia, but I did manage to make it south to Montenegro last time so Bosnia is definitely next.
Looking forward to reading about your interesting trip!
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