Herzegovina is the southern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Balkan Peninsula. With Mostar at its center, the city provides an excellent jumping off point to explore the rest of the region. Here are some of the things you can expect to see on the Discover Herzegovina day trip from Mostar.
The Discover Herzegovina Day Tour
Many tours of the Herzegovina area either originate in Croatia or include Mostar as one of its stops. Since we were staying in Mostar, we were looking for a tour that began and ended there. Having done it, I can’t imagine having to cram all the beautiful sites we visited and Mostar into one day trip. I wouldn’t recommend it. One of the best rated companies offering a Herzegovina day trip from Mostar is Mostar Travel. You can book with them through TripAdvisor or directly with the company via their website or email. They were flexible enough to allow us to book as late as the evening the night before the day trip.
We booked a small group tour but since we were the only two people booked on this day (the perks of traveling off-season!), we inadvertently got a private tour for the price of a shared tour. The entire day was enjoyable without being too tiring since the driving distances are short. Our guide was Esmer, who was really knowledgeable, sweet, and flexible. It’s undoubtedly a good idea to book in advance if you’re visiting Mostar in the summertime when their tours are far more popular.
Our first stop on the tour was the Dervish monastery at Blagaj. The small village is situated around the spring of the Buna River, which originates in the cave of a massive cliff. This is where the Dervish monastery, known as the Blagaj Tekija, was built in the 17th century. After Esmer gave us a little bit of information at the base of the river, we had some time to walk around and explore the area. You can spend this time actually visiting the Blagaj Tekija, which requires a small fee to enter. Entrance allows you to visit the different parts of the traditional house and to get a closer view of the spring of the Buna River. During the summer months when more restaurants are open in Blagaj, this stop is used to enjoy breakfast.
Počitelj was the sleeper hit of this tour, although ironically, it was the least interesting to me on paper. Počitelj is an old historic village on the bank of the Neretva. I figured we had already seen Mostar, so this couldn’t possibly be that special. But it was. The Medieval village is surrounded by a fortified complex, which you can explore while taking in the spectacular views beneath you. After Esmer gave us some background, he let us roam the beautiful village. Despite having over an hour to explore, we didn’t get to visit the inside of the mosque or the clock tower.
That’s because we climbed to the top of the partially ruined Gavrakapetan Tower which is on the left hand side of the town. The walk to the tower took us up a stone stairway through the small homes in the town, which is very sparsely populated. The tower itself had some graffiti inside and offered 360-degree views of the surrounding river and the rest of Počitelj. After we climbed back down from the tower, we walked along the upper part of the rampart, stopping at each of the fortifications. The best part of Počitelj is that the city is full of pomegranate trees, so we grabbed one and ate it as we walked to the opposite end of the Gavrakapetan Tower to the Pašina Tabija, which has a built-in viewing point. We couldn’t access it because it was closed (the downsides of traveling off-season!)
These beautiful falls were the Herzegovina tour’s most enticing attraction. The Kravice Waterfalls from the Trebižat River measure over 120 meters in width, creating a perfectly picturesque turquoise swimming pool. That’s what makes this such a popular summer destination in Bosnia and Herzegovina – in fact, Mostar Travel offers a tour to the falls for the entire day. During the summer, this is a popular spot to swim, canoe, or sit on the shore and enjoy a drink.
The good thing about visiting in the winter is that it’s totally empty. There’s also more water cascading down the falls. In the summer, the wide Kravice Falls look more like small individual streams. It’s also packed. According to our guide, the best time to visit is May to early June before it gets really hot and crowded or around September when the crowds have gone, but it’s still nice enough to swim.
The hills above Mostar
The last part of the Discover Herzegovina tour was a lookout point in the hills of Mostar. From here, visitors can ride a zipline to another hill or sit and have a coffee while overlooking the city. From this vantage point which Serbian forces used during the siege of the city, Esmer explained the factors that led to the war and how the people of Mostar, who were surrounded on all sides, survived during the fighting. Though the tour ended on a somber tone, it was a really illuminating and informative conversation. One of the best things about the Bosnian people is that they’re able to discuss a lot of the painful atrocities they experienced and still communicate hope and optimism for the future. The discussion was a great cap to the day and a great aid in our understanding of the history of the Herzegovina region.