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75 | Closing The Balkan Circle
My last part of the adventure in Bosnia & Herzegovina has been released today. This is closing the circle for me in the Balkans as I officially visited all 11 countries in the region. It took me a while but this is the timeline:
🇬🇷 Greece - May 2014
🇦🇱 Albania - Oct 2015
🇽🇰 Kosovo - Oct 2015 (disputed country by Serbia but… I do recognise it as a country)
🇲🇰 North Macedonia - Oct 2015
🇭🇷 Croatia - April 2016
🇲🇪 Montenegro - May 2016
🇸🇮 Slovenia - Oct 2017
🇷🇴 Romania - May 2019
🇧🇬 Bulgaria - Dec 2019
🇷🇸 Serbia - Dec 2019
🇧🇦 Bosnia & Herzegovina - Mar 2022
Overall my recommendation for first timers in Bosnia is to do the following:
Sarajevo. The capital. Its idyllic mountain setting makes it one of Europe’s most intriguing cities. I highly recommend minimum 2 full days… or a bit more if you can. One day should be just for the mountains and the other day for the city. But still, you'd only get a flavour to decide where to come back and do more.
Počitelj. This is an old fortress and town built on the hills overlooking the Neretva river, known for its restored castle. Here we had a little chat with Mime (one of my local guides) about the different religions in Bosnia.
Kravica Waterfall. This natural park has been called mini “Iguazu". The water falls for about 23 meters , in different, separate sections, in 120 m widespread. You need to pay a small fee (I think €5 or so) to enter if you're not local. But worth it. The falls are currently not a well known attraction amongst tourists, meaning they are peaceful and not yet highly commercialised.
Blagaj. A short drive south of Mostar is the small village of Blagaj. Within Blagaj you'll find the iconic tekija or monastery, which was founded by Dervish monks in the 16th century. The monastery is nestled at the foot of a cliff face, looking over a beautiful pool, and exemplifies the classic Ottoman architecture. Once again, empty for us so we had lunch over there. In summer, I was told it's completely packed.
Mostar. The most important thing is the Stari Most, a 16th century Ottoman-style bridge that spans the Neretva River, connecting the two sides of the city. It has been a symbol of the city for over 400 years, destroyed during the Bosnian War and rebuilt in 2004. You can even jump from the bridge but only in summer. Mostar has also a beautiful Old Town. It's a good place to be based and drive around as all the other places I mentioned are not too far.
Overall you can do all those 5 places in 3-4 days but I recommend a full week so you don't rush and can enjoy!
Have a great week!
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