Mostar is the capital of the Herzegovina region of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A Balkan state, it used to be a part of Yugoslavia until it declared independence in April 1992.
I arrived in Mostar by coach from Dubrovnik, and along the journey I did have a chance to pass through the 25km sea border on the Mediterranean. The bus journey is around 3.5 hours and cost me roughly 14 Euros (Can be purchased online or at the bus terminal).
The journey was quite pleasant and the scenery in the Herzegovina countryside is beautiful. Lots of lush green hillsides.
When we eventually arrived into Mostar bus depo I made a quick stop off to my guest house and then went to see the old city at night.
One of the most famous landmarks is The Old Bridge, which was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century. The architecture is Islamic – driven by the Ottoman influence – and over 50% of the country follow the religion of Islam today.
The Old City of Mostar is a UNESCO World Heritage site on the Neretva River, and has some great sights to see.
It was beautiful to look out over the river and see The Old Bridge (Stari Most), with the call to prayer going on in the background from the nearby mosques.
Mostar old town also has many restaurants where you can try the local cuisine. I found myself at Šadrvan, which was really nice and where I had a local beer (Mostarsko Pivo), and some traditional food.
The meal was excellent and dirt cheap. The low cost but tasty food is a real added bonus in Mostar compared to other parts of Europe where, you can pay an arm and a leg for a meal.
The next day I was fortunate enough to have the owner of the guest house I was staying in take me on a tour of the southern region in Herzegovina to see some of their beautiful sights. He spoke very little English but was lovely and said he’d match any price of a tour across the region – which is amazing value as you aren’t stuck to the time slots the tour gives you in each area and you can see the sites at your own pace.
Our first stop was to Kravica/Kravice Waterfall. On the Trebižat River it is a beautiful cascade over limestone deposits, which fall roughly 25 meters to the lake below.
It was one of those natural beauties that you could just stand and watch for ages. I got there quite early in the morning, so there were minimal tourists around, and all you could hear was the sound of the waterfall.
In peak summer people go out on little makeshift boats or swim in the lake, and I’m sure the boyfriends/girlfriends of Instagram have done some photoshoots there!
My next stop was in the historical village of Počitelj. Founded in the municipality of Čapljina, it is an open-air museum today and was built during the middle ages.
It is said to have thrived during two periods, the medieval and the Ottoman. Walking around the village, you can see several old sites from the Šišman Ibrahim-pašina džamija mosque, which dates back to the 15th century.
The Kula is a piece of the old fort that overlooked the entire village at its highest point.
The Bell tower – also known as Sahat Kula – had some amazing views of the village and the entire area overlooking the Neretva river and the green hillsides.
It truly was an amazing village to walk around. The locals make a living from tourism as it is not as affluent as it once was during the Ottoman period, and declined in population and influence during the Yugoslavia period.
My final stop on my tour was Blagaj. Located on the Buna river it contains some really interesting natural and historic sites.
The Vrelo Bune is where the river Buna emerges from a cave-like spring that sits at the bottom of a cliff face. The Buna river is surrounded by restaurants for locals and tourists to sit and enjoy the views.
Right by the Vrelo Bune is the Teqeja e Sari Salltekut/ Dervish Monastery, which is a historic 17th century Sufi monastery that has lovely décor, a Turkish bath, and areas to pray or relax and have tea.
Back in Mostar it seemed like a storm was coming, so I had to be quick and see as much of the old town as possible.
I walked through the small windy streets where you have the old bazaar selling all the common daily items for the locals and all the tea sets, genie lamps and other touristy knick-knacks for tourists.
I tried to get several angles of The Old Bridge with me in it. One of the difficult things to do as a solo traveler is to get one nice shot of you with a landmark that isn’t a selfie with a double chin.
A couple of other important sights to see include the ‘Don’t Forget’ stone, as it serves as a remembrance of the war and the losses suffered in the region.
Another major event that occurs daily if you get the chance (and are brave enough) is to dive off Stari Most. The bridge is quite crowded, but you can get some great shots from the banks of the river below.
I really enjoyed my time in Mostar and believe it was too short. I certainly want to go back to Bosnia and Herzegovina as there is so much to see within the different regions and cities. I highly recommend you add this to your travel list as its cheap, transport is accessible, and the people are friendly and hospitable.