Excursions from Makarska Riviera to Bosnia and Herzegovina are a frequent choice for many who spend their holidays in Makarska and other places nearby. One of the reasons for this is certainly the proximity. Bosnia and Herzegovina is a neighboring country to Croatia and from the Makarska Riviera to the border it takes from half an hour to at most an hour’s drive, it depends on where you are going and which border crossing you have decided on. Apart from the proximity, the reason for numerous trips to the neighboring country and beyond the borders of Croatia is also the abundance of beauty and diversity that you can discover on that trip.
It is a unique opportunity to reach another country in less than an hour from the beach and from your resort, which offers plenty of wonderful places to visit, but also a real treasure of different cultures, food, and customs. Nature is beautiful and leaves you breathless, the cities are charming and rich in history and culture, and the food and wine are delicious and affordable, and all this is a great invitation to spend one day of your vacation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Below you will find the top 10 destinations and localities worth visiting. Some of them are located close to each other, so you can combine them in a one-day trip, and for some (like Sarajevo) you should set aside a whole day. But before that, we bring a series of important information and useful tips for a trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina so that you can prepare and plan your trip as well as possible.
The abbreviation BiH is used for Bosnia and Herzegovina, which you will often see in texts, and mostly on cars. Three constituent nations are living in the country: Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs, and these languages are used as official languages. The capital is Sarajevo, and it is also the largest city.
The currency used in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the convertible mark, more popularly KM (ka – em).
Although it is not official, in many buildings, shops, and souvenir shops payment is also possible in euros, and in larger cities and towns it is also possible to pay by card in shops, gas stations, restaurants, and hotels. In smaller places and smaller facilities, this is often not possible, so make sure you have cash with you.
You can change money in one of the destinations you visit, and you can also change money in advance at an exchange office in Croatia.
A good way is to withdraw cash from your Revolut card in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is not in the European Union and the use of mobile phones for both calls and the internet is quite expensive. Tip: turn off mobile data before the boarder, and do not answer calls, at least until you reach a wi-fi network.
You will benefit from a break from your phone, believe me🙂
Excursions from Makarska Riviera to Bosnia and Herzegovina are almost every day. Organized excursions are offered to the nearest and most popular destinations such as Mostar and Međugorje. These are one-day trips with or without a guide that depart from certain pick-up points. Tickets must be purchased in advance or reserved online, and the tours are all-day. Of course, there is also the option of a private trip according to your wishes, for which you then agree on the itinerary and destinations with the travel organizer and follow your wishes.
If you are on vacation with your car, it is a great way to get to know the neighboring country. Please note that you need a valid green card to cross the border. The same applies to rented cars, so if you are planning to cross the border, be sure to check with your rent a car if the green card is included. When crossing the border, less crowds are possible, mainly during weekends and on the eve of holidays.
With regard to the already mentioned roaming, download the maps so that you can use them offline. It is possible that various navigation systems, even Google Maps, are not entirely accurate, so always pay attention to signs and traffic regulations first.
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a real gastronomic paradise. The food is high-quality, rich, and the prices of food and drinks are affordable. The trademark of the kitchen is čevapi, burek, pies, grilled meat, lamb on a spit, homemade bread, uštipci, and for sweets, be sure to try baklava and tufahije.
Now that you know everything, here are suggestions for what to visit:
1. Mostar is located on the banks of the Neretva River and is the largest city in Herzegovina. The drive to Mostar from the Makarska Riviera takes approximately 2 hours. When visiting Mostar, it is inevitable to see the Old Town and the Old Bridge, as well as other numerous monuments in the old city quarter, the mosque, other bridges, the Spanish Square and the Rondo. The climate in Mostar is pleasant, winters are cold, but snow is rare, and in summer it is one of the warmest cities.
2. Sarajevo is the capital and largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Known for its cultural and religious diversity, it hosted the 1984 Winter Olympics. What to visit? Bašćaršija, Sarajevo’s main street, the Miljacka river bridges, the point where East and West meet, the City Hall, the Tunnel of Salvation and many other points of interest from recent and distant history. The drive from Makarska Riviera to Sarajevo takes up to 4 hours, so if you decide to go to Sarjevo from Makarska Riviera as a one-day trip, be sure to leave as early as possible in the morning so that you have enough time for sightseeing and getting to know the city.
3. Međugorje is a favorite and much-visited Roman Catholic shrine. It is one of the most famous in the world and is visited by millions of believers and guests from all over the world every year. It is known for the apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1981. Apparition Hill is the most important part of a visit to Medjugorje for most visitors, as is the Church of St. James. From Makarska Riviera to Međugorje, it takes a little more than an hour’s drive, so it is ideal for a one-day trip and a short visit.
4. The Kravica waterfall (Ljubuški) is a natural attraction and an increasingly popular destination for foreign guests. Locals have long enjoyed it as a favorite summer destination. The waterfall is 28 meters high and looks impressive, and the untouched nature that surrounds it is ideal for rest and refreshment. It is located quite close to the Makarska Riviera, and the ticket price is 20 KM (a little more than €10).
5. Počitelj is a charming historical settlement where the Mediterranean and the Orient meet and merge in a small area. The extremely valuable buildings of Šišman Ibrahim Pasha’s mosque, Počiteljska sahat-tower, madrasa, hammam, inn, and Gavrankapetanović’s house have been preserved to this day. In 2003, Počitelj was declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Počitelj is an ideal place to take a break on the way, refresh yourself, buy souvenirs and explore this valuable piece of history.
All of the above-mentioned destinations, except for Sarajevo, are located close to each other and are not separated by a long drive, so many travelers are happy to combine them into one meaningful trip. Most organized tours offer a visit to Mostar and Medjugorje, and if you are traveling alone, you can plan to visit them all, at least for a short time.
Another one of the destinations nearby and in the same area, and be sure to add it to your schedule if you are visiting Mostar
6. Blagaj is located at the source of the Buna river, the largest karst spring in Europe. There is also the famous tekija and the prehistoric Green cave site.
7. Livno is a town, but it is much better known to many visitors because of the phenomenon of wild horses that live on the nearby mountain. There are about 700 of them, and you can see them on safari in the untouched nature that is their home. Those are really magnificent sights! Due to the inaccessibility of the terrain, it is not recommended to go on this trip with your own car. For the trip, you can inquire and book with organized transportation or drive yourself to the city of Livno and set off on this unique and unforgettable adventure. The drive to Livno takes about 1.5 hours.
8. Blidinje is a nature park consisting of mountain massifs and a beautiful lake, and it is a beautiful pearl of untouched nature, ideal for rest and relaxation. It is located approximately 2 hours drive from the Makarska Riviera and although it is most often a winter destination, it is beautiful in all seasons as an oasis of greenery and silence.
9. Eco village Grabovica is located on Lake Buško, along the road to Tomislavgrad. A beautiful view of Lake Buško, and within the eco village there is a lake with a large fountain, and there is also a restaurant, a wooden house, terraces, a wedding hall, an open-air amphitheater, a stone cave, a mini zoo, sports fields, a riding club with stables and horses. . It is an ideal place to visit with the family, and it is just over an hour’s drive from the Makarska Riviera.
10. Hutovo blato is a nature park, one of the largest wintering grounds for birds in Europe. Nature is untouched, lots of greenery, peaceful oases, and the wealth of flora and fauna is priceless. A photo safari, fishing, hiking trails are organized, and the entry ticket for adults costs 2 KM (about 1 €). This unique natural reserve is about a 2-hour drive from the Makarska Riviera, and it can be one of the places you add to your visit to Mostar or Međugorje. There are no organized excursions from the Makarska Riviera, but your own car or organized private transport are good options.
These would be our ten locations of choice, but you will notice yourself while driving through Bosnia and Herzegovina that the whole area is full of beautiful small towns, natural oases of greenery and rivers, and great places to taste local food and meet locals.