To clear up any confusion, Herzegovina is the southern region of Bosnia. There are no official borders but the Herzegovina area is surrounded by the Croatian and Montenegrin boarder lines in the South and a few of the Bosnian mountains in the north. Mostar is a city within the Herzegovina region.
Follow The Gap Map itinerary found on the main Europe page. Take a bus from Dubrovnik to Mostar. Stay a couple of nights and then get a return bus to Dubrovnik so that you can catch your connecting ferry on to Italy!
You might call this town the star of Bosnia, located in the South, it is famous for its Unesco bridge Stari Most. A stone arch that curves high over the Neretva river between two towers, this bridge has been leading people from one side of the historic town to the other since 1557. Although most tourists come to see Mostars main sights in a day it is nice to stay for a night just to see the bridge light up when the sun goes down.
Once a year there is the tradition of a diving contest when the brave Red Bull contestants plunge head first from the bridge into the river below. See the action here. For the adrenaline junkies Gap Mappers out there you can pay 20 Euro to be trained in everything you need to know about the bridge dive and even get a certificate when you make it out of the water in one piece.
The war photo exhibition is worth going to for some insight into the war that effected this country so profoundly between 1992 and 1995. With 38,200 civillian casualties and many soldiers dead, this is the war that divided Yugoslavia and created the Eastern Europe that we have today. Remnants of the war can still be seen in the streets with crumbling buildings and infrastructure that hasn’t been restored. The photos in the gallery are taken by New Zealand photographer Wade Goddard. During the 90’s Goddard went to Bosnia to capture the scene both during and post war. The collection is emotional and eye opening.
Located next to the Stari Most bridge
The Koski Mehmed pasa Mosque, is open to tourists and you are welcomed to take photos inside of the beautiful interior of the mosque which still remains in its original state. Women are expected to wear some form of scarf over their hair so the lady Gap Mappers should pack a sarong in their handbag. Hike your way to the top of the spiraling narrow staircase that leads to the top of the minaret for a panoramic view of the whole city.
From the mosque you can make your way to the Tepa Market. This is the original market that was here in the Ottoman times. Sample the fresh locally grown produce and pick up some snacks for a picnic lunch. Much of the fruit and veg is organic and of very good quality.
The čaršija markets are located on both of the banks on either side of the old bridge and sell many arts and craft items. Traditional Bosnian rugs and items of Turkish influence are sold as well as many smaller souvenirs to take home.
If you have time to see another mosque, The Karadozbegova Mosque is the most important and iconic Islamic monument in the country.
Kravice waterfalls are really beautiful and pristine, just 40km outside of Mostar they are a lot less frequented by tourists compared to the falls in Croatia. You can cool off here in the big green pools and explore the area. There’s even a café to enjoy lunch and a drink. It’s about a half hour drive to get there but totally worth it.
Hostel Nina is located right in the old town only two minutes walk from the old bridge. This hostel offers dorm rooms for around 9 Euro which includes a home made breakfast and free pick up from the bus or train station so make sure to contact them beforehand with your arrival details. Aircon, wifi, towel, linen, kitchen, garden and common areas are all free features of this cute hostel. They offer tours to see the falls but ask the taxi drivers around town for a price comparison to be sure that you’re getting the best deal.
Celebica 18, Mostar, Bosnia And Herzegovina
Traditional restaurants in town will serve a variety of Bosnian meals including sarma, a soft cabbage leaf wrapped around mince meat, begova corba, a tasty chicken stew, teletina veal, stuffed peppers, sitni cevap veal stew, grilled lamb, and plenty of fresh fish.
Look out for takeaway pita places that will set you back just 3 Euro. One of the best is Eko Eli where they bake them fresh daily.
Maršala Tita 115
Koski Basta Café is a nice spot to sit outside by the river and enjoy some Turkish coffee with snacks and a view of the bridge. Decorated with blue chairs and drapes it’s relaxing and quiet.
Mala Tepa 16
Balkan 1 and Balkan 2 are set in two different locations and have been running in Mostar since the 60’s. Serving traditional dishes like stuffed vegetables for just 1.50 Euro, this is one for your must-eat list. The quirky interior filled with a random assortment of knickknacks will have your eyes looking up and down the walls all through lunch.
Balkan 1: Braće Fejića 61
Balkan 2: Mala Tepe, Mostar (near the markets)
Sadrvan is a tourist favourite because of it’s location right by a trickling fountain but the menu has something for everyone and prices are reasonable.
Jusovina 11, Mostar
HindinHan is a favourite both with the tourists and locals for its outdoor terraces and tasty, authentic food. Try the seafood, it’s a fraction of the price that you will pay in Dubrovnik.
Jusovina bb, Mostar
Get the bus from Mostar to Dubrovnik in the morning. Its always best to book your tickets the day before to secure a seat. Spend the day exploring Dubrovnik before your over night ferry to Italy.
To reach Italy you will catch the overnight ferry from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Bari on Italys East coast. See here for ticket prices and timetables. It should cost around 45Euro. Of course it always best to compare the price with flights from Dubrovnik to Napoli but often in peak season the ferry to Bari is cheaper.