Explore the history and culture of one of Eastern Europe’s hidden gems
Bosnia and Herzegovina is a young nation, born out of strife and turmoil, but it has flourished since the chaos and bloodshed of the 1990s. While it has always been home to tremendous natural beauty, delicious cuisine, and an amalgam of cultures, today it has risen to become a wonderful tourist destination whose economy continues to prosper. Situated between Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro, a Bosnia road trip is a fantastic way to explore and enjoy this part the Balkan peninsula. You’ll have no shortage of breathtaking views as you cruise through dense forests, tackle majestic mountain ranges, and ride along the gorgeous rivers that blanket the landscape.
Traveling here to begin your Bosnia tour likely means arriving by plane at Sarajevo Airport, which sits not far outside the city center. There are a few other international airports around, but the best service is definitely in the capital (Sarajevo). Bus and train travel is also possible, with the former being readily available to and from neighboring countries. Trains, however, operate a little more sporadically. European and North American visitors need only a valid passport to enter the country and enjoy stays of up to 90 days.
Once situated in Sarajevo, it’s time to begin your Bosnia adventure! This crossroads of religion, culture, and empires dates back thousands of years, and offers plenty to experience. Today it is a cosmopolitan metropolis on par with many other European cities, but with a distinctly Eastern European vibe. Before heading out of town, be sure to wander through the Old Town, see the ancient stone Latin Bridge over the Miljacka River (and near the site of Arch Duke Franz Ferdinand’s assassination in 1914), and visit some of the marvelous architecture – like the Academy of Fine Arts, Emperor’s Mosque, and the Avaz Twist Tower.
The rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina offers no shortage of sights to see during your road trip adventure. First up is the ancient bridge of Mostar, which was originally built by the Turks in the 1500s, then tragically destroyed during the war, but has since been rebuilt as close as possible to the original, and is a symbol of the entire town! The 17-meter tall waterfall and ancient fortress of Jajce are a couple of other sights that should not be missed, and be sure to marvel at Maglic, the highest mountain in the country. Archaeology and historic sites abound, but there are also fantastic outdoor adventures throughout the country. Several of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s rivers offer rafting, kayaking, canoeing, and fly-fishing while the surrounding hills and mountains feature hiking and camping during the warmer months and winter sports during the cold, snowy, winters.
What Planet Ride offers for your adventure in Bosnia
With so much to see and do, and much of it located in more remote parts of the country, a Bosnia road trip is a great way to see the country. Planet Ride features a few different Bosnia tour options with journeys by car, motorbike, and camper van. Two fantastic examples are the 23-day “Tour of the Eastern Capitals” trip and the 16-day “Great Crossing of the Balkans” motorcycle trip. The motorbike tour even allows you some additional freedom, as you’ll do most of the driving without a guide. Although your guide won’t be with you the entire time, they will still help with a significant portion of your travel arrangements and provide a comprehensive briefing upon arrival. Planet Ride partners with top-notch guides who are local experts; they know the best places to see, best roads to take, and are masters at coordinating road trips! Each one of them has met all of our stringent quality requirements, helping to ensure you receive an unforgettable experience!
Back to those tours, though! The motorhome tour starts in the Bavarian town of Bodenwöhr, Germany and visits several amazing cities, like Vienna and Prague, before finally reaching the city of Mostar. Once there, you’ll have plenty of time to wander through the ancient streets and alleyways, basking in the culture and sights. Where our motorhome tour offers plenty of leisurely cruising and relaxation, our Balkan motorcycle adventure will provide plenty of thrill and adrenaline rush. Piloting a BMW 800 or 1200cc bike, you’ll explore the countryside of Eastern Europe while experiencing the unique cities, culture, and gastronomy of each nation. With stops in Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia, there will be no shortage of variety. Your time spent in Bosnia and Herzegovina will focus on Sarajevo and Mostar. While in the capital of Sarajevo, you should stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets to take in the art, architecture, and historic sites. Be sure to also taste the local specialty, “jagnjetina.” This is a delicious traditional dish of grilled lamb or chicken. Another one to try is “Begova Corba,” which is a classic Bosnian chicken and okra soup, slowly simmered to perfection!
Now, with that taste of the itinerary, you probably can’t wait to book your Bosnia road trip. However, you might be wondering when the best time is to visit? We would recommend any time from late spring through early fall, and we have coordinated our tour dates accordingly. The geography, and therefore, the weather varies across the country, but in general, Bosnia and Herzegovina experiences hot summers and cold winters, while areas of high elevation have shorter, cooler summers and longer, more severe winters. The little bit of land along the coast has a more moderate climate, which includes mild, rainy winters.
There are a few critical pieces of information to keep in mind during your Bosnia adventure. First, if you happen to be staying at a private residence, or any lodging that is not a commercial hotel, you must register with the local police within 24 hours of arrival! Next, do not venture far off the paved roads without an expert local guide. There are, unfortunately, still many landmines and unexploded bombs left over from the conflict in the 1990s. Lastly, be polite and respectful of the country’s unfortunately war-torn history, as well as its religious diversity. Beyond that, use common sense and be a responsible driver, and you aren’t likely to have any problems!