Mostar is a town in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a small and almost land-locked country to the east of Croatia!
With its famous bridge, the 16th century Stari Most, colourful houses and cobbled streets, Mostar is incredibly picturesque.
During our recent week in Makarska, Croatia, our family party of 7 hired a private mini bus (booked online the day before through Viator) and were collected on time from our apartments.
Once we were comfortably seated the driver discussed a proposed itinerary however he was happy to alter the times and take us where we wanted. The journey to Mostar was to take a couple of hours, across mountain roads and through the border. The above photo was taken from Elliott’s drone when we stopped high up in the mountains where we had a fabulous view of the coastline and islands in the distance.
We passed through the border where our passports were checked both on the exit from Croatia and again as we crossed into Bosnia & Herzegovina. With the latter being a non-EU member, this was a ‘proper’ border crossing unlike EU to EU where you just drive merrily through and you may just notice the road signs have suddenly changed.
Once we reached Mostar, our driver dropped us within a 5 – 10 minute walk from the Old Town and we edged our way through the narrow streets lined with colourful little restaurants, shops and stalls. I say ‘edged’ as these little streets were packed with tourists! We soon crossed the Stari Most bridge, which means ‘Old Bridge’.
There are many delightful quaint and traditional restaurants throughout the Old Town. We had lunch in one of them and were pleasantly surprised when the bill for 7 of us including mains and drinks was just under £50!
Stari Most bridge is famous for its bridge jumpers… this has been a tradition for over 450 years, where people leap off the Ottoman bridge and land in the River Neretva some 20 meters below. Young lads pose for ages on the rails but we didn’t actually see any jump in!
We saw several reminders of Mostar’s dark history and many walls are still scarred with hundreds of bullet holes. This is a result of the Bosnia war where in the early 1990’s, the city suffered two sieges as the former Yugoslavia broke up.
The Stari Most bridge as pictured throughout this post, which had stood for 427 years was destroyed in November 1993 by Croat Military forces. Reconstruction work began at the end of the war in 2001 and the new bridge was officially opened in July 2004.
On the way back from Mostar our driver suggested we stop at the Waterfall Kravica. This is about 25 miles from Mostar, in the Herzegovina part of the country. We paid a small sum to enter the site of the 25 m high waterfalls (about 5 euros each I think).
While the falls were pretty we were slightly disappointed as the place was buzzing with tourists jumping in and swimming in the pools, eating and drinking at the bar and cafe and generally milling around. In hindsight we would all have preferred to spend an extra hour in Mostar and to skip the waterfall side trip.