There are plenty of day trips that you can take from Dubrovnik since it’s very close to Croatia’s neighbor countries like Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Albania. I planned 2 full days in Dubrovnik so we can take a day trip. Originally, I booked a day trip to Korcula where in Croatia and much similar to Dubrovnik. However, 2 weeks prior to our trip, the tour operator informed us that the ferry schedule has changed and no boat on Sunday so in the very last minute we changed our trip to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina instead. I booked through Amico Tours since they are highly rated in Trip Advisor and reasonably priced. I contacted them through email and they were prompt on responses. I paid via Paypal; it was 55 euros per person. We were told to meet at Biker’s Cafe at 7:10, the cafe is two flight of stairs down from our place. The alarm set up at 6 am, we got ready, had breakfast, and walked down to the cafe. Then, a mini van came and picked us up. The driver spoke good English and told us that there’ll be 5 more people to pick up throughout the town. 7 of us in total, small group which I really happy about: a couple from Ireland if I remember correctly, 1 lady from Australia by herself, and a couple from the US who reside in Rome. The driver informed us that we’ll be going through 6 border controls round trip due to Dubrovnik is cut out from Croatia by Bosnia and Herzegovina! After almost an hour drive, he stopped by a motel/store place just before the first border control so we can use the restroom there. Luckily, I have some tissues in my purse…the restroom ran out of toilet paper! Be sure to carry one pack with you just in case!!! The toilet was clean and don’t worry, it’s flushing toilet 🙂 The first border control we went through, it was interesting: the driver collected our passports, turned off the car engine, and gave all our passports to the patrol (leaving Croatia). They spoke in Croatian and within a few minutes, the patrol gave all back to the driver and the driver started the car, drove few feet (yes literally few feet away) and repeated the same thing to the Bosnia patrol. She, however, went through each of our passports and scanned them in one by one which took a while! After that, we officially entered Bosnia and Herzegovina! Another probably half an hour drive, we came to leaving Bosnia and entering Croatia…same process of going through 2 border controls LOL! Finally, the third border controls that we entered Bosnia again! Our first stop was Međugorje, in the Herzegovina region which is one of the famous pilgrimage sites. We both had no clue why it is famous since we are not Catholics but we had 45 minutes there to get off and walk around. The couple from Ireland and the lady from Australia were dropped off there and later got picked up on our return journey. First thing we saw was St. James Church. We were thinking the church looked pretty new so why it is so famous? We looked up after the trip out of curiosity 🙂 Google Međugorje and you’ll know why!
There were a lot of prayers there and it was a Sunday! Also, there were signs of watch out for pickpockets so we paid extra attention! We walked around and every single souvenir shops are selling Catholic stuff!
The 45 minutes seemed so long for us and it was very cloudy that we afraid it’ll rain – thankfully it sprinkled here and there only. Our mini van showed up on time and 4 of us continued our trip to Mostar. The mini van parked on the back of the church which has the tallest tower in Mostar:
We were greeted by a local guide who took us to the old town and showed us/told us interesting places and history. On the walk to the old town, she as well as the driver warned us about gypsy kids so we were in high alert! It was a short walk to get to the old town and we passed by buildings that left evidence of the war.
First bridge we saw, it wasn’t the famous Stari Most – The Old Bridge but it was like the mini version of it.
The architectures and the bridge blend in well together but too bad it has a bad odor from the stream 😦
We turned to the main street of the old town where both sides were filled with souvenir shops or restaurants! Our driver and local tour guide:
We had a sneak of the prices and it was marked in Euros as well and cheaper.
We followed her and she walked us down to the “beach” for the good view of the bridge. There was a young man collecting money to jump off the bridge! Once he collected 25 euros, he or another young man will jump off the bridge! One that was preparing to take a dive!
We waited a few minutes and he jumped!
It was one of the attraction in Mostar to watch those young men jumping off the bridge into the emerald water! A lot of people were on the beach for photos so we had to wait for our turn! Too bad it was cloudy or else the emerald color of the water and the colorful houses on the back would stand out more!
We quickly walked back up and continued with the “tour”. I snapped a photo of a tree in one of the restaurant:
We were given some historical background of the bridge and the cultural groups who reside in Mostar. The bridge was bombed during the war and they reconstructed it using some of the materials from the original bridge. Walking on the bridge was a challenge as it is steep and slippery, the trick is to step on those stone that popped out – they were originally served as brakes for horse carriage so it won’t slip backward.
Ladies-do not wear high heels to Mostar or else you’ll have a very difficult time walking! After crossed the bridge, the cobblestone street is slippery as well, glad that we wore our flip flops!
We walked till the end of the main road and the local guide told us that’s the whole old town! Instead of listening to the history, I was attracted by colorful souvenirs – they probably had some influence from Turkey?
When we looked back, there was the bridge!
We headed back to the bridge again and of course I stopped for few seconds for photos! It was still cloudy so the above and below photos are HDRs.
A jewelry maker:
The local tour guide recommended a restaurant to us and showed us the walk back to the church…continue walking straight through the main street and then turn, will see the bell tower. We were told that we need to get back to the church to meet at 3 pm….we had around 2 hours free time. We decided to have lunch in the restaurant she recommended and the couple from US who reside in Rome joined us. We were seated and given a menu – price only shown in Bosnian KM and all 4 of us have no clue on the exchange rate LOL! We were told that they accept Croatian Kunas or Euros but no credit cards; hardly you’ll find any place in Mostar that accepts credit card!!! I still have most of the Kunas I exchanged yesterday so I wasn’t too worried about it! I ordered their traditional dish of mixed grill meats served with onion and pita bread which they called Ćevapi.
Hubby ordered the grilled squid.
Both were okay and no surprise. We were also given a free shot, hubby said it was very strong alcohol! We waited for a while for our food though and then the bill – it wasted us a lot of time like an hour at least! While waiting, we chatted a bit with the couple who reside in Rome. We asked how is it living in Rome, they said it was chaotic at first….things get done very slowly in Rome; took them few months to get internet, to get things fixed, etc. They were from DC area but moved to Rome for their new job with the UN on agriculture. It must be pretty awesome to live in a foreign country for a few years! We used the restroom in the restaurant – it was clean and with toilet paper 🙂 We found out the exchange rate when we got our bill – it’s 4 Croatian Kunas = 1 Bosnia KM. Our two dishes with two fantas cost 180 Croatian Kunas ~$26, we thought it would be cheaper but not. Before we left, I took some photos of the place:
If we had to pick again, we would just find some quick eats and save time for exploring the town even though it is small. We walked back toward the bridge, the sky looked brighter than before!
The view from the bridge of the mosque on the right:
We walked back down to the beach again for more photos, this time we didn’t had to rush. Looked like another guy is ready for the jump again! I wondered how many times they do this in a day?
Continue walked across the bridge again to the other side of the old town. Mostly are souvenir shops but we ended up not buying anything! We saw some glass arts that were pretty but the owner asked for like 70 euros each which is ridiculous!!!
This spot is the prime spot on this side of the bridge so many people were taking photos on that spot…we waited for some time…
There was a group of annoying folks that kept rotating taking photos and selfies that we lost our patient and left. We walked a few steps in front and snapped a shot!
We walked all the way to the end of the main street and turned back to the bridge again!
Time flew by quickly that it was already 15 minutes till 3! We headed back toward the church bell tower direction.We made it back to the church in less than 10 minutes! Now there was blue sky!
The couple from Rome was already there so we went back to the car and departed. Good-bye Mostar, I wish we had more time with you and better weather! On the return journey, we stopped by Počitelj and had 30 minutes. The sky completely cleared here, blue sky white clouds wow how different! I wished we had that in Mostar! The driver said the walk up to the ruin only takes 15 minutes so we have enough time…urg it doesn’t look like 15 min at all, do you think? Well the couple from Rome walked all the way up there and made it back on time.
This small town also has a mosque:
This is the way up to the ruin but we only make it quarter way up for photos…those stones are so slippery yikes!
You can enter this mosque for 2 euros entrance fee each….
We didn’t go in and instead we spent our time to take photos!
There were souvenir stands and priced almost the same as in Mostar. The bottled water there sell for 1 euros each which is reasonable.
Isn’t this restaurant pretty cool hidden under the leaves?
We made one more stop: Mogorjelo – a first century Roman town.
The display board pictured how it was like before, it was actually a big farm producing olive oil.
Those were the rooms for the farmers who worked there:
This was where they squeezed the olives.
The driver said he grew up near there and when he was little, this was his playground. He later moved to Dubrovnik where it’s easier to find a job. After the short visit, we drove back to pick up the other 3 people. One last stop – fresh oyster! That area is famous for farming oysters. Hubby tried – he said they were very salty LOL!
The drive back – we went through border control 3 times again but all three times no one really checked our passport lol…we guess they were ready to go home!
We asked the driver to drop us off in front of the Old Town in Dubrovnik.
It was like almost 7 pm when we got back – just in time for dinner! The lamps from restaurants were lit up on each side of the narrow streets which gave a moody ambiance.
We walked to San Francesco and they are opened yay! We sat on a table right on the stair – it was a unique experience I must say!
Appetizer, we ordered the grilled pawns – oh wow they were so good!
Main course – I continued with shrimp….shrimp pasta and it tasted great!
Hubby ordered the seafood spaghetti and it was so delicious! It was probably the best we had in Croatia! We were so glad that we came back to give it a try! I wasn’t expecting Croatia has good spaghetti too!
Our dinner came to 287 Kunas around $42 only!!! I highly recommend this restaurant for dinner!
After dinner, the sun started to set, we were running back to our room! On the way back through the Old Town, there were a lot of birds flying around on that time of the day! It was crazy!
We were in a rush to get back but as I walked, I snapped few more shots 🙂
They are the guards of the Old Town – I don’t think I saw them during the day!
As we walk, I looked back and take photos every few steps LOL!
We made it back to our awesome balcony before the sun sets.
The sun sets right behind the mountain so really can’t see the sun setting on the horizon but can see the sky changing colors! It was probably the best sun set of our trip….I really have no luck in catching those red and purple sun sets!
The moon was already there!
Good night Dubrovnik – we’ll miss you as you are so beautiful! Mostar was great too….would be better if we have more time and better weather. I recommend to stay in Dubrovnik for at least 4 nights so you have 1 full day to explore the Old Town and then 2 days to take day trips; obviously Mostar a must 🙂 We really enjoyed our time in Dubrovnik, except for those stairs, but we didn’t regret that we picked to stay in Ploce for the magnificent views!