Of all the places I travelled in 2016, Mostar absolutely surprised me. My friends and I arranged a bus tour with EuroAdria which was very convenient. The bus was very comfortable and clean and the tour guide and driver were both knowledgeable and accommodating.
From Dubrovnik, it was quite a lovely drive seeing the Dalmatian coast along with the Croatian and Bosnian countryside. We made a quick stop in the small village of Pocitelj, an Ottoman-Mediterranean settlement. It is situated along the Neretva River, the largest river in the region. It was developed through various periods of history beginning with the medieval period and has served an important role throughout the region’s history.
Arriving in Mostar, you will be greeted by this distinctive Bell Tower which is the tallest structure in the city and is conveniently located next to the car park (quite a helpful landmark to find your way back to your parking spot). The Franciscans initially came to Mostar in the 14th century and built a church and monastery in the 15th century. Despite the execution and the destruction brought on by the Ottoman Turks, the Franciscans persevered in serving the spiritual needs of Catholics in the region
As we started to do a walking tour around the Old Town, I managed to take a few decent shots while listening and catching up with our local tour guide…
Mostar is a city of contrast, culture, religion and cuisine. A picture perfect medieval city with warm and friendly locals. There is a unique and distinctive Turkish- Muslim influence in the arts and crafts and the structures all over Old Town.
The city’s population is comprised of Bosnians, Croats and Serbs whose language is of Slavic origin. The people living here are either Catholics, Muslims or Non-religious and have lived harmoniously for centuries despite the differences in faith and cultural backgrounds.
Mostar being located in the Herzegovina region in the south, enjoys a much warmer climate than its Bosnia counterpart in the North. It is a wine growing region and its popular cherry liquor is a must try.
Biscevica Kuca (Biscevic House)
This was probably my favorite part of the tour. It was my first time being in a Turkish House and this one is said to be the oldest house in Mostar built in 1635. It gives you an insight into what it was like living here in the 17th century.
The city is definitely worth a day trip or more if you have enough time to spend a few days to explore various parts of the region. It is one of those less traveled parts of Europe that might just end up surprising you as well.
Things to remember:
- If doing a day trip from Dubrovnik, be sure to bring your passport!
- Bring sunscreen and hydrate. Being located in the valley, it can be quite hot and humid in Mostar.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Preferably sneakers. The Pebbled streets of the Old Town is quite uncomfortable after a while and the walk up and down Stari Most (Old Bridge) is very slippery.
- Go local! Shop local! And definitely try the local food and wine. Enjoy!