Kravice waterfall in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina road trip itinerary (12 days)

There’s a place I know that looks like a little piece of paradise. I don’t think I have to do any marketing for Croatia—it’s already a hotspot on many travel bucket lists. But have you considered venturing into its neighbor, Bosnia and Herzegovina? Combining these two destinations creates the perfect recipe for a well-rounded trip. Imagine a dash of adventure (let’s try rafting!), a sprinkle of chill (let’s walk along the promenade or enjoy the views from a ship’s sun deck), stunning nature (let’s visit Krka and Plitvice), and a ton of history and culture to explore in towns like Split, Sarajevo, Mostar, and more.

We were lucky to go on a 12 day road trip in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in end of May – beginning of June. But planning a trip like that takes a lot of time and effort, so I am sharing our itinerary and experiences, to help you plan your dream trip as well. You’re welcome!  

Jump to:

Why travel to Croatia?

One goes to Croatia for its breathtaking nature. The water is as clear and blue as you’ve imagined—you don’t even need snorkelling gear to spot sea urchins lounging on the seafloor. The waterfalls are as dreamy as rumoured, and the old towns along the Dalmatian coast have even more intriguing details and charming streets than in pictures. Sure, it gets crowded, but that’s a small price to pay for paradise, right?

Author of the blog with a waterfall in Plitvice lakes in background
Plitvice lakes

Why travel to Bosnia and Herzegovina?

One goes to Bosnia and Herzegovina to immerse in its rich and complex culture. The blend of beauty and history here can make your head spin. One moment, you’re having the time of your life window shopping for cezvas and baklava in vibrant markets and wandering by old Ottoman houses. The next, you’re moved to tears by a building still scarred with bullet holes, a stark reminder of the horrors of the war that occurred just 30 years ago.

Colorful houses in Mostar Old town
Mostar

12 Day Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina road trip


Length: 12 days


When our trip took place: Tail end of May – beginning of June 2024


PS – this is an active “wake up at 7am spend the whole day exploring come to accommodation by 9pm” type of an itinerary as we are that type of travelers. But if you want a bit more relaxed schedule you can still use this as an inspiration and swap / exclude the things that don’t speak to you

Split, Croatia

Dance performance in Dioclitians palace. Split, Croatia.
Dioclitians palace

Arriving in Split airport (in the morning).

Itinerary:


Dioclitians palace

A place that is both in ruins and alive at the same time.


Rub the toe of Gregory of Nin

For some good luck.


Split promenade aka Riva

A little peace of palm-lined paradise.


Marjan park

A challenge with an amazing view as a reward.


Food to try on your Croatia trip:

Croatian Burek.

The original one has a meat filling, but there are also vegetarian options e.g. with cheese and spinach.

Burek

Walking: ~37,184 steps a day in total (from my Garmin, includes all activities during the day e.g. airport, walking to diner etc.

Split, Croatia part 2

Rafting in Croatia

Itinerary:


One of Splits beaches

Sun-soaked serenity before a big adventure


Rafting on Cetina river

Let’s conquer some rapids, swim through the cave and maybe even try some cliff jumping. Do you dare?


Food to try on your Croatia trip:

Pasticada (Baby beef stew with gnocchi)

Pasticada (Baby beef stew with gnocchi)

Walking: ~17,057 steps a day in total

Split, Croatia to Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina

(with stops along the way)

Panorama view of Počitelji in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Počitelj

Itinerary:


Picking up the rental car for the road trip.


Kravice waterfalls

Place to dip your toes in unbelievably blue (but cold) fairy tail waterfall. This is the one you’re still allowed to swim in.


Počitelj

A beautiful half-abandoned Ottoman style village which seems to be slowly overtaken by plants.


Blagaj Tekke

Monastery in a place that is so photogenic that it is worth making a d-tour.


Note: On our roadtrip we ended up going there the next day, because we wasted a bit too much time in some shops. But due to location it better fits in this days agenda, so I would recommend trying to visit it after Počiteli if possible.

Tip: If you haven’t already exchanged your money to Bosnia-Herzegovina Convertible marks do it in Split, as there didn’t seem to be a place to do it in Bosnia on the stops listed. Although some places like souvenir shops may accept euros, I would not rely on it.

Food to try on your Bosnia and Herzegovina trip:

Stuffed vegetables.

They are stuffed with meat. I would say 90% of dishes in Bosnia and Herzegovina are meat based.

Stuffed vegetables

Walking: ~19,083 steps a day in total

Drive: ~193 km

Mostar, Bosnia to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Panorama view in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mostar

Itinerary:


Mostar old town

Have we been teleported to Turkey? Walk by the beautiful old Ottoman buildings while listening to Adhan (call to prayer in Islam religion).


Mostar bridge

The more you learn about the divers jumping from the bridge the more impressive their performance gets.


Mostar market

It’s full of handmade jewellery, sweets, cezves and other colourful tidbits. The window shopping experience here is on steroids.


Koski Mehmed Pasha Mosque

A beautiful example of Islamic architecture.  It will be especially interesting if you (same as I) haven’t been to any mosques before.


Eternal flame Sarajevo

A flame that will forever burn in a memory of those who lost their lives during the war


Food to try on your Bosnia and Herzegovina trip:

Smokvara (Fig cake)

Fig cake in Mostar

Walking: ~19,645 steps a day in total

Drive: ~125km

Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina to Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Marekt stend with metal work in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Sarajevo

Itinerary:


Food and Crafts tour

The best way to learn about Bosnia’s traditions and culture is from the local.


Sebilj of Sarajevo and Pigeon square

I don’t think I have ever seen that many pigeons in one place. But the drinking fountain is still the star of the show.


Sarajevo town hall

If your head was already spinning in the colourful market, wait until you see the lavishly decorated stair hall of Sarajevo town hall. Wow.


Sarajevo cable car

A way to see the city from above without breaking the sweat climbing the Olympic mountain.


Olympic bobsleigh track

Have you ever stepped on an olympic track? Although this one is just only a shadow of what it once was, the idea of touching something as grand and as important turns this into a special experience. 


Walking: ~21,080 steps a day in total

Drive: ~56km

Konjic, Bosnia and Herzegovina to Krka nature park, Croatia

(with stops along the way)

Creepy tunel in Tito's bunker in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Itinerary:


Tito’s nuclear bunker

Time portal hidden under the mountain


Klis fortress

Marketed for Game of Thrones fans and history enthusiasts, but interesting for anyone who likes some panoramic views. However, if you have seen a lot of ancient fortresses already you may want to skip this one.


Walking: ~11,120 steps a day in total

Drive: ~264km

Krka nature park, Croatia to Zadar, Croatia 

Roški slap waterfall in Krka national park
Roški slap in Krka

Itinerary:


Krka nature park

There is much more to it than the main waterfall. Old mills, monastery so isolated you can access it only by boat & a creepy cave.


Food to try on your Croatia trip:

Seafood – Fried calamari

Fried calmari with potatoes

Walking: ~14km in Krka / ~27,625 steps a day in total

Drive: ~114km

Zadar, Croatia and Nin, Croatia

5 wells squere in Zadar, Croatia
5 wells square

Itinerary:


Zadar Old town

A quest to find all intriguing details.


Nin salt fields

A sneak peak in natural salt making from the sea water.


Nin old town

Charming old town with a beach on the horizon.


Sunset on Zadar promenade

Rumoured to be one of the best sunsets in the world.


The Greeting to the sun

A fun and cheerful installation of lights that comes alive after sun goes down.


Walking: ~7.4km in Zadar + Nin / ~ 25,629 steps a day in total

Drive: ~34km

Plitvice lakes nature park, Croatia

Main waterfall in Plitvice lakes, Croatia

Itinerary:


Plitvice lakes nature park

The water is really that blue, no filters needed.


Walking: ~16km in Plitvice / ~25,644 steps a day total

Drive: ~268km

Zadar, Croatia to Split, Croatia

(with stops along the way)

Narrow street in Šibenik Old town, Croatia
Šibenik old town

Itinerary:


Šibenik old town

Get lost between the narrow streets. They truly feel like a maze.


Walk by St. Michaels fortress

You could obviously pay the ticket to go in if you wished to do so, but you can also just walk by to see the massive walls and panoramic view on city rooftops


Šibenik mediaeval garden

When you see how dry and desert-like this town is you appreciate the little peace of greenery hidden away in a courtyard.


Šibenik St. James cathedral (exterior)

A gorgeous renaissance period religious building.


Trogir old town

Walk by the most charming mediaeval architecture. In contrast to Šibeniks massive stone walls, this one has a lot of delicate detail.


Give back the rental car.


Food to try on your Croatia trip:

Seafood – grilled fish with swiss chard on the side

Grilled fish with swiss chard on the side

Walking: ~11km in Šibenik + Trogir / ~24,600 steps a day total

Drive: ~176km

Back in Split, Croatia

Day-cruise ship in Split

Itinerary:


Snorkelling cruise to Blue Lagoon and Underwater museum

The underwater world is intriguing on its own, but someone had the brilliant idea to put some sculptures under the water for snorkelling enthusiasts to explore.


Shopping for souvenirs at the market

Although most of the fresh fruit stands are closed in the evening you can still grab some rakija, dried fig cakes and magnets to bring home with you. 


Diocletian’s palace at night

No ghosts to be seen. Just marry people sitting on thousands of years old staircases and listening to an open air concert.


Walking: ~12,904 steps a day

Travelling home

Flying home from Split airport.

FAQ on planing roadtrip to Croatia and Bosnia

How much (approximately) does Croatia – Bosnia road trip cost?

Here you can find a breakdown of how much our trip in May 2024 cost us (2 adults). But the prices vary by season.

What’s the best time for visiting Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina?

I truly believe that the tail end of may and the very beginning of June is the best time if you are looking for summer vibes. The weather is already warm, but the crowds are not unbearable yet and the prices haven’t reached their peak yet. The only thing we missed is that local fruits like figs and apricots were not in season yet.


For us it truly was an unforgettable journey in which we experienced a lot, learned a lot and walked a lot. I hope your travels to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzogvinea will be as magical as ours.

Thanks for visiting my little corner of the internet!

There are a lot of fun things to come, so come back for more travel stories later!

Armanda

© TitlesAndSummaries 2024