As much as you love your city, sometimes you need to get away for a bit – you know what I mean? Sometimes you just need to wake up in a new environment and leave the house not knowing what waits around the corner of the street, what the day will bring. I had my share of getaways here in Bosnia already – I crossed the old bridge in Mostar, climbed the fortress in Počitelj, swam in the ice-cold lake in Kravica and sat on a boat on Una river, my breath being taken away by its beauty.
I feel that especially in those uncertain, COVID-ridden times we need a little time out every now and then. And the good thing is: Beautiful nature and good food are so plentiful in Bosnia and Herzegovina that nothing is easier than just to get away for a bit. So, I was thinking: I know the hard winter months are coming up, maybe there is even a second lockdown waiting for us – who knows – why not show you a few of the places around Bosnia that impressed me as a foreigner most. Why not give you some places to put on your bucket list so that you can look forward to visiting them in spring?
Without further ado, let me start – I will present you the most beautiful places, the most delicious restaurants, the beauty that you sometimes might not see, because it doesn’t seem so special when you’re around it every single day. And I hope it can ease your anxiety a bit!
One of the first trips I did when I visited Bosnia was of course the one to Mostar. To walk the Stari Most, to see the Tekija in Blagaj and to marvel about how beautiful Počitelj really is, like a fairytale city. But it was only this year that we discovered a place that is just as magical, just as peaceful and perfect for an afternoon chill: Zoga Beach Bar! Not to brag but if you heard about it this year than it’s probably because we went there first.
Not far from Zoga Beach bar is another hidden gem that I did not except in almost unpopulated part of Herzegovina: The Ravno Station Hotel. It might be off your track; it might not even be on your wishlist. But it should be: Because the wine and the mezze there are just out of this world. So, if you travel around Herzegovina, maybe next year, when all the craziness is over, plan you stop there, enjoy the wine, enjoy the peace – and thank me later!
Let’s stay in Herzegovina for a while longer, shall we? And let’s talk about Trebinje. I mean, it’s small, it’s far and it’s so close to Dubrovnik that people probably go there first. But it kind of stole my heart to be honest! Those cute little streets, those vines climbing up the walls of the houses and the warm summer breeze that makes sitting outside in the evening so beautiful… it’s a place I can only recommend you. Visit one of the restaurants by the river, sit and enjoy the quiet with a cup of coffee and just calm down. We will all need that next year, after a long and cold winter.
And there’s another place that I will tell you to go to now if you need some calm and quiet after a long cold winter: Japodski Otoci. Never in my life have I seen such beauty, have I felt such calmness and truly some magic. Yes, you might say I exaggerate but believe me I don’t. The crystal-clear turquoise water and the trees on the little island make a refuge I can’t even describe.
How do you feel now? After imagining the sound of the water and the breeze in the trees? A bit calmer, I hope! I sure do. I know it may sound cliché but I found something in Bosnia and Herzegovina that I didn’t find on many travels and in many other countries:
I found surprises along the way – good food, little tucked away corners and beautiful views – and I found so much diversity that I wonder: Why are not more people coming here? They should be! They should see this country, not only it’s highlights, not only race through in three days. They should dive in deep. And – whether you are Bosnian or just a visitor – you should too!