Bosnia Herzegovina – 7 to 17 October 2022

Following our visit last year we were really looking forward to returning to Bosnia and spending more time visiting the countryside, away from the major cities of Sarajevo and Mostar.

Camp Buk, Una National Park

We crossed from Croatia near Granični without any problem and our first stop was to buy van insurance. It’s a pain that UK insurance companies are inconsistent with their country coverage so this year we only had third party local insurance. The insurance building is on the right just after the border crossing and we paid KM79 (approx £35) for a month. We had a data SIM left from our last visit but also bought two more 10GB cards at a cost of KM10 (about £4.50) each.

The weather was glorious for the whole time we were in Bosnia and the autumn colours were stunning.

Una National Park runs close to the Croatian border and along the River Una there are fortresses and waterfalls.

Who needs a 4×4 if you have good ground clearance and rear wheel drive.

From there we headed towards Sarajevo to take the track out to Lukomir, the most remote village in the country. It’s a long 16km gravel road to get to the village but it’s a beautiful drive and the views over the Rakitnica Canyon at the end are breathtaking. The village itself is a small collection of ramshackle buildings, some of which are being refurbished to accommodate the growing tourist trade.

We took an interesting route back which in some places was no more than a quad bike track – thankfully the crockery survived in tact!

The route we took from Lukomir. Not much of a track but suffice.

By accident we also found the ski jump centre from the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics.

We spent three nights back at Autocamp Blagaj near Mostar, one of the friendliest and most hospitable sites we have ever visited. It was great to actually use the site this time (it rained incessantly last year) so had coffee by the river watching the kingfishers and eat in the very reasonably priced restaurant. Allen and his family are incredibly generous with homemade cake, fresh fruit and drinks.

After a few days of being spoiled, we moved towards the Montenegro border and the Dinaric Alps. Another adventurous drive along a gravel road, brought us to the base of Mt Maglić, the highest peak in Bosnia Herzegovina at 2,388m (we camped at about 1,700m) and where we spent a couple of nights in the car park.

Not a bad park up for a couple of nights.

It was great to also be able to do our first decent hike of the trip to Lake Trnovačko, a stunning heart shaped lake which is actually in Montenegro – passports were needed!

After another straightforward border crossing we spent a couple of days in Croatia to have a bit of a sort out before continuing south and into new countries.

One of the joys of travel is embracing local cultures and we hate to impose our standards on foreign countries but there were two things that drove us mad in Bosnia:

Litter – rubbish and fly tipping everywhere but lots of bins too.

Smoking – we were chatting to a young couple and she said that Bosnians consider smoking is just a part of life and everyone smokes, everywhere. As we were filling with petrol and LPG a couple of days ago, a woman walked right past the van with a lit cigarette 若. I guess we’ve just got used to no smoking in the UK.

Mt Maglić

These aside, we love the country and tomorrow, after a couple of nights back in Croatia, we move on to Montenegro.

Campsites used:

Camp Buk, Una National Park: €18 p/n including EHU. Grass pitches, some riverside, toilet and shower block (a little “rustic”). Restaurant open during high season.

Autocamp Blagaj, Blagaj: Prices vary – we paid €12.50, possibly a special rate as returning visitors! Gravel/grass pitches with EHU. Plenty of water points, two toilet/shower blocks and washing machine. Bar and restaurant on site.

Camping Kate, Mlini, Croatia: kn139 p/n including EHU. Shower and toilet blocks, multiple water points, washing machines. Pitches are numbered but not marked and parking is a little haphazard!

Other overnight stops:

Grabovača Cave Park: free overnight parking in the visitor centre car park having paid the park/cave tour fee. Toilets and fresh water available.

Visoko: car park on the edge of the town. No facilities and lots of rubbish but quiet enough for a night.

Lukomir: free parking behind the “On Top of the World” (“Na krovu svijeta”) restaurant having had a meal there. Grass/mud parking after 16km of gravel road to get to the village.

Lake Bileća: overnight parking in a closed roadside bar overlooking the lake. Quiet and fine for one night.

Prijevor: free camping in the car park at the base of Mt Maglic. Uneven area at the end of a long gravel road. No facilities.

Croatia – 23 September to 6 October 2022

The journey from the UK to Croatia was uneventful taking us through France, Switzerland, Italy and Slovenia. The most exciting part was spending a night at the top of the Stelvio Pass with stunning views down the pass into northern Italy.

At the top of the Stelvio Pass

Our original plan was to spend a couple of days just over the Croatian border, south of Trieste before moving straight on to Bosnia but having seen that the CRO Race (a pro-cycling event formerly known as The Tour of Croatia) would be in the region in a few days, we decided to hang around and explore a little more.

The Slovenia/Croatia border crossing was quick and easy (no questions, no searches) and we got the necessary stamp showing we’d exited the Schengen zone – oh, the continued joy of Brexit!


We had stayed close to Savidrija previously, albeit a different campsite, and didn’t really do much although we swam and the paddle board did come out briefly before the wind got up.


When we visited Croatia last year we bypassed Rovinj, so this time we made the effort to find a nearby campsite and spent a day wandering around the old town. You can really see the Italian influence here and could quite easily be exploring the backstreets of Venice.

St Euphemia Church Rovinj

We left Rovinj and moved inland. Istria is a region of vineyards, olive groves and hilltop villages reached by steep winding roads. Our first stop was Grožnjan, also known as the “Town of Artists” as a number of the old buildings have been turned into studios and galleries.


From Grožnjan we moved to Hum, which by the 2011 census was the smallest city in the world! The “city” is really just two main streets surrounded by walls built on top of a hill and the first mention of it in any documents was in 1102.

Of course we had to buy a bottle of local Gin

The few shops very much cater for tourists selling local products including olive oil, wine, brandy and gin, a bottle of which may just have found its way into the van – we do like to do our bit for the local economy!

Possert Fort was a little hidden gem and very much off the regular tourist trail. We were able to park right by the ruins and with no distractions (we saw no-one else all day) we were able to catch up on admin in beautiful surroundings.

Possert Fort

Our last stop in Istria was just outside the old town Labin which was hosting the finish to a stage of the CRO Race. We walked from the campsite to find ourselves a good spot from which to watch the cyclists as they completed a couple of circuits and then crossed the hilltop finish line.

Great position to watch the finish.

We decided to break up the drive to Bosnia Herzegovina with a night on the coast at the harbour town of Senj but we ended up staying 3 nights for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Gregg and Dawn who we had been talking to via Instagram (@gregg.butler.121) and who had visited the countries we are heading for, mentioned they were on their way to Senj so we decided to wait for them and ended up having a great couple of days relaxing and talking all things travel related. Whilst parked up, Bob had noticed a chip and small crack in the windscreen so after a couple of calls to our insurance company, arrangements were in place for the Croatian equivalent of Autoglass to come to us to replace the glass.

Great couple of days with these folk.
Great service from Autoglass.

As often happens when we meet other travellers, plans change so we stopped again on our way to Bosnia – this time at the recommendation of Gregg and Dawn. Grabovača Cave Park is near the town of Perušić and is a small area of protected limestone landscape. We don’t know if it’s a year round arrangement but when paying for our park entrance we were advised that we’d be welcome to stay two or three nights in the car park with water and electric available if we wanted! With a cave to visit, some walks in the park and a total cost of less than £13, it would be rude not to!

Well worth visiting the cave on an escorted tour.
The viewpoint, er view, 😉

If you can drag yourself away from the stunning coastline, there is plenty to see inland and these sites are often quieter.  But now we really are moving on to Bosnia. 

Campsites used:

Autocamp Tramontana, Savudrija: €20 p/n. Small campsite on the edge of the sea. Lots of seasonal pitches but we parked on the lower grass tier giving easy access to the sea. Didn’t use EHU but it’s available. Easy walk into town where there are a couple of bars.

Camping Porton Biondi, Rovinj: kn257.29 (approx £30.50) p/n including EHU. Tiered gravel pitches stretching up the hillside. Large car campsite with all facilities including onsite bakery open in the mornings.

Camping Romantik, Labin: kn165 p/n (approx £20) without EHU. A really well kept little campsite with grass pitches surrounded by fruit trees and vines. Immaculately clean showers and toilets. Washing machine available on request (kn 37.50, £4.40) and site has a small swimming pool. The old town is within walking distance although mostly uphill from the campsite!

Other overnight parking:

Hum car park: kn25 (£3) to visit the village and we were allowed to stay overnight. Large tarmac car park.

Possert Castle: free. Grass area in front of ruined castle. Approach is via a steep, narrow road.

Senj harbour: kn70 (£8) for a day ticket which enables an overnight stay. Large car park with some longer spaces out by the harbour wall where there is a water tap but we’re not sure if it’s always available. Easy walk into town for restaurants and shops.

Grabovača Cave Park: we paid kn55 (£6.50) each for a guided tour of one of the caves and for that they allowed us to park for a couple of nights (could have stayed another night if we’d wanted). The car park had toilets and access to water and electric, although we used neither.

Bosnia 1 – 24 to 28 November

We decided fairly last minute that as our insurance covered us we would visit Bosnia so came into the country having done no research and with no preconceived ideas. And having toured through a lot of the western part of the country, we are so glad that we did make it here!

We entered Bosnia though one of the main border crossings at Metkovic, at the eastern end of the Neretva Delta, the large area of agricultural land we had driven through in Croatia. It was an easy border crossing in that we had the necessary documents – passports, van registration and COVID vaccination details (first time we’d been asked for them!) and we were soon able to continue our drive along the stunning Neretva River.

Kravica Waterfalls

On our way to our first campsite we stopped at the Kravica Waterfalls. We don’t know if the man in the ticket booth overcharged us having seen us arrive in the van, but we hadn’t got our head around the exchange rate at that point so paid the KM40 (approx £17) without questioning it. On reflection this was very expensive for what was there but in the summer, there are accessible man made beaches (I use the term loosely!), a decked bar area, restaurants and boat trips and you can spend the day there and swim in the river which makes the entrance fee more reasonable.

Kravica Waterfalls

There is a second waterfall about 1km downstream from the main falls. It is walkable unless there has been a lot of rain (there had!) in which case the river banks are waterlogged and slippy. We speak from experience as Bob had to grab June by the belt to stop her sliding face down in the mud into the river!

Autocamp Green Park

Our first campsite was Autocamp Green Park on the banks of the Neretva in Zitomislic. The high running river meant that the only parking was the main car park and being out of season, the bar, restaurant and other facilities were shut, but we had EHU, water and WiFi so needed nothing else. The site also has a few rooms (we were offered the use of a toilet and shower in one) and more building was going on. We were also able to use a washing machine (€3 per use) although it seemed to be the owner’s personal machine as it was in their bathroom! We had great fun with the owners who spoke little English muddling through in a mix of GCE German and holiday Italian but thankfully they had a couple of English speaking younger workers who were able to help out.

Autocamp Green Park

Before we arrived we had received warnings from the UK FCO of flooding in Bosnia and it continued to rain throughout most of our time here! Luckily we are fairy hardy souls and did our best not to let that stop us getting out and about.

Autocamp Green Park

The next stop was a few miles away at Autocamp Blagaj, a 15 minute taxi ride from Mostar. With not having a local SIM and with the MiFi having been fried in Croatia navigating between places became a bit hit and miss if we’d not saved the details offline. We weren’t 100% sure of where we were staying which wasn’t helped by having muddled the name of one campsite with the location of another park up in the sat nav! As we were trying to work out the details a car pulled up in front of us and man jumped out into the pouring rain to ask if we were looking for his campsite. In hindsight we realise he was trying to be helpful but we were wary of being taken to somewhere we hadn’t booked and so brushed him off. Having got to the park up and with the owner given us his WiFi password, we soon realised that we were in the wrong place so snuck out very quickly! We finally worked out where we should be, and yes it was the campsite of the man who had tried to help us earlier. As we would find out over the next few days, Alen was a genuinely friendly guy and he was so generous during our stay.

Our Welcome Feist at Autocamp Blagaj

The rain continued but managed to hold of during our visit to Mostar for which we took a return taxi from the campsite for KM30 (£13). Like most people of our age most of our memories of the region come from the division of the former Yugoslavia and the war of the early to mid 1990s. Parts of Mostar have been totally rebuilt including the famous Stari Most, the Old Bridge, although at this time of year there was little sign of the divers who, for the right price, will dive from the bridge into the Neretva some distance below!

Stari Most

We had a wander through the streets of the Old Town (very similar to the souks in Morocco and bazaars in Turkey, ie tourist trap and heaving during the summer!) and walked a little further afield in the city. It’s a real mix of old and new, lots of bullet hole riddled buildings and rather strangely, a statue of Bruce Lee in one of the parks. It’s definitely a place worth visiting.

A short distance from the campsite (not quite walking though) is the Tejika Blagaj, or the Dervish House. Parts of the site have been dated back to the late 1400s and the first written history is from 1664. Its location at the base of steep cliffs plus at times due to neglect, has meant that the buildings have ben destroyed and reconstructed several times with the last building in 2012.

Tejika Blagaj

The site is now a pilgrimage destination to celebrate the birth of the prophet Mohammad and one of the most visited for followers of Sufism.

Tejika Blagaj

Entrance fee to the complex was KM5 each (a little over £2) but it can been seen easily from a number of restaurants just across the river or a path that runs behind the restaurants down to the base of the cliff. It would seem that in the summer there are a number of souvenir stalls on the road at the entrance to the site but we were lucky to miss those!

Sites used:

Autocamp Green Park, Zitomislic: €15 per night. Winter hard standing, grass in summer. EHU, water, grey and WC dumping.

Autocamp Blagaj, Blagaj, near Mostar: €15 per night (possibly because it was winter but that reduces for stays of 3 nights or longer). Hard standing pitches with EHU and water, grey and black disposal. Shower and toilet block and washing machine. Bar and restaurant which seemed to be open.