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.

20 miles later

I write this from a beautiful Aire at almost 2200 metres and with stunning views all around. But first can I have a little rant? There are two categories of motorists I detest; apart from killers of course, they are drivers who do not thank you for lettng them through and those that drive on the hard shoulder of a motorway when there is tailback.  The former I am more inclined to think maybe it was just a bad day and they forgot or were listening to little Gertrude in the back and normally they would wave and smile at me for my good deed. HOWEVER the second group I really and permanently detest.  Today we spent a couple of hours in a queue on the road that leads to St Gotthard’s tunnel.  No idea what the cause was as we turned off to St Gotthard’s pass before we came across the mayhem. During this time at least 10 cars of differing nationalities insisted in undertaking.  Now, puts on ex-traffic cops hat, the hard shoulder accounts for about 4 times the fatalities than the other three lanes added together (I think those stats are current, if not let me know ex-traffic lads).  There is a good reason for the the hard shoulder, despite some UK bean counter deciding that ‘Managed Motorways’ are the way ahead.  The emergency services use them to make to the scene to save life and have been trained to do so safely…  Yes I know some need the toilet and don’t have the luxury of one at the rear their vehicle, many were in fact pulling over and having a quick wee….male and female. The oiks that we witnessed today we just careless at the best. What they are implying, I think, is their day is far more important that yours and mine who wait patiently. End rant, I thank you.

Your driver for the day ladies and gents.
Your driver for the day ladies and gents.

Maybe I should have more compassion for my fellow law breakers! Yes, we are now legal in Switzerland.  Last night I discovered that our vehicle should have a Form 15.19. (Don’t forget the dot). As we are over 4 tonnes we should have purchased said form as soon as we crossed the border some three days ago…… My only excuse your honour, as feeble as it is, is that I hadn’t planned to come into Switzerland on our freestyle trip and hadn’t researched Switzerland too much.

Our dilemma was, do we just carry on and hope the rozzers don’t stop us or do we return to Italy, do a quick U turn and pretend that was our first entry.  We went for the latter.  We are normally reasonabley law abiding folk, and while Clewley’s luck has served me well, I wasn’t sure my IPA card could get me out of a ticket. So off we went back down the very wet valley to the border post at Luino. A few clicks later and I managed a U turn to saunter back.  Having stopped that the customs point I asked for the 15.19 and was told I don’t need one as my vehicle wasn’t big enough.  Not big enough? Doesn’t he know a Clewley when he sees one.  Anyway I paid my 32.50 Swiss Francs and we were legal again. Hoorah!

Having stocked up with goodies we joined the motorway and you’ve heard the rest as far as that road is concerned.  We never intended going through the tunnel as the St Gotthard’s pass looked far more fun.  Time lapse to follow folks…


Great driving roads
Great driving roads

Whoever Gottard is his pass is almost spectacular (saving that word for later and also we couldn’t see too much through the mist ). His pass first opened in the 13 century according to Andrew Sykes novel Crossing Europe on a bike called Reggie….great read by the way Andrew if you ever read this. 

Having completed this pass in the Motorhome, poor Andrew cycled it!, and as we reached the commit moment for Furkapass (you at the back stop sniggering now!) the gear box jumped into neutral.  Right on a roundabout.  It took a few minutes but soon we were on our way but I could read June’s face she was a little worried it may happen again.  Well relying on Clewley’s luck we continued over the aforesaid pass….I am not saying it again ’cause you’ll only laugh again. 

See told you
See told you


Now Gottard must have been really pee’d off at the discovery of FP as it is truly Stunning.  Not knowing where to look next there were lots of ooing and wows.  Basically you just zigzag up the up to 2000 meters and then zigzag back down only to do it up one more time to the night’s stop at the top of Grimselpass. When we get back I will upload a gallery of photos for this trip but it make take a while to select those we want…

Our original destination
Our original destination

We were aiming for an Aire at Berghaus near Grimselpass but there is a traffic light system that regulates going up the pass and the return journey.  I mistook the red light as a pass blocked so we found another spot for just £7 . 

Top of Grimselpass
Top of Grimselpass


And finally, why is this post entitled “20 miles later”? That was the distance, as the crow flies, between last night’s and tonight’s locations.  However, a swift trip to Italy, a hunt for a decent supermarket, a two hour traffic jam and a stop for lunch added up to eight hour driving day……oh to have wings!


Valle Verzasca

Heavy storms overnight made the packing away of the girls tent a little damp to say the least.  Still we were on the road by 10.00 and off to the supermarket so carefully plotted on TomTom.  Well had it not been a Swiss holiday we would have shall we say…. Note to self, check holidays of the countries you are visiting before the food runs low.  Thankfully we needed fuel so picked up the basics in a service station before heading up the valley.

First point to stop was the dam just a few clicks along the winding road. There appear to be quite a few Swiss drivers who love hugging the central white line.  No matter if they have a drop on their side or a cliff…they don’t like to drive on the edge…just saying.

The car park for the dam is quite small and after waiting a few minutes for a space June noticed a few people walking towards the dam entrance from the north. Just a few hundred metres further along were several parking places with room for the Motorhome and these were free.  Back at the dam, as I think I had mentioned yesterday, there is a bungee jumping platform.  Sadly we didn’t have a spare 250 Swiss francs so we gave that a miss….this time. We watched a couple of lads take the jump, one of the longest in Europe. Bob now fluent in Swiss asked for a sticker and ended up with a map of the valley, but hey the map was free.  Driving up this valley was just stunning.  I know I use that word a lot but it was, promise. I could prove it by boring you with footage from the Road Hawk we have fitted to the front screen but I guess you would rather take my word for it. (May get some time lapse for tomorrow though as we go over the Alps).

Verzasca Damn
Verzasca Damn


 We stopped at Lavertezzo where there is a double arched bridge, and a geocache if you are up for it too.  Parking a few hundred metres north of the bridge at 2 francs an hour or you can get the Verzasca Parking Card from info points, restaraunts, campsites and the machines with a green background.  The water is so clear at Lavertezzo there is a company that does dive trips there.  Well I guess if you have no coast you have to make the most of what you have.  

Lavertezzo Bridge
Lavertezzo Bridge



To be honest it looked great fun and the water was very very clear.  Having grabbed a geocache and managed to keep our feet dry we went back to the Motorhome fed the meter again and took lunch at the riverside.  Amy, of course, went swimming and deserves a medal…the water was a tad cold. The rocks along this valley are full of mica (see I did learn something from that OU geology course) and glisten in the sunlight. Yes the sun was out!!

Après lunch we made our way to Sonogno (Son-non-yo) which was to be our camp for the night. And what a site. The village is, yes you’ve guessed it, stunning…no really it is look.


Sonogno Aire
Sonogno Aire


The Aire is at the end of the car park and for a grand total of €16 a night we have water and dumping facilities in a beautiful Swiss valley. And the ticket covers us for use of the car parks in the valley until tomorrow at 19.00. Just a 2 minute walk to the village this Aire is really well positioned. The village has a few souvenir shops, a restaurant and cafés. There is a beautiful church looking over what I guess must be the village green.

Sonogno Church
Sonogno Church