I still look back at a great time we’ve had during our trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia. The countries are beautiful, we’ve stayed in really nice accommodations and.. we drove an exciting travel route! I would like to share our travel itinerary with you: how long we stayed where and the choices we made, but also the the small things we would do differently if we would go again. In this way, I hope I can give you some inspiration for when you’re planning your own trip to these destinations. Enjoy!
For this trip, we had planned a holiday on work for two weeks. We traveled to Bosnia, Montenegro and Croatia for 14 days (13 nights in total). Of course we booked our flights beforehand, but we didn’t book everything yet so we’d have some flexibility. Our flight landed in Dubrovnik, but we started our trip in Mostar. We also booked our rental car for the 14 days as we also needed to arrange the permission for crossing borders (this is very important if you’d like to visit multiple countries. You should always look up if you need a permission for crossing borders). As for the accommodations, I think we booked three of them beforehand and three of them when we were already road tripping. For us, travelling in September, it was still possible to book an accommodation just a few days before arriving at the place.
Arriving in Dubrovnik
We flew towards Dubrovnik and our return flight also went from Dubrovnik. The reason why we choose Dubrovnik was because the flights were much cheaper compared to flying to Tivat (Montenegro) or Sarajevo. It’s definitely worth the try to also look at Dubrovnik if you’d like to combine Bosnia and Herzegovina with Montenegro.
When we arrived in Dubrovnik, we picked up our rental car and immediately drove towards the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Our destination for the day was Mostar and as we arrived in the late afternoon in Dubrovnik, we didn’t had time to explore more of the city. Luckily, we planned some nights in Dubrovnik at the end of the trip. The driving distance to Mostar is approximately two hours.
Mostar – two nights
So the first two nights we stayed in Mostar: a historical city with small streets, atmospheric restaurants, the famous Stari Most bridge, but also beautiful street art. We stayed each night in a different accommodation and here’s why: before the trip started, we saw the perfect apartment with beautiful views, but at the time we wanted to book it, we could only book it for one night. The other night was already booked… unfortunately. However, we loved this apartment so much, that we decided to stay one night in the apartment and we booked another accommodation for the other night. At the end, it wasn’t a problem at all as with the other accommodation, we also discovered another side of the city.
The two nights in Mostar were perfect for us! It can be quite short if you’d like to take your time to visit all places, but for us, it was good. The evening we arrived, we already wandered around old town and had a really nice dinner. Our full day in Mostar we spend in the city, but also in places around the city, like the Kravice Waterfalls and Blagaj. The places are located on a short driving distance (max. an hour) from the city. We went early in the morning to make the most out of the day. At the end, we still had the afternoon and evening in the city of Mostar.
Sarajevo – two nights
After our two nights in Mostar, we drove further to Sarajevo, what took us approximately two hours. We booked an apartment for two nights which was located in the middle of the city center, which was great! We arrived early in the afternoon, what gave us time to explore already some more of the city. We ate something, went to a museum and wandered around the streets of old town. It’s a really nice center and absolutely not that touristy yet, which I really liked about it. Sarajevo still is very pure.
And the two nights where, again, perfect for us! The full day in the city, we explored Mount Trebevic, where we went to by cable car. We also visited another museum just outside of the city and we paid a visit to the Olympics Abandoned Hotel, which is also at a 30-minutes driving distance from the city. In the evening we enjoyed a delicious, Bosnian meal in the center of Sarajevo.
Durmitor National Park – two nights
After leaving Sarajevo behind, it was time for us to drive towards Montenegro. With a car trip of approximately four hours we drove to the Durmitor National Park: to Zabljak to be exact. Although this drive was quite long, it was the most impressive drive of the whole trip! Especially at the time we crossed borders and we entered Durmitor National Park, we stopped several times along the way to just admire the amazing views and landscapes. And we did this actually the whole time we were in Durmitor. This was DEFINITELY the highlight of our trip and shouldn’t be missed when you’re planning a trip to Montenegro.
We also stayed the two night in an amazing accommodation: a wooden cabin, close to Zabljak and which was just open. The houses were brand new and gave us the ultimate experience of spending time in a national park. The host of the accommodation was so friendly! We got a delicious, local breakfast each morning and really had a nice time.
As we had a long ride on the day of arrival, we didn’t had much time to go out and explore more of the park. We had a quiet evening and planned what places to visit for the next day. The full day in Durmitor we visited sooo many places and have seen / hiked a lot! It was beautiful and, to be honest, I would definitely recommend you to stay one or two nights more in Durmitor if you have some extra time, because there’s so much more to explore.
Skadar Lake – two nights
After Durmitor National Park, we drove in 2,5 hours towards the Skadar Lake National Park, not that far from the coast of Montenegro. The Skadar Lake is the biggest lake of the Balkan Peninsula and one of the biggest National Parks of Montenegro. It’s the perfect place to go kayaking or hiking, but also to pay a visit to one of the many wineries. Talking about that: we actually stayed at a winery in a small village, which was really nice! Although the locals in town couldn’t speak English, there were so friendly and wanted to help us with everything!
Our host rented us a kayak and brought us to the water, where we spent some hours kayaking over the lake. It was really peaceful! During our time in Skadar Lake National Park, we also visited Cetinje, near National Park Lovcen. Two nights was enough for us to explore the National Park.
Perast – three nights
The next destination was Perast, located in the Bay of Kotor. A more touristic area of Montenegro, but absolutely worth a visit! We choose to stay in Perast instead of the city Kotor, as Perast is a little less crowded and a smaller town. At the end of our stay, we didn’t regret it: Perast is very atmospheric and we had the most beautiful views out of our apartment!
From Skadar Lake National Park, it’s approximately a two hours drive to Perast. The Bay of Kotor is very photogenic, as it looks like a fiord thanks to the rough cliffs. Around the bay, you can find many lively towns and lots of nature.
I believe that three nights is a good amount of nights to explore more of the Bay of Kotor. We spent time in Perast and Kotor. We also really wanted to pay a visit to National Park Lovcen (I’ve had seen some great photos!), but unfortunately we got ill the first full day (due to food of the day before) what resulted to the fact that we didn’t do anything at all that day. The second full day in Perast, we still weren’t feeling great, but we wanted to see some more of the area so badly, that we decided to pay a visit to Kotor, which was really nice. You can imagine that this wasn’t the time in Perast as we expected it to be, but at the end I was happy that we had three nights here so we had the possibility to explore a little bit. All with all, I would recommend three nights here to spend time in the towns around the bay, but also to pay a visit to Lovcen.
Dubrovnik – two nights
And that’s when we drove further, in 1,5 hours, to our last destination: Dubrovnik. We booked an apartment for two nights, which was the perfect time to explore more of the city. The apartment was located just outside old town (near Uvala Lapad Beach) and had a beautiful view over the port of Dubrovnik. We spent some time in old town (tip: if you stay in Dubrovnik, visit old town early in the morning or late in the afternoon, it can be very crowded during the day!), around Uvala Lapad Beach and we paid a visit to the Red History Museum.
During the last day of our trip, the day we flew back to the Netherlands, we enjoyed the last hours by driving towards small, Croatian towns near Dubrovnik, like Cavtat and Ston. We flew back in the evening, where we dropped off our rental car at the airport again.
We had an amazing time in all three countries: the diversity, the cultures, the atmosphere.. it was a good combination of everything! Hopefully our trip itinerary gives you some inspiration for planning your own trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Croatia. Do you have any other tips on places you should visit when travelling to these destinations? I would love to hear about them, so please leave a comment!