Bosnia and Herzegovina, more commonly known as Bosnia, is one of the few Balkan histories with a very rich history and past. It is located in the Balkan Peninsula and it shares a border with Italy. Distinct political and social periods throughout Bosnia’s history became the foundation of its architectural structures. SoIf you wonder why Bosnia has two names, some people believe the famous river in Bosnia is the reason for it being named Herzegovina, because the river is bountiful. This was our 5th country pitstop on our 50 Days 15 Countries Balkans Road Trip, just after we completed Croatia and Slovenia.
Bosnia and Herzegovina charms its tourists with its beautiful, stupendous nature sights by day and night. One of the key take away from this stunning country is the breathtaking waterfalls we visited.
Spectacular Waterfalls in Bosnia
Travelling through this breathtaking European country, you are bound to visit the same old stops that every tourist visits. The museums and buildings are finely kept in shape but shouldn’t there be more to your trip?
Martin Brod Waterfall
A visit to the Martin Brod Waterfall at Una National Park is a lovely little detour after a nice good night rest within the nearby village of Martin Brod.
This national park is home to this semi-secret cascade of waterfalls. Martin Brod are several waterfalls coming together as one, similar to the history of the Bosnian people.
In the nearby vicnity, visitors can go on water rafting adventures and canoeing all the Strbacki Buk river. The famous kayaking competition, International Una regatta, is hosted each year in Bosnia with Una National Park as its starting point. Visitors can also admire the flora and fauna of this park and the wildlife such as wolves, bears and fish.
If you are driving towards the direction of Neum from Mostar city, you must definitely set some time in between to check out the stunning Kravica Waterfall. This waterfall is nestled between the towns of Capljuna and Ljubuski. The Kravica Waterfall is a spectcular waterfall made up of 20 different falls, and is nestled in a lovely area, perfect for picnics with family, friends and your special someone.
The grottos of the waterfalls are lovely to explore and the feeling of being so up close to the falls is truly spectacular. Summertime allows for activities such as swimming, canoeing, camping and kayaking in this area. Access to this waterfall is usually closed during the winter months because of the cold temperatures and intense flow of water. The picnic area by the falls allows for BBQ’s and family gatherings along the Trebizat River. I would recommend to visit during early to late spring because the landscape explodes with greenery and stunning views.
Relaxing Guesthouse to Stay in Bosnia
Deciding to spend the night near the stunning Martin Brod Waterfalls is the best decision we have made. We lodged at The Guesthouse Mlinarev San, which had a waterfall and stream right next to our guesthouse. It was such a joy to spend an evening immersed in Mother Nature’s beautiful mountains and wildlife.
The peaceful sounds of the waterfall make this guesthouse lodge the perfect place to relax and regain strength from your day’s adventures. This guesthouse or bed and breakfast has free parking, wifi and a stunning view from the room terrace. Most other hotels or bed & breakfast spots are located 20 miles away from Martin Brod, which is a real drag.
Key Cities to Uncover in Bosnia
Visiting all of nature’s glorious gifts is great, but adding a stop to a historical spot is essential The most visited city in Bosnia is the capital, Sarajevo. While this city may be the largest, it can be jam packed tourists all hours of the day.
I found that Mostar Town is another great place to get to know the real Bosnia. Sarajevo may be the capital but Mostar is rich with culture. The richest part of the city can be found at the Old Bridge. This bridge is considered a heritage site by UNESCO. The Old Town Street is a great place for people to visit open markets, buy local and fresh food and immerse yourself in the Bosnian culture.
The local railway, bus stations and international airport made it easy for me to get around. Many Catholics who visit Mostar make the effort to visit Medjugorje to pay respect to Our Lady of Medjugorje.
It is no surprise that Bosnia has been at the centre of many wars. Some of these wars were for religious reasons and others for political stances. One thing that can be agreed upon is that these wats destroyed many lives, the culture and cities in Bosnia. One of the main divisions that have caused centuries of wars is the religious differences. The country is split into three religions: Orthodox (Serbians), Catholic (Croats) and Muslim (Bosnians). After the division of Yugoslavia, each of these religious groups wanted to embrace their culture in their own country. Due to this increased fight to lead and control, different religious wars have torn this country apart.
Throughout history, Bosnia was ruled by the Ottomans, Austro-Hungarian, socialists and federalists. After the most recent 2014 riots, the fighting among the people of Bosnia has stopped and now the country is restoring itself and becoming peaceful again. There is no longer any danger for tourists to visit. In fact, it is the best time to visit as you can still see the raw remnants of the bullet hole on the buildings and the graffiti left behind during the period of unrest.
This country has fought a great deal of battles and bled through many wars, but most of its rugged natural beauty of nature and waterfalls is intact. The hidden grottos of Kravica Waterfalls and the peacefulness of the Una River is just some of the hidden gems that few know of apart from the cities of Sarajevo and Mostar.
Well, stop the guessing game of your next vacation and make a stop during your Balkan Countries road trip through the astonishing country of Bosnia and Herzegovina.