I never visited Eastern Europe before, Bosnia & Herzegovina was my first country in Eastern Europe to visit. I’ve fallen in love with it ever since – there’s something about the scenery, atmosphere, and architecture in Eastern Europe that tugs at my heartstrings.
I’m a sucker for waterfalls. When I saw Kravice Falls in pictures I knew I had to go, but that was, of course, easier said than done. Planning this road trip down Croatia was no easy feat. Well, it was, until I added Bosnia & Herzegovina to my itinerary.
Driving in Croatia was a piece of cake because. I bought a data sim and relied on good old Google maps to take us everywhere. I lost data once I crossed the border, which was fine because Google maps are useless in Bosnia anyway. So I’ll just follow the signs, right? Wrong. There aren’t many signs to Kravice Falls.
I had printed out a map in advance but that was useless because it didn’t show the smaller roads. Half an hour into the drive I was on a winding road on a hill that seemed to be a residential area in the middle of nowhere; it didn’t look like a place for waterfalls. I was lost.
There were no street names to refer to and no other cars in sight. Panic mode was on full blast when I came to a few crossings where I had to decide which paths to take.
I don’t have the best sense of direction but thankfully, somehow I miraculously emerged on a small road next to a highway. Five minutes after driving down this flat road, I saw a sign that read ‘Kravica’. A few minutes later, I was in the parking lot. I don’t know how I managed to navigate there in the end.
It was a hot, humid day and I had a blast swimming and exploring all the hidden passages. Later on, I chilled in the shade and watched my belongings, along with all the other moms who were waiting for their kids.
Plitvice Lakes are unreal, but Kravica was magical in a different way. Freaking gorgeous. This was, by far, my favourite destination on my Balkans trip. It was ridiculously frustrating to get to but it was worth it.
If you plan on driving, make sure you get an International Driving Permit (if you’re not European) before leaving your country. The officers at the Croatian/Bosnian border asked for mine; good thing I had one
If you don’t plan on driving, you can hire a car to take you down to Kravice Falls from Mostar. The rate ranges from 50-70€
Bring some snacks and lots of water with you to save money. Even if you don’t, there are 2-3 food stands and restaurant Kravica Sedra on-site if you get hungry or thirsty
Bring a change of clothes, flip flops/sandals, and a towel with you. The restroom is surprisingly clean
The entrance fee is around 20 KM / 10 € (price correct as of January 2020) – you can also pay in Croatian Kuna or Bosnian Marka if you have the currency on hand
Hang onto the rail on the way down; some parts on the path down can be quite slippery
After swimming at Kravice Falls, I continued my drive to Mostar. The drive leading to Mostar was actually quite depressing. There was such a drastic change in scenery driving from Croatia to Bosnia & Herzegovina. You could still see the shell and bullet damage on building walls and roofs from the Bosnian War of 1992-1995.
Mostar came under siege twice in those years. Thousands of people were killed, and more lost their homes. The Old Bridge (Stari Most) connecting the two banks of Neretva River was destroyed in 1993. Today, there are stones all over the town reminding its people and visitors of its sad history.
Another thing that made us very upset was the number of stray dogs in this country.
I checked in my AirBnB and made my way towards the stony old town. Before sightseeing, I had a short snack Cavapi kebabs in Restaurant Sadrvan (Restoran Šadrvan Jusovina 11 88000 Stari Grad Mostar).
After paying a small entrance fee for the mosque, climbed up 89 steps to the top. The stairwell is extremely narrow and only one person can go up/down at the time (or 2 really skinny, small people); not a good time if you’re claustrophobic.
Once I reached the top of the minaret, I was rewarded with the most amazing view of Stari Most sitting over the Neretva River.