Discover Bosnia and Herzegovina, a unique crossroad of ancient civilizations with a mixture of both Western and Eastern influences. Start your trip in the capital of Sarajevo, with a guided walking tour of its historic center, followed by a hike to the Highland Villages in the Bjelašnica Mountains, including Gradina and Umoljani with views of the Rakitnica Canyon. End your tour in the 15th-century city of Mostar and the neighboring settlement of Blagaj, where you'll enjoy exploring Buna Spring and its neighboring Ottoman house and monastery.

Highlights

  • Enjoy a guided walking tour through the historic streets of Sarajevo
  • Hike the Highland Villages in the Bjelašnica Mountains
  • Tour the unique history in the city of Banja Luka
  • Ride a riverboat down the Vrbas River Canyon to Mostar
  • Discover the 15th-century city of Mostar and the waterfall of Blagaj

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Sarajevo - Explore the city Sarajevo
Day 2 Discover the city of Sarajevo with a guided walking tour Sarajevo
Day 3 Explore the Highland Villages with a hike in the Bjelašnica Mountains Banja Luka
Day 4 Discover the history of Banja Luka - Take a riverboat to Mostar Mostar
Day 5 Explore the 15th-century sites and streets of Mostar and Blagaj Sarajevo
Day 6 Depart Sarajevo  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Sarajevo - Explore the city

Views into the Old Town of Sarajevo
Views into the Old Town of Sarajevo

Welcome to Bosnia and Herzegovina!

Upon arriving at the airport in Sarajevo, you'll transfer to your accommodation where you can take some time to settle in before heading out to explore the city.

You'll enjoy a guided tour of Sarajevo tomorrow, so for tonight, simply stroll through some of the main sights of the city. Start in the Old Town, where you'll find the historic market neighborhood of Baščaršija, which was established in the 15th century. This is a great place to grab dinner, as it's brimming with restaurants, bistros, cafes, and bars. 

Walk by the Gazi Husrev-beg's Mosque and find the city's Clock Tower. Then stroll down to the river, crossing Latin Bridge. This is where many believe WWI started, with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914. Enjoy the city lights along the river's edge before succumbing to jet lag.

Day 2: Discover the city of Sarajevo with a guided walking tour

Kazandziluk Street in in Bascarsija District
Kazandziluk Street in Bascarsija District

Sarajevo is one of the most culturally diverse cities in Europe. It was under Turkish governorship for over 400 years until the Austro-Hungarian Empire arrived in the late 19th century. Fifty years later, the empire collapsed when Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, hastening the outbreak of WWI. The late-20th century saw Sarajevo host the Winter Olympics in 1984, and suffer from a devastating siege during the conflict in the '90s. Today's guided walking tour of the historical and cultural center will help you to understand its complex history.

Your guide can tailor the tour to your interests. Suggested sites to see include:

  • The ancient old town to explore Sarajevo's medieval beginnings
  • The 19th-century National and University Library
  • The 16th-century Brusa Bezistan, Sarajevo City Museum
  • Kazandžiluk Street where you can watch coppersmiths at work
  • Baščaršija, Old Town's Main Square
  • Old Orthodox Church dating back to 1539
  • Moorish-style Ashkenazi Synagogue
  • 19th-century, Gothic-style Sacred Heart Cathedral
  • Gazi Husref Bey Mosque
  • The Latin Bridge where King Ferdinand was assassinated on June 28, 1914

After your 2-hour walk, you'll ride the Sarajevo Cable Car for some of the best views of the city. From the top, you can enjoy a picnic lunch at Brus, one of the best viewpoints in Sarajevo.

In the late afternoon, you'll return to Sarajevo to relax at your hotel, then head out into the city for dinner.

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Day 3: Explore the Highland Villages with a hike in the Bjelašnica Mountains

The Summer Village of Umoljani
The Summer Highland Villages

In the morning, you'll leave Sarajevo and head toward the Highland Villages of the Bjelašnica Mountains. You'll start in the town of Umoljani, where you'll visit its traditional-style Bosnian Mosque. Afterward, you'll trek to the old Seven Watermills, a historic water source used for centuries as energy to grind wheat into flour.

Your hike continues along a ridge with views of the mountains. After 20 minutes of an easy uphill, you'll begin to see glimpses of Rakitnica Canyon as you near the waterfalls of Studeni Potok. Here, at certain times of the year, the stream falls 1,300 feet (400 meters) into the canyon below. Following the stream, you'll enjoy views of Obalj village and the long valley of Studeni Polje (Fields).

Your next stop is the summer shepherd's village of Gradina. The views of Visocica and Treskavica peaks along the way are worth the trek, as is the century-old stecci (medieval Christian tombstones) perched on a gentle hill just below Umoljani.

After the walk, you'll enjoy a homemade lunch at one of the guesthouses in the village. In the afternoon you'll transfer to the town Banja Luka, where you'll stay tonight.

Day 4: Discover the history of Banja Luka - Take a riverboat to Mostar

The banks of the Neretva River in Banja Luka
The banks of the Neretva River in Banja Luka

In the morning you'll explore the town of Banja Luka, the cultural and political center of northwest Bosnia. Enjoy a city tour, starting at the old Roman-era Kastel Fortress. You'll learn about the earliest history of this area, as well as the medieval legends related to it.

Your guide will then take you through some of the city's most important sites and monuments, including the 16th-century Ferhat Pasha Mosque, an Ottoman mosque with picturesque gardens. While strolling through Krajina Square, you'll learn about the Imperial Road that ran from Višegrad to Istanbul, as well as the earthquake of 1969. Afterward, make your way to Christ the Savior Church via Veselina Maslese Street, a popular shopping route lined with boutiques.

In the late afternoon, you'll enjoy a boat ride through the Vrbas River Canyon to the city of Mostar. After settling into your accommodation, head out into the Old Town for views of the iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge) and historic medieval alleys filled with artisan shops. For dinner, you'll find plenty of restaurants lining the cobbled streets.

Day 5: Explore the 15th-century sites and streets of Mostar and Blagaj

The Settlement of Blagaj near Mostar

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in Mostar, followed by a guided tour of the city. Mostar was founded in the 15th century, with a diverse array of architecture combining the influences of Turkish, Herzegovinian, Dalmatian workmanship. As you learn about the conflict of the early '90s and witness the scars of the war throughout the city, you'll also see the warmth and optimism of the people of Mostar.

For lunch, you'll make your way to the nearby settlement of Blagaj, where you can enjoy Buna Spring and its neighboring Ottoman house and monastery. The spring flows out of a 650-foot (200-m) cliffside, creating the Buna River. Unsurprisingly, the Ottoman sultan was impressed and ordered a Tekija to be built right next to it. This 16th-century house and its monastery were built for the Dervish cults and are still some of the most mystical places in all of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Blagaj Old Town is also worth a visit. The town moves at a slow pace, with many of its old structures still reminiscent of Ottoman days. The area also includes old flour mills that were once powered by the Buna River.

After exploring Blagaj, you'll return for an afternoon in Mostar, where you can continue to enjoy its historic streets and mosques. In the evening, you'll return to Sarajevo for your final night in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Day 6: Depart Sarajevo

Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque, Sarajevo
Gazi Husrev Bey Mosque, Sarajevo

Enjoy your final breakfast of the trip, then transfer to Sarajevo International Airport to catch your flight home or onto your next destination.