bosnia-road-trip_wild-in-the-balkans

Bosnia Road Trip Off the Beaten Path

This Bosnia road trip has the perfect balance of historical and natural sites. And we didn’t forget the traditional food! You will find recommendations by locals for the best places to eat along the road.

We have also chosen our favorite landmarks at each stop so that you explore Bosnia and Herzegovina in the best way. Wild In the Balkans road trip itinerary will, for sure, make your travel to the Western Balkans exciting and unforgettable.

This Bosnia road trip takes you through the time of the Bosnian Kingdom and two powerful empires – Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman.

If you like to hear legends and stories about the kings and visit fortresses, this road trip is perfect for you. You will be amazed by the scenic landscape and tiny remote villages on your way.

The starting point for this road trip should be Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Rent a car and make a circuit journey.

Quick Nav

Kraljeva Sutjeska

Distance Sarajevo – Kraljeva Sutjeska: 60 km via A1 highway (tolls cost is around 4 BAM)

The first stop on your Bosnia Road Trip should be Kraljeva Sutjeska, a tiny village with breathtaking sites and fascinating history. 

Its name Kraljeva (Royal) Sutjeska, says how important this village used to be in the time of the Bosnian Kingdom. In the medieval Bosnian state, Kraljeva Sutjeska and the citadel at Bobovac were the seats of two Bosnian kings, Tomash and Tvrtko, of the Kotromanic dynasty. It was also the seat of the last Bosnian Queen, St. Katarina. 

The remains of the castle’s foundations can be seen in the garden of the beautiful Franciscan Monastery. In front of the monastery, you can see an incredible mosaic mural of the Kotromanic dynasty’s coat of arms and a few medieval tombstones known as stecci. The stecci are listed on UNESCO’s heritage list because of its “exceptional testimony to the spiritual, artistic, and historical aspects of the medieval cultures of southeastern Europe.” 

The Bobovac Fortress, situated at the high ridge above the canyon of the Bukovica river, was only used in invasion times because it was strategically easier to defend. But in the last days of Bosnia’s independence before the complete invasion of Ottomans in the Bosnian Kingdom, Bobovac served as a permanent home and administrative center of Kraljeva Sutjeska.

If you love to hike, take a 1-hour and 30-minute leisurely walk from Kraljeva Sutjeska through the Bukovica Canyon to see Bobovac citadel’s remains. Today, the only fully intact structure standing at Bobovac is the mausoleum. 

Itinerary

  • Visit the library and museum of the Franciscan monastery. The museum has an impressive collection of art, documents, and artifacts. It is open for visits on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm, or by request. The entrance is free, but a donation is appreciated. 
  • Take a walk through Kraljeva Sutjeska and see Dusper House, the oldest house in central Bosnia dating back to the early 18th century.
kraljeva-sutjeska_bosnia-road-trip-itinerary
Franciscan Monastery in Kraljeva Sutjeska
bobovac_hike-medieval-city-bobovac_bosnia-road-trip
Bobovac Medieval Royal City

Travnik

Distance Kraljeva Sutjeska – Travnik: 58.2 km via A1, E73, E661 (includes tolls – around 2 BAM)

Travnik is a charming oriental-looking town in central Bosnia, located in the heart of the Lasva Valley and foot of Vlasic Mountain.

This tiny town was a prominent trading place and administrative headquarters for Ottoman rule in Bosnia. Therefore, while walking the old town streets, you will see oriental culture’s influence on the town’s architecture. 

The fascinating ancient fortress stands above Travnik and dominates the horizon. We would recommend walking up the hill to visit the fortress and enjoy the view. Also, while visiting different exhibitions, you will learn more about life in Travnik throughout the centuries.

Itinerary

  • The Old Town Fortress is open every day from 8 am to 8 pm in months from April until October, and 9 am – 5 pm in months from October until April. The entrance fee is 3 BAM at the time of writing.
  • Visit the Ivo Andric House, the museum dedicated to the writer who won the Nobel Prize in literature for his novel “Bridge on the Drina.” And Travnik is the birthplace of Ivo Andric. The museum is open for visitors from Monday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 5 pm (April – October). From October until April, the museum is open on working days from 9 am to 3 pm and on weekends from 10 am to 2 pm. The entrance fee is 3 BAM.
travnik-fortress_bosnia_wild-in-the-balkans
Travnik Fortress
travnik-fortress_bosnia-road-trip
Exhibition in the fortress
travnik_bosnia-road-trip
View of Travnik town from the fortress

Jajce

Distance Travnik – Jajce: 65.9 km via E661

Jajce is famous among tourists because of the stunning waterfall in the city center and its rich history. 

This town played an important role in almost every crucial era of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s history. 

Romans settled the present-day Jajce in the 1st century, and Mithras temple will tell you the story about this important period. The temple is dating from the 4th century AD, and it’s the only one of its kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Jajce was also the capital of the Bosnian Kingdom, and the fortress was a residence of the last Bosnian king before the Ottomans executed him. At the entrance of the fortress is a stone-carved shield of the Kontromanic dynasty.

The fortress sits atop the old town, and from the walls, you can snap a great panoramic photo of Jajce. 

The crucial event that paved the way for Bosnia and Herzegovina to enter the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was the second session of the Anti-Fascist Council of the National Liberation of Yugoslavia (AVNOJ). Jajce hosted this event in 1943, and in memoriam, the same building was later transformed into a museum. This museum will help you to learn more about Yugoslavia. 

Itinerary

  • Visit the tourist info center in Jajce to get a map of the town, and you can also buy a ticket which includes more attractions.
  • Temple of the God Mithra. The temple is not always open, so first, visit the tourist info center to buy a ticket and check working hours. Although you can see the temple through the glass, it’s worth entering to snap photos and get more information from the guide. The entrance ticket is 2 BAM. 
  • AVNOJ Museum is located close to the waterfall. The entrance fee is 2 BAM. 
  • Underground Church / Catacombs is an impressive landmark situated within the city wall. The entrance fee is 4 BAM— buy a ticket at the entrance or in the tourist info center.
  • There is only one building within the fortress, but the town’s view from the walls is fantastic. The entrance fee is 5 BAM. 
  • Ethno museum is located within the walls and close to the catacombs. The entrance fee is 2 BAM.
  • Pliva Waterfall is situated in the city center next to the bus station. If you want to descend to the river and stand in front of the fall, you need to pay an entrance ticket, which costs 4 BAM.
  • Zipline above the waterfall and canyon of Vrbas River. The ticket costs 20 BAM. 
  • Pliva Watermills are situated 5 km east (M5 road) from the center of Jajce town. These watermills were a symbol of great wealth and power in medieval Bosnia. They are situated between the big and small Pliva lakes. Take a walk around the lake. 
avnoj-museum-yugoslavia_bosnia-road-trip-itinerary_jajce
AVNOJ Museum
pliva-waterfall-jajce_bosnia
Pliva Waterfall in the center of Jajce town
underground-church-jajce_bosnia_bosnia-itinerary
At the entrance into the Underground church
saint-luke-church-jajce_jajce_bosnia
Remains of the Saint Luke Church
jajce-fortress_jajce_bosnia-road-trip-itinerary
Jajce Fortress

Eco-Zone Zelenkovac

Distance Jajce – Eco Zone Zelenkovac: 36 km via E761

After less than 1 hour of drive from Jajce, you will reach a big wooden cottage hidden deep in the forest. But, this cottage it’s not like others. 

It’s like coming to the Hogsmeade or Weasley’s house from the Harry Potter movie. 

You will enter into a fairytale!

As you get off the main road, the 1-2 km dirt road will take you along the Zelenkovac creek, after which the whole eco-movement got the name.

Eco-zone Zelenkovac is built around an old family watermill. The local painter Borislav Jankovic rebuilt and expanded his old mill into a gallery and restaurant. 

Enjoy art and local cuisine at this peaceful place. If you come in the summer months, maybe you will attend the jazz festival.  

It is even possible to rent one of the few rustical wooden bungalows built around the gallery. 

zelenkovac_eco-movement-zelenkovac_bosnia
Eco Zone Zelenkovac
eco-zone-zelenkovac_bosnia
A friendly host in Eco Zone Zelenkovac

Janjske Otoke

Distance Eco Zone Zelenkovac – Janjske Otoke: 37.8 km via M15 and R415a

In less than a one-hour drive from Eco-Zone Zelenkovac, you will reach beautiful cascades and waterfalls of the Janj river. 

Drink coffee or eat homemade food in restaurants situated directly at the cascades. Enjoy the soothing sound of water! 

Walk along the Janj river, through the dense forest. Don’t forget to bring a camera!

If you’re interested in a longer walk, go to the source of Janj. It is a 4-km long trail.

Some families are offering bed & breakfast accommodation in their homes. Houses are located beside the river so you will wake up to the sound of water.

janjske-otoke_sipovo_bosnia
Cafe at the cascades of river Janj
janjske-otoke_bosnia_bosnia-road-trip
Peaceful oasis

Ajvatovica

Distance Janjske Otoke – Ajvatovica: 51.6 km via R415, M16. 

Distance Ajvatovica – Sarajevo: 132 km via M16.4 and A1/M17/M5 (includes tolls – around 7 BAM)

Ajvatovica is a Muslim holy site located in the mountains above Prusac village. 

After a one-hour drive from Janjske Otoke via Kupres town, you will come to Ajvatovica. Leave your car close to the beautiful, newly built wooden mosque and follow the path through the forest. A cobbled trail will take you to the fascinating deep passage between two rocks. 

In 1510, during the rule of the Ottoman Empire, there was a long period of drought that threatened the tiny village of Prusac. According to the story, Ajvaz-dedo, a Sufi dervish, prayed for 40 days to Allah to split the rock so he could take water from the mountains into the village. And a miracle happened, the rock split into two pieces. 

The trail further continues through the forest, and eventually connects with the asphalt road toward the village.

Make sure to stop in Prusac to see the remains of the fortress and old town. 

ajvatovica_ajvatovica-muslim-holy-site_bosnia
Impressive passage between two rocks
ajvatovica_bosnia
A lovely walk through the forest
ajvatovica_bosnia_bosnia-road-trip
Muslim holy site
kupres_herzegovina_bosnia-road-trip
Road tripping in Bosnia and Herzegovina, somewhere around Kupres town
bosnia-road-trip_pinterest_wild-in-the-balkans
Share it on Pinterest

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.