Three cultures in two days

Onderwerpen in dit artikel

For years I have been curious about Bosnia and Herzegovina. The culture, history, food, customs, beautiful nature, stunning views, but also the purity of the country. Whereas Croatia has become very modernised and focused on tourism over the years, in Bosnia you can taste the atmosphere of former Yugoslavia. I find that extremely interesting, which is why every year when I am on holiday in Croatia, I plan a trip to one of the neighbouring countries. So this year, it became Bosnia. The only question was; where do you go when you have already seen much of the country? Using Google Maps, I picked a nice and diverse route; Livno, Banja Luka and Jajce.

Driving into the mountains near Trogir on the day of departure, towards the motorway, the sea soon disappears from sight behind us. From now on, we will only encounter mountains and lakes.

It is about a 1.5-hour drive to the border with Bosnia. Arriving at the border, it takes some shifting. As Bosnia is not part of the Schengen countries, we have to show our passports here as well as get a stamp in our passports. And because the country is not part of the EU either, I experience for the first time in a long time what it is like to be on the road without internet. At first I try using the roadside signs, but soon I decide to buy internet for the navigation anyway. Following our route, we drive through beautiful nature and past idyllic villages to the first stop: Livno


Livno in Bosnia en Herzegovina

Arriving in Livno, we follow the signs towards “centar” and I park the car in the shade of the trees. A short walk brings us into the small town centre, which is situated in a valley and surrounded by mountains. We seek out a cosy coffee bar for a kava (coffee). Fortunately, it turns out they also accept euros there, as we have not yet managed to change money to the local currency (mark). The combination of the usual coffee and the absence of tourists makes me feel like a local.

Banja Luka

Orthodox church Saborni Hram Hrista Spasitelja in Banja Luka

After coffee, we drive on to Banja Luka, Bosnia’s third-largest city. Banja Luka is in the Serbian part of Bosnia, which can already be recognised by the place name signs on the way. Indeed, in this region they use the Cyrillic script in addition to Latin. The route takes us along the Vrbas river, through the city, to our hotel. After checking in, we head into town for some sightseeing. We walk through a small shopping street, past the beautiful Orthodox church “Christ the Redeemer”, to the city park and from there we walk back to a bridge from which we have a nice view of the Vrbas river. We end the day at restaurant Rostiljnica where we have a delicious meal from the grill.


The next day, after a nice breakfast, we leave for Jajce. For 70 kilometres we drive along the Vrbas river, which is surrounded by beautiful nature and cute villages. Jajce is in the Islamic part of Bosnia and this is also reflected in the place name signs along the road, which are in both Latin and Arabic script. Jajce is famous for its beautiful waterfall, next to the town centre. Past the waterfall, we walk through the town gates into the centre of town. We visit the mosque, the castle and end at one of the many terraces for lunch. Again, apart from us, there are no other tourists in this place.
Picture in header is of waterfalls in Jajce.

On the road to Trogir

We get back in the car for the last part of our road trip: back towards Trogir. Having seen so much in two days, it feels like I’ve been on the road much longer. As soon as the Adriatic Sea can be seen again in the distance from the mountains on our return, I feel happy. What a place to come home to…