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Herzegovina Bike II: From Roman Times to the Hajduk Republic!

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8 Days
Availability : From April till September
Sarajevo
Sarajevo

Herzegovina is one of the last hidden gems of present-day Europe. Nestled between Dalmatia and Bosnia, with which it shares a thousand-year-old history, it still stands out compared to these two regions. Above all, Herzegovina is a land that offers biodiversity ranging from high continental mountains to river valleys with typical Mediterranean climate. From orchards with plums and apples to olive groves, rosehip, and fig plantations, to vineyards that bring us several indigenous wine varieties found only here. In this Mediterranean region influenced by the Dubrovnik Republic, Venice, and the Kingdom of Hungary, Ottoman conquerors brought the scents of the Orient, new cultural blends, and religion, ultimately creating a region that has steadfastly preserved its diversities and specialities over the years.

Roman roads, Ottoman Empire roads, Napoleon’s roads, and finally, Austro-Hungarian Empire roads are just some of the interesting routes we will traverse by bicycle. For cyclists eager for change and good trails, Ćiro’s Heritage Trail is an enticing lure that always surprises with its possible directions.

The journey we offer combines the globally renowned Ćiro’s Heritage Trail and Blidinje Nature Park, which captivates with its landscape and pleasant climate for cycling. Welcome to the Old Land for new discoveries!

Tour Details

Imagine yourself pedaling through the untouched beauty of Herzegovina, where history, nature, and culture merge into a unique experience. It all begins in the picturesque Sarajevo, where the awakened aromas of coffee and the sounds of city bustle blend with stories of history and the destinies of people who have built this city through the centuries.

As you set out on the journey towards Čapljina, your bike becomes your own guide through the diversity of Herzegovina. Your first stop is at the Kravice Waterfalls, where the mysterious power of water meets the sun’s rays, creating a spectacular natural sight. Afterward, the road takes you through local villages, where welcoming hosts greet you and share stories about their traditions and life in rural Herzegovina.

The Franciscan Monastery Humac is like a time machine that takes you back in time, as its walls and artifacts guide you through the millennia-old history of this area. Enjoy the sounds of nature as you ride to the Peć Mlini excursion site, a hidden gem surrounded by fragrant forests and flowery meadows.

When you arrive at the Blidinje Nature Park, feel the landscape enveloping you with its silence and natural beauty. The Franciscan route leads you through greenery, uphill climbs, and descents, revealing the secrets of centuries-old cultural heritage. Views from heights above valleys and lakes offer unforgettable scenes that stay etched in your memory.

Visit Masna Luka and Tomislavgrad, where nature intertwines with history and archaeological finds that reveal ancient stories of these lands. Finally, as you return to Sarajevo, feel gratitude for all the experiences, stories, and beauties you discovered on this incredible cycling journey through the heart of Herzegovina.

Departure & Return Location

International Airport Sarajevo (Google Map)

Price Includes

  • Bus/van
  • Authorized tour leader (English speaking)
  • City authorized guides
  • Bicycles with accompanying equipment
  • Service vehicle during cycling
  • Bike service room and wash in the hotel
  • Train ticket
  • 7 nights with breakfast
  • Lunch 3x
  • Dinner 7x

Price Excludes

  • Drinks
  • Juices with lunches and dinners.
What to Expect

On this tourist adventure “Herzegovina Bike II: From Roman to Hajduk Republic,” you can expect incredible experiences and stories that will take your breath away. Here’s what you can expect on a bike journey through Herzegovina:

1. Passage through a Time Tunnel: Imagine yourself as a traveler through history as you bike through ancient Roman-Ottoman roads and routes that have shaped centuries of history. Every pedal carries a story, every turn reveals a new view into the past and present of this area.

2. World of Natural Wonders: Herzegovina is like a treasury of natural wonders. From towering mountains reaching the clouds, through untouched forests and crystal-clear rivers, to the benevolent Mediterranean valleys. Riding a bike through these beautiful landscapes, you’ll be surrounded by clean air, lush vegetation, and the sounds of nature.

3. Gastronomic Journeys: An essential part of the journey is tasting Herzegovina. Expect to taste traditional dishes with rich flavors such as roasted lamb, homemade prosciutto, fresh fish from the Neretva River, and fragrant Herzegovinian wines and brandies made with love.

4. Getting to Know the Local Culture: With each new village and town you visit, you’ll experience the heart and soul of Herzegovina. You’ll meet hospitable local people, learn about their customs, crafts, and traditions passed down through generations.

5. Adrenaline Adventures: Some parts of the trails may be challenging, but with each ascent comes a stunning view of mountains, valleys, and the Neretva River accompanying you during your ride.

In the end, expect every moment to be like scenes from a dream, every bike ride to be a new adventure, and every stop to be an opportunity to discover the wonders of Herzegovina.

Itinerary

Day 1 Sarajevo

Arrival in Sarajevo. We land at Sarajevo International Airport, where our guide/leader awaits us. We head to the Lights restaurant for a light lunch. During lunch, we get to know each other and toast to the exciting journey ahead of us. After lunch, we tour Sarajevo with an authorized guide. During our tour, we discuss the turbulent history but also talk about the everyday life of ordinary people adapted to demanding and capricious rulers who have alternated here over the past five centuries. We start from the City Library, which burned down in August 1992 during the city’s siege, and continue past the site where Gavrilo Princip shot Archduke Ferdinand through the beautiful streets founded in the 15th century. It’s time for one of the most beautiful experiences in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We depart from Sarajevo railway station, where we board a train that takes us through the beautiful landscapes of the country to our hotel in Čapljina. Welcome drink, dinner, and overnight stay at Hotel Storia Čapljina.

Meals: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2Ćirinom prugom: Čapljina - Zavala

Ćirina uskotračna pruga i danas, skoro pedeset godina nakon njenog ukidanja, ima skoro mitsko značenje u sjećanju hercegovačkog naroda. Ukidanje ove pruge dovelo je do depopulacije stanovništva u ovim krajevima no zahvaljujući entuzijazmu, prije svega ljubitelja biciklizma, ova pruga danas je svjetski poznata biciklistička staza. O kojima piši svi svjetski časopisi od New York Times-a preko National Geografic-a do The Guardian-a. Zato biciklarimo ovom stazom kako bismo sami rekonstruirali nekadašnji život pored ove pruge. Nakon tipičnog hercegovačkog krajolika, starih željezničkih stanica stžemo pred krašku pećinu Vjetrenica koju ćemo posjetiti u pratnji autorizranog vodiča koji će nas uputiti u tajne ove pećine. Vožnju završavamo u obližnjoj željezničkoj stanici koja je danas gostionica koja nudi hercegovačke tradicionalne specijalitete. Nakon ručka povratak u hotel. Slobodno vrijeme koje možemo provesti pored bazena ili odmarajući se prije zajedničke večere u hotelu.

Obroci: Doručak, Ručak, Večera

Duljina: 59.98 km;

Ukupno uspona: 880 m

Day 3Mostar - Čapljina

We already have several kilometers under our belts, yet we haven’t reached the Old Bridge in Mostar. Today, we head to Mostar and explore it with an authorized guide. Free time allows us to capture photos of this unique single-arch bridge dating back to the 16th century. We blend into the crowd of local vendors and tourists, understanding the lifestyle between the Mediterranean and the Orient.

After visiting the Spanish Square and an open-air exhibition created through the hard work of the Mostar Street Art Festival, we hop on our bikes towards Čapljina. We ride alongside the Neretva River, following the old Ćiro railway route, all the way to Čapljina and our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Distance: 54.36 km;

Total ascent: 378 m

Day 4Ćiro Route around Hutovo Blato

The town of Čapljina sprawls at the natural crossroads of Herzegovina. Apart from the four rivers, Čapljina is home to the Hutovo Blato Nature Park, the largest marshland area in this part of Europe. This favorite gathering spot for birdwatchers also offers an excellent trail for cyclists. Our route takes us around the park’s lake, providing unique viewpoints. You’ll have free time in the afternoon by the hotel pool before enjoying an A la chef dinner served with a selection of fine Herzegovinian wines.

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Distance: 46 km;

Total ascent: 730 m

Day 5Čapljina – Kravice – Peć Mlini - Blidinje

After breakfast and checking out of Hotel Storia, it’s time for new adventures! We head towards Ljubuški to visit the Kravice Waterfalls, a natural phenomenon protected as a rare treasure by the state. Following our enjoyment of Kravice Falls, we traverse through rural parts of Herzegovina, passing local villages in a quest to discover the life of the local population. We make a stop at the Franciscan Monastery in Humac to visit the Archaeological Museum, founded in 1884, offering insights into life in Herzegovina from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages. Continuing our journey today, we reach the Peć Mlini excursion site. After relishing in this hidden gem of nature, we load our bikes onto the van and proceed to our new hotel, Hajdučke vrleti in Blidinje Nature Park.

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Distance: 59 km;

Total ascent: 800 m

Day 6Franciscan Route I: Hajdučke vrleti – Rama

 The Franciscans have been present in the regions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dalmatia, and Slavonia since the 12th century. The Franciscan Route is a unique cycling journey that takes us through Franciscan monasteries in Bosnia and Herzegovina, delving into their interconnected cultural and historical heritage, including Diva Grabovceva and stećci.

After a hearty breakfast, we embark on a ride through Blidinje Nature Park towards Rama. The breathtaking landscape, with its ascents and descents into Rama, offers views that will stay with you for a long time. Descending into the Rama Valley, which was transformed into a reservoir lake in 1968 with a small island housing a Franciscan monastery, truly takes your breath away. We visit the Franciscan monastery and have lunch in Rama before saddling up our bikes and returning to our hotel, Hajdučke vrleti, for a well-deserved rest and dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance: 80 km;

Total ascent: 1500 m

Day 7Franciscan Tour II: Hajdučke vrleti – Masna Luka - Tomislavgrad

Today, we ride through Blidinje Nature Park from our hotel to Masna Luka, where the Franciscans hold spiritual exercises. We continue along the Blidinje Lake and head towards Tomislavgrad, known since Roman times in these regions, but the real attraction is the praslon found near Tomislavgrad. The praslon is about 3.5 million years old and is located in the museum of the Franciscan monastery in Tomislavgrad, which we will visit together. We conclude our visit to Tomislavgrad with a shared picnic. After lunch, we load our bikes onto the van and drive back to our hotel. We’ll have a shared dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Picnic, Dinner

Distance: 66 km;

Total ascent: 700 m

Day 8Departure

Check out of the hotel and depart for Sarajevo Airport, where, after an active week getting to know the country, we bid farewell to our guide.

Meals: Breakfast

Photos
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