Day trip to Pocitelj in Bosnia and Herzegovina

July 06, 2017

When I saw Pocitelj for the first time I couldn't believe I had never heard of it - let alone that it wasn't listed as one of the main sights in Bosnia.

I was sitting on a bus on my to Mostar when I suddenly spotted this picturesque village on a hillside right by the main road. I was immediately mesmerised by it's unique scenery. The hillside was covered in beautiful little houses with lush green gardens and cobblestone streets, whereas on the top of the hill there were ruins running across the whole length of the village. There was a beautiful mosque you could spot far away from distance and in the very far end of the town, all the way up the hill there was a tower from which you'd be able to to see all across the area.

It took about two seconds for me to grab my phone, turn the GPS on and check out my location. It was such a relief to find out that the small beautiful village I had just passed was only 30km outside of Mostar. Pocitelj was now officially on the list of places to visit during my stay in Bosnia and Herzegovina.



The UNESCO site of Pocitelj

It turned out that Pocitelj wasn't just random particularly picturesque village in the Bosnian countryside but in fact a UNESCO world heritage site. It used to be a strategic defence stronghold in the past but was heavily damaged by bombings during the Bosnian war. The village is now under renovation and if you ask me it has a full potential of becoming a major tourist attraction in the area. Apparently quite few Croatian tour operators have Pocitelj as one of the stop on their one day Bosnian tours but I highly recommend to take your time to go and explore the village by yourself.



Visiting Pocitelj

If you're visiting Pocitelj as a part of a tour and have a limited time to explore the village I recommend you to head straight to the tower as it provides by far the best views of the village. You're gonna walk up the hill past the mosque and adorable little houses, and eventually you'll hit the ruins on the top. Don't settle for the views on the top of the hill as you can actually climb up the tower as well! The entrance might look a bit sketchy but the inside bits were in a fairly good condition and you could climb all the way up.

If you're not on a tight schedule, take your time to wander on the cobblestone streets, appreciate the scenery and make your way across the hill towards the fortress looking building on the other end of the village. Unfortunately you won't be able to enter the fortress but the views are great and that's pretty much what Pocitelj is all about. I got the best views by going around the fortress and climbing on the top of the stone fence. If you keep following the path that takes you to the fortress it will take you down the hill back to where you started.

You might be able to spot some little stalls where the locals are selling handicrafts or fresh fruit but there are really no other signs from tourism. If I hadn't seen the tourist buses heading off from the village when I arrived I never could have guessed that it's part of a main tourist route. It doesn't only look but also feels untouchable which is something you cannot say about, for example Mostar. I spent couple of hours exploring the village and had a great time like everywhere else in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is such an underrated travel destination!



How to get to Pocitelj?

Pocitelj is located just half an hour bus ride outside Mostar. The are no bus stops by the village but you can easily get to Pocitelj simply by asking the bus driver to drop you off in there. I learned the hard way that you should check the bus schedule back to Mostar before leaving; after waiting for an hour by the side of the road I was pretty sure I'd have to hitchhike back to the city. As there are no bus stops by the village the buses won't stop automatically so make sure to really attract their attention and make sure you want to hop on board when you see one coming.



Tips for visiting Pocitelj


  • Check the bus schedule before leaving to avoid spending hours by the side of the road waiting for a bus
  • There's not much shade available in the village so pack some sunscreen and water with you. It gets hot in Bosnia during the summer!
  • If you accidentally end up to the village at the same time with bunch of tourist groups just give them a minute. Organized tours won't stop in there for long and after they leave you'll have plenty of time to explore the village on your own
  • It's possible to visit Pocitelj as a part of a tour that also combines Badaj, Medjugorje and Kravice waterfalls if you have a limited amount of time in Mostar

You Might Also Like

18 kommenttia

  1. This is absolutely beautiful! Looks like something out of a fairy tale :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know! It was such a beautiful place to visit!

      Delete
  2. So quaint and beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right? Such a great place to visit!

      Delete
  3. What a wonderful find you stumbled upon :) Can't wait to see in person some day. X - gonewithawhim.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should totally visit if you end up somewhere around! x

      Delete
  4. Beautiful! I love villages with history and ruins like this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right? This kind of places are the best!

      Delete
  5. What a hidden gem! It looks like you ventured off the beaten path and it paid off, big time. I only drove through Bosnia & Herzegovina on my way from Split to Dubrovnik, but am hoping to visit it properly next time. Will add Pocitelj to the list!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah it totally paid off! Such a shame that you haven't visited Bosnia yet but I bet that you'll make it there in the future! :)

      Delete
  6. Had never heard about Pocitelj before but it looks like a cute and quaint little place. The tower looks really beautiful. Awesome find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I feel like most of the people haven't and the ones who havecan't remember what it's called haha. But yeah, it's a beautiful place!

      Delete
  7. Bosnia is the only country in that part of the Balkans that I've yet to visit, and it certainly looks like I'm missing out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to tell but I do think you're missing out on something haha. But surely you'll make it to Bosnia in the future!

      Delete
  8. How neat to stumble across a UNESCO World Heritage Site! On top of that, it looks like a beautiful village. I keep hearing about Bosnia and Herzegovina as being an incredible place to visit. I really hope to make it there someday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a really gorgeous place! Bosnia is so underrated and in my opinion so much better than for example Croatia! Hope you'll make it there too x

      Delete
  9. I love little hidden villages like this. Your photos are absolutely beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know right, who doesn't? Thanks a lot!

      Delete