How to: do a roadtrip around Balkan countries in one week. The ultimate guide.

We all know how things work with vacation. We run out of our days off quicker than we would like to, the boss doesn’t want to give us as many days in a row as we would like to, not when we would like to. Sometimes an unexpected family situation forces us to change our holiday plans. In such cases it’s often necessary to get creative not to let these situations spoil our dream holiday. If you encounter such situation this year and you will be able to take only one week off in a row, I have an idea for you. It will be intense. And lazy at times. Should be just perfect 🙂

In summer 2014 we couldn’t leave for holiday earlier than one Friday. Next Sunday we had go for a baptism ceremony during which my fiancé was to become a godfather. We didn’t really have a choice but to be back until then 🙂 We didn’t want to drop the idea of a roadtrip around Balkan countries though, so we had to plan it well in order to use our time efficiently without becoming totally tired (that’s not the purpose of holiday, right?). I think we did quite a good job and I would like to share it with you now 🙂

Balkan road trip in one week – how to plan it:

I will present you the plan of our trip which lasted 8 days. At the end I’ll also tell you what I would plan differently if I did it again. I really strongly encourage you to use these tips – these countries are really beautiful, interesting and worth visiting!

Day 0, evening: departure from Poland to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina

I really hate travelling by car at night, both as a passenger and as a driver and I try to avoid it whenever possible. In this case it seemed the only reasonable option though. We were in a group of four and every one of us could be the driver, so it wasn’t so bad 🙂 Getting from Katowice, Poland to Sarajevo took us around 11 hours (1100 km).
One week in Balkan countries: Off we go!

Day 1: Sarajevo – Mostar, Bosnia and Hercegovina

We arrived to Sarajevo early in the morning, we boosted our energy with a typical Bosnian coffee, had a typical Balkan burek for breakfast (pastries filled with meat, vegetables of cheese. Funny thing for us, because Burek is a typical Polish dog’s name… :)). We walked around the city, the famous Bascarsija, around Muslim cemeteries and mosques, we took a lift up the radio tower in order to see the city’s panorama. And the same day we set off to Mostar – an informal capital of Hercegovina, famous for a stone bridge coming from XVI century. It was destroyed during the Yugoslav war in 1993 and re-build in 2004r. The way from Sarajevo to Mostar took us 2 hours (130 km) and we still had plenty of time to walk around this beautiful city.

One week in Balkan countries: Sarajevo


One week in Balkan countries: Bosnian coffee


One week in Balkan countries: Mostar

Day 2: Mostar – Dubrovnik, Croatia – Petrovac, Montenegro

We had another pleasant morning walk around Mostar (and another Bosnian coffee :)) and then we set off for one of the most beautiful cities in Croatia, Dubrovnik. It was around 160 km away (we took a longer way through Trebinje, because on the shorter way the traffic was enormous!). We spent a few hours in Dubrovnik and then went to Montenegro. Our destination was a small town of Petrovac, we reached it late in the evening.

One week in Balkan countries: Dubrovnik

Days 3-6: Petrovac (+trips to Kotor and Shkodra)

This part of the trip was swimming, sunbathing and beach-ing time. Rest and relax after our busy schedule in previous days. I can’t stay put for too long though, so we also took a trip to Kotor in order to see Boka Kotorska, also called the most southern fiord. One afternoon we also took a trip to Shkodra – the closest city in Albania.

One week in Balkan countries: Petrovac


One week in Balkan countries: Kotor Bay


One week in Balkan countries: Shkodra


One week in Balkan countries: Shkodra

Day 7: Petrovac – Belgrade, Serbia

Between Montenegrin seaside and Serbian border there is one of the most picturesque roads I have ever seen (and my fellow passengers told me that I slept over the most beautiful parts anyway). Built on the rocks in the mountains, it goes along Tara River Canyon. The only disadvantage of it was that going the 500 km from Petrovac to Belgrade took us around 10 hours… But these views!

One week in Balkan countries: Tara River Canyon

Day 8: Belgrade and departure to Poland

We spent this day sightseeing in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. In the evening we set off to Poland. It’s less than 1000 km from Belgrade to Katowice and we hoped to get there in 8-9 hours… but three hours traffic on the border between Serbia and Hungary brutally destroyed our hopes. I don’t even want to imagine what it looks like now, with more restrictions due to refugee problem.

We arrived to Poland on Sunday around 7:30 a.m. In the afternoon we were already in perfect condition on the baptism ceremony 🙂


Sum up:

Distance: over 3000 km
Number of countries: 5
Number of days: 8
Number of unforgettable experiences: limits to infinity 🙂


Conclusions for you:

If I planned this trip once again:
– I would definitely spend more time in Bosnia and Hercegovina. It enchanted me the most from the whole trip. It’s beautiful, you can feel that its atmosphere is a bit different. Turkish influence is really visible. It’s a small exotic place in the middle of Europe.
– I wouldn’t go to Montenegrin seaside in high season (it was really super crowded). I would pick the mountains further inland.
– I would consider where else I can cross the European Union border
– If we had enough time I would definitely spend one day in Budapest, it was just on our way. We couldn’t do it this time, but I’ll make up for it! 🙂

The trip was fantastic and because so much was happening I had an impression that it lasted at least twice as long. What about you – when are you going? 🙂

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  • Natan

    What a nice adventure, I love your experience, thanx! I also made a Balkan trip and I made a short movie about all my highlights, you can find it here:

    What’s your next destination?