Plan your Travels to Bosnia and Herzegovina
A next-door neighbor to popular Croatia, it’s easy to reach on a day trip from Split or Dubrovnik, but there is plenty to do as a destination in its own right. One of the most visually breathtaking corners of Europe, Bosnia-Herzegovina is located in the western Balkan Peninsula. It’s a fabulous fusion of East meets West, where sheep scurry along steep hills and turquoise rivers flow.
The stepped medieval fortress village of Počitelj is one of the most picture-perfect architectural ensembles in the country. Cupped in a steep rocky amphitheatre, it’s a warren of stairways climbing between ramshackle stone-roofed houses and pomegranate bushes.
The village was badly damaged by Bosnian Croat forces in 1993, including the beautiful Hajji Alijia Mosque, which was deliberately targeted. This 1563 structure has now been restored, although photos displayed within show how much of the decorative paintwork has been lost.
Nearby is a 16m Ottoman clock tower, while further up the hill is a partly ruined fortress, capped by the octagonal Gavrakapetan Tower. You can climb up the tower or save your energy for even better panoramas from the uppermost rampart bastions.
When to visit Počitelj
Summers are hot and dry throughout Bosnia although it will be cooler in the evenings in mountainous regions. The prices increase as the temperatures rise so you’ll have to be prepared to pay more in this season although the country tends to be more affordable overall than many. Many feel the best time to visit Bosnia is in May and June, or September, when the heat has faded while hiking is idyllic. It will be comfortable for sightseeing and in the fall you’ll enjoy vibrant yellows, oranges and reds splashed across the forests.
Matilda Your Croatia Expert
How many days do you need in Počitelj?
You’ll want at least five days in Bosnia to cover many of the highlights while immersing yourself in the unique culture. As it’s a small country, you can travel relatively quickly from place to place. Perhaps spend a couple of days in Mostar and Počitelj, a favorite with many, and another two days in the bustling capital of Sarajevo. Jajce is worth including too, with a day here to enjoy its small hilltop forest, historical museums, large park, river, and a gorgeous waterfall Kravice.
What is the best time to visit Počitelj?
While Počitelj is a popular destination to visit all year round, May-June and September-October is the ideal time to go due to a number of factors such as the climate, cost of travel and accommodation, as well as avoiding peak holiday periods.
In the summer months, temperatures tend to get to a maximum of around 33℃ (91℉). The average low temperatures in winter float around -2℃ (29℉), while the coldest it gets down to is about -8℃ (18℉).
If you want to get the most out of your time visiting Počitelj, or you’re just afraid of the dark, the days in August are usually the longest between sunrise and sunset. The wet season in Počitelj falls around November, so if you prefer the dryer weather, you should look to visit in August instead.
What are the essential sites to see in Počitelj?
Hajji Alija Mosque, built in 1563, this large, beautiful mosque had its dome and minaret wantonly destroyed by Bosnian Croats in 1993, but it has been meticulously rebuilt, with traces of original colour left in its faceted squinches. There are good views from the terrace area, where you’ll also see various salvaged fragments of carvings from the original structure.