How to: Hitchhike the Balkans: Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Part II)
Welcome to Part II of my series on hitchhiking the Balkans regions. :) In Part I, I gave some general tips about hitchhiking in general, followed by some more specific tips to the region that I learnt.Here you can check out the actual journey we took and details of every hitchhike, including waiting times. So if you're doing the specific hitchhike we did, hope it'll help give you some idea of what to expect or way to go about it.
The Balkans Expedition
- Flew into Split, Croatia and decided to take a bus straight to the city
- Bought ferry tickets to Stari Grad on Hvar Island
- Stari Grad (2 nights)
- First hitchhike of the trip: Stari Grad to Hvar town
- Total time taken: 1 hour
- Hitchhiked from the main road of the area but were ignored a lot. A LOT.
- Waiting time: 30 minutes and we were finally about to give up and catch the bus. But alas we were finally picked up by a hilarious couple. As soon as we got into the car, the woman turned to us and offered us some Jaggermeister.
- Bought ferry tickets Hvar -- Korcula Island
- Korcula Old Town (2 nights), rented a scooter to explore the island
- Bought ferry tickets to Korcula -- Orebic
- Orebic (2 nights), climbed the mountain Sveti Ilija (St. Elias) during this time
- Hitchhiked 55km Orebic to Prapatno (ferry port)
- Total time taken: 3 hours+
- Walked 20 minutes out of town, took a while to find a good spot, used a sign as Prapatno was such a specific location
- Waiting time for first ride: 20 minutes, taking us 12km down the road
- Waiting time for second ride: 30 minutes. One of my favourite HHs of the trip, with a funny dairy-truck driver who gifted us with red wine from the area, chocolate pudding and kept cracking "ENJOY CROATIA!" lines. He also gifted us with the joy of his driving; a few times his engine would have this error flashing and he'd literally turn off the engine mid-driving and we'd have to cruise along mountainsides while the engine cooled down for a few minutes. We most definitely did enjoy Croatia haha.
- Bought ferry tickets Prapratno -- Mljet
- Sobra on Mljet Island (2 nights), rented a scooter to explore the island
- Bought ferry tickets Mljet -- Dubrovnik
- Dubrovnik (2 nights), visiting the city and beaches
- Hitch-hiked 70km Dubrovnik to Kotor (Montenegro)
- Total time taken: 6 hours+
- Hardest HH of the entire Balkans Expedition
- Waiting time for first ride: 20 minutes taking us 15km towards the Croatia-Montenegro border
- Waiting time for the second ride: 10 minutes taking us 15km further
- Waiting time for the third ride: 15 minutes (with a 'Kotor' sign) crossing into the Montenegrin border and taking us to Kamenari (before the opening of the Bay of Kotor). Lovely, chill guy who had to stop off at his property high in the mountains to water his garden, so we joined him and he set out some chairs for us to enjoy the view. :)
- After waiting a total of 1.5 hours in various spots, hitched a bus (paid) to Kotor
- I do not recommend hitchhiking into the Bay of Kotor, especially not from the direction we were taking. Though the distance does not seem a lot, in hindsight we realised many cars are stopping off at the towns along the way, where as Kotor is all the way at the end. Additionally, cars passing through this area did not seem willing to stop (and trust me, you see a great many many cars in 1.5 hours).
- Kotor Old Town (2 nights), climbed the Old Fort
- Took a bus to Herceg Novi to get out of the Kotor Bay (as we realised it would be difficult to hithchike)
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
- Hitch-hiked 150km from Herceg Novi (Montenegro) to Mostar (Herzegovina)
- Total time: 4 hours
- Walked 20 minutes from the bus stop to a big round-about where any cars going down the road were likely to be going into Bosnia
- Waiting time for first ride: 2 minutes. YES, you read right. We had misgivings as we were downhearted from the tough experience in Montenegro and it seemed like barely any cars were coming down this road. But the third car that we gave a big, brave grin to stopped for us and took us all the way to Trebinje. Had a food and ice cream break here, enjoying the deliciously cheap burgers in Bosnia.
- Walked 10-15 minutes out of Trebinje town to the entrance of the main road to Mostar
- Waiting time for second ride: 5 minutes. SAY IT IS NOT SO!!! Bosnians are crazy... crazy NICE! Seriously we weren't even in a good spot. We were walking along the road, heard a truck coming, jumped around like a crazy dancer and stuck our thumb up. He literally stopped in the middle of the main road and we parkour-ed our way into that bad boy.
- Mostar (1 night)
- Hitch-hiked 125km from Mostar to Sarejevo
- Total time taken: 3 hours
- Walk to the main road leading to Sarejevo was heavy, around 25-30 minutes. It was 35 degrees+ and I was so grumpy by the time we find a half-way decent area. Poor Mr. Human had to deal with my complaining.
- Waiting time for first ride: 10 minutes taking us half way to Sarejevo. A strange ride, the guy didn't even speak any English at all we didn't communicate anything beyond our names with him. I think this is a testament to the kindness of Bosnians - he didn't pick us up to chat or anything, he just genuinely wanted to help us out
- Waiting time for the second ride: 5-10 minutes. This was funny because quite a few cars passed us for a while. And then we hear this one car stop. And then it reversed about 30 metres down the road back towards us. Turns out he hadn't had enough time to process us but when he did, he wanted to come back and help haha.
Hope that all gave a good indication of what our experience was like in the Balkans region. (: