Getting there and away
Getting there and away
The main airport in Bosnia and Herzegovina is Sarajevo International Airport. There are also international airports in Tuzla and in Mostar. In neighbouring Montenegro there are airports in Podgorica and Tivat (for further information, see montenegroairports.com). Croatia has several international airports, including Franjo Tuđman International Airport on the outskirts of Zagreb, Split International Airport, the international airport of Dubrovnik on the southern coast, and the airport in Rijeka situated on the northern coast and the most convenient airport for the Slovenian starting point of the Via Dinarica trail.
This is the easiest way to get around the Balkans, if you already have access to a car. The roads in Slovenia and Croatia are very good; further south, highways almost disappear and local roads are mountainous and curvy, and almost always only one lane.
Border crossings from Croatia to BiH are slightly different from the crossing(s) from BiH to Montenegro. Croatia is an EU member state and there are no agreements with BiH on mountain crossings for hikers. For this reason, the White Trail was developed to lead to the Croatian border at Kamensko where there is an official crossing. All through-hikers should use this crossing. Between BiH and Montenegro, there are two possibilities. From Sutjeska National Park it is possible to hike into Montenegro via Trnovačko Lake to summit BiH’s highest peak, Maglić. The trail continues from there to Piva Lake and onwards towards Durmitor National Park. The border crossing from Prijevor in Sutjeska National Park to Trnovačko Lake may or may not be monitored by a border guard. It is a generally accepted practice that hikers can enter Montenegro to summit Maglić but it is expected that one returns to Sutjeska National Park after completing the climb. The official border crossing with Montenegro is in Šćepan polje where the Tara and Piva rivers join to create the Drina River.
Public transportation in the cities and towns of the Via Dinarica in BiH is efficient and inexpensive, not least because they are all relatively small. Buses are a cheap and convenient way to get around Bosnia and Herzegovina with almost all towns being connected, though asking a local (or the bus driver) for help may be your best way to get information on in-town bus routes. Tickets to ride city buses and trams can be bought from the driver of the vehicle, or from any pavement kiosk around town; they cost between 2KM and 4KM, depending on the city. Although the bus network is extensive, if you are travelling in the more remote parts of the country, you may have to wait up to a day for a bus to come through.
A train service runs from Sarajevo to Mostar daily and stops in Konjic and Jablanica, which are both on the Via Dinarica White Trail.
Taxis are much cheaper in BiH than in western Europe or North America, and unlike in many cities in those continents today, you can hail taxis on the street, and don’t have to look for a taxi rank. Because cities and towns are small and traffic only really exists in the capitals during rush hour, taxis are a very convenient mode of public transportation in the Balkans.