There is something so exhilarating about buying a bus ticket at the station, grabbing a coffee at the station’s overpriced café and then heading down to the bus. You never know what you’re going to find… is this a clean new bus with reclining seats or one with paper towels stuffed in the holes the torn-out lightbulbs have left in the ceiling?

I’ve seen both.

Feeling a little penned-in in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, I woke up one morning needing to just get out of town (which, is a story unto itself – how could a person need to get out of town when they’re only in town for 3 days anyways?). My hostel was booked for two more nights and my official bus out of town was a night bus to Zagreb two days later, so I couldn’t just pack up and move on. Instead, I headed to the bus station and checked a map.

Split Croatia, a resort town on the Adriatic coast, is 160km from Mostar and is typically on the route of backpackers heading through the Western Balkins. Google maps said it was a 2.5 hour drive. I said the magic words “one ticket for the next bus to Split please” and off I went.

For a day when my body needed to relax but my mind wanted to go, taking the CroatiaBus from Mostar to Split was one of the best spontaneous and uninformed decisions I’ve ever made. The only thing I knew about Split was that it was on the ocean and was geographically close.

Contents of my day bag:

-Umbrella

-Sweater

-Water bottle

-Wallet

-Phone

 

Things that should have been in the day bag that weren’t:

-Sunscreen

-Sandals

-Camera

Just FYI, Split is a beach resort town. Chances are, it is not going to be raining and cold. Don’t lug an umbrella 160 km with you if you’re going to Split.

A bus ride from Mostar to Split stops quite a bit and actually ends up taking around 4.5 hours, so my day trip idea ended up only allowing me 2 hours in the town itself. But that was enough to get lunch and ice cream, walk around the old town, crash some tours in English that gave me bits and pieces of historical information, and enjoy the goings on of the ocean and harbor. And despite only having two hours on-location, the ride itself was worth my time and ticket money.

Driving from Mostar to Split is a 4.5 hour trip up a skinny little highway that directly borders the coast. This mountainous, small-town-riddled coastline comes in twists and turn as the bus climbs higher and higher, letting riders stare out the huge bus windows into some of the best views of the Croatian coastline one could find. On the right of the bus are tall mountains and waterfalls cascading the turquoise water only found in this area of the world. On the left of the bus is crystal blue water that stretches on until it meets the blue of the sky at the horizon. It’s almost magical.

I chose my seat placement strategically on the ride back to Mostar that night. As the sun set over the water and the bus moved on, I knew I’d made a good decision. Sometimes a traveler needs a day of relaxation that also involves seeing beautiful things. A bus along the Croatian coastline definitely fit that bill.

If you are in Mostar, or considering a trip to Croatia – I recommend taking your bus trip during the day and making a trip out of the coastline drive, the views are worth it!

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