If you go from Sarajevo, Zenica, Tuzla and other places in the north and east of Bosnia and Herzegovina towards the sea, most of you will choose the M-17 route through Mostar, partly out of habit, partly because that route is slowly turning into a modern highway.
However, that also means traffic jam, especially in the summer season. Long queues at border crossings, highway entrances and exits, congestion at the approaches to major cities and driving in queues are common problems we encounter. Notorious is especially the section of the Adriatic highway from Omiš to Split, but also the traffic jams that occur around Mostar and Makarska.
For those who prefer more relaxed drive and lesser crowds, in addition to a full 70 kilometers shorter route (counting to Split), which brings significant savings in time and fuel costs, and no less interesting, we bring a proposal we have tried ourselves.
In Jablanica, you need to turn right towards Prozor-Rama and after about 20 kilometers you will reach the entrance to the Blidinje Nature Park, with spectacular views of the mountain landscape on the way up. After passing through the gate, you come to the Blidinje plateau, and just over one kilometer further is the necropolis Dugo Polje. There is also a restaurant where you can rest.
After passing by the Blidinje Lake, which is so shallow that you can walk through it, at the intersection you should turn in the direction of Tomislavgrad. We recommend that you stop in Manda’s village and climb up to the cemetery and the chapel on Manda’s castle, because several tombstones can be seen there as well. Upon entering Tomislavgrad, you can fill up the tank, because the price of fuel is lower than in Croatia.
After climbing bend, you will reach a viewpoint from where you can see the Buško Lake. It is up to you to decide whether you want to go to the Kamensko or Aržano border crossing. But before crossing the border, you must visit the beautiful Eco village of Grabovica, which, in addition to restaurants, also offers accommodation facilities, a zoo with more than 230 domestic and wild animals, an open-air swimming pool, a riding club with a large fenced area for riding, a stone cave and sports fields for volleyball, handball, tennis and football, and an outdoor children’s playground with swings, merry-go-rounds and other props for children.
We decided to go to the Aržano border crossing where there is usually a very short wait, after which the road takes you to Cista Provi where you should definitely turn towards Cista Velika. After less than two kilometers, you will reach the beautiful necropolis Crljivica, which stretches on both sides of the road.
On your way to Split, you can take the highway to Dugopolje, but it is more worthwhile (for the stunning view of the Cetina canyon and the town of Omiš) to exit at the Blato na Cetina exit. Then you can either go down to Omiš – which is not recommended due to the congestion on the Adriatic highway – or continue along the parallel road to Žrnovnica and Stobreč, which exits the highway in this suburb of Split.
By: Tarik Dreca