Our Planned Balkan Campervan Route

There are many reasons why we decided to do this year’s big holiday in a campervan, but the most important one is the flexibility it will give us to come and go as we please. I’ve planned out a route, but nothing is set in stone and if we decide that we like a specific place, we’re free to stay a little longer than planned. Likewise, if we’re not impressed, we simply pile into our campervan and head to the next place on our list.

So, tentatively, and depending on whether or not we get green card insurance at the Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina borders, this is roughly what our three weeks in the Balkans are going to look like:

Our tentative route through the Balkans

Day 1: Land at Zagreb airport in Croatia and spend the day in Zagreb, sleeping over in Zagreb.

Day 2: Depending on how much we got to see of Zagreb the previous day, we may decide to spend a few more hours here. Otherwise we head over to Ljubljana in Slovenia, then mosey on over to Lake Bled where we will spend the next few nights.

Day 3: Just generally in the area of Lake Bled and Radovljica. Planning on eating lots of cream cake! Sleeping at Lake Bled.

Day 4: Checking out Lake Bohinj and the general Lake Bled vicinity. Final night at Lake Bled.

Day 5: Driving leisurely through Triglav Park and ending up at Bovec. Spending the night in Bovec.

Day 6: Down towards Predjama to go see the castle and spend the afternoon in the company of those beautiful white Lipizzaner horses at Lipica. Sleep somewhere near Piran.

Day 7: Piran in the morning, and then cross the border back into Croatia and visit Motovun and Rovinj. Sleep somewhere on the way to Rijeka.

Day 8: Meander along from Rijeka to the area around Plitvice Lakes. Probably stop early and do some laundry at our campsite just outside Plitvice.

Day 9: Up early to visit Plitvice Lake National Park. Spent the night at the nearby campsite again.

Day 10: Drive to and spend the day in Split. Sleep over in Split.

Day 11: Catch a ferry to Stari Grad and spend the day exploring Hvar island. Spend the night somewhere on the island.

Day 12: If possible, hop over to Korcula, although this looks logistically challenging in a campervan, so we’ll probably head straight for Dubrovnik and spend the day exploring there. Spend the night near Dubrovnik.

Day 13: Explore the area around Dubrovnik, perhaps take a catamaran trip to nearby islands. Sleep near Dubrovnik.

Day 14: Hop the border into Montenegro and spend the day exploring the Bay of Kotor. Sleep somewhere outside Kotor on the way up into the mountains.

Day 15: Not pictured on the overview map above, but head to Durmitor Park and explore nature around the Black Lake area. Sleep over somewhere around Zabljak.

Day 16: Yet another border crossing into Bosnia and Herzegovina. Stop over at Blagaj Fort before heading to Mostar, where we’ll spend the night.

Day 17: Drive to Sarajevo. Spend the day and a night there.

Day 18: See where the road takes us on the way to Banja Luka. We might stay there or move onward.

Day 19: Cross the border back into Croatia and spend our final day somewhere in the region of Zagreb. Spend the last night in Zagreb.

Day 20: Drop the camper off at the airport and head home.

You’ll see towards the end of the route, round about when we cross into Bosnia & Herzegovina, our plans become a little fuzzy. I’m not quite sure what to expect from that country, or what the roads and distances between towns are like. so we’ll have to see how it goes when we get there. Assuming of course, that we are allowed into the country, If not, we may have to drastically alter our plans – perhaps even hop on the ferry and spend the last week in the foot if Italy. Who knows?!

What are your thoughts on our planned route? Do you have any hints and tips or recommendations on sights to see, places to go, what to avoid and where to stop over along this route? Anywhere we should try to include that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below.

2 Responses

  1. This looks like it was a remarkable trip. Where did you pick up the camper van and approximately how much did the trip cost in US dollars or Euros? I would love to hear about it.

    • Hi Edmund! It was indeed a very memorable trip and one of our favourites so far. We rented the campervan from Indie Campers and they picked us up at the airport at Zagreb, Croatia, and took us straight to the depot. I can’t remember exactly what the price was – it’s been a few years since we were there and the price would probably have increased by now anyway – but let’s just say it was affordable enough that we could manage paying for it in South African rands, lol. Just keep in mind that there are a lot of extras when embarking on a camping trip, so on top of the campervan hire, you’d also need to budget in for petrol, food, and campsite fees. Strangely enough to us South Africans, campsite fees are per person + extra for vehicle + extra for the stand + extra for any other nice to haves, like shade or shower facilities. It all adds up in the end. But it was indeed epic and totally worth the expense!

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