The coast road that winds its way through Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia again and Montenegro is nothing short of spectacular!
We had travelled some of this route a few years ago (before Covid) and absolutely loved it so were very glad to be driving this way in our camper van once again.
By midday the clouds were gathering and it looked as though there would be a spectacular storm. Despite the threatening skies we were captivated by the beautiful coastline, the sweet little villages and the gorgeous diminutive bays.
There are countless marinas along this stretch of coast but we were heading for one we had found in Montenegro – a great bolthole from the Schengen countries where we can only spend a maximum of 90 days in any 180 day period – but also moderately priced and very beautiful.
Croatia (Hrvatska) has a very rugged coastline with lots of bends (beloved by motorbike riders) and steep cliffs in places falling vertically to the ocean below. It honestly looks like a film set – the perfect location for an action movie.
It came as no surprise therefore, that at one particularly wild spot along the route we were stopped by the police for a short while with no explanation but once we got going realised that we had literally driven into a film set!
We passed a “heroine” shrugging on a fur coat to cover her skimpy dress, extras hanging round a food van, film equipment, someone with climbing gear on and another guy lying on top of a car surrounded by a group of people setting up a shot.
Our sat nav took us right past the film crew, down a very narrow, steep and winding hill to a small peninsula at the bottom.
We thought there was a camper stop down there but there was no such thing – it was deserted! There were just a few empty summer holiday cottages and nothing much else – not even a place to park.
So up the narrow, steep and winding hill we went, past the film crew once again, feeling embarrassed and sure that they thought we’d done it on purpose so we could have another sticky beak at them!
As it was getting late in the afternoon we were looking for somewhere to stop for the night. We travelled through some enchanting villages with stunning views but nowhere to park.
Finally we arrived in a small fishing village in the Starigrad municipality which had a small car park right on the water where we stayed for the night.
There were small fishing boats moored right in front of us and nearby was the smallest chapel that I have ever seen which we guessed was used by fishermen before they went out to sea.
Our journey of visual treats continued the following day – sparkling seas, gorgeous coves, towering cliffs, lovely small resort towns and lots of yacht marinas.
By mid afternoon we had reached our favourite camper van stop in this part of the world – Autocamp Sirena.
We had stayed there once before and vowed to return – and here we were! Having arrived mid afternoon there was plenty of hours daylight for a lovely walk along the beach before a glass or two of wine watching the sun go down.
Our journey continued the following day and and was uneventful except for a strange involuntary diversion (aka getting lost) when we drove over a bridge that wasn’t even marked on our newly updated sat nav map!
I have checked with Google maps and have discovered it is called the Pelješac Bridge. Completed in July 2022, it provides a way of bypassing the small coastal strip belonging to Bosnia and Herzegovina enabling travellers to avoid going through two lots of border control.
If only we had known we could have kept going and saved ourselves a bit of travelling time and the hassle of checking out of and back in to Croatia!
The coastal strip of Bosnia and Herzegovina is just 25 km (18 miles) long and has only one town – Neum – which has a population of around 3,000 inhabitants and which and is the country’s only access to the Adriatic Sea.
A couple of hours on and we were driving past the beautiful 16th Century city of Dubrovnik. We were almost at our destination!
Forty minutes later we had checked out of Croatia for the second time that day and entered Montenegro where we were hoping to find a suitable marina to keep our catamaran S/V Sunday for the winter season 2023/24.