MEDJUGORJE, POČITELJ & KRAVICA BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA
Medjugorje, Počitelj & Kravica Waterfall One Day Trip
Let us take you on an unforgettable day trip in the southwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in a private tour combining history and nature!
Visit Medjugorije, and the Parish of Our Lady of Medjugorje dedicated to St. James the Apostle, and experience this spiritual site of Catholic pilgrimage, popular since June 1981, when the first apparitions of the Virgin Mary were reported.
Discover Počitelj: a historical medieval era old town on the left bank of the river Neretva. Built in stone in a natural karst amphitheater, this walled city with strong Ottoman influence impresses visitors with its well preserved buildings and astonishing views.
And finally, we’ll take you to the stunning Kravica waterfalls – a set of cascades on the Trebižat River. Its falls are 25 meters high and they create a beautiful lake. This beautiful landscape sets the mood for a relaxing end of the tour!
Medjugorije and its Catholic Pilgrimage
Počitelj well preserved medieval town
Beautiful nature at Kravica Waterfalls
Who Is This Private Tour For?
People of all ages interested in nature, history and religion. The visit to Medjugorije is suitable for everyone, and is wheelchair and stroller friendly. In Počitelj, in order to get to the panoramic view of the town and the river Neretva, some climbing is required. Kravica waterfalls have easy access on foot.
Best Time To Visit
These attractions can be visited all year long. Spring is a great time, especially for the Kravica waterfalls because that’s when the water volume is at its fullest. Summer is extremely hot in the region, with an average of 35 degrees during daytime and during winter some of the restaurants and hotels are closed.
Where Are You?
Medjugorije, Počitelj and Kravica Waterfalls can be reached from several cities, the most popular being Sarajevo, Mostar, Split and Dubrovnik.
If you are in any other city and would like to visit this attraction, talk to us about your itinerary and we can suggest the best options for you to enjoy your time!
Itinerary for Medjugorje, Počitelj & Kravica Guided Tour
It varies from your selected city of departure, and we can set the pick up time to fit your schedule. Usually we suggest the following:
08:00 – 09:00 Departure from your accommodation
10:00 – 12:00 Kravica Waterfalls private tour
12:00 – 15:00 Medjugorije private tour
15:00 – 16:30 Počitelj private tour
17:30 – 18:00 Return to your accommodation
More About Medjugorje, Počitelj & Kravica Tailored Tour
This amazing tour starts in the morning when we pick you up at your accommodation at a time chosen by you. The drive takes place in a comfortable car or minivan with a driver/guide in English or another language of your choice, always ready to give you lots of interesting information about the country, people, culture, etc.
We usually start the tour by visiting Počitelj and its historical city. Upon arrival you will learn about the city’s history and get to visit the most important buildings. If you are up to it, we will accompany you all the way to the top of the city where amazing views of the old town and Neretva river can be seen.
Later, we will head towards Medjugorje and its pilgrimage complex. Your guide will tell you about the city and the reported Virgin Mary apparitions. You will also have time on your own to attend a service, buy a souvenir, or grab lunch.
In the afternoon, we will reach the Kravica waterfalls and relax by its amazing landscape. You can decide if you wish to swim or just walk around and drink a coffee. It’s all up to you!
At the end of the tour, you can choose between returning to your accommodation or heading to one of the local restaurants for a taste of the local food and award winning wines!
Good To Know
Summer is very hot in the region. Make sure you have sunblock on, carry a hat and wear light clothing. It is extremely important to keep hydrated!
Bosnia is famous for its gastronomy. Make sure you try a traditional meal, including Ćevapi and Burek, and taste the many desserts, such as Baklava.
The Parish of Medjugorje organizes mass services in many languages, such as Italian, Spanish, English and German. It is also possible to make a confession with priests from all over the world.
Wear comfortable shoes for some hiking off the paved road.
The Kravica Waterfalls is most beautiful to see in Springtime, as it fills up with water.
Make sure to bring your camera, so you can document the beauty of this area.
Currency in Bosnia and Herzegovina is the Convertible Mark (BAM, or often seen in stores as KM). Euro is often accepted, as well, as Croatia’s currency Kuna, although money conversion is disadvantageous. Credit cards are not widely accepted, so make sure you have enough cash with you.
Medjugorje literally means “between mountains”, describing the location of the city. It became famous after 1981 when the 1st Virgin Mary apparitions were reported. Since then, the town has become a pilgrimage site, attracting visitors from all over the world, interested in connecting with Our Lady of Medjugorje, and participating in the services.
The original St. James church was built in 1897, and it stood about 300 meters from today’s church. Because it was constructed on unstable ground, it developed fissures and eventually collapsed after an earthquake. The new parish church was built for over 30 years. It was completed in 1969 and consecrated to Saint James, protector of pilgrims. After 1981 and the reported Virgin Mary apparitions, the number of pilgrims visiting the region was rising every year and additions to the church were made, such as the construction of an exterior altar and a prayer area that accommodates about 5.000 people.
On June 24th 1981, 2 teenage girls reported seeing an apparition of the Virgin Mary near Medjugorje. The following day, another 4 teenagers reported the same. All 6 of them claimed they had gone for a walk on a hill called Crnica, and saw the Virgin Mary holding a child in her arms.
After that, those six visionaries reported seeing the Virgin daily for several years. They claimed to have prayed together and received messages, described by them as missions and secrets. The kids were asked to pray often, to fast and to do penance.
The population of Herzegovina is mostly of Croatian ethnicity and their Catholic beliefs have been persevered since the 13th century when the 1st Franciscans arrived to the area. They were responsible for the spread of Christianity in Herzegovina and managed to keep the Catholic faith alive, even during the four hundred years of Turkish rule, when they were often persecuted, tortured and killed. The first Franciscan Province of Bosnia and Herzegovina was formed in 1892 and its parish created in 1897, in Medjugorje. The Franciscans are remembered for their holiness and heroic witnessing of the Gospel, but also for their contribution to educating and helping the population, as well as the development of arts and science.
The Vatican’s position on Medjugorje is that the phenomena should be investigated further.
On August 21, 1996, the Vatican declared that Catholics may still travel on pilgrimage to Medjugorje and that priests may accompany them as it had been proven false. In 2010, Pope Benedict set up a commission to study the Medjugorje issue and the investigation work was completed in January of 2014.
The commission expressed positive findings in favor of recognizing the supernatural nature of the first appearances, but rejected the apparitions thereafter.
The Vatican expressed that prayers should always be supported and encouraged and that pilgrimage sites, such as Medjugorje, contributes to Catholicism.
I THINK RECENT VATICAN COMMENTS MIGHT BE DIFFERENT… I’LL CHECK
The place of the first reported apparitions by the Virgin Mary. A steep path from the Medjugorje village leads to the location of the Virgin apparitions. At the foot of the Hill is the Blue Cross, a popular prayer site placed in 1985. Bronze reliefs were placed up the hill representing the mysteries of the Rosary and a large wooden cross was erected at the peak. In 2001, a statue of the Queen of Peace was added to the site. Pilgrims from all over the world come to this region to connect to the Virgin Mary through personal prayer and prayer of the rosary.
Cross Mountain is a mount above Medjugorje (520 m) where on March 15, 1934, the parishioners constructed a concrete cross 8.56 m high, built in remembrance of the 1900 years since the death of Jesus. On the cross is written: “To Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the human race, as a sign of their faith, love and hope, in remembrance of the 1900 years since the death of Jesus”. Relics received from Rome for the occasion are embedded in the cross bar itself. Since then, it has become customary to celebrate Holy Mass at the foot of the cross in commemoration of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, on the 1st Sunday after the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The historic town of Počitelj is located on the left bank of the river Neretva, in the south of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was built in a natural karst amphitheater and is a fortress assemble that impresses visitors for its stone-roofed houses and pomegranate bushes. Breathtaking views of the village and river Neretva can be seen from the uppermost rampart bastions.
First mentioned in 1444 by King Alfonso V of Aragon, Počitelj was a fortified town with great importance for the Hungarian Empire until it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1471, following a brief siege. During the Turks ruling, the city grew, which can be seen from the several buildings from that era: elementary school (mekteb), a secondary theological school (medresa) and also public baths (hammam) as well as accommodations for travelers (han).
Austro-Hungarians took over in 1878 and the city lost its importance causing the population to decrease and buildings to deteriorate.
During the Bosnian war, from 1992-1996, the city was extensively damaged and most of the works of Islamic art and architecture from the 16th century were destroyed.
- Gavrakanpetanović house: built in the 16th century, it was named after the family that ruled Počitelj at the time. It was big, complex and had separate rooms for men and women. It was converted into an Artists colony around 1961 as the building started to deteriorate. It was destroyed during the Bosnian war, but since then it has been restored and today it is known as the longest operating artist colony in Southeast Europe.
- Šišman Ibrahim-pašina džamija, or Hajji Alija mosque: built in 1563 by Hajji-Alija and restored in the 17th century by Šišman Ibrahim pasha, the mosque is special for its acoustics and one of the finest single-room domed mosque in Bosnia.
- Medresa (Muslin hich school) Šišman Ibrahim-Paša: Dates from 1664 and it was a small religious school, with 5 classrooms and a bigger lecture room, connected by a courtyard.
- Hamam (Muslim baths): built prior to 1664 by craftsman from Istanbul, it is a small public bath.
- Han (inn) of Šišman Ibrahim-Paša: built around 1665 and located at the entrance of the town, it was a single storey han with a stable.
- Kula: fort overlooking the village on the top of the hill, that served as the military guard for the Neretva valley.
- Sahat Kula: Erected before 1664, this bell tower was located closer to the river and at the south side of the town. It was built with Mediterranean and Dalmatian influence, in stone, with dressed quoins and ending in a stone pyramid.
According to legend, it was brought from Crete. The bell has become the symbol of Počitelj and was extremely loud, with records saying it could be heard in Čapljina and Gabela, with the sound bouncing off the rocky mountains surrounding this area. The clock-tower’s bell tolled until 1917, when Austrians, who had been in the city since 1878, melted it down for bullets for World War I.
Artists founded a colony in 1964 in the Gavrakanpetanović house. The colony gathered painters, writers and poets that found inspiration for their work in the city’s pomegranate and fig trees, small alleys and the spectacular views of the Neretva river.
About Kravica Waterfall
Kravica is the most popular waterfall attraction in Bosnia and Herzegovina, but still not overcrowded with tourists. The set of cascades on the Trebižat River, a karst area, enchants with its clear green waters and lush flora. This bountiful region is famous for its delicious figs, grapes, watermelon, tobacco and cheese.
Kravica waterfall is about 25 metres high, with a series of about 20 falls, that create a lake about 120 meters wide. It is set on a karst area, with limestone deposits, hence the water clarity. The entire area is protected by the state government.
Kravica is a popular swimming area, even though its water is cold all year around. If you feel up to swimming, you will also find a rope swing nearby. The park also provides a picnic area, a restaurant offering grilled food and beverages as well as a café.
Spring is when you will find Kravica at its fullest, with wild and dramatic waterfalls. During the Summer, when the water flow is less intense, the shallow pools are popular for swimming. Also at that time, an amazing natural phenomenon occurs at noon time, with the heat causing some of the lake water to rise up and form into a mist.
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