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Excursions from Dubrovnik
Mostar is situated in the Herzegovina region, has a population of 250.000, and is only a few hours away from Dubrovnik with bus. During the Bosnian war in the 1990's large parts of the city was destroyed and bullet holes can still be seen in many buildings, and many buildings are still just ruins. But after the war had ended the process of rebuilding the city started and today the city can proudly show off the many historical buildings. The Old Town of Mostar was added to the UNESCO world heritage list in 2005.
The name Mostar is derived from the famous bridge, Stari Most, that crosses the great river, which was built in the year 1567 by the Turks. This bridge usually plays a central part on the postcards from Mostar. Along the river you will find many restaurants serving various types of traditional and international food. Worth trying out on restaurants here is the traditional grilled meat sticks called "chivapchichi". Worth mentioning is that Mostar has perhaps one of the hottest summer climates on the Balkan, and temperatures exceeding 38-40°C in july and august is a possibility.
Head southeast from Dubrovnik for about 35km and you will enter Montenegro, a small and picturesque country with a population of only 630.000. Montenegro has a beautiful coastline with 72 km of sandy beaches, and a mountainous northern region. In between the many beaches and coves there are many well preserved ancient old towns worth a visit. In the 1980's Montenegro was a well known tourist spot, but the Yugoslaw wars in the 1990's crippled the tourist industry and the image of Montenegro as a tourist destination was destroyed. However, in the 2000's tourism in Montenegro began to recover, and today it is a national strategy to make tourism a major contributor to the economy. Today you will find Montenegro as a hot spot in many well known tourist magazines and guides like Lonely Planet, and the country has gotten some real good words from leading papers like The New York Times. National Geographic Traveler features Montenegro among the "50 Places of a Lifetime".
One of the most important tourist attractions in Montenegro is the Bay of Kotor, which is situated in southwestern Montenegro. The picturesque towns of Kotor, Risan, Tivat, Perast, Prčanj, Herceg Novi, and Budva, along with their natural surroundings, are major tourist attractions. The town of Kotor is perhaps the most popular tourist spot of the towns mentioned. This old Mediterranean port is surrounded by high walls and fortifications built during the Venetian period, and together with the limestone cliffs in the background Kotor stands out as a perfect postcard setting.
Picture: Walls of Kotor
Picture: Kotor harbour
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