As we are flying out of Frankfurt we needed to get back up the coast from Montenegro towards Slovenia. Having already spent a pretty decent amount of time on this coast we decided to travel through pretty quickly. We had heard nightmare stories about the wait at the Croatian borders and had experienced a reasonably long wait at one of these ourselves. We needed to get through 3 borders in pretty quick succession so we decided to break it into two. We decided on travelling from Herceg Novi through to Neum in the first day and then from Neum through to Starigrad for the second day. This meant that Day 1 had two border crossings and Day 2 had one but we would be there later in the day.
We got up ready to leave fairly early (8am) and left Herceg Novi for the border. Surprisingly it was very quick and there were only 3 cars ahead of us. The Montenegro agents/police in the booths are usually pretty quick but the Croatian officials generally take a bit longer. On this occasion, both were pretty quick.
As an aside…If you are driving through Croatia, Bosnia or Montenegro they do seem to want to look at your Green Card (card papers). Make sure you have them handy with your passport. If you are wondering what they look like, they are not green and are in a small wallet about the size of your passport. Your rental or lease company should give them to you on renting the car. Ours did but I didn’t know what it was or what it was for. On researching going across the border I couldn’t seem to find any information on the net about this which was slightly stressful.
From here we drove through Dubrovnik, out to the coastal Croatian, Bosnian and Hercegovina border. Again this was really quick and we found ourselves in Neum much earlier than we had imagined. After all our planning we could have actually made three borders in one day.
We booked a hotel (the Posejdon Hotel) which was right on the water. We had a lovely big terrace attached to our room (room was fairly basic but decent) . Unfortunately the weather turned on us and we had a bit of a storm so enjoying the water wasn’t quite how we anticipated it to be!
Neum is located on a very small piece of coastal land between Dubrovnik and the rest of Croatia. It seems to serve mostly local tourists and people travelling through the two parts of Croatia. It is worth a stopover (although probably not for more than a day or two) if the weather is good. It is much cheaper than Croatia but is very small. The water is the same quality as the beautiful beaches in Croatia.
The next morning we left to cross the final of our three borders. Again almost no wait and the Croatian border patrol waved us through. It was almost as if they had had enough of all the summer visitors, it was now September and they couldn’t be bothered! Great for us.
We drove up north of Split, not far from Zadar to a place called Starigrad. What a win! We had a lovely apartment right on the water, with it’s own terrace. I had a great time jumping off the terrace into the water and generally acting like a 12 year old.
We knew this was our last coastal experience before we headed inland so were gutted when the weather packed up a bit. Too bad – I swam and jumped anyway.
In summary, outside of August you could probably easily do the three borders. Would I risk it in August? Probably not unless you were happy for a very long hot day.