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Although Bosnia and Herzegovina shares a common history with much of Croatia, the country has its own disparate, and deeply varied, character. A crossroads between the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires for centuries, the strong influence from the east led to a rich culture which can be explored with a local guide on this private, full-day tour.

Walk the cobbled lanes and narrow streets of Mostar, see its renowned bridge, and venture to the nearby medieval town of Počitelj for sweeping views over the rocky mountains and deep river valley.

You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Split at the start of the day by your private driver who will take you to Mostar, a drive of roughly two hours. Crossing the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina, you’ll begin to notice subtle difference from Croatia.

Although both countries were once populated by Illyrian tribespeople, and later endured a succession of foreign governments before finally gaining independence in the 1990s, Bosnia and Herzegovina has a far stronger Ottoman influence.

In Mostar, your guide will fill you in on the history of the town which served as a meeting point of the East and West for centuries. As you walk the narrow streets of the old town, you’ll see mosques and Orthodox churches, 16th-century townhouses, traditional hammams and Turkish tea houses.

The city’s highlight however, is the Stari Most (Old Bridge), one of the most photographed locations in the Balkans and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re fortunate, you might spy the legendary bridge jumpers plunge 23 m (75 ft) into the Neretva River below.

You’ll have plenty of time to admire the bridge’s architecture, reflection and poignant history over lunch in a local restaurant with views of the bridge and river below. From there, you’ll continue out of the city to the 14th-century town of Počitelj.

Here, you can climb to the top of the stone fort for panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valley, and a bird’s eye view over the Šišman Ibrahim-Paša Mosque and Sahat-Kula clock tower below. The fortified town was an important medieval and Ottoman hub. Its well-preserved streets, mosque, madrasa, hammams and townhouses offer an insight into the complex cultural history of the region.

Once you’ve had some time to look around and learned a little about the history of the town from your guide, your driver will take you back to your hotel.

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Photos of Mostar and Počitelj, Bosnia and Herzegovina