INFORMATION ABOUT CIRO
The historic narrow-gauge railway with a steam locomotive runs from Mostar along the Neretva River, through Čapljina, Popovo polje, Ravno, and near Ivanica, crossing the border with Croatia all the way to Dubrovnik. Construction of the railway began in 1898 and ended in 1901. During its existence, Ćiro connected places in Herzegovina and brought them life, and today the railway has been reconstructed into a bicycle path.
The Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which ruled the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, built a network of narrow-gauge railways (track width 0.76 m). The railways were built primarily as strategic military facilities and they connected the southern Adriatic ports with cities in the hinterland and with Central Europe. The railways in Herzegovina were built as part of the Southern Railway, and the first section of that railway from Metković to Mostar, with a length of 42.4 km , was put into circulation on June 13, 1885. year, while the line from Gabela to Zelenika in Boka Kotorska (Montenegro) is 155.5 km long, with branches from Hum to Trebinje (16.7 km) and Uskoplje to Gruž in Dubrovnik in the Republic of Croatia (16.5 km). , put into operation in 1901. The narrow-gauge railway served people, connecting countries, regions, peoples and cultures. For the peoples from these areas, they were lifelines, they enabled them to have a better life and all kinds of progress, and they left a trace of civilization in the places through which Ćiro drove, roared, beat, whistled and let off steam for decades. he called the trains pulled by a steam locomotive gemišteri (mixed trains), šnelczug (fast trains) and personal (passenger trains). The nickname Ćiro was imposed before the very abolition of the narrow-gauge railways, but it remains recognizable among the people even today.
The narrow-gauge railway or narrow-gauge railway Gabel - Zelenika was discontinued in 1976. During its existence, the narrow-gauge railway changed five state regulations.
SHORT INFO DESCRIPTION OF THE TRAIL
The excursion begins in Mostar with a visit Old bridge, where you can drink your morning coffee or even have breakfast in the old town. After visiting the Old Bridge, we continue through the city streets towards the exit from the city and further towards Blagaju. On the way to Bladaj, you pass through the industrial zone of Mostar and further through the famous Mostar vineyards and fruit plantations, and we definitely recommend that you visit Jaffa Plantations before visiting Blagaj. Arriving in Blagaj, you are entering a place that has been known for centuries as an oasis of peace and natural harmony and another proof of BiH's natural beauty. After visiting Blagaj, we return to Ćira's bicycle path along the beautiful valley of the Neretva river and continue our journey towards Čapljina. Somewhere halfway to the town of Žitomislići, you pass the Žitomislići Monastery, which we believe is worth visiting, but you will have to briefly get off the Ćira trail and turn left towards the M17 highway in order to get to the Monastery. Driving along the right side of the Neretva River from Baćević to Čapljina will reveal the whole rural world of cycling, the way of life of the people in Herzegovina, and we believe you will enjoy the landscapes that this path will offer.
After arriving in Čapljina, turn left towards the old historical settlement of Oriental-Mediterranean character located in the valley of the Neretva River and one of the most beautiful cultural-historical entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Počitelj will discover its beautiful landscapes and landscapes in the Neretva valley, where photography is inevitable.
After visiting Počitelje, the easier part follows, which is the descent towards Čapljina, and a tour of this beautiful Herzegovinian town where we end our trip.
MORE DETAILED INFORMATION ABOUT THIS TRAIL
The cycling route from Mostar to Ivanica, which is ten kilometers from Dubrovnik, is 134 kilometers, and with the branch in Hum towards Trebinje, a total of 152 kilometers.
The route mainly passes through rural areas, and it is adapted for both road and mountain bikes, which means that on some sections of the route there are options which way to go to the destination, either on asphalt or on macadam. The route is mostly flat and only on the section from Dračevo or Svitava in the municipality of Čapljina to Hutovo in the municipality of Neum is there a longer climb where the route climbs to 414 or 310 meters above sea level, depending on whether the route is climbed on an asphalt section via Svitava or the macadam section via Brštanica.
The cycling route starts at the Spanish Square in Mostar, not far from the old railway station, and passes by the Old Town, where it is Old bridge, the world-famous medieval stone monument, which connects the left and right banks of the pearl of Herzegovina - the Neretva River.
The road from Mostar towards Čapljina continues passing through the Bišće field and the canyon of the Neretva river and along the current modern railway line. At the entrance to the canyon, there is a beautiful view of the Bun canals and the confluence of the Buna river with the Neretva.
The source of the Bune, only five kilometers away, is one of the largest and certainly the most beautiful in Europe. The water emerges from under a 200-meter-long cliff and forms the Buna river on its own. Tekija at the spring of Bune was built in the 16th century for the needs of the dervish order, and even today it is the most mystical place in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Above Blagaj stands the medieval building Stjepan grad, which was built on a late antique fortress. It was the city palace, surrounded by hard ramparts with jagged peaks that are still visible today. There is also a legend that says that Herceg Stjepan supposedly buried his treasure in it... that's how the city got its name from the treasure of Herceg Stjepan-Blagaj. At the Bunski canals, road cyclists are offered the option of going to Čapljina by an alternative route, i.e. the main road.
A few kilometers away from the Bun canals, not far from the cycling route, is the Žitomislić monastery, one of the most important Orthodox monasteries in Herzegovina from the 16th century. The route continues to Šurmanac in the Čapljin municipality, where there is a branch for Medjugorje, a Marian and world prayer center that is often compared to Lourdes and Fatima. On the other side of the Neretva river, the route passes opposite the medieval fortress and the old town of Počitelje. It is a special building type in the Herzegovinian karst. A picturesque pile of houses in a deep and steep riverbed, with ramparts and towers rising all around.
From Počitelje, the route continues through a rugged gorge near Dretelje, after which it enters Čapljina. Near that place are Kravica waterfalls, the most interesting natural landmark of the region. The water of the river Trebižat wakes up in that place and falls from a height of 30 meters, creating a natural amphitheater 150 meters wide.
In Čapljina, there is a branch for the town of Stolac, where the historic town of Daorson is located. Daorson (Greek: ΔΑΟΡΣΩΝ) was the capital of the Hellenized Illyrian tribe Daorsa who lived from 300 to 50 BC in the valley of the Neretva River. Three kilometers west of Stolac, in Vidovo polje, is the Necropolis of Stećak Radimlje. Due to the number of specimens, the variety and representation of all basic forms, the relatively high artistic quality of the workmanship, the necropolis of Radimlje belongs to the most valuable monuments of the medieval period in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
By the way, in the center of Čapljina, on the current town square, there was a station building that was demolished in 1998. There are only four plane trees left, which preserve the memory of the narrow-gauge railway. The last Ćiro roared through Čapljina on November 6, 1966. years.
WHAT TO VISIT
- Old bridge in Mostar
- Jaffa Plantations
- Blagaj - an oasis of peace
- Žitomislić Monastery
- Hutovo blato
- Mogorjelo – Roman Villa Rustica
RENT A BIKE
- Cross MTB 27.5′ bikes – 10,00 €
- CUBE MTB 29′ bikes – 15,00 €
- CUBE MTB E-bikes – 25,00 €
☎️ +387 63 400 260 (Viber & WhatsApp available)
ERO TRAVEL TURIST AGENCY
For a complete experience and experience of getting to know Bosnia and Herzegovina, we recommend that you contact our partners from ERO Travel tourist agency. ERO Travel is the leading provider of organized active travel in Herzegovina. 10 years of experience and excellent ratings from satisfied users of our services make them the leading provider of active vacations in Herzegovina.
☎️ +387 63 766 160 (Viber & WhatsApp available)
Although the path mostly takes us through populated areas and you drive on an asphalted section, on the section from Baćević to Žitomislić (on the right side of the Neretva) you drive on a short macadam section that is very well paved and does not pose a problem for driving. As you are driving the entire section through uninhabited areas, we recommend not carrying large amounts of extra water. We always believe that on longer rides it is necessary to bring a mini tool and a tool for patching inner tires, so the rule also applies to this section. We definitely recommend that you inform your family or friends about your cycling plans before going for a ride.
More information, photos, overview and download of the Ciro Heritage GPX track can be found at HerzegovinaBike web page.. 👇