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Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

Bengaluru, India
5 posts
Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

Hi All

My girlfriend and I will be in Croatia during the last week of September and first week of October.

We are planning to rent a car from Split, head to Mostar for a night and then drive to Dubrovnik the next day.

Had a few questions regarding the 2 drives mentioned above as this would be the first time for us in Europe.

1. Should I go for manual or automatic transmission car - I would rate myself 6.5/10 for driving on steep hills. So, are the 2 routes tough to drive on? Does it include lot of steep hills? How much does the navigation help?

2. For Split to Mostar what would be the best possible route. Browsing other questions, I have found 2 major routes

a) E65 Adriatic Highway towards Brela, turn left onto a main (red) road, cross the border at Posusje and continue to Mostar

b) E65 right down to where it crosses the BiH border and then turn up the E73 to Mostar

Which one would be easier to navigate(based on route conditions) and given I will be crossing the border on a weekday roughly around noon time - how much time would the drive take?

3. Similarly for Mostar to Dubrovnik, found 2 main options

a) Mostar -> Capljina -> Metkovic - Opuzen -> Neum -> Dubrovnik

b) Mostar -> Ljubinje -> Trebinje -> Dubrovnik

Again, same question as #2, which one would be easier and the time taken roughly(again on a weekday)

4. Any recommendations for car rentals?

5. Any other things which I should be careful about? I read a green card is needed for crossing the border. Is that about it ?

Basically, we don't mind spending a little extra time on the road as long as it is safe and scenic.

Thanks in advance

12 replies to this topic
Sarajevo, Bosnia...
Destination Expert
for Dubrovnik, Split, Cavtat, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Mostar, Zagreb
Level Contributor
8,292 posts
520 reviews
1. Re: Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

That road through Posusje could hardle be called "main" road. E65 is in fact the motorway, and it continues to the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina - border crossing Bijaca/Zvirici, after which comes short Bosnian stretch of motorway:

https://www.google.com/maps/@43.1896641,17.3160342,11.5z

That would be the easiest route to drive to Mostar (once you leave the motorway, turn to Capljina and join E 73 which follows Neretva river valley).

For Dubrovnik, Mostar -> Capljina -> Metkovic - Opuzen -> Neum -> Dubrovnik is the easiest one. But possible long queues in Metkovic. You can also drive Mostar - Stolac - border crossing Cepikuce - Slano - Dubrovnik

I would recommend contacting Nova rent a car. They seem to be most troublefree

Bengaluru, India
5 posts
2. Re: Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

Thanks for your reply.

What about the terrain of the route? Is it very up and down with steep hills?

Sarajevo, Bosnia...
Destination Expert
for Dubrovnik, Split, Cavtat, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Mostar, Zagreb
Level Contributor
8,292 posts
520 reviews
3. Re: Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

On this route only at one section - Ivan mountain pass between Konjic and Sarajevo. But there is a tunnel at the top, and three lane road (two lanes uphill, single downhill) so it's doable.

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
340 posts
37 reviews
4. Re: Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

Many newer manuals these days have an anti-rollback feature or also known as a "hill holder". My BMW doesn't roll back right away when you put the clutch in, it will hold for about 5 secs then roll back if you haven't begun to move forward within that 5 secs. I think its pretty standard on most manuals now.

Sarajevo, Bosnia...
Destination Expert
for Dubrovnik, Split, Cavtat, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Mostar, Zagreb
Level Contributor
8,292 posts
520 reviews
5. Re: Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

I have no idea what are you talking about, who would need any "hill holder"... We pass the driving exam on the cars with manual gearbox, live in the country and towns with numerous steep roads and streets, and a part of the training is moving the stationary car parked on the hill using the handbrake. You give enough throttle, and parallely release both the clutch and the brake.

Who don't know how to perform this should not even try driving the car with manual gearbox... I prefer them anyway. I have driven automatics just 2-3 times in my life, and did not like the feel of it at all

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
340 posts
37 reviews
6. Re: Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

I don't know, its a feature on the car. I don't need it, in fact I don't like it, if I could disable it I would.

Sarajevo, Bosnia...
Destination Expert
for Dubrovnik, Split, Cavtat, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Mostar, Zagreb
Level Contributor
8,292 posts
520 reviews
7. Re: Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

But do you have the standard parking brake? On most cars it's the lever with button between seats, only e.g Mereced Benz has it as lever under steering wheel. That's the hand brake I spoke about

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parking_brake

Edited: 3:00 pm, September 12, 2018
Washington DC...
Level Contributor
340 posts
37 reviews
8. Re: Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

Yea, I have a parking brake in between the front seats, you pull it up. Back in the old days that's what we'd use to prevent the car from rolling back on a steep hill, but only if there was a car up on you, otherwise just let it roll a bit, didn't need to do that too often.

Bengaluru, India
5 posts
9. Re: Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

Thanks a lo for your help guys. I can go with the manual transmission then.

Level Contributor
78 posts
71 reviews
10. Re: Self Drive Split -> Mostar -> Dubrovnik

Hi prateek, trust me, go for an automatic. Most of the main routes are not problem, but sometimes your apartments are at the top of a steep slope. The slopes are steeper than in India.

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