We really seem to have a problem with exploring the places that are closest to us. I mean, we don’t have the problem exploring them, but the problem with reaching to them much later than we should. That was the case with Ciro trail too.
Although we live just 30 minutes of car driving away from it, somehow we did our first tour just a few months ago. And that’s the value of true marketing. Herzegovina bike who is responsible for the whole project did a great job both on the trail side and on the marketing side. The marketing side was the reason we experienced the trail side.
Long story short, Ciro trail is one of the best outdoor attractions south of Herzegovina has and we enjoyed this experience so much that I dream of returning to this marvel.
what in the hell is ciro trail?
Glad you asked. Ciro trail is a multidimensional experience and the first of its kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In fact, it’s the cycling trail made upon the old narrow-gauge route that was passing through the B&H and Croatia. When we say the multidimensional experience we mean you travel in the past while cycling on Ciro trail. At least we felt so. We felt almost like a train and everything was so good.
To be honest, I’m a huge railway fan and half of my family was working on a railroad. Maybe that’s the reason why I was so excited when we decided to explore this route. This railroad route was made by Austro Hungarian monarchy like many others at that time. The railway was much more romantic back then with steam locomotives and all that cool stuff that makes the railroad interesting.
how do you get there?
Ciro trail is a pretty long trail and there are many entrance points to the route. The whole route was connecting the cities of Mostar and Dubrovnik. All the smaller towns and villages along the route had a railway station and most of these are preserved even today. They are maybe not in the best condition, but we hope that that will change too.
Basically, you can start your Ciro trail experience anywhere, depending on how much time you want to spend cycling and what do you want to see. We would say that the best part of this trail starts somewhere from Dracevo (near the border with Croatia) and then further south toward Dubrovnik. Check Herzegovina bike main site for the interactive map of the whole route and everything will be much clearer to you.
how did our experience look like?
We chose to start from Dracevo because that part of the Ciro trail is closest to us and we need only 30 minutes of driving to reach it. So we put the bikes on our old BMW and headed into the new adventure. Finding the entrance to the route wasn’t hard and it’s well marked.
And so it started. I was really looking forward to drinking a coffee on an old steel bridge I knew was present on this route. We planned to reach Hrasno and then return back. It was wintertime and days are not as long as we would like them to be. It will later prove that even this short route was more than enough for a superb experience.
Our whole way to Hrasno station was the ascent, but since it was a railway, the ascent is not so steep. However, it seems that even this ascent was hard to overcome for the trains so 3 locomotives were often used on this part of the route. The route is full of tunnels and we advise you to have a flashlight while cycling through them. Or get off the bike and walk. Some parts of the gravel road on the route have larger rocks left from the time when this was a railroad so we suggest using an MTB for riding a Ciro trail.
Eventually, we reached the steel bridge that I was looking forward to seeing. And it was amazing. We had our coffee and breakfast there. We enjoyed the whole route, but the bridge was something special. Later did we find out that it was designed by the famous Eiffel. We enjoyed it a bit and continued toward Hrasno which we have reached an hour or so later. This part of the route was equally beautiful as the first one, only this time we had the view of Svitavsko lake and Hutovo blato nature park on our left side.
Upon reaching Hrasno railway station the day was already at its end. We still managed to spend some time there, again with the warm coffee and sandwiches. We saw a few meters of railway tracks there, and these were the only track parts we have seen that day. But even without them, the whole route has that railroad vibe. Hrasno station was an important station at that time and trains were supplied by coal and water right here.
We saw a route continuing forward in the distance, but we already decided to leave other parts of Ciro trail for longer days of Spring. Our adventure of that day ended in Hrasno. We decided to use a paved road to return back to our car. As we were driving along the Svitavsko lake, we saw Ciro trail up the hills, saw the Eiffel bridge, and relived our adventure one more time.
what else to explore in the vicinity?
If you are willing to explore, there are many more places to discover. Hutovo blato nature park is one of them. Beautiful nature and many bird species. If you are going toward Mostar you might want to stop in Pocitelj for a cup of nice Turkish coffee.
If you are going to Croatia, then the closest landscape to you is the Neretva valley. We have written about this valley in a few of our posts and if you read them you’ll have all the necessary information for exploration. This rhyme sounds good.
And then there is whole southern Croatia at your disposal. Many things to do here, trust us.
are we coming back?
Ciro trail is something you need to return to once in a while. Especially if you are living near it as we are. It has that certain vibe that attracts you. Maybe it’s that romantic history that lies hidden under the gravel road of Ciro trail.
Next time we return, we are going to make a Youtube documentary about this route. You haven’t seen our Youtube channel? Go and check it, you might find some useful adventure travel tips there.