Want to visit Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina? I have been to Medjugorje countless times. So, let me help you to visit Medjugorje!
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Are you planning a trip to Medjugorje last minute?
If so, here is a short summary of how to get to Medjugorje, must-see places in Medjugorje, the best place to stay in Medjugorje, and more!
GETTING TO MEDJUGORJE IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
➝ Fly to Mostar International Airport, rent a car at the airport, and in about 30 minutes you will be in Medjugorje.
➝ Fly to Split International Airport, rent a car at the airport, and get to Medjugorje in 2 hours. Or, join a day tour in Split to Medjugorje.
➝ Fly to Dubrovnik International Airport, rent a car at the airport, and get to Medjugorje within 2 hours and 30 min. Or visit Medjugorje on a day trip from Dubrovnik. If you prefer private tours, take this tour from Dubrovnik.
➝ Fly to Sarajevo International Airport, rent a car, or take a private transfer, and be in Medjugorje in about 2 hours and 40 minutes. Or go for a day trip from Sarajevo to Medjugorje.
RECOMMENDED PLACE TO STAY IN MEDJUGORJE
Hotel Grace – a wonderful hotel only 2 min walk from St James church
MUST-SEE PLACES IN MEDJUGORJE
1. St James church in Medjugorje
2. Via Domini in Medjugorje
3. The Apparition Site on the Apparition Hill
4. The Blue Cross on the Apparition Hill
5. The Cross Mountain
6. Fr Slavko Barbarić site on Cross Mountain
7. The Risen Christ statue
- What is Medjugorje?
- What is Medjugorje famous for?
- Where is Medjugorje?
- How to get to Medjugorje?
- Medjugorje apparations
- A short chronology of Medjugorje apparitions
- Medjugorje visionaries
- Things to do in Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina
- 1. Head to St James church
- 2. See the statue of Our Lady of Medjugorje
- 3. Make a confession
- 4. Lit a candle in the Candle Park
- 5. Head to the Risen Christ statue
- 6. Walk Via Domini
- 7. Climb the Apparition Hill
- 8. See the Apparition Site
- 9. See the Blue Cross
- 10. Climb Cross Mountain and contemplate the Way of the Cross
- 11. See the spot where Fr Slavko Barbarić died
- 12. Get a souvenir from Medjugorje
- 13. Visit Kravice Waterfalls
- 14. See Počitelj
- Medjugorje tours
- Where to stay in Medjugorje
- The best time to visit Medjugorje
What is Medjugorje?
Medjugorje is a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a famous Catholic pilgrimage site.
What is Medjugorje famous for?
Medjugorje is a famous apparition site of the Virgin Mary, popularly known as Our Lady of Medjugorje, the Queen of Peace.
Medjugorje is one of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Europe. It is the third most visited Marian pilgrimage site in Europe, after Lourdes in France and Fatima in Portugal. Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a pilgrimage site with numerous stories of miracles and conversions. Pilgrims who visit Medjugorje frequently declare having a sense of deep inner peace in Medjugorje.
Medjugorje receives about 1 million pilgrims a year. About 50 million pilgrims have visited Medjugorje since the apparitions started in 1981.
Where is Medjugorje?
Medjugorje is in southern Herzegovina, close to the border of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Mostar is the nearest city to Medjugorje. Medjugorje is about 25 km southwest of Mostar.
Medjugorje is also 150 km southwest of Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The town of Medjugorje in Bosnia is close to Croatia as well. Medjugorje is 126 km from Dubrovnik and 140 km from Split in Croatia.
How to get to Medjugorje?
1. From Mostar to Medjugorje
Mostar International Airport is the closest airport to Medjugorje. Medjugorje is only a 30-minute drive from Mostar International Airport. You can hire a taxi, take a private transfer, or rent a car at Mostar Airport and visit Medjugorje.
Also, buses run from Mostar East to Medjugorje daily. A bus ride from Mostar to Medjugorje takes about 45 min on average.
You can also rent a car in Mostar and get to Medjugorje from Mostar in a 40-minute drive.
2. From Split to Medjugorje
Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia are also close to Medjugorje in Bosnia.
Medjugorje is a 2-hour drive from Split International Airport. The easiest way to visit Medjugorje from Split is to rent a car at Split International Airport, take a private transfer, or take a guided day trip from Split to Medjugorje. Check out the Mostar and Medjugorje Small Group Tour from Split.
3. From Dubrovnik to Medjugorje
Medjugorje is 2 hours and 30 min drive Dubrovnik International Airport.
The fastest way to get from Dubrovnik to Medjugorje is to rent a car at Dubrovnik International Airport and head to Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
You can also take a private transfer to Medjugorje or join a guided day tour from Dubrovnik to Medjugorje. Check out the fantastic Medjugorje Pilgrimage Site Day Tour from Dubrovnik and Mostar and Medjugorje Day Trip from Dubrovnik.
4. From Sarajevo to Medjugorje
Medjugorje is about 2 hours and 40 min drive from Sarajevo. You can rent a car at Sarajevo International Airport or take a Private Transfer from Airport Sarajevo to Medjugorje.
Medjugorje Apparations started on June 24, 1981, when a lady (who later acknowledged to be the Virgin Mary) appeared to six local Catholic children on the rocky Podbrdo Hill (which is today also known as Apparition Hill) in the hamlet of Bijakovići in Medjugorje parish.
Since then, the apparitions continued and are still happening daily to three of the six visionaries, while the other three visionaries receive the visions once a year.
Scientists, authorities, and the Vatican have been investigating the Medjugorje phenomenon. However, scientists have not found any explanations for these supernatural happenings and outstanding religious experiences.
The Vatican approved official pilgrimages to Medjugorje on May 12, 2019, while it still investigates the apparations.
A short chronology of Medjugorje apparitions
Let me make a short chronology of Medjugorje apparations in order to better understand the Medjugorje phenomenon:
On June 24, 1981, six children (Ivanka Ivanković, Vicka Ivanković, Ivan Dragićević, Mirjana Dragićević, Ivan Ivanković, and Milka Pavlović) ages between 10 and 17 unexpectedly saw an unknown lady holding a child in her arms on Podbrdo hill for the first time.
However, they got frightened and fled the place,
On the next day (June 25, 1981), they returned to the site hoping to see her again. Six children came to the site again, but Marija Pavlović and Jakov Čolo came instead of Ivan Ivanković and Milka Pavlović.
That day six children (Ivanka Ivanković, Vicka Ivanković, Ivan Dragićević, Mirjana Dragićević, Marija Pavlović, and Jakov Čolo) saw the lady again. The lady did not hold the child in her arms that day. However, the kids kneeled and began to pray and started talking to her.
On June 26, 1981, the lady appeared to the kids and represented herself as the Virgin Mary.
On June 27, 1981, the Virgin Mary appeared to the kids several times.
On June 28, 1981, about 15,000 people gathered on the Apparition Hill, while the Virgin Mary appeared to the kids at the usual time. She talked to them and promised them to come to the site the next day.
On June 29, 1981, the police and public authorities took the kids to a hospital in Mostar for a medical examination, which found them healthy and sane. In the afternoon of the same day, the Virgin Mary appeared to the kids on the same site on the Apparition Hill.
On June 30, 1981, the Virgin Mary appeared to the six kids but not on the same Apparation Site of the previous days, but 1 km away from it, since the police obstructed the kids and pilgrims going to the site. Today this site is marked with the famous Blue Cross. Since that day, the Virgin Mary started appearing to the kids in various places within the parish.
The apparitions have been ongoing since then.
Three (Vicka Ivanković, Ivan Dragićević, and Marija Pavlović) of the six visionaries still receive daily apparitions.
Three of the six visionaries receive apparitions once a year. Mirjana Dragićević receives apparitions on March 18 every year, Ivanka Ivanković receives apparitions on June 25, and Jakov Čolo on December 25, Christmas Day every year.
At first, the six visionaries of Medjugorje had daily apparitions. But over time, only three of them continued receiving daily apparitions. The other three visionaries get visions only once a year.
The Our Lady of Medjugorje gave each of the visionaries a special praying mission (call). Also, the Our Lady of Medjugorje entrusted them with secrets. The secrets are said to be disclosed three days before they occur.
Vicka Ivanković – still receives the apparitions daily.
Our Lady of Medjugorje entrusted her with nine secrets. Vicka’s call is to pray for the sick. Vicka was born in 1964 in the village of Bijakovići in Medjugorje parish and was 17 years old when the apparitions started. She is the oldest of the visionaries of Medjugorje. Today Vicka is married, has one child, and lives near Medjugorje.
Ivan Dragičević – still receives the apparitions daily.
Ivan is one of those to whom the Our Lady of Medjugorje entrusted nine secrets as well. His call given by the Our Lady of Medjugorje is to pray for priests, families, and the youth of the world. He was born in 1965 in Bijakovići village. Today he is married, has four children, and lives between Medjugorje and the USA (as his wife is from Boston, US).
Marija Pavlović – still receives the apparitions daily.
Our Lady of Medjugorje entrusted her with nine secrets. Her call is to pray for souls in purgatory. Today she is married and lives with her Italian husband and their four children between Italy and Medjugorje.
Mirjana Dragičević– receives apparitions on March 18 every year.
Our Lady of Medjugorje relieved ten secrets to her (thus, she does not receive daily apparitions). Mirjana’s call is to pray for unbelievers. She was one of the six children who saw Our Lady of Medjugorje on June 24. Today Mirjana is married and lives with her husband and two kids (daughters) in Medjugorje.
Ivanka Ivanković – receives apparitions on June 25 every year.
Our Lady of Medjugorje entrusted her with ten secrets. She was the first child who saw Our Lady of Medjugorje on June 24, 1981. Her call is to pray for families. Today Ivanka is married and lives with her husband and three kids in Medjugorje.
Jakov Čolo – receives apparitions on December 25 every year.
Our Lady of Medjugorje entrusted him with ten secrets. He was ten years old when apparitions of Our Lady of Medjugorje started, and he was the youngest visionary of Medjugorje. Jakov’s call is to pray for sick people. Today Jakov is married and lives with his wife and three kids in Medjugorje.
Ivan Ivanković and Milka Pavlović – saw a lady holding a child only on June 24, 1981, but did not return to the site on June 25, 1981, and they have never seen Our Lady of Medjugorje afterward.
Things to do in Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina
1. Head to St James church
St James church is the church of Medjugorje parish. The large church in the small parish of Medjugorje was built in 1892 and was dedicated to St James the Greater.
Interestingly enough, St. James is the patron saint of pilgrims. The Medjugorje church was dedicated to St James hundreds of years before the apparitions started and which have been attracting millions of pilgrims to Medjugorje.
The church has a large outdoor altar and a prayer area with 5,000 seats. A confession area with 25 confessionals and the areas for silent prayers are on the sides of the church.
Several holy masses in different languages are held in the church daily.
2. See the statue of Our Lady of Medjugorje
A marble statue of Our Lady of Medjugorje, the Queen of Peace, stands in front of St James church. The statute welcomes the pilgrims as they approach the church.
A similar statue of the same artist (Dino Felici, an Italian sculptor) stands on the Apparition Site.
3. Make a confession
Medjugorje is popularly called the Confessional of The World.
Medjugorje is known as a place where pilgrims get moved often and seek reconciliation with God. Long lines in front of confessionals in Medjugorje occur on popular feast days.
On some feast days, such as June 25 (The anniversary of the Apparition of Our Lady of Medjugorje) and August 15 (the Annunciation Day), visitors can witness thousands and thousands of people making their confessions. There are 25 confessionals on the sides of the church. However, on some feast days when a large influx of pilgrims comes, pilgrims can witness hundreds of priests sitting on chairs around the church and listening to confessions in many languages.
4. Lit a candle in the Candle Park
The Candle Park is a silent prayer area where pilgrims lit candles and pray. The Park is next to the church.
5. Head to the Risen Christ statue
The 30-foot statue of Risen Christ stands several meters behind St. James church.
This statue is known for the liquid that miraculously drops from its right knee. The liquid is similar to human tears, and physicists have not found a scientific explanation for this phenomenon. You can often witness pilgrims taking the miraculous drops from the statue with their handkerchiefs.
6. Walk Via Domini
The Via Domini path goes behind the church in Medjugorje. The five beautiful mosaics along the route path depict the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.
Walk Via Domini and pray the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary while contemplating the life of Jesus Christ.
7. Climb the Apparition Hill
Go to the Apparition Hill, climb the hill, and head to the Apparition Site.
There are two paths to the Apparation Site.
The bas-reliefs of the Joyful and Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary are along one route path. The bronze reliefs of the Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary are along another route path, the path that starts at the Blue Cross.
You can ascend the Apparition Hill taking route one path and descend the Apparition Hill taking another route path.
A climb to the Apparition Hill takes 30 min on average. But pilgrims usually pray the Rosary on their climb up, so their climbs last longer.
Climb Apparition Hill, and pray the Rosary as you ascend to the Apparition Site.
8. See the Apparition Site
Today a white statue of the Queen of Peace stands where Our Lady of Medjugorje appeared to the kids for the first time.
The Apparition Hill is about 2 km from St James church. It takes about 30 min to climb to the Apparition Site.
Please, bear in mind that you need to wear comfortable walking shoes for climbing the Apparition Hill.
9. See the Blue Cross
The other path to the Apparition Site starts at the Blue Cross at the foot of Podbrdo Hill.
The Blue Cross marks the site where the Apparition happened on June 30, 1981 (the day when police obstructed kids going to the original Apparation Site). Also, the visionary Mirjana typically has apparitions at the Blue Cross on the 2nd day of each month.
After visiting the Apparition Site, you can descend Apparition Hill via the Blue Cross path.
10. Climb Cross Mountain and contemplate the Way of the Cross
The Mountain of the Cross, or Križevac mountain in Croatian, is a mountain that holds a monumental cross on the top.
Villagers of Medjugorje built it in 1933. The cross is 29 feet tall and weighs 16 t. It also contains a relic from the original Cross of Jesus Christ. Pope Pius XI gave the relic to the villagers of Medjugorje.
A climb to the top of Cross Mountain takes 40 min on average. The Stations of the Cross go along the path to the top of Cross Mountain. Contemplate the Way of Cross along the 14 bas-relief Stations of the Cross as you climb to the top.
11. See the spot where Fr Slavko Barbarić died
Fr Slavko Barbarić was a priest who worked with pilgrims in Medjugorje from 1982 until his death in 2000.
He has written many books about the Medjugorje phenomenon, led countless retreats, advocated the happenings in Medjugorje, and spread the message of Medjugorje by giving speeches around the world.
Fr Slavko Barbarić also led pilgrimages praying the Stations of the Cross up to Cross Mountain every Friday for many years. On Friday, November 24, 2000, on his way down Cross Mountain, he suddenly stopped, sat down, and passed away.
Today a marker stands on the spot where he died. The spot is just a few meters below the top of Cross Mountain.
12. Get a souvenir from Medjugorje
Getting souvenirs in Medjugorje might not be your first thought on your trip to Medjugorje, but to tell the truth, everyone likes bringing something to their beloved friends and family members from places like Medjugorje.
There are many souvenir shops on the main street near St. James church in Medjugorje and near the foot of the Apparition Hill.
Usually, after each Holy Mass in St. James church in Medjugorje priests bless the religious objects brought by pilgrims. So, if you wish to get your religious souvenir from Medjugorje blessed, wait for the blessing until the end of a Holy Mass in St. James church.
13. Visit Kravice Waterfalls
Kravica Waterfall (also called Kravice Waterfalls and Kravice Falls) is a gorgeous waterfall and one of the most visited natural attractions in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The waterfall is near Medjugorje. Kravica Waterfall is only 20 km south of Medjugorje. To get from Medjugorje to Kravice Waterfalls takes only 25 min by car. Therefore, it is often visited on a trip to Medjugorje.
Kravica Waterfall is 25 m high and 120 m wide. The waterfall area features a small cafe, a picnic area, and a rope swing.
If you are visiting it in summer, you can even swim and refresh yourself under the waterfalls. The water is clean, but be aware, it might be colder than expected! A ticket for visiting Kravice Waterfalls is 10 €.
14. See Počitelj
Počitelj is one of the most beautiful places in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Počitelj is a well-preserved medieval Ottoman village with ancient buildings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Počitelj is only a 25-minute drive from Medjugorje. Don’t miss out on visiting Počitelj when in Bosnia and Herzegovina! You will love it!
Authentic Medjugorje Tour – This tour will take you to the most important sites in Medjugorje. The tour lasts from 4 hours up to 8 hours. Depending on the available time, you might also visit nearby Počitelj and/or Mostar.
Day trips to Medjugorje:
Mostar and Medjugorje Small Group Tour from Split – if you are visiting Split and you wish to visit Medjugorje in Bosnia on a day trip you can do it by joining this tour. On this tour, you will visit Medjugorje and Mostar. You will see the Old City of Mostar and its famous Old Bridge and visit St James church in Medjugorje.
Mostar and Medjugorje Day Trip from Dubrovnik– This day tour from Dubrovnik will take you to Medjugorje, Mostar, and Počitelj. You will visit Medjugorje, walk the streets of the Old City of Mostar, and see mesmerizing Počitelj!
Private Tour from Sarajevo: Full-Day Trip to Medjugorje– You will have enough time to visit the popular sites in Medjugorje and climb the Apparition Hill on this full-day tour from Sarajevo to Medjugorje. You will also have a short stop in Mostar where you see the famous Old Bridge of Mostar.
Where to stay in Medjugorje
Hotel Grace – This 4-star hotel is a 2-minute walk from St James church in Medjugorje. The hotel is centrally located within walking distance of all main sites. The hotel has an excellent on-site restaurant and free parking.
The best time to visit Medjugorje
Medjugorje has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. Medjugorje is most visited from Easter (March/April) to September.
Medjugorje receives thousands of pilgrims on feast days such as June 25 (the Anniversary of Medjugorje apparitions), July 25 (the Feast of St. James, the Patron Saint of Medjugorje parish), and August 15 (the Assumption of Virgin Mary).
Medjugorje parish also hosts the famous Medjugorje Youth Festival, which happens in the first week of August every year and lasts for five days.
Medjugorje is also highly visited at Christmastime, for a New Year’s Eve Celebration, and Easter time.
What country is Medjugorje in?
Medjugorje is in Bosnia and Herzegovina.