How to create a simple, relaxing weekend away for yourself

Do You Crave a Weekend Away?

a view of Mount Prenj, Rujiste
Oh, yes, that’s just what the doctor ordered

How often do you dream of a relaxing weekend just for you? Two days where you can do as little or as much as you want!

Do you wait for the perfect moment, for a bit of a break in your budget to go for pampering to a fancy hotel with an aromatherapy massage, jacuzzi, a specialized healthy menu? 

There will be no five-star pampering in this story. This is about creating an affordable, perfectly adequate, and welcomed ‘relax’ weekend. 

You see, for a very long time, my mantra has been to do what I can with what I have right now. 

And right now I have a friend with some time, a husband willing to stay home with the kids and a beautiful mountain about 30 minutes away from my home in Mostar. 

So, my friend and I took the opportunity and headed off, right after work, on a Friday.

two women at relax weekend!
Relaxing weekend, here we come!

We had one goal for the weekend – to relax. And we were going to do that by talking, walking, reading and/or journaling. We thought we would throw in meditation or even some yoga. 

It was going to be our very own relax weekend. 

Mount Rujiste

The mountain is called Rujiste, at Mount Prenj.  It is a relatively gentle uphill drive from Mostar. Rujiste’s highest peak is 1703 m. It has a small ski field on it complete with a rope tow for the winter months. But the mountain is also (if not more) popular during the spring and summer months among local folks. 

It offers myriads of (free) activities, all of which you can organize yourself and according to your own level of fitness and interest. These include hiking, biking, herb collecting, exercising, drinking cold fresh water from a natural spring, eating in the restaurant of the Snjezna kuca motel.

I love going there for some traditional around the year Bosnian bean stew (grah), which, truly, honestly, is one of the best ones I ever tasted.

There are marked hiking and biking trails towards Velež, Nevesinje, Mostar, Prenj & Lake Boracko. The trail to Bijele vode takes about 3 hours to walk, and the one to Lake Boracko about 4 hours. Rujiste is also part of the Via Dinarica White Trail hiking route.

Via Dinarica Hiking Trail on Mount Rujiste
Vi Dinarica Hiking Trail, White Trail

There is also a so-called Trail of Health (Staza zdravlja) operating  from March to November with built-in exercise equipment and various challenges, about 1100 m in length and perfect for some light exercising. And walking. 

Rujiste boasts an endemic kind of pine tree called munika only found in the central and west Balkans – in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia. 

Our Weekend 

We stayed at the Snjezna kuca motel at a room rate of 40KM per person, which included a hefty breakfast. 

On the first evening, after we had unpacked and I had excitedly chosen to sleep on top of a bunk bed, we took a short walk just to breathe in the fresh mountain air.

bunk bed in Snjezna kuca, Rujiste
How often do you get to sleep on the top bunk of a bunk bed?

They say that munika trees enhance the benefits  of breathing in the clean air  at Rujiste. 

Me among the Bosnian pine trees, munika, endemic to the Balkans

We went back to our room to a dinner of natural fruit salad that my friend had prepared just before she picked me up. It was large enough to fill all the spaces, so we weren’t hungry and after a longish chat, we read a little and went to sleep.

Deep, uninterrupted, sleep.

Day 1

On day one we woke up in time for breakfast. We were the only guests in the motel that morning (maybe because of the pandemic, we did this in June 2020) and we got to order an ala carte breakfast.

We chose pura (polenta, cornmeal, a traditional breakfast food) and pekismeti, another favorite for any time of the day.

pura and peksimeti, Bosnian traditional food
Pura and pekismeti, traditional Bosnian food

While the pura was ok, the peksimeti proved to be too much.  We had planned to go hiking after breakfast, returning around  5 or 6 pm. We even had our backpacks packed and everything. 

However, the hefty breakfast was too hefty and because it was our relaxing weekend, we decided just to go back to the room and take a small rest. 

We talked, napped and I journaled on the bunk bed.

journaling on the bunk bed
Some quiet journaling time, oh what a bliss to be able to do this uninterrupted

It was amazing not to have to answer to anyone’s needs. My phone provider didn’t have a signal (only BH Telecom currently provides a signal there) so I truly ‘detoxed’. Of course, the motel has wifi. 

Around 12 pm, we decided to start our hike. It probably wasn’t the best timing as it was pretty hot. We just followed one of the trails. We didn’t veer off the trail anywhere because we were worried about snakes (we did see a few, they run from you, but still, not a pleasant encounter)

Mount Rujiste, view
We stayed on the beaten path

We walked and rested. And admired the tiny mountain homes dotted  around the mountainside. 

tiny home at Mount Rujiste
There are many cute, tiny homes at Mount Rujiste

We encountered other people on our walk, some doing the same tuning as we did, strolling and talking, while others were collecting herbs. 

We ended our wander at a natural spring where we refilled our bottles and sat for over an hour enjoying the sun and just relaxing on the grass. 

the natural spring at Mount Rujiste
The natural spring with cold, fresh water. Refill your water bottles.

Back to our motel, exhausted but not very hungry, we had a cup of tea on the terrace before heading to our room for a  shower, some more talking, some more reading, and some more journaling. 

We had a few pieces of fruit. No dinner. A real kind of ‘detox’ after all. 

Day 2

On the second day, we woke up and were a bit smarter about choosing our breakfast. Pura and some toast. And off we wandered, but this time we took a different route. There are many to choose from. 

horses at Mount Rujiste
We saw this family of horses close to the spring

As many of the little houses are marked as “for rent” we took note of a few we liked and decided to book a weekend with our families next time. 


It really can be that simple. And yet, I felt the calming effects of it for weeks to come.

The fact that we deliberately to cut down on our food really helped make the weekend feel detoxing.

So, from the point of view of someone who doesn’t necessarily strive for adventure but just wanted a simple (and affordable) relax weekend, we got exactly what we needed.  

21 Comments

  1. A beautiful place and great weekend relaxation! I also love those small weekend escapes! They help more than people may think! 😉

    1. Author

      Absolutely! We tend to (or used to!) concentrate on planning for big vacations, while small, simple weekend getaways do wonders for our wellbeing.

  2. There’s nothing as wonderful as a weekend getaway especially to a quiet and relaxed atmosphere. Your experience sounds so fun and relaxing and I wish I could just have one of those weekend excapes myself.

  3. This looks like you had a really great time, I am so much waiting for one such great weekend gateway!!

  4. I am sad to admit but I know so little about Bosnia and Herzegovina but I have to say, I am adding a weekend adventure to explore Mount Rujiste to my Bosnia Bucket List for sure! I mean the breakfast you had alone is enough to sell me, but for the most part, I would love to hike around all those beautiful trails and explore the farms and flowers of the whole valley!

  5. Thanks for sharing! Awesome article for me, because I’m interested for travelling.

    1. Author

      Oh, I plan to do a lot of outdoor activities as well! Good luck to us 🙂

  6. How I wish to have a weekend getaway right now. But can’t at the moment as I have infant but will deffo do this once we sorted with child care. Lovely place by the way, it really looks relaxing. I’m jealous , haha.

  7. it looks so relaxing and so happy! I would enjoy spending my time there so much! lovely

  8. I do! Who knew now people appreciate going outdoor to enjoy some sun and fresh air during the pandemic. I hope you had a great time! – Knycx Journeying

  9. It’s so great you were able to get out — we need to cherish our time outdoors before winter.

  10. This place looks perfect for a peaceful weekend. I loved the pictures. You truly had fun!

  11. I love a relaxing weekend. Most of us are always go go go, which can cause burnout. Spending time in nature is proven to lower your stress levels.

  12. What a lovely weekend adventure! It’s nice to get out and enjoy nature

  13. Yes, yes, I do crave for a weekend getaway. Even more, after seeing this. It seems like a really great place.

  14. Lord knows i need this right now. Everything looks so good and peaceful. I also like the fact that it was done within budget.

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