Ciro railroad: Zavala – Trebinje

by Toni Zorić


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. The 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 (0.76 m wide). It built railways primarily as strategic military facilities and they connected the southern Adriatic ports with hinterland cities and Central Europe. The railways in Herzegovina were built as part of the Southern Railway, and the first section of the railway from Metković to Mostar, 42.4 km long , was released on the market on June 13, 1885. while the railway from Gabela to Zelenika in the Bay of Kotor (Montenegro), 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 the people, connecting countries, regions, peoples and cultures. These were the railways of salvation for the peoples of these areas, they enabled them a better life and overall progress, and they left a trace of civilization in the places through which Ciro drove, roared, beat, whistled and let off steam for decades. trains pulled by a sooty steamer were called gemišteri (mixed trains), šnelcug (high-speed trains) and personal (passenger trains). The nickname Ćiro was imposed just before the abolition of narrow-gauge railways, but it remains recognizable to the people even today.

The narrow gauge railway or the narrow gauge railway Gabela – Zelenika was abolished in 1976. During its existence, the narrow-gauge railway changed five state arrangements.


The excursion starts in Zavala, more precisely at the Zavala Inn, where you can taste local cuisine or you may have already spent the night and enjoyed the charms, beauty and tranquility of waking up in Popovo polje. Next is a visit to the Vjetrenica Cave, the largest cave in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the most diverse cave in the world. It is part of the Dinaric Alps mountain range, which is known for its karst and speleological features. After visiting Vjetrenica, there is a light cycling along Popovo polje, which offers beautiful landscapes. While cycling, we will visit several Ćiro stations, namely: Ćiro station in Zavala, Ćiro station Grmljani, Ćiro station Poljice, Ćiro station Jasenica Lug, Ćiro station Hum, čiro station Uskopje, and finally Ćiro station in Trebinje where we also have a live copy of Ćiro train .
During cycling, we definitely recommend that you take a break and picnic at the Ciro station hum, because it is located in the middle of the trip and is worth a visit. On this section, expect 45 km of easy cycling from Zavala to Trebinje, with a beautiful landscape and a view of Popovo polje. It is important to mention that after the Ciro station Hum you have a separation for Dubrovnik (right) and Trebinje (left), and this time you stick to Trebinje and drive to the left. The last 5km before entering Trebinje, drive on the main highway, which is not congested, so you will not have problems while cycling, and you will still be able to relax. You will notice that the locals are quite friendly and will welcome you warmly, and most of them speak English, so foreign nationals will not have much trouble communicating.


The town of Zavala is seven kilometers away from Ravno and not far from the town is the widely known cave Vjetrenica, which has been a protected natural monument since 1952. Also, in this place there is the monastery church of the Presentation of the Mother of God and the Church of St. Peter (remains of the Catholic Church). There was a railway station in Zavala. The reception building and track area was built on a high culvert sub-wall.

When the sub-wall was built, the emperor was told in Vienna that it could not be built. He answered with the question “Can a kilo of stone, a kilo of gold? Yes. And it was built. All local, passenger and high-speed trains stopped in Zavala because of the “ferry” from the train to the sea in Slano in Croatia. It is interesting to mention that until the abolition of the railway in 1975, there was one tourist train from Dubrovnik to Zavala in the summer season in the afternoon.

After Zavala, the bicycle route leads by isohypsum along the perimeter of Popovo polje through Grmljane, Poljice, Diklići, Gojšina, Jasenica-Lug, Đedići, and reaches the former main railway junction on that part of the route, Hum station, with a large number of station buildings built of Herzegovinian hand-carved stone. From Hum, the railway separated for Trebinje and further for Bileća, for Nikšić and Podgorica in Montenegro, and towards Dubrovnik in Croatia and Herceg Novi in ​​Montenegro. The station area of ​​the Hum station was built on Bjelina dol, a place where caravan routes intersected since antiquity and the Middle Ages. The bicycle route also forks here, in one direction towards Trebinje, 17 kilometers away, and in the other direction towards Dubrovnik, which is about 20 kilometers away from Hum. In the direction of Trebinje, there is still a beautiful view of Popovo field, Trebinje forest, and numerous surrounding hills and mountains, of which Bjelašnica (Popovska) and Ostrog are dominant. Nearby on the rocks, four kilometers from Trebinje, is Tvrdoš, one of the most important monasteries of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the seat of the Herzegovinian bishop and metropolitan. The railway station in Trebinje was one of the most important on the route and was located along the river Trebišnjica. It had six tracks and blinds 7th and 8th for a merchandise and military magazine.

He owned up to 25 steam locomotives, and since 1970 also diesel-hydraulic locomotives of the 740 series. One 83 series steamer remained as a museum exhibit. By the way, Trebinje is a city with a rich cultural history. Numerous monuments from the period of the Roman Empire, the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires, as well as religious buildings, can be found today in the area of ​​the city and its surroundings.



  • Monastery Church of the Presentation of the Mother of God
  • St. Peter’s Church (remains of the Catholic Church)
  • Ciro station Gostionica Zavala
  • Cave Vjetrenica
  • Ciro stations on the route Zavala – Trebinje
  • Ciro station Hum
  • Monastery Duzi
  • Ciro station in Trebinje and Ciro train
  • The old town of Trebinje
  • Monastery Tvrdos
  • Aqua Park Trebinje



  1. MTB Bike – 15,00 €
  2. E-MTB Bike – 25,00 €


☎️ +387 63 400 260 (Viber & WhatsApp avalilable)


Although the trail mostly takes us through populated areas, on the section from Zavala to Ljubovo you drive through sparsely uninhabited areas, so we recommend that you supply yourself with a sufficient amount of water in Zavala. This is especially important on summer days. We always think that it is necessary to bring a mini tool and a tool for patching inner tires. Due to the length of the tour, it is recommended to inform family or friends about cycling plans before going for a ride.
Helmet required!





Download GPS podataka

Satelitski prikaz staze

Profil staze

Galerija fotografija