Driving to Greece

Discussion in 'Greece Turkey' started by Mattyjwr, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    We have previously been restricted to trips no longer than 3 weeks during the summer but as exam result dates are likely to be pushed back a week for 2016, we will have a month to get to and from Greece next year.

    According to Google, it would take 33 hours to drive to Athens via Germany, Slovenia, Croatia, Albania etc. - how long has it taken you? We have driven to Croatia in the past so are happy to get down to Dubrovnik quickly but thought that we might spend a little time looking around Montenegro, Albania and / Serbia / Macedonia on the way to or from Greece. What route would you take and is it worth doing a circular route down the coast and back through Serbia or vice versa? Or would you go via Italy?

    My boys are interested in the Classics so we would probably spend more time getting to temples etc. than aiming for the best beaches. If we didn't get to Athens, what archaeological sites would you rate as the most impressive and worth visiting on the Greek mainland?
     
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  2. andrewjw

    andrewjw Funster

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    I'd definitely go via Italy...cheapish ferries from Ancona , Bari or Brindisi to Patras....although diesel is expensive in Italy.

    The main no no for me re going through Albania , Serbia etc is that no UK insurance company [to my knowledge] will give you a green card for those countries..a clue there maybe! You can buy local insurance at the border but I wonder how easy it would be to actually claim in the event of a problem.

    The most interesting site we have visited is Mystras...as with most "sites" best to arrive as soon as it opens first thing in the morning and leave before the sun and tourist buses arrive
     
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  3. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for this. This is giving us thoughts of driving there via Italy and returning along the coast through Albania etc. We bought insurance for Bosnia 7 years ago and it was pretty painless but will check out issues with buying and claiming to see if Albania and Montenegro are any worse (we didn't have make any claim in Bosnia but we didn't think to check how easy it would be - thanks for the tip).

    I have been thinking of driving either there or back via Sarajevo if we have time - it is an amazing city and Bosnia & H is a fascinating country. The boys will, however, be pleased if we went via Italy as Rome is on their "to do" list.
     
  4. andrewjw

    andrewjw Funster

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  5. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

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    Drove to Greece via Croatia, Montengro and Albania last year. Fabulous journey. Bought insurance at the Montenegro and Albanian borders - only 3rd party. Probably not worth the paper it's written on but decided not to risk not having it in case we were stopped.
     
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  6. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Thanks; we bought one last year but haven't used it yet - we have rarely used hookups but suspect that we will need it in Greece in August, at least for a fan if we can't get enough shade.
     
  7. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    How long did you take to get down there? How does Montenegro compare to Croatia? Albania, is apparently, like nothing else in Europe.
     
  8. mickymouse

    mickymouse Read Only Funster

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    Last year we drove to Greece via Croatia, Montenegro and Albania and returned via Macedonia [ Lake Ohrid], Albania [Lake Shkoder] really enjoyed the trip and we could not have been made more welcome , the return route was easier as the roads were a lot better. I cannot advise on insurance as I have Spanish insurance on my van which cover all these countries but did see others buying insurance at the border crossings.
     
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  9. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Is that a month all in including time in Greece....sorry but seems a bit ambitious and your not going to have enough time to give anywhere justice.... I did it 40 years ago and got as far as Crere but that was a four month trip.....

    I would get ferry from Italy both ways.
     
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  10. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    Yes, one month to get there and back. Next summer will be the only opportunity to do this while I have my current job. I believe that I could get to Split in two long days and was thinking of taking 4 days to get to Northern Greece through Montenegro and Albania and the same leaving Greece, via Macedonia and Serbia and home. That would leave two weeks in the middle to explore Greece minus a day or two in Bosnia. It would be hectic and only give a snapshot of the places on the journey but I may change my mind and go via Italy both ways and save a week of travelling
     
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  11. The Dude

    The Dude Funster

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    Albania is errr................. different, but the people are very friendly and the scenery, especially in the south, is stunning. Some of the roads left a lot to be desired though. We have a spreadsheet detailing our journey. If you would like a copy PM me your email address.
     
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  12. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    PM sent - thanks @The Dude . I was once paid to write a report about the environmental issues in the Med which included information on Albania - I would be intrigued to find out what it looks like on the ground.
     
  13. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    While we have a 150bhp panel van and push on and I often drive all day, we can get to med Spain with 2 overnights, italy likewise but Split in 2 days a bit of a stretch to be honest!lol your plan reminds me of the closing credits of a Benny hill show....

    Just think you would need a holiday to get over it!:)
     
  14. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    I drove from Split to the Italian lakes in around 9 hours on our return journey (I was in a bit of strop, having been fined 30Euros for not having my driving lights on at 12 noon on a bright August day) and we felt pretty good on arrival and the next day. I wouldn't want to do it often but we could do a great deal of the distance in 2 days with two of us driving and then take a slower pace from Dubrovnik onwards.
     
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  15. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    P.s. We drove this escape from Croatia in our Bongo - more comfortable etc. than our PVC but we didn't push the speed beyond 70 mph for much of the journey (we were actually about 1 hour north of Split and stopped around 30 mins south of the lakes). We will be a bit slower in the mh but am guessing that we could do 600 miles in a long day.
     
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  16. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    fair comment..2 drivers makes all the difference.:) I have yet to master the art of sleeping with one eye open with wife driving!lol
     
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  17. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    I can sleep while SWMBO drives but I am still struggling to encourage her to be gentle with her right foot and hate waking up with my teeth in the dash board because her heavy right foot has slammed on the anchors ... I tried suggesting anticipating the obstacles ahead but after she removed her heavy right foot from between my legs, I sensed that she didn't appreciate that comment.

    I am, however, grateful that I can feel very refreshed after power naps and the family are used to staying quiet etc. while I have a nap in a service station / aire.
     
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  18. Carol

    Carol Funster Life Member

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    We did it a few years ago, would visit Delfi and the near by ruins and the Corinth Canal, there are some wonderful places to visit. I have said this on Fun before others may disagree but we have been to Athens three times and I have said I would never go again, never felt so unsafe, urine in the streets smell was horrible police with guns everywhere even the Royal Park was run down and scruffy lots of graffiti. Enjoyed the rest of main land Greece.
     
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  19. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I doubt very much that it will have improved.
     
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  20. Mattyjwr

    Mattyjwr Funster Life Member

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    It looks like the trip is becoming a reality. What are the camping facilities like on the mainland? Are there many sites? Is wildcamping tolerated?
     
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