Greece in January (1 Viewer)

Dec 29, 2012
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We are thinking of going to Greece via Italy in January and returning March and will keep within the 90 day requirement.

Because we are not sure how long we will spend on the journey down and in Italy we are wondering if we can book ferries to Greece a day or two before travelling. I know Offagain did this recently and would be interested in her thoughts if she has the time and anyone else’s views and experiences.

I’m also interested to know if driving down through France and Italy in a 7.5m motorhome at that time of year is viable.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.
 
Oct 12, 2009
10,856
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SW London, Poland and all Europe
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We are thinking of going to Greece via Italy in January and returning March and will keep within the 90 day requirement.

Because we are not sure how long we will spend on the journey down and in Italy we are wondering if we can book ferries to Greece a day or two before travelling. I know Offagain did this recently and would be interested in her thoughts if she has the time and anyone else’s views and experiences.

I’m also interested to know if driving down through France and Italy in a 7.5m motorhome at that time of year is viable.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

My first thought is are you going for the skiing? Resorts are just north of Athens.

Second thought is why Jan-Mar and where?

I kept a boat there for 30 years and the months I did not want to be there were Jan-Mar, not only because of the weather but also everything is shut except a few cafes.

Anyway if you are determined to go my advice about ferries is to contact Dale at Viamare +44 20 8206 3420. He is 'The Man' on Greek Ferries as many MHomers testify. I was speaking to him 2 days ago about 'Camping on deck' for next summer.

'Camping on deck' is available on ANEK/Superfast and you can live in the MH with EHU. Some of the ships have fairly open decks but others you could be crammed in between lorries, but still you are at home and not having to move to a cabin. At that time of year you can probably book that if you want it. Ask Dale.

[P.S. we came back from Crete(by air) last week and the weather was breaking and the tavernas were shut or just about to shut.]
 
Nov 13, 2017
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Ok. Thoughts off the top of my head.
You can probably book the ferry a couple of days beforehand in January but be prepared not get your first choice of departure - Venice, Ancona or Bari. I don’t know if this applies in January as much as the rest of the year. We usually go Italy- Greece at the end of April and the end of August.
I try to book our first trip (end of April) when the following year’s timetables are released in December or at the latest in January. Sometimes I don’t get my first or second choice of dates even then. When I book the August crossing I need to be very flexible with dates.
We prefer the Ancona route as Bari is lots more driving (although a shorter crossing) and Venice isn’t much less driving but a longer crossing.
I recommend Anek/Superfast (same company but operate different ferries eg Bari is Superfast but you can book via Anek.)
Anek /Superfast are the only firm offering camping on board on the open deck, and if you’re booking on the website you need to scroll right to the bottom of vehicle categories and select that motor home, not the first one.
I prefer to call the number on the website and book (excellent English spoken) as it saves going back and forth through their website if, when you get to the end, there’s no room on your chosen date. Much easier through their call centre. We have booked through via mare once when we had to get back very quickly - the website wasn’t showing any availability and I couldn’t get through to Anek on the phone. He was very good.
What else?
Oh yes
Driving through France and Italy in January you’ll need snow tyres or chains. A few years ago we were going down to Ancona in March (in a different vehicle) and there was a prolonged snowstorm (which ended up closing the port and our ferry was cancelled but that’s another story). The police set up road blocks and any vehicle which didn’t have one or the other fitted was made to park up and the occupants go and get /apply chains before they were allowed to proceed.
A lot of French aires have the fresh water turned off in January to prevent freezing so you might have to hunt around a bit. Usually available on motorway services areas though.
As Geoff says, there’s often not much open in the tourist areas in January but it depends where you’re going and what your hopes/expectations are.
Northernraider may have some observations to make about this.
If I think of anything else I’ll let you know!
 
OP
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Dec 29, 2012
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Thanks Offagain and nicholsong. We are looking for somewhere warmish and a change from Spain which we have done several times. By the looks of it Greece isn’t such a good idea.
Although not completely put off, we may well go back to the drawing board.

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OP
OP
Greenway
Dec 29, 2012
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I forgot to add, camping on board ends for the winter at the end of October but I don’t know when it starts again, so you might be able to get it on your way home but not on your January crossing.
Thanks, I think it starts again in April, so would miss out on that.
 

Emmit

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Aug 14, 2009
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Thanks Offagain and nicholsong. We are looking for somewhere warmish and a change from Spain which we have done several times. By the looks of it Greece isn’t such a good idea.
Although not completely put off, we may well go back to the drawing board.
I've not tried it yet but i understand there are Funsters and others in the Motorhome community who go to Sicily in the Winter.
 
Feb 18, 2017
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Having spent time in Greece for work purposes in Jan-March, it's the one time of year I'd avoid if there was another option.
The Greeks don't do winter well.
The houses are not designed for winter and are cold and damp.
Everything is closed and shut up.

Frankly, unless you have a compelling reason to go the Greece at that time, I can think of several European mid winter destinations that would be far more interesting and pleasant.
 

Northernraider

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Jul 30, 2017
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If you are heading to the peloponnese then you may be surprised In January, 2021 I had great weather In Greece December January February. This year it was not so good but still better than UK.

But Any other part of Greece don't expect it to be very warm .


I've done the last 2 winters in Greece, last winter was the worst they had In 30 years.

This year I'm going to Spain and maroc
 
Jul 24, 2020
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Spent three winters on the south coast of Turkey at Kemer Park Marina. Eberspachers on every morning, down jackets, snow on the nearby mountains, definitely not warm.
 

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