Calling all Balkan Wanderers

Hi all. We’re working out a plan. Plan number 667. It’s a haphazard thing, our planning.

Plan 666 had us heading into Finland and getting a ferry to Sweden. The Northern Lights had made an appearance for us on a previous snowboarding foray into Finland. We’ve seen the Arctic twice, it’s fascinating, and desolate. Big. Drives didn’t appeal, and the carrot of Croatia was too close not to nibble.

Only thing is, plan 666a didn’t cover a follow on destination after Croatia. We’re currently thinking of heading to Debrovnic, then turning north through Bosnia, carrying us back intolerance the bosom of almost-EU Croatia again.

If we do this, then we’d tackle the other Balkans next Spring.

Over to you guys, can you help us out? Anyone been to Bosnia, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro or Macedonia? Any thoughts on what to see, where to stay, where to get insurance and the like?

Cheers! Jay

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7 Comments

  1. I can really recommend the Peloponnese peninsular in Greece. It is so wild and beautiful and packed full of history. you could get a ferry from Dubrovnik to Patras or go overland. We went there on our year cycle ride round Europe. The Mani peninsular (the middle of the three) is wonderful and full of old medieval painted churches and tower houses. It would be easy to wild camp here but has nice coastal campsites too. We went to Crete after here (ferry from Githeon) and spent a month there before island hopping around the Greek Islands. (something we plan to do in our camper in the future)
    Northern Greece was fantastic too (separate tour) – around Metsovo, the amazing Vikos Gorge, historic villages near the Vikos, and Ioanina. The only thing to check out would be the situation in Greece – will they run out of fuel given the current problems there.

    Not too sure about Albania. Have heard bad reports from a few years back and read a book by travel writer Dervla Murphy who went on a cycling tour there. She has cycled all over the world and Albania was the country that defeated her. She wrote an excellent book about her travels there. But that was a few years ago, things might be better now.
    We had planned to cycle down through Yugoslavia in 1993 to Greece but the war was on so it wasn’t possible. We have visited Southern Croatia recenly which we really enjoyed. Dubrovnik is amazing and the centre unchanged. The islands of Korcula and Hvar were great to visit too. The mainland up from Dubrovnik was good campervan territory too – lovely area around Ston (walled city)

    • Thanks Linda, really useful for us. We plan to get to Debrovnic, then turn north through Bosnia. If our luck holds, and our budget stretches, we’ll be back in November and will head to Greece via Italy, then north through an undetermined Balkan route. Thanks again, Jay

  2. Steer well clear of Albania. Bosnia ia reported to be definitely worth a visit, the visit to Mostar for instance, I have only heard good things.
    Montenegro beautiful, but the roads are appalling surface wise and can be narrow around the mountains, you will probably be fine, my car was the wrong car to take with big fat wheels on it. Budva is great, unspoilt, more off the beaten track, stunning buildings, cheap to eat out, good beer, and a lot of Russians!
    Serbia, I have been many times. The car/motorhome insurance rules have changed for the better since 1st January 2012, Serbia now conforms to the EU/EEA insurance directives and a green card/border insurance is no longer required. It is now down to your own insurance company if they will cover you. Border insurance late last year cost me 115€ for a month which was a rip off. The northern part of Serbia (Vojvodina) is an autonomous region and mainly Hungarian, good wine @ less than a euro a bottle, random idea – you could go through Serbia and into Romania and back up…..

    • Hi Roger, you’re a great source of info, many thanks for your help and guidance. We’re currently thinking of taking the easy route from southern Croatia up through Bosnia and back into the EU. We’ll then sort out a decent insurance company for Leg 2 starting in Oct this year (Chaucer have confirmed they won’t cover us), and then stretch ourselves a bit. I wonder how ‘bad’ some of these places are compared to Morocco – hard to tell until you’ve been and had a go I guess. Thanks again, Jay

    • Hi Wendy, nope, we’ve not come across these guys. Had a read of their blog and it’s really, really useful. Many thanks for putting us onto ’em, Jay

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