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  #1  
Old 5 Jul 2007
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Italy - Turkey

So every time I tell someone about my trip the immediate reaction that "Oh so you will go down Itally and take a ferry across to Greece."
Well no, we are actually planning on going by road all the way via Croatia, Serbia etc.

Is there a reason, which I have missed, why many prefer to take the ferry instead of the road around?

Anyway; please feel free to let me know of camping spots and other points of interest along the Adriatic route. We will be taking Lonely Planet along
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  #2  
Old 5 Jul 2007
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I think people go by ferry because it's quicker, and no other reason.

I went up to the dolomites from the South of Italy, and then along a fantastic road that runs South of the Alps. I think it's called the SS49 or the A1 depending whether you are in Italy or Austria. It's a fantastic ride through what I can only describe as 'Steve McQueen tries to escape the Nazis' country.
From the South of Austria I went through Slovenia to a fantastic place called Bled which is in the Jura Alps and extremely picturesque. From there I went East through Hungary and then South through Romania and Bulgaria. To be honest I think I'd like to try going South through Croatia etc. if I was heading that way again as I didn't really take to Romania, although Bulgaria was quite nice.
I came back at speed through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary etc. The little I saw of Serbia wasn't terribly impressive but I was only in the country two days. The big downside for me was that they made me buy a months insurance at the border, which cost forty quid or something.

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Old 5 Jul 2007
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Over the years I've done both routes a couple of times and tbh the Balkans side is a long slog if you're tight on time. It is far better scenery / riding (imho) though.
The Italian side gives you the option of taking the coastal motorway to cover some ground quickly - and you get to relax on the boat afterwards.
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Old 5 Jul 2007
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Last year we went along the Austrian/Italian Alps, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia then ferry to southern Italy, Sicily , France and home.
I'd definitely recommend the Balkans and would suggest Bosnia rather than Croatia - especially for the southern half of Croatia as that was pretty dull touristy with lots of coach parties.
If you prefer Croatia then on the stretch between the 'toe' of Bosnia and Dubrovnik follow the minor road that runs parallel to the coast road. Although you can't see the sea it's actually more interesting with varying countryside - and you get to ride through an open cast mine! Don't stray from the road as there are still mines around.
If you fancy going through Bosnia let me know and I'll recommend a couple of places.
With reference to Matt's comments: Fussen on the German/Austrian border is where they actually filmed part of The Great Escape! Agree regarding Bled although I preferred Bohinj which was quieter and has a good campsite on the lake.
Would definitely recommend taking a day out to see the Plitvice lakes in Croatia - amazing place.
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Old 5 Jul 2007
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Thanks for all the great responses.

Just to clarify, we intend sticking to the coast roads all the way from Venice around to Greece through the various countries along the Adriatic coast with occasional excursion inland for specific attractions.

Our main aim to be honest is to get across Europe asap so that out £££ can be stretched further in the Middle East and the rest of our trip. Europe...been there done that, t-shirt faded already.
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Old 6 Jul 2007
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If you prefer to get fast to the Turkey, then you could use a highway. It is all the way (almost) from Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, Nis, Sofia all the way to the Turkey. But it is boring
There is a lot to see on Balkans, so it would be best to do a trip only in Balkans, some other time.
In Montenegro, interesting things that aren't along coastline, but quite near are Ostrog monastery (you should check it out) and Njegusi (famous of cheese and ham).
where do you plan to go after Montenegro?

In turkey you should check Ayvacik, and little road that takes you to sea. To old fisherman village. There is Hotel, not expensive, with great food. Other things you will find easily, like Efes and other stuff.
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Old 11 Jul 2007
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I traveled to Montenegro - Croatia last year (from Greece). On the way there I took the route from Skopje - Serbia - Kosovo - Montenegro - Croatia. But for the return route I decided to ride north to Split and take the highway that passes through Croatia - Serbia - Skopje and back to Greece.
This is an article regarding this trip CBF1000.com - Trip to Croatia from Greece

I hope you find some useful info there.
Vlassis

I do remember that the highway was really boring, but you could keep an average of 140-150 km/h for the biggest part of the route.

The route from Podgorica (Montenegro) to Pec (Kosovo)was FANTASTIC.
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Old 12 Jul 2007
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Thanks all. I have also had a review of the other posting on HUBB.

Slovenia, Croatia, Montengro, Albanie all not a probelm straightforward to get in and out. Really lookinf forward as they all look like stunning countries. And I am pleased to see that all the warnings about how dodgey Albania is are not true.

What is the story with the 20km small section of Bosnia-Herts half way down Croatia. Is this an issue with getting through border control etc. Some sources say to enter Bosnia you need hotel booking/invite. Is this the case for that section or can you just cross this section in transit?
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Old 13 Jul 2007
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No problems at all to enter/exit Bosnia Herzegovina.
At the 20km small section of Bosnia-Herts half way down Croatia they usually do not even check you.
Occasionally they BiH custom officers check if you have insurance (otherwise you have to buy it at the border), but I never saw such a control on the 20 km section you mentioned.
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Old 14 Jul 2007
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Exclamation Hi Mermaid, Pietro and Vassilis


I was thinking/planning a trip to Dalmatia via Greece (Albania or Macedonia), Montenegro, Bosnia and Croatia.
The main purpose was Croatia and I would visit only Mostar in Bosnia.
One of my friend said it is very interesting in Bosnia. There is much to see. But I am not sure.
Still working on it and when I find an opportunity I will go for it.

What do you think about Bosnia? Does it worth to spend more time there and where to visit/what to see?

Vassilis, didn't forget to give a stop to meet you in Thsellanoki. Looking for the free time.

Regards,
Samy
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Old 14 Jul 2007
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Hi Samy,

I would definitely recommend Bosnia - it was absolutely fantastic and Sarajevo was the highlight of our trip.
There are still alot of signs of the war but the people were very friendly and the atmosphere very welcoming. The border guards were great and very pleased we were touring their country - they recommended places to see/stay!
We spent a little time in Jajce, Sarajevo and Mostar as well as stopping off in other places along the way.
When are you planning on going? We are off in a couple of days time and won't be back until the end of August - if that is not too late for your visit I can recommend some places to see/stay when we get back.
Definitely do it!!
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Old 17 Jul 2007
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Hello,
I am leaving tomorrow for 2 weeks in Lesvos island and afterwards (5-20 August) I am planning a trip through FYROM - SERBIA to Hungary - spend a few days in Budapest and off to Austria. I will be returning through Croatia (I would like to visit Bosnia too) MONTENEGRO and back through KOSOVO and FYROM to Greece. Any info regarding this trip (especially the Hungary - Austria and Bosnia part)would be useful.
Thanks

Samy if you find the time it would be nice to meet somewhere in Northern Greece.
Vlassis
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Old 17 Jul 2007
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Hi Vlassis

Hi Vlassis,

It would be grate. I am really looking forward to do that.
There is a Turkish saying: you find the horse, but can't find the field to ride; you find the field, but can't find the horse.

I have a bike, but can't find time and opportunity to do that.

In the shortest time when possible. Can't promise and tell a certain date. But hoping so. First must solve some problems.

You are in my mind. The life is so intersting nowadays,
Take care and enjoy yor rides...
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Old 17 Jul 2007
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Hi,

From Italy to Turkey... I have ridden from UK to Turkey. I have ignored the Balkans because of the time restriction. However, as soon as I have time I'll ride through Balkans. I know that there is beautiful views over there. And also, my grandmum was from there. Anyway..

On my trip I have followed the following route: UK to Italy-Venice. Take the ferry from Venice to Igumenitsa-Greece. Then from Igumenitsa to Ipsala-Turkiye. Greece worth to see. I have mostly preferred countryside roads not the motorway. Good people with good sights.

Hope you enjoy.
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