Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > Europe

Europe Topics specific to Western and Eastern Europe, from UK to the Russian border, and south-east to Turkey.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 29 Oct 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: uk
Posts: 94
London - Istanbul. Is Bulgaria best avoided?

I've read of people having various border hassles there - or is it o'K?

I've done a France - Italy -> Ferry > N Greece route already (which is easy) so fancied a go at a relatively direct Balkan route.

I'll be driving a car.

(I've read the recent "riding in the balkans" thread - )
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 29 Oct 2010
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 1,990
Bulgaria's nice, not difficult, and no more prone to border hassles than anyplace else...in my limited experience. Besides, what's your alternative route into Turkey? An expensive and not-very-welcoming series of ferries from Athens? I tried that, and much preferred overland through Bulgaria.

Hope that helps.

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 30 Oct 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Great Yarmouth, UK
Posts: 28
The West Balkans are well worth the trip Arow if you ahven't already - if you have the time for the detour then the Croatian coastline and Montenegro are fantastic!

I'm planning my route to Istanbul next year via Serbia and Bulgaria thought it'll be a flying visit as UK>Istanbul is only a small part of our overland trip.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 30 Oct 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Istanbul
Posts: 52
I have crossed from Turkey to Bulgaria twice with a car (well next one hopefully on a bike). No hussles really. This was BEFORE Bulgari Joined to EU.

Maybe Doug who operates a camp for motorcylist has soe more informations for you. He is a traveller and quite a bit of customs he has crossed.
Riding, Fun, Adventures! | MotoSapiense

Regards
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 30 Oct 2010
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: uk
Posts: 94
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look further into it.

Quote:
markharfBesides, what's your alternative route into Turkey? An expensive and not-very-welcoming series of ferries from Athens? I tried that, and much preferred overland through Bulgaria.

Break up driving by getting overnight ferry from Venice or Ancona to Igoumenitsa (nw Greece), then it's an easy and relatively scenic drive in one day to Turkish border on the (virtually empty when we did it) new N Greece motorway. (Minoan lines threw in a free overnight cabin upgrade for nothing last May - when we booked the same day at a port ticket agent)
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 31 Oct 2010
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 1,990
Sorry, I'm confused. If you want a tour of Italy and Greece, by all means.....and I forgot that Greece extends all the way to the Turkish border via Thessalonika.

But the answer to your original question is by all means go to Bulgaria.

Mark
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 31 Oct 2010
colebatch's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London / Moscow
Posts: 1,739
Bulgaria is now EU ... so if you come via EU countries there are minimal border facilites until the Turkish border. You should face the same border issues at the Turkish border whether you come from Greece or Bulgaria.

Greece is in Schengen (Bulgaria is not) so a trip via Italy and Igoumenitsa allows you to take a completely border free ride and use the very impressive (and as yet no tolls) Via Egnatia ... a 7 billion euro motorway from Igoumenitsa all the way to the Turkish border (they have finished the motorway but not the toll booths yet).

In the last 18 months I have crossed borders from Turkey to Greece, Macedonia to Bulgaria, Bulgaria to Romania, and not had any problems at any of them.

There will always be queues of trucks at any Turkish border with the EU ... which means either Greece or Bulgaria. So you will need to just skirt around the mile long queue of trucks and get your car to the front. If you dont, and decided to sit in line behind the trucks, then bring a cut lunch or 3
__________________
__________________________________________________ ________________
"Do NOT go wherever the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail"



Sibirsky Extreme - Adventure Motorcycling Guide to Siberia and Mongolia - on Facebook

Click here for Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer

Last edited by colebatch; 31 Oct 2010 at 15:08.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 4 Nov 2010
Knight of the Holy Graal's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mantova, Italy
Posts: 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by colebatch View Post
Bulgaria is now EU ... so if you come via EU countries there are minimal border facilites until the Turkish border.

I echo Colebatch at 100%.

This summer I and my girlfriend passed thru Bulgaria twice while going and returning from the Caucasus republics (we went there by motorcycle).
It took us about 2 minutes to enter the Country each time (we are Italian citizen, so we hold EU passports).

We rode the route that passes through Serbia, but I don't think that the border formatilies are much different from Greece...
__________________
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 4 Nov 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Aussie expat in Switzerland half way RTW
Posts: 613
Inland from the Black sea Bulgaria has some of the least visit parts of all of the region. The only thing is that even though Bulgaria is part of the EU the roads aren't so crash hot. Once you're off the main roads (near the capital Sofia, or near the boarders) then there are a lot of potholes and the signage if unreliable and illegible because of the cyrillic alphabet.

We enjoyed Bulgaria, Sofia for it's ecelectic mix of people with very bizarre fashion to the small villages where no one spoke a word of English, French or Norwegian (those are our languages). Not since Asia did we feel like we had no idea where we were or where we were going. We got hopelessly lost a couple of times but it was all good fun. Just mind the bears. Aparently there are still bears in Bulgaria, not that we saw any.

Arguably with the exception of the Rila Monastery (simply amazing) the most touristy areas are Sofia and the Black sea coast. Avoiding these and you're sure to have an authentic experience.

Enjoy!
__________________
TurboCharger + Francois (our BMW R1200gs) '07
www.riding2up.net, blog.riding2up.net
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 4 Nov 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bucharest
Posts: 117
Hi I am from Romania and I can also say that crossing Bulgaria is not difficult nor dangerous if you use common sense and avoid doing things that could get you in trouble.

Last time I was there I did encountered quite a lot of Police hunting for speeding (but I was driving a well used road by foreigners).
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 4 Nov 2010
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: bellingham, WA, USA
Posts: 1,990
The Cyrillic alphabet is neither unreliable nor illegible. You just need to get used to substituting certain letters for others--Our S becomes their C, our R becomes their P, etc. Crucial words become instantly recognizable (bank, hotel), and signs for cities or attractions become less bizarre once you get over the "I can't understand anything" hurdle.

Nice country, full of interest and contradiction and difficulty--just like mine, the USA.

Mark

Edit to add: oh yeh, lots of radar speed traps. Go slow.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 4 Nov 2010
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Between London & Singapore
Posts: 156
+1 for Bulgaria

Just want to put in another good word for Bulgaria. My wife and I rode from the UK down to Istanbul as part of our RTW in May this year. We didn't have the slightest hint of a problem and found the Bulgarians to be really friendly. Certainly nothing to give a second thought to.

We missed out on Serbia as didn't have a green card and didn't really fancy paying 150 Euros each for insurance and ended up going down through Albania which we some had advised against but again, had an absolutley brilliant time and found the people to be incredibly friendly.

The only problems within Europe we've heard about from other travellers (if at all) we've bumped into since have been regarding Serbia.

Either way, Bulgaria's a great country and you've nothing to worry about.
__________________
www.motoventurers.com
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 4 Nov 2010
Knight of the Holy Graal's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mantova, Italy
Posts: 560
Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
The Cyrillic alphabet is neither unreliable nor illegible. You just need to get used to substituting certain letters for others--Our S becomes their C, our R becomes their P, etc. Crucial words become instantly recognizable (bank, hotel), and signs for cities or attractions become less bizarre once you get over the "I can't understand anything" hurdle.

Right, this is also my experience!

Once you get used to replace some letters, every word is much easier to understand.
__________________
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 5 Nov 2010
ilian's Avatar
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arow View Post
I've read of people having various border hassles there - or is it o'K?

I've done a France - Italy -> Ferry > N Greece route already (which is easy) so fancied a go at a relatively direct Balkan route.

I'll be driving a car.

(I've read the recent "riding in the balkans" thread - )
Well, I really don't have anything to add about the safety in Bulgaria. I live in Sofia and if you need any help my cell is +359 884 696 642. When do you plan on traveling? How much time do you have for BG? If you have any general idea what kind of places you want to see PM me, I'll make a quick list of places...

Best,
ilian
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 5 Nov 2010
bluewinger's Avatar
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Sleaford Lincs
Posts: 6
ok to drive

I rode from Lincolnshire to Kusadasy end of march this year the trip is in europe so no hassle i went via Rumnia Bulgaria al very good for any more info emai me on mike_scorpio@msn.com mike
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arow View Post
I've read of people having various border hassles there - or is it o'K?

I've done a France - Italy -> Ferry > N Greece route already (which is easy) so fancied a go at a relatively direct Balkan route.

I'll be driving a car.

(I've read the recent "riding in the balkans" thread - )
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
London to Istanbul MostlyHarmless Route Planning 5 29 Sep 2009 22:54
London to Istanbul (maybe...) wuming Travellers Seeking Travellers 3 27 Apr 2009 17:57
Istanbul to London Jimi-Ray Trip Transport 2 28 Aug 2008 08:48
London to Istanbul on a C90 Louis Monk Route Planning 1 20 Jun 2008 07:44
London -> Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary... phoenix Travellers Seeking Travellers 8 20 Apr 2007 09:44

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 21:57.