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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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Old 9 Dec 2007
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Mediterranean Challenge

hi guys,

Here i am thinking of what my next challenge would be after i come back from Australia and thailand... I am leaving on the 26th of December for 2 months in OZ and 1 month in Thai...

As always i have already started planning for future trips even before leaving home for this next trip.. my question is and i feel a bit stupid asking it but here it comes is this normal? why am i always thinking of what to do next? is travelling this addictive??

A trip i have been thinking of doing for a long time, is what i have called the Mediterranean challenge. I am from Malta ( middle of the Med just under sicily), the trip would obviously start and finish from there. the idea is to visit all or most of the countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, visiting Italy first then France, Spain, North Africa, then ??Israel, Lebanon and syria?? , turkey and into Eastern europe and back to central med... This trip intregues me because the mediterranean is surrounded by such a diverse population, yet not very big.

My concern is the area of Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. cause i heard some countries will not let you in if you have been to other countries in conflict with them, like Israel.

Also i heard many stories about Egypts border, being very bureaucratic and having to leave a huge bond (for the carnet) as big as 500% of the bike's value ?????? One good thing at least is that Maltese Citizens do not need a visa to enter Egypt.

Also what time frame will i excpect to travel this distance? since i have to take time off from my full time job? 1 month? 2 months, 3?

Any comments and thoughts appreciated here

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Old 15 Dec 2007
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C'mon someone - please answer this with something helpful!!

Last year I saw an interesting display in the Slovenian Technical Museum about a Slovenian who circumnavigated the Med in the 70's on a 50cc Honda. What a trip - and what an inspiration!

Ozzee - sorry I can't help but I hope someone will.
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Old 15 Dec 2007
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Some countries are not worth the effort??!

Agreed it would be nice to get some information from those who have been on part or all of this route, but, when I first read it I got the idea that the trip is too far into the future; what I mean is that things change in lots of these countries quite quickly - border closures, conflicts, the usual type of thing.

e.g. North Africa; there are posts in here already that state which international borders are closed at present.
Morroco>Algeria I think?
Libya requires a guide to be employed at high cost.

Egypt: similarly I have read other threads about the high cost of a carnet for transiting through there.

Yep, some Arab countries won't accept a passport with an Israeli stamp in it. (Get a duplicate is one answer).

I suggest further reading of this forum will bring out more information.
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Old 17 Dec 2007
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I did the Round the Med trip in 2002: ferry boat Genoa – Tunis, then Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Greece and back to Italy

As Italians we needed the visa in advance only for Libya and Syria. The other visa were issued at the borders.

It’s likely the Libyans pretend you to have an escort (guide + policeman) for the all time you are in the country, of course at your cost. It was not mandatory for small groups in 2002 (we were in two on one motorbike), it became mandatory for everybody later, now it’s quite uncertain, especially if you travel only along the coast. But it’s something that you should find out before asking for the visa.

The border Libya – Egypt it’s very slow and painful, it took almost the full day.

The carnet is needed in Egypt, highly recommendable in Libya and convenient in Syria. The cost itself of a carnet is few hundreds euros or less. Then you need the deposit related to the value of the bike, but you don’t need to have that amount in cash. A bank, or an insurance, guarantee is fine, and you pay just a small fraction of that amount as a fee to the bank or the insurance (of course, as long as you exit your bike from the country which requires the carnet).

Finally, to get from Egypt to Jordan it’s recommendable to take the ferry boat Nuweiba – Aqaba. In this way you avoid to cross Israel: indeed neither the Libyans nor the Syrians allow you to enter their country if you have an Israeli stamp on your passport. To ask the Israelis to stamp their visa on a separate paper (they will do it) it’s useless, since you will have anyway the exit visa from Egypt in you passport.
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Old 21 Dec 2007
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I am new to overland travel.

Of course border situations in these type of countries change a lot but one has to start planning well in advance for a trip of that sort no?
yes it seems that some countries are not worth the effort, but this is something I always dreamt of doing and I do not want to be discouraged that easily. bypassing Libya and Egypt would then make the trip much longer and will introduce other potential problematic countries (Niger, Chad, Sudan, Saudi Arabia) so this might not be such a wise choice. ??

Pietro it seems that things have changed a lot since you have done your trip. what I had originally in mind is doing the whole circumference of the mediterranean, that is go round all the med. but now I am starting to consider a trip similar to yours but going the opposite way (Malta, Tunis, Algeria, Morocco,Spain, France, Italy, Malta) taking more time to explore Tunis, Algeria and Morocco rather then the other European countries. Coming from a European country i wanted this trip to give me an experience in North african countries, to get a taste for future longer trips. But still the round the Whole Med trip is more appealling to me ! Undecided !
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Old 21 Dec 2007
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Thanks Mermaid for the Encouragement !


Mermaid Thanks for encouraging replies ! it seems that your post encouraged people to give their thoughts about my thread.

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Old 21 Dec 2007
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you really have to ask?

Originally Posted by ozzee View Post
hi guys,

why am i always thinking of what to do next? is travelling this addictive??

In one word..................... Yes!
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