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Travellers' Advisories, Safety and Security on the Road Recent News, political or military events, which may affect trip plans or routes. Personal and vehicle security, tips and questions.
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Old 13 Dec 2012
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UK to Istanbul

Hi, Am looking at doing a quick trip (3-4 days both ways) to Istanbul, very limited time.....As far as travelling 'fast' through Slovenia Croatia Serbia and Bulgaria. Anyone done this route and any advice?? My limited research shows poor roads through some of these countries and lower speed limits for bikes.
Thanks for looking.

Martin
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Old 13 Dec 2012
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Apart from your time limitations I suggest that you take a look at the weather that decended recently on the Balkans.
Also for the Alps, if you are thinking of going via that mountain range.
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Old 14 Dec 2012
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Originally Posted by martinl View Post
Hi, Am looking at doing a quick trip (3-4 days both ways) to Istanbul, very limited time.....As far as travelling 'fast' through Slovenia Croatia Serbia and Bulgaria. Anyone done this route and any advice?? My limited research shows poor roads through some of these countries and lower speed limits for bikes.
Thanks for looking.

Martin
Which airline are you flying by?

If you are really planning on going by motorcycle, what are you hoping to achieve in this time frame?
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Old 15 Dec 2012
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All main routes to Istanbul are for the most part paved with very good road surfaces. This time of year travel through the Alps and Balkans will present quite a few problems on two wheels (I drove to Bulgaria by car last month and it took around 35 hours from Calais). Also winter days have a limited amount of daylight.

In the summer however, it is an excellent trip with several route variations.

Just to mention that in Bulgaria last week the snow had arrived and it was cold - I took this picture at the Motocamp in Idilevo.
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Old 16 Dec 2012
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Flying with Pan European airlines docsherlock, thanks for asking. Its an A-B ride. Get to Istanbul, find a roundabout, go round it, and head home. Not leaving until 17th March,so hopefully weather is more settled by then. Will look at routes through mountains. Cheers guys.
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Old 16 Dec 2012
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I've done this route two ways - going through the balkans ona750 elefant took a lot longer, but I wasn't pushed for time so could have gone quicker. The route is more winding and there are a lot more borders to stop at than the alternative.

In October I did UK to Istanbul in 4 days via Italy on a 45 year old bike. 1 day to Dijon, one to Modena (via Tunel de Frejus, cold round there, will be worse now), then one day down to Bari, ferry to Igoumenitsa overnight then 1 day to Istanbul. Sore arse but admitedly uncomfortable seat and mega vibrations.
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Old 17 Dec 2012
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Originally Posted by martinl View Post
Not leaving until 17th March,so hopefully weather is more settled by then. Will look at routes through mountains. Cheers guys.
Best to stay clear of the big mountains - anywhere that has a skiing area for instance - even at that time of year.
Basically, the mountains will always slow you down, even without the weather as a factor, and you just don't seem to have time on your side; that points towards the use of motorways all the way out, and back.
In my riding of the Alps, for instance, I have managed about 250 miles after a long day in the saddle. OK, there was a certain amount of sight-seeing and general gawping and taking of photos, but not all that much.
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