Great Overland Trip to the UK

Overland driving routes and ferries
Mackie
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:08 pm
Location: Cheshire / Hersonissos

Great Overland Trip to the UK

Postby Mackie » Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:29 pm

After reading so much bad reviews and views about driving overland to the UK, we had so many concerns and we planned as much as we can for every eventuality (the Mrs was planning all kind of evacuation plans as if we were going into war).
Our concerns were totally unfounded, most of the roads were fantastic, most of the people we met were great and we got to see some fantastic places. We were so glad we did it and I am sharing this now just Incase anyone else is thinking of doing a similar route and has any concerns.
If you have the time to spend a couple of days in every country, We highly recommended it!!
Our route took us to Athens, Metaora (a must see), Thessaloniki (and a quick couple of days in Istanbul as it was just over 3 hours drive out of our way). We gone then through Bulgaria (Visited Plovdiv, Koprivshtitsa & Sofia) then Romania (visited Bran, Braşov, Viscri & Sighisoara) then to Hungary (visited Budapest & Gyor) then a great Christmas market in Vienna and on to Belgium for more Christmas markets before taking advantage of the very cheap mini cruise to Hull and a few hours more to get home.
Not had any problems what so ever and seen some fantastic places that are worth visiting.
Romania and Bulgaria took us by surprise .... some great places to visit and some great food as long as you are careful .... a great adventure worth thinking about if you have the time.
Hopefully a good Christmas with the boys and friends and then back again but through Italy on the normal route.
Cheers

Guy M
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: Kalamitsi Alexandrou

Re: Great Overland Trip to the UK

Postby Guy M » Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:11 am

Interesting. We’ve been thinking about this for several years - bit of a challenge with young daughters and school holidays. How good a car do you need? How many places did you book in advance? Any visa problems ? - may have to do it before full Brexit.

Kilkis
Posts: 9828
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Great Overland Trip to the UK

Postby Kilkis » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:41 pm

No Visa problems at the moment Guy. All the countries Mackie passed through are in the EU.

How good a car do you judge you need to set off on a 2,000 mile journey? Personally I would want something not too old and pretty reliable.

Warwick

Mackie
Posts: 94
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:08 pm
Location: Cheshire / Hersonissos

Re: Great Overland Trip to the UK

Postby Mackie » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:58 pm

Unfortunately Warwick, Turkey have changed the visa rules recently and we had to get E-Visa @€20 each but it took 5 minutes over the net. The rest was free as you have said. Visiting Istanbul was worth it !!
We booked every place two days ahead of time and cancelled a few times to change hotel and have extra / less stop. Used mixture of hotels direct or major hotel websites depending on price. You get value for money in most of those countries no matter what your budget is ....
Last edited by Mackie on Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Kilkis
Posts: 9828
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Great Overland Trip to the UK

Postby Kilkis » Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:45 pm

Mackie wrote:Unfortunately Warwick, Turkey have changed the visa rules recently and we had to get E-Visa @€20 each but it took 5 minutes over the net.


I ignored the Turkey part, Mackie, since that was just a side visit. I assumed Guy was interested in the main route from Greece to the UK and my comment was addressed to that.

Warwick

Guy M
Posts: 261
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:20 pm
Location: Kalamitsi Alexandrou

Re: Great Overland Trip to the UK

Postby Guy M » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:43 am

Yes I was thinking about the direct route, possibly avoiding Serbia which is easily done.

On the visa stuff, I guess this might be harder after Brexit and there may be more paperwork with a car.

Kilkis
Posts: 9828
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Great Overland Trip to the UK

Postby Kilkis » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:30 pm

The EU has stated that it does not intend to make UK citizens get a Visa in order to visit EU countries, which is what you are doing if you are driving through them to get back to the UK or from the UK to Greece. As far as I know this decision is independent of what the final form of Brexit is. When the electronic Schengen travel notification system is in place you will probably have to use that but that was also going to be true if we stayed in the EU since the UK is outside Schengen. It is not a Visa as such but gives Schengen countries advance notification of your travel and allows them to decide if there is any reason that you should be prevented from doing so. It should be cheap, e.g. around €7, and easy to do, i.e. it will involve completing an online form, and will last for a few years, e.g. 5. We will know the exact details once it is fully implemented so those numbers may change.

Anyone using a UK driving licence will possibly (probably? certainly?) need an IDP in order to drive anywhere in the EU. It is not yet clear if those of us with a Greek licence will need an IDP in order to drive in the UK. It is up to the UK government whether to recognise EU licences or not. IDPs are associated with the licence so can only be issued in the country where the licence was issued and only last 1 year. In the UK I believe you have to be present in person to obtain one. I'm not sure of the procedure in Greece.

You should certainly carry all vehicle documentation with you when you travel. Other than that I don't think there should be any vehicle issues for Mackie's route. If you go through FYROM and Serbia then you do need Visas. I have entered FYROM from Greece through the Lake Doirani crossing point and there you could purchase a Visa at the border. They tend to check things like VIN and Engine Number plates on the car against the figures recorded in the log book and you also have to pay to drive through a disinfectant pit to disinfect the wheels of the car. I don't think there is any real reason for this but it is another revenue earner. I don't think it can be to prevent the spread of any animal diseases because, when I crossed, apart from at the crossing point itself the border was completely open and animals were free to wander back and forwards across it. It is probably different now after the migrant crisis.

I think Mackie's route, even ignoring side trips, is a bit longer than going through Serbia.

Warwick

scooby
Posts: 1292
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 6:54 pm
Location: Agia Nr Chania

Re: Great Overland Trip to the UK

Postby scooby » Thu Dec 13, 2018 1:44 pm

Kilkis wrote:The EU has stated that it does not intend to make UK citizens get a Visa in order to visit EU countries, which is what you are doing if you are driving through them to get back to the UK or from the UK to Greece. As far as I know this decision is independent of what the final form of Brexit is. When the electronic Schengen travel notification system is in place you will probably have to use that but that was also going to be true if we stayed in the EU since the UK is outside Schengen. It is not a Visa as such but gives Schengen countries advance notification of your travel and allows them to decide if there is any reason that you should be prevented from doing so. It should be cheap, e.g. around €7, and easy to do, i.e. it will involve completing an online form, and will last for a few years, e.g. 5. We will know the exact details once it is fully implemented so those numbers may change.

Anyone using a UK driving licence will possibly (probably? certainly?) need an IDP in order to drive anywhere in the EU. It is not yet clear if those of us with a Greek licence will need an IDP in order to drive in the UK. It is up to the UK government whether to recognise EU licences or not. IDPs are associated with the licence so can only be issued in the country where the licence was issued and only last 1 year. In the UK I believe you have to be present in person to obtain one. I'm not sure of the procedure in Greece.

You should certainly carry all vehicle documentation with you when you travel. Other than that I don't think there should be any vehicle issues for Mackie's route. If you go through FYROM and Serbia then you do need Visas. I have entered FYROM from Greece through the Lake Doirani crossing point and there you could purchase a Visa at the border. They tend to check things like VIN and Engine Number plates on the car against the figures recorded in the log book and you also have to pay to drive through a disinfectant pit to disinfect the wheels of the car. I don't think there is any real reason for this but it is another revenue earner. I don't think it can be to prevent the spread of any animal diseases because, when I crossed, apart from at the crossing point itself the border was completely open and animals were free to wander back and forwards across it. It is probably different now after the migrant crisis.

I think Mackie's route, even ignoring side trips, is a bit longer than going through Serbia.

Warwick
Maybe the green card or something similar instead of international driving licence?
Men in suits will always make you pay.

Kilkis
Posts: 9828
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: Great Overland Trip to the UK

Postby Kilkis » Thu Dec 13, 2018 3:08 pm

The Green Card is proof of insurance cover. An IDP is about recognition of driving licences, or rather overcoming lack of recognition.

Warwick


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