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Thread: So I want to drive to Greece this winter....

  1. #11

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    We spent last winter in Greece. Ended up getting the boat from Italy both there and back. Between April and October one ferry line offers camping on board where you can stay inside your motorhome on the deck. We travelled outside these times and ended up paying for a pet friendly cabin. Our dogs were able to be walked on the deck but not allowed anywhere else inside - just straight from the cabin to the deck. They got to �� on the poop deck!
    We had intended to drive down through Montenegro and Albania. However as we left Croatia going into Montenegro we were told by the customs official that we should have had the rabies blood titer test. Some of these countries are high rabies risk which means the blood test should have been completed. We did not fancy having a problem getting out of Albania for it for instance, with the dog. So we ended up reversing back up and catching the ferry from Italy.
    Some of the ferry companies offer a discount if you take out membership. Free and you can do it online. It’s also free to change your booking. I was recommended a company in London to make the Greek ferry bookings. Viamare on (020) 8206 3420. They will take your membership number and apply the discount. Much easier to use them as they speak English and the websites can be quite confusing for motorhomes. Same price as booking direct.
    Staying in Greece will be a doddle for you. You can park in any carparks and pretty much anywhere, out of season. The only roads we found to be particularly bad were up in the mountains. Lots of places where you could park a few days or even weeks get your scooter out. Water really easy to find… It really is motorhome heaven.
    Lots of wild dogs. The governments stats state 1 million but it’s probably higher. They are mostly male and looking for food. We only found a couple in the centre of Athens and near Corinth that where aggressive. Initially we try to keep our dog away from them but we gave up in the end. Just to warn you… We went with one dog and came back with a second.
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  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jagmanx View Post
    They say
    "There's no business like SNOW business"..
    But as others have posted "plan" to avoid !
    Good luck !
    Thanks, I agree with you, I don't do snow, I plan to avoid inclement weather and bask in winter sunshine.
    This is my primary objective - sunshine and warm weather. (well, it must also include sex, drugs and rock & roll, where possible)

    If I was able to, I would have avoided leaving it this late in the year to exit the UK, but immovable circumstances have driven my time-lines. Now it's November and I must face whatever is between me and le soleil.

    This translates into winter weather in France, whatever it gives me will be transitory only, perhaps 5 days & nights while en-route.

    Whichever route I travel, it will require me to cross the mountains so que sera sera, the weather can change significantly but it's only going to affect me minimally (he said optimistically).

    Not sure about what to expect should I select the Adriatic route (weather wise) but I am adopting a purely flexible approach, making decisions as required..

    I'll be avoiding the route via Switzerland/Austria specifically to avoid the cold, I'm banking on a direct southerly route to Marseilles as the path of least resistance regarding the weather.

    But, who knows what lies in wait ? This is a part of any adventure.

    james
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  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clunegapyears View Post
    We spent last winter in Greece. Ended up getting the boat from Italy both there and back. Between April and October one ferry line offers camping on board where you can stay inside your motorhome on the deck. We travelled outside these times and ended up paying for a pet friendly cabin. Our dogs were able to be walked on the deck but not allowed anywhere else inside - just straight from the cabin to the deck. They got to �� on the poop deck!
    We had intended to drive down through Montenegro and Albania. However as we left Croatia going into Montenegro we were told by the customs official that we should have had the rabies blood titer test. Some of these countries are high rabies risk which means the blood test should have been completed. We did not fancy having a problem getting out of Albania for it for instance, with the dog. So we ended up reversing back up and catching the ferry from Italy.
    Some of the ferry companies offer a discount if you take out membership. Free and you can do it online. It’s also free to change your booking. I was recommended a company in London to make the Greek ferry bookings. Viamare on (020) 8206 3420. They will take your membership number and apply the discount. Much easier to use them as they speak English and the websites can be quite confusing for motorhomes. Same price as booking direct.
    Staying in Greece will be a doddle for you. You can park in any carparks and pretty much anywhere, out of season. The only roads we found to be particularly bad were up in the mountains. Lots of places where you could park a few days or even weeks get your scooter out. Water really easy to find… It really is motorhome heaven.
    Lots of wild dogs. The governments stats state 1 million but it’s probably higher. They are mostly male and looking for food. We only found a couple in the centre of Athens and near Corinth that where aggressive. Initially we try to keep our dog away from them but we gave up in the end. Just to warn you… We went with one dog and came back with a second.
    Many Thanks, splendid info.

    What is the time spent on a ferry crossing ? is it a long haul or short ? eg a couple of hours or longer ?

    Doesn't the pet passport cover the rabies issues ? my pooch has had 2 or three rabies jabs that are noted in his passport, what else do the Albanians require ?

    I'm familiar with the wild dogs issue, while in Spain up in the Sierra Nevada, packs of wild dogs would roam freely - even around the town (Orgiva), I've seen a wild dog steal a carrier bag of shopping and run off with it !, they also have stolen items left outside the camper, a single muddy boot, an empty dog bowl, anything that smells edible I guess. They are mostly infested with all manner of fleas and parasites, so I keep my pooch well away from them

    Also the feral cats, Dave the dog hates cats but he met his match on several occasions where he confronted them and they retaliated and won.
    james
    Last edited by FringeDweller; 14-11-2018 at 09:45.
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  4. #14

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    Minoan 20% off offer ...

    Quote Originally Posted by FringeDweller View Post
    Many Thanks, splendid info.

    What is the time spent on a ferry crossing ? is it a long haul or short ? eg a couple of hours or longer ?

    Doesn't the pet passport cover the rabies issues ? my pooch has had 2 or three rabies jabs that are noted in his passport, what else do the Albanians require ?

    I'm familiar with the wild dogs issue, while in Spain up in the Sierra Nevada, packs of wild dogs would roam freely - even around the town (Orgiva), I've seen a wild dog steal a carrier bag of shopping and run off with it !, they also have stolen items left outside the camper, a single muddy boot, an empty dog bowl, anything that smells edible I guess. They are mostly infested with all manner of fleas and parasites, so I keep my pooch well away from them

    Also the feral cats, Dave the dog hates cats but he met his match on several occasions where he confronted them and they retaliated and won.
    james
    Look what just pinged into my In Box
    Early Booking Offer 20% - Travel from Italy to Greece | Minoan Lines
    Grimaldi may be offering a discount too.

    We caught the ferry from Ancona to Igoumenitsa and return from Patras to Ancona. Both are overnight, approx, 12 hrs to Ig, and then the boat goes onto Patras. Food expensive ... take your own. Cabins reasonably comfy with showers.

    Pet Passport covers EU. Croatia counts as EU for Pet Scheme and Van Insurance. You'll need green cards for BIH, Montenegro and Albania. I believe you can buy the insurance at borders, but I have no aid where or how good it is. As you are off soon, this may be an issue for you as the green card has to be hand signed and posted to you ... we waited at a friend's house in Germany for ours ... it came home and my parents had to onward post it. Look at the Gov web site ... there are 3 levels of rabies ... none, controlled and high. For non EU and high, you need to have the rabies blood titer test ... samples taken after 30 days of jab. We had both dogs tested in Crete. Oscar failed as his antibodies level did not reach the high bar of the pass mark. He had another rabies jab early ... 18 months early, as we were working on the UK 3 yearly. Retested in UK recently and passed, but I will be doing the rabies jab annually from now, as this is what the rest of Europe does and i don't want either dogs' titer test to lapse.

    A lot of wild dogs in Greece have leichminois (spelling!), as well as fleas. Leich is not transferable dog to dog, only by sand fly. Neither of my dogs caught any fleas or ticks as they are both protected. I took sufficient medications from the UK for Oscar, but then bought local protection for both dogs in Greece ... the local medicines / protections may be better as they are geared up for local diseases. Fewer cats than in Italy and Spain.

    Xamper Xontact is rubbish for Greece. Park for Nite is much better. And best of all is Peejays Greece stopovers. Our blog has a page with a google map of where we stayed.

    Don't be put off by difficulties ... Greece is a fabulous country. As soon as we can (medical issues at the mo) we are heading back.
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  5. #15

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    Seen a few British vans in Greece while Iíve been there (not in our van). Sounds great.
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  6. #16

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    status today

    I've just woken up in Adinkerke, under some trees on a brisk autumn morning. Sunny & dry but chilly.

    Not helped by chronic lower back pain and a painful cough and chest infection. I struggled to get across the forecourt to pay for fuel yesterday.

    Not the best start to a winter adventure.

    Yesterday (Sunday) I travelled north from Calais on the A19 and was disappointed to see the southern lanes blocked by the French fuel protesters, driving cars at very slow speeds, with miles of traffic behind them.

    I looked up which other areas might be affected by these protests, to see that the entire country is affected, wall to wall.
    Fuel protests in France: MAP reveals locations of planned road blocks - The Local

    This has screwed up the plan for a direct route to southern France, so I'll be seeking to get to Italy via alternate routes.

    So, it looks like my best plan is to track down a peaceful place to stop for a day or so to give my body a rest while I figure out my next moves.


    watch this space, james
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  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by FringeDweller View Post
    I've just woken up in Adinkerke, under some trees on a brisk autumn morning. Sunny & dry but chilly. james
    Glad to hear your on your way sorry to hear your not enjoying best of health hope it improves soon. Are the fuel protests going to last more than a day. I don't know where you plan to cross into Italy but check if using a mountain pass as some are likely to be closed for snow by now and the Mont Blanc Tunnel is expensive €57 one way and I believe in a emissions zone now

    Just looked at google your in a good place to buy tobacco 4 shops in main rd by canal
    Last edited by witzend; 19-11-2018 at 10:20.
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  8. #18

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    Beware grease can get very cold been snowed in a couple of times brown in the Peloponnese Athens to gets the snow . 🙉🙊🙈

  9. #19

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    great Trip James, agree the cold will get too Greece.. if you could hang about in Crete you may have a nice month or two, it's about as far south as you can get. Ferry issue noted.

    I am Wel Jel.. I have long been hankering for a Greece driving trip and I will make it happen.!

    I can't add much, having driven to Croatia and through Croatia on two different trips - its all easy..

    As said, insurance after there is worth checking.

    John
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  10. #20

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    Status : 26th November, up in the Alps, it's snowing....

    What an interesting week it has been for me.

    I was stuck in Belgium Sunday to Wednesday, hardly able to stand up or hobble, a firey throat and lungs plus a head full of cold.Chronic hip & lower back pain, I considered going home.. but hey, where's the adventure in West Sussex ? so ever onward...

    The Garmin refused to load any maps and kept going into a loop, several calls to Garmin and I eventually lost my rag and smashed the poxy thing - a certain way to waste no further time on the wretched device.

    Wednesday morning I called a local cab company in Adinkerke who took me to a tech-shop where I purchased a new TomTom and we're out of the blocks and off !

    Plan A was to drive due south to Marseilles and decide on Iberia or Italy/Greece, but the yellow toerags were clogging up the entire country so Plan B evolved.

    Plan B was to head through Switzerland and into Italy, discarding the Iberia option, so onward through Belgium and Luxembourg.
    Close to the Swiss border, I looked up customs allowances and pooch passport issues and instantly decided to revert to Plan A and diverted south, headed for Marseilles.

    This is because the Swiss cigarette allowance is 1x carton of 200, I'd just bought 3 months supply (12 cartons) in Belgium and was not going to pay duty on them.

    So off we go south again, then we hit the yellow jerkoffs just north of Lyon. I've had to run the gauntlet 6 times to date, losing about half a day total of travel time.

    I sussed it out after the first delay and "friendly chat" with the protestors, leave a hi-vis jobby on the dash board and honk the horn like crazy, many thumbs up, they think I'm now on the team and cheerfully let me pass without hassle.

    I then modified plan B into Plan B2, I turned towards the Alps, and headed towards Turin.

    Which, dear reader is where I am right now, up in the Alps, in the snow in a lay-by. Very close to the Italian border just outside of a town called Leverney.

    TomTom says 2.25 hours to Turin, I assume that is mostly downhill (or rather down the mountain).

    It's black outside so I'll take a couple of snaps in the morning.

    I just filled up the LPG tanks yesterday so I'll be good for heat tonight, It's 3C outside and snow is falling and laying.

    Hoping that the roads aren't too icy between here and the foot of the Alps.

    Never a dull moment in my life... Happy Days

    james
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