driving thru the Balkans

Jan 29th, 2014, 06:40 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 76
driving thru the Balkans

My husband and I are in the very early stages of planning a vacation for Sept 2015 in the Balkans. I think we would fly from Calgary to Vienna, drive down to Athens for the return flight. We will have a month to do so. We enjoy off beaten track destinations, staying in B&B's in small cities/towns, exploring the countryside, ruins, sleepy seaside towns, cycling, walking and kayaking. We have gone on self-driving tours thru Scotland, Ireland and Switzerland. Now, would we be better financially to fly to London or Frankfurt, then on to Vienna; then reverse from Athens (and Athens is not set in stone as return city), any suggestions to EU airlines? What about driving across borders, anything to be especially aware of there? Will most car rental companies allow cross border travel? Any tips would be appreciated.
colleenbee08 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 09:05 PM
  #2  
kja
 
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As a rule, drop off fees for leaving a car in a different country than the one in which you rented in can be very high in this part of the world, and I believe some companies prohibit travel through some countries. But I could be mistaken! You'll have to check with specific companies once you decide where, exactly, you plan to go.

Did you mean to tag this thread for Croatia, and Croatia only? If not, click the yellow triangle and ask the editor to add whatever tags you think appropriate.
kja is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 10:33 PM
  #3  
 
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Most (but not all) car hire in the "core" EU prohibits cars from being taken into Serbia (and other ex-Yugoslav states, except for Croatia and Slovenia), Romania or Bulgaria, though some just charge substantial premiums. Even if a hire company permits it, some won't allow Mercedes, BMWs or Audis to be taken out of the "core" countries (or even into Hungary or Croatia).

These restrictions might be getting looser as Romania and Bulgaria normalise: they're unlikely to be loosened in the near future for the other ex-Yugoslavian countries like Serbia or Macedonia, or for Moldova, Albania or Ukraine. If you struggle at first, try a broker like Auto Europe, and make sure you've defined exactly which countries you want to visit.

Borders are straightforward. There can be queues outside the Schengen countries, and in some cases your insurance might be checked.

There's a growing tendency in Europe for individual countries to invent new, individual, trivial requirements for what safety kit needs to be carried (like spare glasses) - and where. In the Balkans, underpaid police are still likely to stop and check for these things (they make up their salaries by getting citizens to pay to avoid a charge, though some can be nervous about trying this on foreigners) .

For a full set of these rules (and of other, sometimes more serious, shakedowns), do a country by country search at http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice...eas/index.html
flanneruk is offline  
Jan 29th, 2014, 10:45 PM
  #4  
kja
 
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That's an awesome web-site, flanneruk -- thanks!
kja is offline  
Jan 30th, 2014, 06:19 AM
  #5  
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Thankyou, kja, on the tip to tag some different threads. I wanted to do that on my post but couldn't see how.
That is a very good web site, flanneruk, will check out the rules. Thx
colleenbee08 is offline  

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