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Thread: Where to go in Greece

  1. #1
    thesanguine
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    Where to go in Greece

    I'm thinking about doing a couple of weeks in Greece this year getting the ferry across from Ancona or Brindisi. Has anybody got any tips on where to go and what to do?

  2. #2
    darren
    Guest
    Get the ferry from Venice with Minoan, it's the beez neez 57 EURO + bike and jump off at Corfu for a couple of days. Don't drive to Brindisi, the road is a dirty place for bikers IMHO. We'll gladly put you up if our place is sorted, or stop at my pals great place if not, in Lakones. Then get the ferry for 19 EURO inc pillion & bike to mainland and go on from there to Metsovo over Katara pass then to Meteora and to the East...Pilion, Macrinitsa....fantastic! Alternatively, you could do the Islands, Kefalonia etc, from Corfu.

  3. #3
    yup - i went from venice to igoumenitsa, and then rode up over the Katara Pass and staying at Meteora for a few days, whilst exploring north into the Pindos mountains. V. v. beautiful and remote - great roads. I stayed in a mad little place called Monodendri, again beautiful and remote, and near to the Zagoria gorge which is well worth a gander. be sure to fill up with gas at every opportunity up there though, i ran out of petrol on a firetrack, miles away from anywhere, and had syphon petrol from 2 german guys on off-roaders to get home! embarrassing, but good fun ;-)

    pr0ne

  4. #4
    thesanguine
    Guest

    Cheers Guys

    My map's not great. I can find Metiora but beyond that I'm lost. Where is a good place for a few days in the sun? We were thinking about going to Halkidiki....are there better places? Any decent campsites?

  5. #5
    darren
    Guest
    Lots of campsites around, but they tend to be not much cheaper than a reasonable room as they often charge for the vehicle too...honest! However, there are good facilities usually and there is a good one around Meteora which we stayed at last year. Can't remember the cost but lots of info on the web.

    Pindos mountains are next on my list as we ran out of time in October.

  6. #6
    darren
    Guest
    Re: Maps

    The only maps worth buying are the ones by Road Editions and are available at Waterstones and Borders etc. or a bit cheaper on the ferry from Italy (That is on the Minoan one from Venice anyway).

  7. #7
    thesanguine
    Guest

    Cheers Darren

    Is there anywhere you could recommend to use as a base? Somewhere with decent riding, a beach and a reasonable nightlife but not like being in Clacton?

  8. #8
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    I rode through Greece last summer and can throroughly recommend it. The roads are great. not as U-turny as the Alps, but virtually no traffic off the main routes.

    I went from Ancona to Igoumenitsa on the overnight ferry. You can "camp" on the deck really cheaply, but its worth getting the cabin if you can afford it.

    From Igou, I rode straight across the country, then up to THessalonika and then straight to the border along the coast road. Its a good coast, and I stopped off on the way back. Very local, and very few tourists if that's your thing. Its about a days hard ride from one side to the other.

    On the way back, I went from Thessalonika to Ioannina via the northern route. This took me through some excellent roads along mountain valleys, past dams, across landslides etc. From Ioanina to Igou, I followed my nose cross country and found new roads that had been laid by the military to facilitate easy access for Border patrols, but absolutely no traffic at all - well worth a day's exploration!

    I've got a pretty good map at home, but finding something that is really up to date just isn't going to happen!

    Send me an email if you want to know more about routes etc.
    ------------
    L (also known as -L-)

  9. #9
    thesanguine
    Guest

    Cheers Ellis

    If we decide to go I'll get in touch nearer the time.

    Which border did you go to Bulgaria or Turkey? Did you cross?

  10. #10
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    Turkey. Ended up in Istanbul - took 2 and a half days.
    ------------
    L (also known as -L-)

  11. #11
    thesanguine
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    was it "interesting" getting from Greece into Turkey?

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by darren
    Get the ferry from Venice with Minoan, it's the beez neez 57 EURO + bike
    Phuque me that seems cheap.... sleep on deck/chairs? Is there a www page?

  13. #13
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    Greece/Turkey crossing is actually really easy. The soldiors wave you through on the bike past the queues of traffic! It took me about an hour and a half to get through, but I think I'd do it in less than half an hour next time.

    There are about 5 booths to go through. The first is for stamping your personal visa, the next is for the vehicle, the next is for insurance or something, the next for customs and the last to make sure you have everything!

    I thought I'd be clever and rode right through to the last one! They of course sent be back one, who then sent me back one more, who sent me back one more.. you get the gist!

    So next time, I'd ride through, park up the bike, get a visa, then walk from one booth to the next, getting the requisite stamps and papers. It costs about 20 euros from memory.

    The exit from Turkey took about 20 seconds.

    By the way, the rode from Xanthia to the border is a brand new dual carriageway, on which I literally saw about 4 cars - perfect for a haybusa.!! Built by EU money byt the way!
    ------------
    L (also known as -L-)

  14. #14
    darren
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    Invicta Moto: Website is http://www.minoan.gr

    TIP: Depending when you travel i.e. NOT peak season like July/Aug book a deck pass 57€ + bike or a reclining seat if your a chicken (Read on).. Then after 1hr from departure port (only done this from Venice - but worked twice) go to information desk and ask to upgrade to a cabin and 'negotiate' a price. We saved a fortune and were well pleased. The downside is...If cabins are fully booked, you're stuffed! But, as they sail daily most of the year and there are many other ferry companies on this route, it's unlikely except in peak season. Hope this helps?

    Other ferry companies are Fast Ferries, Blue Star, Anek, Ventouris, MyWay and Fragline (Sailing from various Italian ports to Greece). Minoan are the best by far and have ferries like cruise ships IMO. For other ferry info try http://www.greece-ferries.com/

  15. #15
    Pipe & Slippers
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    It's worth heading into Turkey if you have the time. Istanbul is a great city with good quality but cheap food and accommodation, very friendly people, lots to see and good nightlife in the restaurants and street cafes. The mixture of european and asian influences gives it a unique atmosphere. There's even a BMW bike dealer if you have problems (the police ride Beemers there).
    We made the trip in 2001 on our way to India and got the ferry from Venice to Igoumenitsa (takes 19 hours) and it was excellent. About £100 for two bikes and the food on board is very good and reasonably priced, makes you realise how badly we get ripped off on the cross channel ferries. Much better than riding all the way down to Brindisi if you want a reasonable amount of time in Greece.
    The road east from Igoumenitsa is great fun, full of switchbacks and the views are great. You can easily make Meteora in a day and it's well worth a visit.
    If you decide to head for Istanbul, Amouthena is a nice place to stop off and it's only an hour or two from the border. As Ellis said, the border crossing can be a bit of a run around, but they will point you in the right direction and it only takes an hour or so. Then it's a quick blast to Istanbul to enjoy a cheeky kebab and soak up the atmosphere.
    Plenty of pics of Istanbul (and a few of Meteora) on our web site if you're interested. Drop me a line if you want more info.
    Harvey

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