U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!

tgm
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
August 30, 2011 09:17PM
We'be just come back from Kefalonia after our 8th visit and we are now planning next years trip. Now the kids are older we are thinking about possibly driving down next year. Does anyone have any advice on routes/ferries/cost for this trip?

Many thanks in advance

Tracey
John B
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
September 06, 2011 06:55PM
Hi Mart,

Have you ever done the trip to Greece in the winter? If so, do you vary your route to avoid the Alps?

My wife and I are spending the winter in Crete and driving from Scotland in early December - returning end of February. I don't really want to bother with snow tyres etc so was thinking of a long way round via the French Riviera. Any thoughts? Do the ferries from Ancona to Igoumenitsa or Patras run in the winter?

Any info/advice would be appreciated.

John
im dana
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
October 08, 2011 10:08AM
we have plane to go to greece in next few dayd if you like call my number on 07942223066 text me or call me
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
October 24, 2011 04:48PM
Hi,

Please can anyone provide me with a very simple route back to UK from Rhodes. I plan on driving back next Tuesday (1st Nov), i have googled so many different routes now and feel totally confused although im told via Venice is the best way to go.

Your help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks

Leisa
Halkidiki_Lover
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
October 25, 2011 09:36PM
We have been going this way for years.

You have to get a ferry from Igoumenitsa (Greece) to Ancona (Italy) OR Patras to Venice (longer and more expensive sea journey)

Don't even think about going anywhere overland near the Balkans
MAY
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
November 04, 2011 03:07AM
Hi Halkidiki Lover,
We are planning to go to Halkidiki next may for a wedding . Would very much appreciate details of route. Also we would like to take our schnauzer. Any info on dog travel?
May
Halkidiki_Lover
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
November 07, 2011 12:10PM
Quote
MAY
Hi Halkidiki Lover,
We are planning to go to Halkidiki next may for a wedding . Would very much appreciate details of route. Also we would like to take our schnauzer. Any info on dog travel?
May


Hi May

We always travel with our dog and she stays with us all of the time.

We don't go mad and drive overnight, we like to do it in stages, it's part of the experience. We have made this trip many times back and forward from the UK to Halkidiki and think this route is the best one to follow. It's mainly motorway so it helps on journey time. We like to do around 350 miles a day (easy to do on the motorway)

Our journey takes us through France, Switzerland, Italy and then by car ferry to Greece. A total of around 1952Km (not counting the UK roads or sea kilometres)

Day 1 England, France.

Takes us from the Midlands to Folkstone where we take the Channel Tunnel to Calais and take the A26 heading south east. We overnight in the town of Arras at the Holiday Inn Express (all of the hotels en-route allow dogs in the room)

Day 2 France.

We continue south east on the A26 to Reims where the road swings eastward and becomes the A4 to our next overnight stop in Stratsbourg. Here we stay at the Monopole Metropole Hotel in the centre of town.

Day 3 France, Switzerland, Italy

We continue on the A4 south to Basel which is a town on the French, Swiss, German border. Here we cross into Switzerland (take care to stick to the speed limit when in Switzerland, the fines are astronomical and have to be paid on the spot). We take the E35 south to Chiasso where we cross the border into Italy. Following the E35 south we skirt around Milan and on to our next overnight stop at Parma where we again stay at the Holiday Inn Express.

Day 4 Italy

We head south east following the E35, E45, E55 to Ancona and take Superfast Ferry's (as far as we know Superfast are the only ferry company that allow dogs in cabin) for the overnight crossing to Greece. On the ferry you can pay extra to have the dog in the cabin with you or she/he can go in a smelly kennel on the deck.

Day 5 Greece

We head north east on the brand new high speed E90 road towards Thessaloniki where you skirt the city on the ring road to pick up the road to the Halkidiki region and the Kassandra peninsula.

A word on roads:

France. Mostly dual carriageway toll roads. In my opinion these are the nicest roads in France, very well maintained with frequent rest/toilet stops and service areas. Ok you have to pay but in my opinion it's worth it.

Switzerland. A single charge for driving on the Swiss motorway system is made when you cross the border from France. You put a sticker in the windscreen, this lasts for one year. REMEMBER do not break the Swiss road speed limit. While driving through Switzerland you pass through some amazing scenery and mountain tunnels the longest being the 16.9Km Gotthard tunnel (if you are claustrophobic close your eyes here LOL)

Italy. Again motorway toll roads but not as expensive as France. The driving standards will now begin to deteriorate the further east you go.

Greece. The new road from Igoumenitas to Thessaloniki is now a two hour breeze rather than the six hour mountain pass road that we used to go on. You have to pay a couple of small tolls along the way if the Greeks can be bothered to open the toll booths. The road from Thessaloniki to Kassandra can be very busy at the weekend.

Links

Calais to Ancona

Igoumenitsa to Halkidiki

Holiday Inn Express Arras

Monopole Metropole Hotel Strasbourg

Holiday Inn Express Parma

Superfast Ferries

Info on the Gottard Tunnel

Eurotunnel

In my opinion it is unwise to try to bypass the ferry leg (ancona to Igoumenitsa) by going overland via the Balkan countries. We have heard many horror stories about police, customs officials ETC. while passing through these countries, It's not worth the risk.

I hope this is of some use. If you would like further information or help with travelling with your dog you can email me at:

laceon at gmail dot com
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
December 10, 2011 03:02PM
If I had gone to all that trouble to give advice on travel like Halkidiki Lover, I would have expected an acknowledgement at least!
Susan
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
February 11, 2012 06:09PM
Susan have you found anyone that will share in Greece with you? I ahve not being in Volos for years, my son and I wish to get off England, but we cannot think of how and where as yet?? Maybe you have ideas. How is life with you in Greece presently any way??? Mary
robert
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
February 17, 2012 08:31PM
Hi

Can anyone tell me the cheapest way to drive to venice from dunkirk we are traveling with a caravan and only want to stop for one night onroute
we are getting the 1400 ferry from venice to corfu the date we are going is end of july if this makes a differance with traffic

hope someone can help me

many thanks

robert
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
February 22, 2012 12:37PM
Having done the trip several times I`ll tell you my preferred route, Motorway for the majority of the drive :-Dunkirk-Lille-Charleroi-Luxembourg-Saarbruken-Karlsruhe-Stuttgart-Munich-Innsbruck (Brenner Pass)-Bolzano-Trento-Verona-Padova-Venice but, I have to say that you are being a little optimistic in only wanting to stop for one night, I did it stopping overnight in Luxembourg and Innsbruck and I was doing 80-90 MPH in a car, without a caravan your max speed will be 50-60 and will thus take at least a third more time !! Enjoy !!
Kay Cant
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
March 22, 2012 12:10AM
Hi
We are planning to take our small campervan to Halkidiki in July and were thinking about driving through old Yugoslavia. However, now thinking about Italy and wondered if you could send details of your route. We would like to visit the lakes and see Venice on route. Any advice would be appreciated.
Many thanks.
Kay
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
March 22, 2012 05:16PM
See the comment directly above yours, it will save me typing it all again !!
Kay
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
March 25, 2012 03:17PM
Thanks for replying. We are getting various routes on the route finders and as we are novices at this want the best one to follow. Do you drive in the summer? Unfortunately we will be travelling there in July and back in August so imagine it will be busy.
Kay
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
March 25, 2012 06:11PM
The only difference is how crowded the ferry will be. There are two options you can drive from Igoumenitsa to Halkidiki or stay on the ferry `til Patras and drive from there..I would do the first option as it`s a brand new road and a fantastic scenic route. When you get to Pefkohori, call in at the Triton Scuba Shop and book your dives, if you`ve never done it before, I`ll teach you..Oh, and there is a good camping site between Pefkohori and Chrouso Bay..Enjoy
Halkidiki_Lover
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
March 29, 2012 03:29PM
Quote
Kay Cant
Hi
We are planning to take our small campervan to Halkidiki in July and were thinking about driving through old Yugoslavia. However, now thinking about Italy and wondered if you could send details of your route. We would like to visit the lakes and see Venice on route. Any advice would be appreciated.
Many thanks.
Kay

As you can see from my detailed route above I have done this trip many, many times over the last 20 years. The route is easy. In your case if you want to see the Italian lakes, on entering Italy (following my route) when approaching Milan you would take the A4 which takes you past Lake Iseo and the nicer Lake Garda then on to Venice for the ferry to Greece.

I would recommend you get off at Igoumenitsa as the new Egnatia Odos (modern road) is now open (again see my detailed post above)

In my opinion trying to drive through the former Yugoslavia is not a good idea. Many stories exist of the conduct of the police and officials in these states. I do, and have in the past driven extensively in Europe but I would not drive through these countries.

Also, free camping is not allowed in Halkidiki (although like other Greek laws it is rarely enforced)

Enjoy the drive it's all part of the experience.

Good luck with your trip.
Kay
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
March 30, 2012 11:24AM
Hi
Many thanks for the advice. We are looking forward to the trip and have definitely decided on the Italy route with ferry from Venice. We have been to Crouso - our daughters have booked in diving from there but I don't think we will be doing it! Have a good season.
Kay
Kay
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
March 30, 2012 11:31AM
Hi
Many thanks for your reply and advice.Looking forward to the trip now.
Kay
MarkMag
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
May 17, 2012 11:06PM
Hi, i'm going to drive to Greece at the beginning of September, staying in Thessaloniki then on to Halkidiki. I want to enjoy the trip at a leisurely pace but as i only have 10 days holiday I was hoping for some advice as to how long the trip will take and what the average cost of the journey would be? Grateful for any advice. Thanks. Mark
Halkidiki_Lover
Re: U.K to Greece - Car & Ferry advice needed!
May 18, 2012 01:15PM
Quote
MarkMag
Hi, i'm going to drive to Greece at the beginning of September, staying in Thessaloniki then on to Halkidiki. I want to enjoy the trip at a leisurely pace but as i only have 10 days holiday I was hoping for some advice as to how long the trip will take and what the average cost of the journey would be? Grateful for any advice. Thanks. Mark

So, you want to drive to Greece and back, have a holiday in-between and do all this in 10 days?

All the information you need is in the many detailed posts above or can be obtained using Google but for a quick breakdown:

You must decide which route to take:

Road

or

Road and sea

If you decide to go by road you will have to pass through the Balkan countries!! (see posts above)

If you go via road and sea the two options are detailed above with links to places to stay along the way and links to ferry companies from the Italian ports.

How 'leisurely' you want the journey to be is up to you but some distances are listed below:

Calis - Venice 808Miles (1300Km)
Calias - Ancona 910Miles (1464Km)
Igoumenitsa - Thessaloniki 201Miles (325Km)
Patras - Thessaloniki (243Miles (472Km)

Only you know how many miles you want to drive per day and your car's fuel consumption, also don't forget to factor in the journey from your home to the ferry port in the UK and the time spent on the ferry from Italy to Greece and the cost of both ferries plus road tolls, accommodation food ETC.

When I drive from the UK to Halkidiki I am usually staying in Greece for more than six months. This is NOT a cheap thing to do, fuel and ferry costs are rising not forgetting accommodation and food along the way. My journey time is five days one way, four days on the road and one on the ferry. This is from my home in the Midlands to the Kasandra peninsula in Halkidiki at around 350 miles per day.

Please refer to my post above which contains detailed route information and links to places to stay along the way and ferry information and remember, Google is your friend.

PS.

Remember depending on what happens in June with new Greek elections you will not be sure which currency to take with you when planing your journey.
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