Riding the Balkans and hopefully Turkey

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Doogle, Aug 30, 2021.

  1. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

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    I plan to ride the western Balkans, Greece and maybe Turkey in a couple weeks. I've waited till now to see if they were going to have more restrictions on travelers. I am waiting for confirmation of a rental bike in Zagreb, Croatia. If the bike deal works out I will leave here on September 13. Initially I'll rent for 3 weeks and probably extend for another 2 weeks if restrictions don't shut me down.

    My uncemented route will go Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, Greece. If I add 2 more weeks on, I'll go to Turkey. I'd really like to ride about a month in Turkey. Returning I'll probably go through Bulgaria and Serbia. Even though I'm double vaccinated with Moderna, I still need to get a PCR test within 72 hours of departure. I will need the same test before returning home also.
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  2. EZ-D

    EZ-D Davidprej Supporter

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    Following. I'm hoping to ship my bike to Europe (don't know where) in 2022 in time to ride to Croatia to meet a friend to do a sailing trip in the Adriatic Sea in May. Then ride around the areas you mention till I meet another friend to do the Tour de Mont Blanc in July -https://www.tour-du-montblanc.com/

    I'm thinking I could take the ferry (a la RTW Paul) to Iceland and ride that for the month of August then ship my bike back to the U.S. For now it's just a 'gleam in my eye' but hope to make it happen.
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  3. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

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    Not knowing all your interests or goals, but I rent bikes if less than 2 months. Shipping for a short trip is expensive. If you are going to ship to Iceland, why not go on to Europe from there? I've not ridden in Iceland yet-considered it. But what I've seen of it, I think a week would be enough for me. Of course you might be hiking some of your time.
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  4. EZ-D

    EZ-D Davidprej Supporter

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    I just assumed that renting for more than a month would be prohibitively expensive. I haven't done a lot of research, but in the U.S. it's $125 - $200/day, so 2 months = $7,500 minimum. Are there cheaper places to rent in Europe?

    And I was thinking of taking the ferry TO Iceland in late July or early August and ship the bike back to the U.S. from there, if possible. My sailing trip is scheduled for May, so riding in Iceland in April would be too cold, right?
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  5. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene Supporter

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    FYI it's not a ferry but a container ship - Eimskip. You'll have to fly. I shipped with them out of Portland, ME to Reykjavík. Super easy. Highly recommend.
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  6. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

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    In 2019 I rented Yamaha Tracer to ride to Nordcapp. My rental in Wroclaw,Poland was $1700 for 44 days.

    For my Balkans/Turkey trip I plan to rent from the link below.
    Lobagola isn't a straight forward rental compny. They seem to be more of a touring operation. For 21 days or more the V-Strom 1000 is 60 euro/day. Dooby has great reviews and was suggested by a couple riders I've communicated with on ADV.
    http://www.lobagola-mototours.com/services/tours-rentals-and-training/rentals.html

    In Iceland I think you will get highs in the 50's and lows around 40 in May. And maybe 10 degrees warmer in July. I don't remember what rentals were there. I'd guess expensive and fewer places that rent. What ferry would you be using and how far is it from Louisiana? Or would you be riding to St John,NL first? I assume you ride on the ferry also. Would you be tempted to stop in Greenland and ride their 100 miles of paved roads?
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  7. EZ-D

    EZ-D Davidprej Supporter

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    Thanks for the info. The plan is to fly me and my bike to Europe in May, possibly to Germany using Knoff, then take ferry at the beg. of Aug. from Denmark to Iceland, then ship bike and me back to USA.

    I'll have to do some scypherin to calculate whether renting would be better. If it's a tossup, it'd be nice to have my Vstrom 650 with me.
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  8. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

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    Always nice to have your own bike. You know it and how to repair if needed. You have it organized and packed right. I read some stories about shipping on boats where the bike wasn't delivered as expected. I did ship my bike home from Liverpool to Norfolk at the end of my RTW trip. It didn't matter if the boat was late on the return. I'd just go get it when it arrived. I'm not familiar with Knoff. Do they include crating or is that another expense and logistic you need to deal with?
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  9. VTbeemer

    VTbeemer Traveler Supporter

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    Doogle

    I am planning to hit the lower Balkans around the first of October or so. My bike has been in Palermo since the end of 2019 before all the craziness. Hoping to do a month or so in the Balkans, stash the bike till next season before heading thru Central Asia. I’m also looking forward to doing Turkey but will probably wait till next year.
    As it is this trip was almost put on hold again but it seems the restrictions are not hard at all. My sources tell me that there are many Americans traveling southern Italy as of late with no problems.

    If things work out maybe meetup for a cafe somewhere.

    Have a good trip.

    Dan


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  10. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene Supporter

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    My wife and I are in Palermo now (without bike :nah). Things have been pretty ok up until yesterday's EU recommendation to remove the US from its "safe travel" list, and things seem to be tightening up here in Sicily - the Italian health minister signed an executive order last Friday imposing mandatory mask wearing outdoors here but it's really not being enforced, yet... We're heading back to Tallinn at the end of the week with digital nomad visas through next summer, but Estonia has just been added to the CDC's 'very high' travel risk list... :becca
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  11. EZ-D

    EZ-D Davidprej Supporter

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    All I know about Knoff is what I've learned on here from fellow inmates and a review of their website. They look like the real deal.

    https://www.knopftours.com/Web-Site/Transport.html

    I have not contacted them yet. And I agree that getting the bike there when I get there is key.
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  12. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

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    Sounds like a good plan depending where we are at the time. I never have a set plan after the first day. If I like a place I will explore more. If not I just scoot on through. You will see where I am from my RR.
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  13. Doogle

    Doogle Do it while you can Supporter

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