TABLE OF CONTENTS
Greece. Home of the ancient gods, birthplace of the world’s most famous philosophers and the first democrats. Having heard so much about this country in Europe’s south-eastern corner from friends & other overlanders, we decided to go and have a look for ourselves. As usual we didn’t just take one, but two guides and they both proved to be invaluable:
- WOMO-Reihe: Mit dem Wohnmobil nach Griechenland (German / 6th edition / 1 February 2015 / ISBN-10: 386903016X / 19,90€)
- The Rough Guide to Greece (English / 14th edition / 1 April 2015 / ISBN-10: 1409371522 / 17,94€)
The first one was recommended to us by our friends from Dresden. To be honest, we were initially a bit sceptical due to the ‘grandparents holidaying in a caravan’ feel the book definately has. But, the more you read and actually travel with this guide, the more you come to realise that it’s authors are real overlanders (ok, 2WD – but still) and huge fans of wild camping and nature. They also don’t forget to include super useful tips like for example the closest fountain or best place to park when visiting different cities. All in all, if you can read German, don’t forget to bring this book – it’s worth every cent!
Our friends also suggested taking a ferry on the way to Greece and coming back over land. This way you start your holiday with a super relaxing 26-hour cruise through the Adriatic sea. This again, proved to be an awesome tip! We took the MINOAN LINES ferry from Triest, Italy to Igoumenitsa, Greece. You start your journey real early in the morning (around 4am), early enough to get some sleep – then enjoy a day on sea, dine, go to sleep and wake up the next morning on the north-eastern coast.
From here we followed the WOMO guide south with little side trips inland. As you can see from the locations of our camp spots though, we mostly stuck to the coast which is absolutely gorgeous and you won’t have any problems finding a fantastic campspot on a lonesome beach.
Regarding navigation, we only used the maps.me App with its open street maps – all perfect, what more can I say?
Just a few tips for your journey:
– mobile broadband service & 3G internet: pretty much everywhere you go so no worries there. Just don’t count on too many free WIFI hotspots if you go outside the main tourist season, as most restaurants and bars are closed.
– money: plenty of ATM’s where you can withdraw Euros but credit cards are widely accepted except in little (super)markets. Greece is not expensive, but it is also not the cheapest country ever, so make sure you have some Euros on you.
– green insurance card: you have got to have your green insurance card, otherwise you will find it hard to cross the Balkan border on your way home! We had to show it every single time we were checked at the borders!
– customs & goods: make sure you don’t have more alcohol and other goods on board than is allowed to import/export when leaving Greece towards the Balkan countries. We once had to clear out our whole car in order to prove that we had nothing to declare. It is not rare that Balkan custom officers inspect cars thoroughly (including European tourists) for illegally imported/exported goods. Don’t take the risk!
– people: During Greece’s financial crisis we often saw media reports about Greeks burning German flags and pictures of Angela Merkel. Therefore, we were a bit anxious as to whether we would encounter any problems, but quite the opposite happened. We didn’t have one negative experience but only met incredibly friendly, open and generous people – all over Greece! Since we travelled outside of the tourist season people did often look at us in surprise, but then were always super excited when we came to have lunch at the one open restaurant in town. It is so out of the ordinary for tourists to show up between September and May that you can be sure to be the star of any establishment you decide to stop at. Don’t be surprised to get free salads, cakes and shots before, during or after your meal. You’ll love it!
– fuel prices: When it comes to fuel prices, Greece has decent prices. Not cheap but also not terribly expensive. Surprisingly the local fuel stations (Eko, Aegan, etc.) had much higher prices than the international ones like Shell & BP. If you pass through Macedonia on your way back make sure to fuel up there: the price for diesel is significantly cheaper than anywhere else in Europe! Check the current prices by clicking here.
– bakeries: we were absolutely astonished by the amazing quality of Greek bakeries. They had the most delicious pastries (savoury & sweet) and that at an unbeatable price! Perfect for a quick and awesome lunch!