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Eastern European motorhoming country guides
British Citizens can visit Albania for 90 days in a 6-month period without a visa. Albania is currently applying to become a member of the EU. According to the Foreign Office, over 80,000 British nationals visit Albania each year and most visits are trouble-free.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Albania (free wild camping)
There is one Dutch run campsite in Albania, www.camping-albania.eu, which is open all year. In addition Camping.Info lists 44 Albanian campsites. Restaurants are likely to allow motorhomes and campervans to stay overnight in their car parks in return for patronage. Credit cards are not widely accepted outside of supermarkets, banks and international hotels, so ensure you can pay for your overnight stay in cash. The Foreign Office advises to only drink bottled water and UHT milk in Albania.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Albania
Before you drive your motorhome or campervan to Albania contact the Albanian Embassy in London to check the required paperwork for entry into Albania. There is no charge for taking motorhomes or campervans into Albania, but a €2 per day charge is payable upon exiting Albania. Albanian driving can be erratic and Albania has one of the highest fatality rates in Europe from road traffic accidents. Drive your motorhome or campervan defensively and try to complete your journey in daylight. Albania roads are being improved and new motorways are being built. Expect to come across deep unmarked potholes on old roads. Albania has no national recovery service and your European motorhome or campervan recovery is unlikely to extend to Albania. The Foreign Office website warns that foreign licensed vehicles are often scrutinised by the Road Traffic Police, who may issue a fine if defects are found. LPG is available from some main route fuel stations but it is best to arrive in Albania with full gas cylinders and fill up refillable gas bottles when you see it. Fuel stations may accept Euros.
Austria is a landlocked, predominantly alpine country, making it the perfect destination for a mountain holiday. Ski Amade is one of the world’s largest ski resorts, but there is more to the mountains than snow. Walkers and mountain bikers can follow the organised trails and tired muscles can be relaxed in warm thermal waters at the end of an exhilarating day. Spa holidays are big business in Austria so keep an eye out for ‘Wellness Centres’ if you want pamper yourself. Active visitors should consider joining the UK branch of the Austrian Alpine Club for mountain rescue, contact: (www.aacuk.org.uk, Tel: 01929 556870). This club also sells 1:25,000 scale maps.
Campsites, Motorhome Stoppovers and Offsite-Parking in Austria (free wild camping)
Austria has approximately 500 campsites and 200 Motorhome Stopovers, known as wohnmobil stellplatze in Austria. Many of the campsites and stopovers are open all year. Farms and restaurants provide the majority of the Motorhome Stopovers, except the 42 stellplätze that are similar to the Aires in France. Campsites and Motorhome Stopovers located in the ski resorts are detailed in All the Aires Mountains and 198 Austrian stellplätze and camperstops are detailed in the German produced Reise Mobil Bord Atlas, both are available from Vicarious Media. The tourist office produces a fantastic leaflet called Camping and Caravanning, this has a detailed road map on one side and campsite information on the other. This also states ‘Except in Vienna and protected rural areas visitors are permitted to sleep in camping vehicles outside camping sites. But local restrictions can apply, and campers are not allowed to set up camping equipment beside their vehicle’.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Austria
Despite mountains making up over half of Austria’s landmass, it is easy to drive a motorhome or campervan around because there are no high passes to go over and good motorways crisscross the country. The tourist board produce a booklet called ‘Round Trip’ that details driving routes, includes a map and suggests places to visit.
Road tax is applicable on all Austrian motorways and expressways. Motorised vehicles, including motorhomes or campervans, with a maximum laden weight of 3500kg must display a Vignette (toll sticker) to prove the tax is paid. Vignettes are available at borders and most fuel stations. Motorcycles are charged at half rate and trailers, including caravans, are free. Dates are printed around the edge of the stickers and issuing staff will punch them to identify the start date, but this does not have to be the date of purchase. The sticker must be adhered to the inside of the windscreen either under the mirror or the top left hand side below any tinting. Get this right first time as self-destruction is built in upon removal. This is a simple system and compared to French tolls is very inexpensive. Cameras automatically check for Vignettes and police checks are made on the routes into Austria, especially during weekends, non display attracts a €120 on the spot fine.
Motorhomes or campervans exceeding 3.5t must be fitted (velcroed to the windscreen) with a ‘GO-Box’. This box records the distance travelled on taxable roads and you are charged accordingly. GO-Boxes are programmed for each individual vehicle and the Euro rating of the engine is taken into consideration. Your vehicle documents will be required or you can complete the form in advance at https://www.go-maut.at/portal/portal The 2014 price per kilometre for Category 2 (vehicles with two axles) with a Euro 3 engine was €0.208/km (excl. 20% VAT). Category 3 [vehicles with three axles (trailers behind motorhomes are free)]: was €0.2912/km (excl. 20% VAT). Motorhomes with Euro 4 and Euro 5 engines are charged less per kilometre accordingly.
Further information about driving in Austria can be found at www.austria.info Winter tyres are mandatory between November 1st and 15 April 15th. LPG is available at 20 fuel stations, visit www.fluessiggas.eu/tankstellen.php for details. Beware that Erdgas is natural gas, not LPG.
Visas must be obtained before entering Belarus. Visas are not available at the border. More information on visa requirements is available at www.mfa.gov.by/en/visa/. Travellers must register with Belarus authorities (OVIR) if you intend to stay for more than five days. If you are not staying in a hotel this is your responsibility. Tourist information is available at http://eng.belarustourism.by.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Belarus (free wild camping)
There may be campsites in Belarus in the grounds of motels/hotels. Otherwise asking hotels/restaurants if you can park in their car park in exchange for patronage is worth a try. There are no Motorhome Stopovers in Belarus.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Belarus
A fee, varying from €20-€155, is charged against each vehicle entering Belarus. Third party insurance is required in Belarus and can be purchased at the border; this may be required even if you have obtained insurance from your UK motorhome or campervan insurance provider. There is a toll to use the E30 motorway; charges range from €2-€20 depending on the vehicle. Belarus Roads are of reasonable condition, but minor roads are often poor. Avoid night driving. Comprehensive details about driving in Belarus are provided at http://www.bairc.org/engver/terms_e
Bosnia Herzegovina has applied for EU status and no visas are required for EU citizens or citizens from America or Canada. Landmines are still a risk in remote rural areas and walkers are advised to take a local guide. Tourist information can be obtained from www.bhtourism.ba
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Bosnia Herzegovina (free wild camping)
There are 25 campsites listed on the tourist board website. Some campsites are aimed at tent campers or consist of static huts. If no campsite is available it may be possible to stay in the car park of a restaurant in return for patronage.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Bosnia Herzegovina
There are no toll roads in Bosnia Herzegovina and a good map is advised as road signs in the Republic of Srpska are in Cyrillic. Motorhomes require an 80kph sticker to be fixed to the rear. Police road checks and bribes are common. Ensure your insurance provider can supply a green card. Dipped headlights should be used at all times and winter tyres are required between 15 November and 15 April, a set of snow chains should be carried at all other times.
Bulgaria is not known as a motorhome or caravan destination and the few that make it there are normally en-route elsewhere. Rather than rush through Bulgaria make time to visit the Rila monastery, drive through the Valley of the Roses and drink the local brandy, it’s very good. The Black Sea resort is steadily developing, although out of season it will be quiet and offers some informal opportunities. Skiing from a motorhome is possible in Bulgaria but is not really viable due to the extremely cold temperatures and lack of open campsites.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Bulgaria (free wild camping)
55 campsites are listed on www.campingo.com and 124 are listed on www.camping.bg Bulgarians on camping holidays normally sleep in tents or hire a wooden hut, consequentially some sites are unsuitable for motorhomes. There are no Motorhome Stopovers in Bulgaria and during winter stopping at TIR truck parking areas may be your only option, you will be charged nominal amount to park overnight. Offsite-Parking is illegal, but out of season you are unlikely to be disturbed in town squares or car parks.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Bulgaria
The main route through to Greece was vastly improved for the Athens Olympics so if determined you can drive through Bulgaria in a day. The road was not surfaced in built up areas and it is necessary to slow down because of the uneven surface. The route to Turkey is well used by truckers and in reasonable condition. On minor routes the roads are axle breaking and in really rural areas are simply mud tracks. In built up areas roads can be very narrow and power lines can be low. Expect to share the road with transportation pulled by animals. Dipped headlights are compulsory from the 1st November through to the 31st of March.
Visiting motorhomes or campervans must display a local road tax sticker (vignette) that is stuck to the windscreen. You can purchase weekly, monthly or yearly vignettes from petrol stations and border posts. LPG is widely available at fuel stations across Bulgaria.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Croatia (free wild camping)
There are 526 campsites, over 100 having 1,000 pitches or more, and most campsites are open from the beginning of April to mid October, with a few open all year. The Camping and Caravanning Guide available from the tourist office gives an overall view of what to expect and contains details of 131 large campsites and lists 365 mini camps with 30 pitches maximum. There are 17 naturist beaches and 12 naturist sites. Further naturist information is available in the tourist office publication Naturist Campsite Catalogue.
The Croatian guide to Camping and Caravanning states ‘any form of camping in free areas outside registered camping sites, or parking areas for caravans and motorised campers is forbidden and is punishable by law.’
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Croatia
The Croatian Tourist Map, available from the tourist office, on one side details tourist information the other details roads, including town maps and campsite identification. Road conditions in and around large towns are generally good. Dipped headlights must be used at all times. If you have an accident this must be reported to the police and the police can provide a certificate of damage which will be required at the border. LPG is occasionally available at fuel stations.
The Republic of Cyprus
The Republic of Cyprus occupies the southern half of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The north of the island is controlled by Turkey and a border with checkpoints is maintained. Visitors may cross the border but should appreciate that this is a complicated situation, and both sides hold strong views. The Republic of Cyprus is not a Greek island but a country in its own right. The euro is the official currency and The Republic of Cyprus a member of the EU. Vehicles drive on the left, a reminder that Cyprus was once under British control. Idyllic as Cyprus sounds it is not an ideal motorhoming country. The island is small and there are very few campsites. There is no direct ferry from Greece, or any other EU country. Ferries depart from Mersin in southern Turkey and dock at Famagusta in northern Cyprus. Summer ferries depart from Alanya, Antalya and Anamur in Turkey and dock at Kyrenia in Northern Cyprus. Ferry crossings take five hours and there is plenty of paperwork to complete before and after the crossing. Visit www.visitcyprus.com for tourist information.
The landlocked Czech Republic has been described as the crossroads of Europe and its lands bear witness to many episodes of European history. The country is rich in historic sites and offers plenty of opportunities for outside activities. Prague is renowned for being one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and visitors come all year round despite cold winters. Be aware that pick pocketing is a significant problem in Prague. Beer drinkers won’t be disappointed, as ‘Bud’ and ‘Pils’ are Czech brand names.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in the Czech Republic (free wild camping)
The Czech Republic has over 560 campsites, a downloadable and searchable campsite guide is available at www.camp.cz There are no Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking is illegal.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in the Czech Republic
Dipped headlights are compulsory during daylight hours and on the spot fines can be issued for non-compliance of this and other traffic offences.
Vehicle related accidents must be reported to the police in the following circumstances: Any person is injured or killed. When the visible damage has a greater value than CZK 100,000. If third party property or street furniture is damaged, or the road is obstructed. In any of these situations, obtain a copy of the police report, as it may be required at the border when you leave the country. Upon entry into the Czech Republic, notify Border officials of any visible damage to the exterior of your vehicle too. If your vehicle is involved in an accident and the visible damage has a lower value than CZK 100,000 and the participants can agree who is responsible, the accident must be recorded on a European Accident Statement. This statement is used to report the accident to the insurance companies.
The Czech Republic operates a similar motorway tax system to Austria. A sticker (vignette) must be displayed on motorhomers or campervans with a MAM up to 3500kg, trailers are not taxed. Vignettes valid for 10 days, one month or one year can be purchased at borders, fuel stations and post offices. Motorhomes or campervans weighing over 3500kg will be monitored by an electronic premid toll box. Visitors will have to load credit onto the premid unit. Charges are variable depending on the number of axles and the emissions category of the engine and day of the week, more information is at www.mytocz.eu
LPG is widely available in the Czech Republic.
Estonia is a low-lying country with 3,780km of coastline making it a good cycling and potentially beachside location. The capital city Tallinn has a beautifully preserved old town with plenty of places to park. Helsinki is just 80km across the water so Tallinn is a good place to catch ferry to Finland. Due to Estonia’s geographical position, it is best to visit from late spring and summer.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Estonia (free wild camping)
Estonia has 300 campsites www.tourism.ee lists 130 campsites and www.camping-estonia.ee details 18. Estonian campsites traditionally accommodated tents but increasing numbers of caravan and motorhome visitors is encouraging some campsite owners to upgrade their facilities. There are no municipally provided Motorhome Stopovers but you may be allowed to park overnight in bar and restaurant car parks. Offsite-Parking is illegal but may be tolerated.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Estonia
Dipped headlights are compulsory during daylight hours. The roads are good and the traffic is light. There are no toll roads. Estonian winters are cold enough for the Baltic Sea to freeze along its coast, which in turn becomes Europe’s longest ice road across to Rohukula and Hiiumaa islands. If you think that driving on ice sounds like fun you must have a vehicle weighing less than 2500kg. Elsewhere winter tyres are obligatory from October to April. More information about Estonian roads is available at www.mnt.ee There are a few LPG gas stations listed on www.autogaasservis.ee and 10 GPL autogas stations are listed on http://www.propaan.ee/est/autogas/19/
Greece is a year around destination that is hot and busy in summer but quiet and sleepy in winter. Few motorhomers or caravanners winter in Greece, partly because of the long drive, but mostly because it slightly colder than Spain during winter. This makes Greece the perfect place to winter if you like your own company. The Greeks are welcoming and accommodating so a winter in Greece is sure to leave you feeling warm inside.
Campsites, Motorhome Stoppovers and Offsite-Parking in Greece (free wild camping)
Greece has 314 campsites and a few are open during winter, although, not closed, is a better description for many of them. Searchable campsite lists can be found at www.camping-in-greece.gr, www.greececamping.org and www.panhellenic-camping-union.gr. There are no Motorhome Stopovers in Greece but restaurateurs’ are likely to allow overnight stays in their car parks in exchange for patronage. Offsite-Parking is illegal, the website www.gnto.gr states ‘Free camping is prohibited in Greece and in particular tent setup or caravan parking in archaeological sites, along the coast, on the outskirts of public forests, in forests and spaces for public use in general.’ Offsite-Parking will probably be tolerated away from the coast during winter due to the lack of open campsites.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Greece
Road signs are written in both Cyrillic and English and there are plenty of tourists sites clearly signed. Roads are generally good although there are few dual carriageways and only the motorways around Athens are tolled. The Greeks adopt a fatalist style of driving, thus overtaking on a blind bend is thought to be equally as good as on a straight clear road. Thankfully outside of cities the roads are very quiet. Island hopping is possible during winter but the weather conditions may prevent minor ferries from crossing, so be prepared to park in the harbour for a few days.
Hungary is a hidden European gem and the perfect place to relax stiff joints. Hungary is peppered with hot water springs and has hundreds of spa complexes many with campsites attached. Communist rulers embraced the spa culture so there are plenty of concrete structures and new money has enabled the development of state of the art wellness centres. Generally a visit to a spa is inexpensive and they are used as a social venue by the whole community who chat, play chess or have a beer in the warm water. A swim in Lake Balaton is a must do activity because it is the largest thermal lake in Europe and the second largest in the world. You access the water from a wonderful Victorian pier that sits over the thermal spring in the centre of the lake. You can swim inside the building, under it and out into the lake. Even in the depth of winter the water is as warm as a swimming pool, and conveniently there is a campsite adjacent.
Buy a copy of the Hungary Cycling Atlas, which is written in English, Hungarian and German as it contains tourist information about every town. Inside the guidebook there is a navigable road map that shows spas, campsites and cycle routes. This book is available from bookshops in Hungary and from Stanfords, www.stanfords.co.uk Tel: 020 78361321.
Campsites, Motorhome Stoppovers and Offsite-Parking in Hungary (free wild camping)
Hungarian campsites are generally good and many have thermal spas attached, often entry into the spa is included in the campsite fees. Contact the Hungarian tourist office and ask for the ‘Camping Map’ or pick one up at tourist offices in Hungary. Campsites are easy to find because they are marked on the map and the text provides information about facilities, opening dates and costs. There are no motorhome stopovers in Hungary and Offsite Parking is prohibited but don’t let this stop you visiting Hungary.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Hungary
Roads are reasonable and well signposted. Dipped headlights are compulsory during daylight hours. An electronic vignette is required for 70 per cent of the motorways in Hungary. This is a simple toll system that is bought and registered at fuel stations. Instead of a windscreen mounted toll sticker motorhomers or campervanners receive a coupon as proof of payment, which needs to be kept for one year after the expiry date. Motorway authorities check all vehicles electronically by verifying the vehicle registration number against the category of the toll paid and the validity of the e-vignette. Vignettes are available for 10 days, 1 month, or annually. In 2011 motorhomers weighing up to 3,500kg were classed as D1 and the toll charged was 2,750HUF per week (£9). Motorhomes weighing between 3,500kg and 7,500kg are classed as D2 and the toll charge was 7,750HUF (£25). Fines are high for motorists without at vignette or with the wrong vignette. Further information about the vignette and traffic restrictions in Hungary is available at www.motorway.hu LPG autogas is widely available at fuel stations across Hungary.
The tiny country of Kosovo, established in 2008, is not recognised by all European Union countries and is currently not part of the EU, though its currency is the Euro. There are no visa requirements for any national who wish to enter Kosovo, but at the Kosovo border you may be requested to provide documentation giving a reason for your entry. If you have a reason to enter Kosovo it is best not to enter or exit through Serbia. People with passports stamped with Republic of Kosovo stamps have been refused entry to Serbia.
Latvia is a small Baltic country bordering Russia and you may hear Russian spoken. The capital, Riga, is famed for its Art Nouveau architecture whereas the town of Krãslava, has Russian and Belorussian architecture. Saunas, called pirts, are very popular across the country. You may be able to warm yourself up in a sauna, but you are sure to cool down during winter as daytime temperatures average -10°C and plummet to -25°C at night. July is the warmest month and frosts start in September.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking Latvia (free wild camping)
Plenty of Latvian campsites are located alongside rivers and the Baltic coast, www.camping.lv has a list of campsites. The Baltic States Camping Map, available from tourist offices, details 42 campsites marked on a map. Latvia is still relatively undiscovered by motorhomers and currently there are no Motorhome Stopovers. Offsite-Parking is likely to be illegal but is likely to be tolerated out of season when campsites are closed.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Latvia
Latvia is a small, flat country making it good for cycling. The main roads have been improved due to EU funding, but local roads may be potholed or surfaced with gravel. Winter tyres are required on vehicles weighing up to 3,500kg from December to February. LPG autogas is available at some fuel stations.
The Baltic state charm of Lithuania has only been discovered by the most adventurous British motorhomers. Summers are mild and winters harsh. One third of the country is forested and there are over 4,000 lakes. Lithuania has the smallest coast out of its neighbours at just 90km long.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking Lithuania
There are 33 campsites listed on the tourist information website. The Baltic States Camping Map, available from tourist offices details 14 campsites marked on a map, 7 are open all year. The Campsites in Lithuania leaflet lists 22 campsites marked on a map. The Lithuanian Camp Site Association, www.camping.lt has 25 campsites on its website. National parks also have camping areas, but these are set up for tent campers. Currently there are no Motorhome Stopovers.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Lithuania (free wild camping)
Lithuania has good smooth roads, and most are hard surfaced. Their motorways are equivalent to the UK. Small lanes and country roads may be comprised of loose gravel. All drivers must use headlights at all times, and from November 1 to March 1 winter tyres are required. More information can be found at www.lra.lt. LPG autogas is available from fuel stations, listed on http://degalines.orlenlietuva.lt look under ‘Degalines’ for a list of fuel stations that should have LPG. Four tourist maps are available for Lithuania and each has driving routes and suggested places to visit.
Macedonia (Republic of)
Macedonia is not part of the EU but has applied to join. British passport holders can visit for three months without having to obtain a visa. Visitors must register with the police in the town they are staying within 24hrs of arrival, unless the campsite does it for you. The town of Ohrid, with its historic buildings and adjacent lake is a popular tourist destination. Further tourist information can be found at: www.exploringmacedonia.com.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Macedonia
There are campsites in Macedonia, with several located around Ohrid and its lake. Campsites that accept motorhomes tend to be referred to as ‘Car Camp’ or ‘Autocamp’ and Elesec Car Camp, Ljubanista Car Camp and Gradiste Car Camp are all located near Ohrid. There are no motorhome stopovers in Montenegro and Offsite-Parking is likely to be tolerated away from touristy areas and out of season.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Macedonia
The roads of Macedonia are of average standard. There are toll roads in Macedonia, tolls must be paid in cash. The Macedonian Dinar is only available in Macedonia, ATMs are available in towns. Dipped headlights are required at all times. Snow chains or winter tyres are required between 15 November and 15 March. LPG autogas is available from some fuel stations.
Montenegro is not part of the EU but its currency is the Euro. On entering Montenegro you will need to pay €10 for ecology tax and you receive a sticker for the windscreen. Third party insurance is €15 for 15 days, extra days are charged at €1 per day.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Montenegro (free wild camping)
Campsites are often described as Autocamp. www.montenegro.com lists Autocamps, including Autocamp Naluka in Morinja and Olivia Autocamp at Bar as well as detailing tourist information. 14 autocamps are listed on www.montenegro-travel.org/Camps.php. There are no motorhome stopovers in Montenegro and Offsite-Parking is likely to be tolerated away from touristy areas and out of season.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Montenegro
Roads are of an average European standard. The coast road has fantastic scenery and takes one day to drive. Dipped headlights must be used at all times. LPG autogas is increasingly available.
Poland is a slightly smaller than Germany so is a big country but has a 22 million less people than the UK. Poland’s most visited site is something that it inherited from its neighbour. Auschwitz is a few hours’ drive from Germany and from there you head to Krakow, Poland’s prettiest town, where there are four campsites to choose from. From Krakow visit the Royal Wieliczka Salt Mines. There are 350 miles of tunnels and salt statues to marvel at, visit www.kopalnia.pl for more information. Poland is best visited during summer because it is very cold and snowy during winter. Skiers and mountain enthusiast can head to Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Poland (free wild camping)
There are 500 campsites in Poland rated at 1-4, most are open May to September with few open all year. Polska Federacje Campingu i Caravanning, www.pfcc.eu lists campsites on the website and publishes ‘Polskie Campingi/Polish Campsites’ available from larger campsites or tourist information centres in larger towns. Also look out for Polska Mapa Campingow as it shows the campsites on the map and contains site details. There are no Motorhome Stopovers, although Bord Atlas lists a few farms that accept motorhomes. Offsite-Parking is not allowed in national parks or by the beach, although it may be possible in other parts of the country, it is not recommended.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Poland
The main roads are generally good, with country lanes being of varying standards. Motorways have a toll charge. There is generally a hard shoulder, which slow vehicles pull into to allow overtaking. Avoid driving at night as the hard shoulder/overtaking lane is used as a footpath by pedestrians clad in black, which can lead to scary situations. All vehicles must use headlights both night and day, always. LPG is available at some fuel stations.
Serbia is not currently in the EU but has applied to be a member. Further tourist information can be found at www.serbia.travel. You must register with the police within 24 hours of your arrival. EU citizens can visit for 90 days without a visa.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Serbia (free wild camping)
There are plenty of campsites in Serbia listed on the Camping Association of Serbia, www.camping.rs.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Serbia
Roads in Serbia are of average European standard. The Foreign Office states that a ‘particularly notorious road is the Ibarska Magistrala (linking Belgrade, via Cacak and Užice, to Montenegro)’ and advises vigilance on busy motorways, rural roads and in poor weather conditions. The motorways are toll, take a ticket when you enter the motorway and produce it when you pay at the exit of the motorway. Motorways accept both the local Dinars and Euros, foreign vehicles are charged more than local vehicles. Fines issued by police should be paid at the post office or bank, not directly to the policeman. Do not exit Serbia into Kosovo and be aware of unexploded mines close to the Kosovo border. Your green Card must be denoted SRB and drivers are required to have an International Drivers Licence. Dipped headlights are compulsory at all times. Snow chains must be carried in winter. LPG is available from some fuel stations
This small country is conveniently situated in central Europe. Winters can be cold, and the best time to visit is May and June, when it is also likely to be quiet. There is an abundance of healthy outdoor pursuits with a wealth of hiking trails for summer and skiing in the winter.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Slovakia (free wild camping)
Slovakia has approximately 175 campsites. The Slovak tourist board publishes the ‘Auto-Campings - Road Map’ which provides details and addresses for 78 auto camping sites. Addition information is provided about local facilities such as such as public transport, mechanics, swimming pools and skiing. Some campsites are said to be just 200m from a ski lift. A list of 30 campsites is available on the tourist board website. There are no Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking is not allowed.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Slovakia
Winter tyres are compulsory between 15 November and 15 March and when compacted snow or ice is on the road. If your motorhome is damaged prior to entering the country it is advisable to obtain a certificate upon entry detailing the damage. Vehicle accidents must be recorded on a European Accident Report form. The police must be called if the damage caused exceeds €4,000.
Vehicles under 3.5 tonnes must purchase a window sticker if they intend to drive on the motorways. Stickers may be purchased at border crossings and from selected filling stations and post offices for periods of one week (€ 7), one month (€14) or a calendar year (€50). Vehicles over 3.5t require an electronic toll box, which will charge by each kilometre travelled, the Kilometre rate will depend on the vehicle category, number of axels and emission class. More information can be found at www.emyto.sk.
LPG is available at many fuel stations; http://natankuj.sme.sk has a searchable LPG fuel station database.
A country the size of Wales, which offers Mediterranean beach holidays as well as extreme sports and skiing. Bled is one of the most beautiful places in Europe and an ideal place to engage in some café culture while you soak up the views.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Slovenia
There are around 50 campsites in Slovenia. The ‘Slovenija Tourist Map’ shows campsite locations on a road map, and is available free from tourist office. There are no Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking is not allowed.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Slovenia
Slovenia is 33 km across, so everything should be easily accessible. All moving vehicles must use headlights night and day. Winter tyres or snow chains are mandatory from 15 November until 15 March. If your motorhome is less than 3500kg in weight a vignette needs to be purchased and displayed before travelling on motorways or the Ljubljana ring road. Vignettes can be purchase from filling stations in Slovenia and in neighbouring countries, and cost €15 per week or €30 per month. Motorhomes over 3500kg can pay at the toll booths for each journey. LPG is available in Slovenia at fuel stations on motorways and across the country.
Romania is famed for being the home of Dracula, which is exploited exceptionally well by the tourist board. Nevertheless there is more to Romania than myths such as Black Sea beach resorts, the famous river Danube, not to mention 25 UNESCO world heritage sites which include pained monasteries and wooden churches. Romania can be very cold during winter and the skiing is limited thus spring and summer are the best times to visit.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Romania (free wild camping)
There are 69 campsites listed on the Romanian tourist board publication, Romania - Motels and Campings Map.
There are no Motorhome Stopovers in Romania and during winter stopping at TIR truck parking areas may be your only option. You will be charged a nominal amount to park overnight, and there is often a shop, shower and restaurant onsite.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Romania
Romania main roads are generally in reasonable condition, especially the main truck routes. Despite this speed should be used with caution as the roads can have unexpected ripples or potholes. In built up areas the roads can be very narrow and power lines can be low. Transportation pulled by animals is not uncommon. Village roads and non-main routes may not be surfaced with tarmac. Sign posting is not always clear, or existent, thus conscientious navigation is required.
Upon entry into Romania you will have to purchase a road tax ‘sticker’ for your motorhome or campervan known as Rovinieta. Registration can be done at border crossing points, fuel stations and post offices , but you may not get a sticker so keep your receipt as proof of purchase. Failing to purchase Ronvinieta could result in a maximum €4000 fine. The cost depends on the vehicle emissions category and can be valid for 1 week, 1 month or 1 year. You will need proof of insurance and the vehicle registration document when purchasing the Rovinieta.
Dipped headlights are obligatory during daylight hours. LPG is widely available from fuel stations.
A visa is required before entering the Russian Federation. If your passport has less than six months to run, you may be refused entry to Russia. All foreign nationals entering Russia must fill in a migration card. The card is in two identical parts. One part will be retained by the Immigration Officer on arrival. You should keep the other part with your passport; you will need it when you depart Russia and if you are stopped by the police for an ID check during your stay. You must register your stay within three working days of arrival in Russia with the local branch of the Federal Migration Service. You need not register a visa if your visit is for less than three days.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in the Russian Federation (free wild camping)
There are 22 campsites in Russia listed on http://en.camping.info/russia which should provide somewhere to aim. Campsites may be attached to hotels, or may simply be parking in the hotel car park. Hotel Camping Olgino, www.hotel-olgino.ru/hotel-olgino.nsf/en/camping is located near St Petersburg. Overnight stays may be confined to Truck Stops on main routes, which are far from glamorous but adequate. Park in a guarded car park when you leave your motorhome unattended.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Russian Federation
Motorists should avoid driving at night if possible. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is compulsory for the holder of any type of UK driving licence. At the border you will need to get a temporary permit for your motorhome, and any other vehicle, which makes your transport legal in Russia for 10 days. It will need to be extended if you intend to stay longer. Third party insurance is mandatory and can be purchased at the border. State Traffic Inspectorate officials will stop vehicles to check documents, especially if they are displaying foreign plates. A road tax is payable at the border. LPG may be available occasionally at fuel stations.
Turkey is not a member of the EU but has applied for EU membership. A visa is required for British nationals to enter Turkey; charged at €15 or £10. Visa prices vary between nationalities; Canadian passport holders are charged €45 whilst New Zealand passport holders are granted a free visa. For up-to-date information on visa requirements check http://www.mfa.gov.tr/visa-information-for-foreigners.en.mfa before you depart. Your passport should be valid for at least six months on entry into Turkey and have at least three months validity from the date you are exiting Turkey. Ensure you have a physical Green Card, and that your insurance covers Asian Turkey as well as European Turkey and that cover is fully comprehensive and not just third party. Vehicle details are entered on the driver's passport and the driver will not be able to leave Turkey without the vehicle. Make sure you have Travel or Vehicle Insurance that will cover the Duty/Customs Bond if you are taken ill and have to fly home or the vehicle is written off in an accident. Tourist information is available from www.gototurkey.co.uk
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Turkey (free wild camping)
The ACSI DVD lists 42 campsites in Turkey. The website www.turizm.net has a wealth of information on Turkey and although some information appears to be a little dated it has a list of national park and forest campsites, www.turizm.net/turkey/tips/nationalparks.htm, and the website also lists other campsites by region at www.turizm.net/turkey/tips/camp-list.htm. Campsites vary dramatically in size and standard. There are no motorhome stopovers in Turkey and Offsite-Parking is likely to be tolerated away from touristy areas and out of season. Don Madge comments: ‘The rural areas of Turkey are policed by the Jandarma (Military police) they set up road blocks but usually wave you through when they see you are a tourist. Don't under any circumstances park or camp in the vicinity of a Jandarma Post they will move you on, the posts are marked with plenty of white paint, large Turkish flags and soldiers with guns. The coastal posts are usually situated in very picturesque spots and it is very tempting to park/camp near them just for the views.’
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Turkey
The roads in Turkey are of average quality with plenty being upgraded. Take care in road works as upgrading often requires the road surface to be removed and the temporary road can be very rutted and pot-holed. Roads can be very slippery in wet conditions. Some motorways require a toll to be paid. Tolls must be paid via a pre-paid card which can be acquired from a bank or from the booth before you enter the toll motorway. The card costs TL3-5 and it is then loaded with credit. When you enter the toll road use the lane marked ‘KGS’ or ‘Kart’ and swipe your card as you enter and exit. Failing to have enough credit on your card could result in a fine of 11 times the normal toll. Toll lanes marked ‘Nakit’ or ‘Parali’ refers to cash payment, unfortunately these lanes are being removed. More information including prices and instructions can be found at www.kgm.gov.tr, click on KGS, this website is in Turkish but can be translated. If you get a speeding fine in Turkey, they are very keen on using speed guns, paying on the spot reduces the fine by 25 per cent. Drivers of foreign registered motorhomes or campervans have the option of paying the fine when they exit the country, and you cannot exit until you have paid the fine. Fuel is more expensive in Turkey than the UK. LPG is widely available.
Citizens of the EU (including British citizens) are allowed to enter Ukraine without a visa for a visit of up to 90 days from entering the country. At the border an ecological tax will be charged for your vehicle, the amount payable will depend on the engine power. Ideally visit in the summer, as the Ukraine gets very cold in winter. You must carry your passport at all times for identification; police must identify themselves before requesting to see it. Tourist information is available at www.traveltoukraine.org.
Campsites, Motorhome Stopovers and Offsite-Parking in Ukraine (free wild camping)
There are limited campsites in Ukraine. 23 campsites are listed on http://en.camping.info/ukraine/campsites, although not all have full details. Campsites are likely to be basic with limited facilities. Try to find secure, guarded parking if you cannot find a campsite, hotels or tourist attractions may provide suitable car parks. There are no motorhome stopovers in Ukraine.
Driving your motorhome or campervan in Ukraine
Roads may be in poor condition with large pot holes. Other drivers can be erratic. Drive your motorhome or campervan defensively at all times. Invest in maps before you depart as your GPS machine is unlikely to have comprehensive mapping, but even maps are unlikely to have all the roads. Road checks are frequent. If you are involved in an accident leave the vehicle where it is and wait for the police, moving the vehicle may be seen as an offence. Traffic jams are frequently when accidents block the road; accept this as part of driving in the Ukraine. It is advisable that you do not drive at night. LPG is available.