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Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

Newcastle-under-Lyme...
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Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

I'm looking for my next challenge. I've already driven across Australia (the hard way across the middle), from bottom to top of NZ, around the UK and now fancy a road trip around the WHOLE of Europe.

My trips are more about the experience and fun of driving/taking part so don't have any problems with long driving days/expensive fuel/not seeing everything!

VERY early plans are:

Home - Stranraer (Scotland) - Ferry to Belfast (Northern Ireland)​ -

Dublin (Ireland)​ - Ferry to Anglesey (Wales) - Hull - Ferry to Zeebruge (Belgium)

Then: Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Ferry to Oslo (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Ferry to Helsinki (Finland), St Petersburg (Russia), Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegowina, Crotia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Liechenstein, Switzerland, Italy, San Marino??, Vatican City??, France, Monaco, Andorra, Spain, Gibraltar??​, Portugal, Ferry to UK from Santander.

Feedback appreciated. Particular concerns are driving/safety in Eastern Europe.

Uden, The...
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1. Re: Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

You can take 6 month for this and only scratch the surface. Driving Darwin-Adelaide or all through NZ are pieces of cake compared to this.

Newcastle-under-Lyme...
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2. Re: Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

lol - Darwin-Adelaide IS a doddle ... but I did Perth-Melbourne-Sydney (through the Outback!)

Early reckoning is 3-4 weeks for this trip. Not planning to stop everywhere and see the sights - really just about the trip.

Wednesbury, UK
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3. Re: Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

I'd share your concerns about some of the eastern European countries, not sure I'd hire a car there let alone take my own and in 3 weeks, most motorways pretty much look the same!

Look forward to the trip report, rather you than me ;-)

Newcastle-under-Lyme...
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4. Re: Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

I'm thinking about a motorhome and do have concerns about getting insurance to cover those areas. I think in that region I'd be sticking to major routes, limited stops, etc but would definitely be trying to get off the beaten track more in Western Europe.

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

Well, also Perth-Melbourne-Sydney is very easy compared to what you have planned and a lot shorter. Just to give you an idea, we drove Amsterdam through Eastern France and Spain to Gibraltar to Portugal and NW Spain and back via the west side of France back to Amsterdam and that was 8000 kms all by all....

Lewes, United...
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6. Re: Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

The difference with Europe vs say Oz or NZ is congestion - whether traffic, road works or just the huge number of towns of all sizes you'll pass thru that will slow you down hugely, so you can't compare achievable distances in any way. Then when you do find a stretch of open road, there's the traffic cops or fixed speed cameras. If you stick to motorways, then there's the cost, plus you really will see nothing and get bored to tears rather fast, IMHO. Motorhoming will be even slower and perhaps even more tedious. Rental car/motorhome in so many different countries - so many insurance problems, plus each country has different regs and rules that you will need to familiarise yourself with. Actually, having driven in many E European countries, both in own car and rental cars, they're not necessarily a problem - but you'd probably need to be able to read Cyrillic to find your way around Bulgaria, for example.

Over 6 months at the correct time of year, this could be fun and interesting, but you say 3-4 week. Rather you than me, but each to their own. However, I'd really appreciate a full trip report on your return.

SWT

Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

With 4 weeks, you won't see much but motorways. I'd break this up into 2 or 3 trips rather than trying to see everything at once. There's more to the Scandinavian countries than just the capitals cities. For example, rather than taking the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki, go to Turku instead & explore the western coast before driving across. Or, drive up & through Lapland instead.

What is the purpose of this trip? Is it to be able to say you visited every European country in 4 weeks? Or is it to actually explore & experience what makes the different countries special? You live a ferry ride away from Europe, it's a lot easier for you to return there than to return to Austalia.

Los Angeles
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8. Re: Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

I really want to hear how going the length (and breadth) of France works out in a motorhome. To find someplace to camp, you'll have to get off the highways, and that's where the fun with those one way bridges and roads (and that system of waiting for others behind the little roadblock thingie) starts. I wonder if the small cars will yield to you (they didn't yield to delivery trucks or larger vehicles in many places - and the cars are small and fast).

It takes a week to get any sense at all of the Loire Valley (you'll be flying by castles in the distance on the freeways, but you won't have time to stop) and you'll have to go through in half a day or less.

Which route(s) over the Alps and Pyrenees are you planning? I"m assuming that the goal is to just nip inside the borders of Spain, Portugal and Italy on a trip of this speediness. So - which side of Italy? Venice? Turin? And you'll need to do Portugal/Spain in one morning or something, right?

Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

Well having driven on the freeways in Romania the best we avaraged was 70kmh, gypsy carts slwo things down, a lot... the area we stayed in Romania they kill somewhere near 2000 people a year on the road (one gypsy cart will take out 20 people) and they present a unique hazard during the night (and yes they are on the freeway...term used losely)

the Ukraine is not much better (carry plenty of cash to bribe the local police even if you don't break the road rules)

Personally I think you are way too ambitious....

Uden, The...
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10. Re: Touring the WHOLE of Europe :)

Can't wait to come to Romania GW, you make it very appealing -lol-