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 Driving to Bulgaria in March/April

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PostSubject: Driving to Bulgaria in March/April   Mon Jan 14, 2013 6:35 pm

Hi all I know there are several threads covering this topic but from what I can gather they are a wee bit out of date, since various countries have now become EU members.
What is the best route to take from UK and what if any formalities are required to be comlied with allong the route. We will be setting off sometime in March/April to hopefully avoid the worst of any weather. Any help and advice as to routes and the like will be very well accepted. T
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PostSubject: Re: Driving to Bulgaria in March/April   Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:25 am

Hi! I came over in August 20011 via the Euro Star tunnel. We arrived in France and passed through Belgium Germany Austria Hungry Romania and caught the ferry near Calamansi across to Silistra Bulgaria. It took us three days but we did rest over night in Germany and in Hungry. We only got stopped twice and that was in Romania and Bulgaria just to show your passport with no vehicle search at all as we had a cat in the back of our truck.You need to buy a Vignette which is road tax and is cheap for the country you are travelling through at you can obtain them at the border crossings from little kiosks. Do not go without buying a Vignette or you could get a big fine if stopped and havn't bothered buying one.Just another little tip that supprised me is that here in Bulgaria shops in the main do not accept Euro's only the Leva.When you pass through the Bulgarian border I found out that although it is quick they do note your registration as I found out when I had Bulgarian plates put on my vehicle they knew exactly the date my vehicle entered Bulgaria and where. We had no trouble at all with the journey and my mate does the journey twice a year and has never had a problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Driving to Bulgaria in March/April   Tue Jan 15, 2013 6:35 am

Thanks for that I wasnt sure about the vignet side of things as i thought since harmonisation all roadtaxes were valid for each others countries. But thats cleared that up for me thanks a lot. T
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PostSubject: Re: Driving to Bulgaria in March/April   Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:07 am

The last time I drove it was via France, Italy, Hungary, Romania.

No problems along the way and easy enough to change money, etc. (whilst holland, germany, italy, etc. are all on Euros, don't forget that Romania is still on the LEU and Bulgaria the LEV!).

As speedgunner mentioned, don't forget to buy a vignette before hitting the roads in each country as this can be a costly fine (and they will be looking out for people without the sticker in their windscreen!)
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PostSubject: Re: Driving to Bulgaria in March/April   Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:12 am

Which countries require vignets.
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PostSubject: Re: Driving to Bulgaria in March/April   Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:18 am

You will need to use "
in Hungary as they are not in the euro zone.
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PostSubject: Re: Driving to Bulgaria in March/April   Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:26 pm


I'm driving over in May, could anyone please post a route with hotel recommendations, if possible, either Hungary, Romania route, or Italy Greece

Thank you in anticpation


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PostSubject: Re: Driving to Bulgaria in March/April   Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:35 pm

Here's a couple for you, not mine but I have tried them and they were perfect.

The route from Rotterdam;

Find motorway A16 heading south for Breda,Tilburg and Eindhoven,
Follow signs for Breda,
Then follow signs to Tilburg A58 (E312),
Then follow signs for Eindehoven A2 (E25),
Then follow signs for Masstricht,
Then follow signs for Aachen A76 (E314)

The route from Calais;

Follow signs for Ostend in Belguim,
Then follow signs to Brugge,
Then follow signs to Gent,
Then follow signs to Brussels
When near to Brussels take care to follow signs to Liege and Aachen in Germany,

Then both routes follow from Aachen
Once near to Aachen
Then follow signs to Koln (Colonge),
Then follow signs to Frankfurt,

Ok, from Frankfurt you will see signs for;
Wurzburg, Nurenburg,
Then follow signs to Wursburg,
Then follow signs to Nurenburg,
Then follow signs to Regensburg,
Then pick up the signs for Passau
Then follow signs to Passau

Once you pass Passau, you are close to the Austrian border, so look out for service station on your right. There you will need to buy your first vignette, (about 10 euros) or road tax for Austria, from then on it is buy a vignette for all countries down. Take your car registration doc with you. This sticker you peel off and put on your windscreen, it is the first of many. Put it at the top left hand side and work down with them as you need to put your Bulgarian one in the bottom left corner.
Once into Austria head for Linz,
Then follow signs to Wein (Vienna),

As you come out of Wein, you'll see signs for Budapesht, (Budapest) with and H sign in a white oval, follow this. The HA is for Hungary. Which you need.

It is a simple run down from there, with no problems. Near to the Hungarian border, and I do mean near, is a service station, where you need to buy the vignette for Hungary. The vignette office is as you come out of the service station on the other side, there is a small car park there and sometimes a small queue. It is part of the service station.
Then follow signs to Gyor
Then follow signs to Budapesht,
Then follow signs to Keskemet (Kecskemet)
Then follow signs to Szeged,

You are nearly there, only 1 country to go through. Once in this area, have a good nights sleep ready for the drive through Romania.
Then in the morning, head for Romania and Arad,
Once you are out of Szeged,
Follow the signs for Timisora in Romania,

it is of on the right at the first roundabout after you leave Szeged, not long after you turn right you have a very long straight road and then the border crossing into Romania.
Romania is not so bad to drive through as many people say it is. Just keep your speeds down to the limits

Once you get to the border, you normally go through the Hungarian part, then stop at the Romanian side, there you'll meet the Hungarian and Romanian Customs and immigration officers. Both are likely to ask to look in side your car. For your first check of the run down. you are supposed to get your Romanian Vignette, if the office has some one in there. You'll find it on the right just past where you have been stopped. A small office.

From here on its an easy and simple run drive to Kraiova, (Craiova) where your next small problem will be. But it is almost at the end of your Herculean journey so is not so bad. From Kraiova you go on to Bechet and the ferry to BG, 30 miles away.

Ok so you follow the signs out of Timisora for;

Follow signs for Recas,
Follow signs for Lugol,
Follow signs for Caransebas,
Follow signs for Drobeta Turnu Severin, This should be one of the main names coming out of Timisora. You need to go through this town. Further on you will see signs for Kraiova (Craiova) you need to head for this city, it is in south of RO and very near to the ferry in Bechet to get to BG.
Follow signs for Kraiova (Craiova)

Around Drobeta Turnu Severin the roads get quite bad as they are re-surfacing about 30 miles of road all in one go, yes, all in one go, not as we do it a little at a time, So you will be driving over rough stones for a while, and there is single file traffic for most of this part of the trip. It is the slowest part of the journey down, but is picturesque, so have your cameras ready, if you like nice photos. It is not as bad as some would have you believe, just a little slow, but at this point you feel like taking it easy for awhile anyway, it is almost like having a rest period, but on the move and slow.

Ok, from here on is the drive to Kraiova, isn't so bad and quite enjoyable, roads quite good at this point. You'd be forgiven for thinking you were in Germany or somewhere else.

Ok, on the outskirts of Kraiova, the road disappears into a country lane, yes it really does, then, you are going over a single file dirt surface bridge. With ruts nearly 8 inches deep, made by the big trucks, yes you'll look at it and ask your self do the trucks really go over this, and you'll soon see they do. The RO sports cars ride on the top of the central ridge and the side to get over with out damaging their cars. And yes it does work, you think they will stove in the sides of their cars going over, but they don't. Suggestion here is follow a RO car and you'll be ok, do as they do, they have the practice. After the bridge, you are back on a single file narrow country lane for a few hundred feet, it goes to the right and then turns left and then crosses over a railway line, a short way up it suddenly turns right at what looks like a main road junction.

You are then back on the main road to Kraiova and only a few miles till your turn of for Bechet. Follow this road, till you see trucks parked on the right side, go slow from this point. You will see a service station that the truckers use. There is many trucks parked at the rear and you can see these from the road. Literally just past this service station, about 50 feet or so, you turn right to Bechet and the ferry

There is a sign saying Bechet, but it is almost hidden in the branches of a tree so look carefully. If in doubt follow a BG reg truck, good bet they are going the same way too. You can see your in the right area, as it looks like an industrial place. You really do need to turn here or you will get lost crossing the city with all the twist and turns that are there to do. Driving through Kraiova is not so good, it is busy and easy to get lost. I know I have done it once, never again. The first time I did this run it was horrendous for me. I did not know the route and what to expect. Took many wrong turns, was so easy to do that.

After you have turned right, follow the signs for Bechet, there are some good signs on the first part of the city bypass, and yes you'll laugh at this bit as you drive down it. It is the gypsy area of Kraiova. You are going all over the place, on different sides of the road, but it is normal, I promise you, a little crazy but true. If you have any doubts wait for a truck to pass you and follow that, they will show you the way through, even if you don't ask them. Do not follow any signs for Calafat unless you want to use this ferry. Calafat will take you to Vidin and the western part of BG and Sofia, passing Montana and Vratsa. Vidin is in the north west part of BG, close to Serbia.

First junction you turn left, then in a few yards you turn right. But here it is sign posted in English Bechet. You then follow this road down and I call it a road loosely. Ok, so you come to a funny junction, go straight over and slightly to the right, at this point there is no sign for Bechet, it is like a Y junction on the side and you are coming in at the middle, you want the second of the Y forks, the first takes you to Calafat, is sign posted to so you can see. Go straight on and then you come to another Y junction, you want the second Y part of this as well. From then on there are milestones on the ground with distance to Bechet every few hundred feet or so. And from this point is an easy run to the ferry. If you have any doubts at these 2 junctions, look for the trucks coming up towards you, that is the route you have to go.

From here is about 30 miles to the ferry and BG.

When you get to the ferry, you'll see a very long queue of trucks, you have to pass these and drive down the side, there will be passing gaps left by the trucks all the way down, so is not a problem when you see something coming up ahead of you. You just duck into one of these gaps, I have done it so many times now, even see the same drivers of trucks some times. It is almost like a meeting place for friends there.

Now I should point out the they will try anything to get you to part with euros at the ferry port. So make sure you do have a Vignet as they will check it and the document that goes with it. If you do not have one you will be fined heavy in Euros. You then have to pay a port tax of about 10 euros, this is for using the port, if you can call it that. Then you have to go to the office and buy your ferry ticket, the cost of this depends on what you have with you, like a trailer or so. But is not so expensive. From then on, you wait in the queue to board the ferry to cross to BG.

Once over you are in BG and it feels good to get this far, almost a feeling of relief. But first you must buy a 7 day vignette (Road tax), which is in the office just behind the Customs / immigration office. Otherwise you could have problems with traffic police in BG and a certain 100 euro fine, at the very least a 20 euro payment to the back pockets of the cops. As you drive out of the port, there is a turning to your left, it goes back on you and up a steep hill, it takes you to the town center. There are signs there for Vratsa and Sofia, but you can miss them if your not careful. As you come out of the town , you are at the top of the hill and you can see the distance opening up ahead of you, a long this part of the road is a junction to the left to take you to Pleven, it is spelt in Bulgarian Cyrilic. Straight ahead is Vratsa and Sofia.


Getting out of Dunkirk Docks, follow signs for Dunkirk go straight over the first 3 roundabouts, At the fourth turn left on to the A10(if looking for camping you will find many campsites in Bray Dunes or De panne follow signs) also there is lots of hotels in Dunkirk center and 2 at ferry port its self.

Head for Gent A10, (E40) fill petrol at first as this is generally the cheapest.

Head for Brussels on A10 (E40) follow the RO (Ring road) around Brussels keep following heading for A3 Liege (Luik) and Leuven.(Just before Liege at J28 well lit service station approx 125mls from Dunkirk 3 hrs at 50mls hr)

CAUTION beware when signposted to Liege airport you must get in to left hand lane at top of hill before the bend to Aachen.

Head for Köln A3 (E40) {J31 Campsite} also {J40 or 41 Montabaur Just of Motorway 4.5km camping and a 3*hotel, Very nice and very friendly, good value}

Keep following A3 to Frankfurt, Wurzleburg and Nuremburg, Regensburg.
ALSO AVOID AT NIGHT 4-5pm until around 7-8pm again big que's.

CAUTION Regensburg petrol stations are a long way between J92 and J107 103km check you have enough petrol!!!!!

hotel Burgwirt,,near Deggendorf,str 7 Deggendorf 94469,Germany,,,about 40km Austrian border,,,95 euros for that suite that include breakfast,5 star,web [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Head for Passau A3(Hotel and well lit service station at boarder to Austria good food ) Don t forget to buy your VINGETTE.

All service stations in Austria do wonderful food.
Head for LinzA8 (camping and Hotels in Linz again just follow the signs)A25 -A1 to St.Polten (Very nice hotel on Motorway at St.Valentiens) follow signs for Wien {CAUTION just before Wien turn of A1 left keep watch as most people miss this turning!!!!!!!} (E60) A21 to GYOR (Hungarian boarder) (Alland is a very quite service off motorway but well lit,(Beware no hotel)

HUNGARY BOARDER DON'T FORGET VINGETTE, you can buy this from the boarder hut on left as you approach. (You need to write down your no. plate)

Follow M1 Gyor, M1 Budapest CAUTION FOLLOW SIGNS FOR MO (ring road around Budapest) AVOID AT 7am – 10am. Follow signs for Szeged, (Caution there are no filling stations after Kecskemet on M5).
Take the junction for Arad and RO (Romania)

At Szeged M5 (Hotels in Szeged and camping just follow road signs) you are not going to Szeged boarder be careful.....in Szeged follow signs for MAKO, before you get to Mako, Beware sign post for boarder to Romania is marked on a small roundabout to CENAD (VAM/VAMA)turn right,(beware boarder speed 10mls/hr speed camera) and cross boarder heading for San Nicola u Mare, and Timisoara(its one straight road, and a very small boarder crossing no lorry's)DONT FOR GET VINGETTE,you should be able to buy this at the boarder or possibly the first petrol station...(if they have any!!), or the first blue petrol station on the left in the first village).

ROMANIA, From Timisoara head(Campsite situated just on the outskirts of the town on the left called Tourist site) follow E70 to LUGOJ,(also watch for signs for aero port, centruim and Banat) avoid 5pm. (in LUGOJ very good OMV petrol station and food,) then CARANSEBES,(there is a campsite and hotel at Baile Herculane) ((about 3hrs form boarder)) then on to {E771} DROBETA TURNU SEVERN,follow straight through signs for CARIVA up steep hill, hotel on left.

At Cariova follow signs for ALEXANDRA (Caracal), we recommend you take the lorry route, If not through the town is , hotel Casablanca on left. OMV petrol station and Viva food, at 2nd traffic turn lights Right, straight over next, keep eyes pealed bear left round U bend E70 straight over cross roads and left at next, bear right.

At Caracal,(follow signs for Alexandra) we recommend lorry route, but if not .... turn right then left, then right follow signs turn right straight then left and over train crossing( it sounds very complicated but its very small roads and as you read to the driver he will just turn and you will be through)

At ALEXANDRA heading towards BURCHEST at traffic lights turn left, follow this road straight until the village of Ghimpati turn right on to the 5B to Giurgiu, Follow lorry route towards ZIMAANAC, left at junction, then right then left at traffic lights, straight over nest traffic lights past shops on the left be careful turn right at red MOL Garage signed posted VAMA<
Doune and Rousse, 300 yds road to right at roundabout to boarder, past petrol station straight on and left over bumpy road.(hopefully improved by now).

Bridge toll is 6e, cross over bridge over take lorries if safe (some lorry drivers help) if queue at Bulgarian boarder see if you can give documents to another guard, Passports, insurance, again over take lorries.
VINGETTE e5 for 1 week

Out of boarder 2nd exit of roundabout and follow signs for airport and Varna, if your going that way,
Hope it was a good journey
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PostSubject: Re: Driving to Bulgaria in March/April   Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:42 pm

Wow very helpfull .i think we will use this info thanks very much.
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PostSubject: Re: Driving to Bulgaria in March/April   Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:02 pm

WE NEED HELP if you are going that way anytime please T

Just thought I would slip this in here You never know who can help. Angel
Hi Guys

This is a long shot I know, but if we don't ask we certainly will get nowhere!!

We have a situation that we need help with please. Our wonderful volunteers in Belgium asked their friends for help with items to fill our shoeboxes for the orphanages however, they only expecting small items but it turns out the Belgium people were very happy to help with lots of toys and bigger items like toy kitchens, few bikes and various other stuff which would be just fantastic for our children in any of the 3 orphanages or our Day centre in Silistra. example photos attached. If you can help ***please contact me direct*** thanks a million Berni

Now I am wondering how we are going to get these item from Belgium to the Silistra Orphanage, it's silly picking them up and bringing them back to us here in the UK as they will only have to travel back that way again later in the year. So I was hoping that if anyone is travelling over to BG they just might be able to pick some of the items up and take to Silistra - if they travel via Ruse route to Varna you will be going through Silistra. Or perhaps you do a regular trip to and from BG and might be able to help us by donating a little space occasionally. If you or any of your friends can help please can you contact me direct on the Facebook or our website email address [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. Thanks a million Berni &
Dougie Silistra Orphanages Thanks you so much for your consideration. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Berni & Dougie [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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