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Old 05-22-2015, 01:14 PM   #1
klimag OP
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Hungary
Oddometer: 50
Through Balkan to Greece

Again finished a nice week long tour and I would share the nice experiencies mostly with pictures.
The route: Starting from Hungary – Bosnia – Montenegro –Kosovo- Albania – Macedonia –Greece – (ferry to) Italy and back to Hungary.
The target was mainly to discover Epirus/Zagoria region of Greece but of course to travel thru Balkan a nice trip already.
The gear is Transalp Xl650 again, this time I was alone.

Until Sarajevo not much happening – after the route to Foca becomes realy nice in a river valley. From Foca the route goes along Drina river with picturesc scenery.

Reaching the border of Bosnia and Montenegro at Hum border bridge

Entering Montenegro

Group of czech riders

it was time to stop. Rafting camp just at the river, they allowed me to put my tent up.

The dinner was excelent and made in spectacular way.


Expected to be hard day due to distance – and going thru Kosovo and Montenegro.

The Piva canyon is at least so nice than the Tara canyon done 2 years ago. Wheather was a bit rainy. Need to know that in balkan countries the tarmac contains lot of stones and in case of rain it’s extraimly slippery so you have to cut back the speed.

The route towards Durmitor starts in a cave  and after the tunnels and curves are within each other. Not done the whole route to Zabljak just up to see the view.

Classic picture from everyone who is on this route.

In Montnegro there were sections where snow was still beside the road.

Entering Kosovo going through a montain the winter still visible.

At the border I bought a 15 Eur insurance. The general one not cover here. The border crossing was without any issue. Peoples are kind.
Some km later a view to Kosovo.

Due to some mistake earlier on the route I lost some time and that’s why I skipped Rugova canyon.
View entering Albania.

My accomondation was in Valbone valley- I expected to do offroad from Bajram Curri to but the road already paved. The valey will lost the charme soon.

View from the balcony

to be continued…
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:33 PM   #2
Joined: Nov 2011
Oddometer: 39

please do continue. wonderful pictures.
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Old 05-22-2015, 06:23 PM   #3
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Wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to more photos.

The Balkans is one of my 3 dream rides if I ever win the lottery $$$ is the Balkans. (Turkey and Norway/Sweden/Finland are the other rides).

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Old 05-23-2015, 11:51 AM   #4
klimag OP
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Hungary
Oddometer: 50

The day is about Albania mostly and a bit Makedonia to Ohrid. I was firs time in Albania from which much good and not so good to hear. One day transit not much to discover but my conclusion is that Albania deserve a dedicated tour. The nature and people are nice, the traffic is realy dynamic and drivers are agressive but with some proactiv attitude and attention after half day you will be part of the flow. This is mostly valid for the cities. On contry side (mountain area) you can drive easly half fon hour without traffic on the road.

Start the day with a perfect breakfast – best omlet ever with vegetables any cheese inside.

My bike was under survillance (was not needed)

Daily rutin for locals in Valbone valley.

World wide known village Tropoje – in the movie „Taken” the bad boys are from this village

Beutifull scenery in Albania

The rain hunting to me

Street views in Albania cities

Police man happy to explain which is the right way.

Leaving Albania and entering Makedonia was 5 minutes at the border.

River side pause already in Makedonia shortly before Ohrid lake.

Before looking for a room around Ohrid lake let’s see a bit the city and the famous church

to be continued soon...
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Old 05-24-2015, 04:32 AM   #5
klimag OP
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Hungary
Oddometer: 50

The sun arrives. Great, on this day I reach Greece already.
The morning starting still around Ohrid lake in Makedonia. Up to the mountain the view to the lake is outstanding.

The area of the lake quite touristy but was still off season so was quite enjoyable.

Already in Greece, midday stop.

City of Koparisto entrance of Zagoria

Maybe no wildcamp 

One of the typicals in Epirus: stonbridges – this is at Konitsa city

Let’s see have a look towards Vikos gorge area

The road to Papingo and Mikro Papingo villages – it will come tomorrow

Always a big fun for me to rider around animals – and there are a lot on the roads here

Authentic atmosphere in Vikos village

View of the gorge, tomorrow let’s see the other end of the canyon

End of the day in Ioannina camping – 2 nights spent here

Self made dinner this evening

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Old 05-24-2015, 06:12 AM   #6
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Location: Spartanopolis, MI (East Lansing)
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Thanks for sharing and allowing me to experience a place I will probably never get to visit.
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:59 AM   #7
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Thanks for taking us on your journey with you! Bring back so many memories. I was stationed in Bosnia in '96 and Kosovo in '99 when I was in the US Army. There is some beautiful country side out there. Plenty of nice people too.
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Old 05-24-2015, 09:24 AM   #8
Joined: Sep 2007
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I'll be in the area in June again and your pictures of the various areas already has me put in some other targets to visit that I did not know about. Thanks, KP
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Old 05-24-2015, 01:49 PM   #9
klimag OP
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Hungary
Oddometer: 50
This day’s route was dedicated to Zagoria/ Epirus starting and finishing in Ionannina. Planned to do around 300km but have to say it’s enough in this roads where there isn’t a single 100m straight. Also important to take care on fuel which is normally never an issue in European roads. Here I was able to to drive more than half day on tarmac roads thru villages but without fuel station. Then you can drive one hour without having traffic- which is at least for me not tipical in Europe in case of paved roads. The road conditions are OK but full of bigger and smaller stones fallen down suudenly. Drive with spare.

Start the day with chain adjustement.

Go around the lake at Ioannina stop was shortly after the start needed to take pictures.

Stonebridge again

Sceneries from Zagoria

This is near to Katafigio

The late afternoon again in Vikos area

Mikro Papingo village – the good thing that big tourist buses can not do the route to here

Papingo village

Going to the southern side of the canyon to Monodendri village there are some flat areas

Mondonendri for me was touristy but going further to Oxia lookput through stone forest more interesting

Paradise to a geologic expert

The main target of my route to see this view. Job done.

The next day will be south from Ioannina towards the sea…soon
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Old 05-24-2015, 02:07 PM   #10
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Location: UK Northumberland
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thanks for posting, nice area, looks a great ride
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Old 05-24-2015, 06:02 PM   #11
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So many beautiful images. Thanks for sharing them.

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Old 05-25-2015, 06:24 AM   #12
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I'm in man.

Thanks for these beautiful pictures
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:43 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by fredster View Post
Thanks for sharing and allowing me to experience a place I will probably never get to visit.
Never say never.

And thanks again to the op for the great report and pics.

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Old 05-25-2015, 03:26 PM   #14
klimag OP
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Hungary
Oddometer: 50

The route for day6

It was time to leave Zagoria and find nice roads south from Ioannina. In fact I was not done detailed planning on the route for this day so just let’s go to the mountains.

How much times can be found the road on the pic?

Village life

Thurtles are quite typical on the road where traffic is not strong.

I missed a junction with few hundred meters and run in to the center to village Michalitsi. Ok center means a square for 20 houses. I was lucky to see it.

Place of no stress.

Not enough from the mountain scenery

Noted as POI for me here a stonebridge. But was collapsed. Some remaining ruin can bee seen below the tree far above along the river. Made a nice midday rest anyway here.

No problem stonebridges are everywhere around. This is in Arta city.

Near to Arta there is a village Koronisia in the sea like an isle but connected to the mainlan on a narrow road – narrow like this

After Arta turned to the north to Parga city to camping. Beaches along the road.

Stopped at Nico’s kantina to rest an take a late lunch. In a city a restaurant with such panorama would be well overprice and full of reach tourists. Here Nico for 5 Eur given to me so much streetfood sandwich which was more than enough. Spoke german so talked a bit.


Lake with reach fauna just before Parga

Beach of the camp. Let’s relax a bit before the last day in Greece.

tomorrow will come the last episode.....
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Old 05-26-2015, 12:54 AM   #15
klimag OP
Joined: Oct 2011
Location: Hungary
Oddometer: 50

Last day in Greece before ferry to Italy Ancona at mindight. To make sure I will not miss the ferry even something technical happening I just cruised between Parga and Igoumenitsa and arrived well before the departure to the port.

Start the day with breakfast

Scenery from Parga and sourronding coast

To maintain the attention

The bay of Igoumenitsa

Last suvlaki in Greece.

Waiting for the ferry.

The route to Ancona is 13 hours. We had some delays. Day8 was to ride until Venice to spend a night in a camping and after to go home to Hungary.

So that was the trip explained in pictures.

Every trip just generate others. First I decided that Albania interesting and uniq (in Europe) enough to dedicate a tour to that country. Developing quickly so earlier better.

Mid Greece is quite known to me from earlier times (Acropolis rallies) but never on motorcycle. This nothern area was new. Still I feel I let lot of nice roads and places undiscovered. We know all, that to experience a country or area is quite different on a bike and now I beleieve I have to be back to go more south in Grecee soon and see also the Peloponesos.
Thanks to see my report, have a good ride.
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