The Details

DETAILS & ROUTES

The Where and When

Starting point:

Rijeka, Croatia

Registration:

August 1st to 2nd

Kick off party

August 1st

Official start

August 2nd

DURATION

Up to you - as long as you make it back to Rijeka by the closing party on September 4th

THE ROUTE

You can tailor your entire route according to your preferences.
To help you visualise it, below are three options. Just remember: No highways. Nothing interesting ever happened on a highway.

The How Much

The Routes

These are the routes we took with our Yugo. 

No highway, minimal budget, 3-6 weeks duration, 5000-8000 km.

You’re welcome to try them, or make your own!

Balkan Roads Route 3Here’s the quickest recap of this scenario:

Drive around and enjoy a whole plethora of ćevapčići, burek, tea, rakija, balkava and all the other God given deserts. Roam on croatian rivers and lakes, get lost somewhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina, find a main road, visit Mostar, jump of the bridge, take a rafting class in Neretva, enter Montenegro, check your Balkan car, fix it if needed, fix it again, drive crazy serpentine roads to Kosovo with beautiful nature around, enter Skopje, ask wtf happened with all the monuments every few meters, „Is that a Johnny Depp monument??“ – yes it is, drive to Prilep on a riverbed that Macedonians and GPS like to call „a road“, swear a bit, avoid the bears and foxes, survive and enter Greece. Meet some Greek people, accept their olive oil, confirm few times it’s the world’s best olive oil, try to leave the room, doesn’t work? Run while they chase you with the olive oil. Go to Istanbul, try the spices, visit the market, the mosque, the EVERYTHING!!! Turn back up north, drive Bulgarian sand coast and party in beach bars here and in Romania. Why is Russian spoken in Odessa? Nevermind, back in the car, visit Bucuresti, then Drakula and then some guy in Subotica, Serbia, who established a new Yugoslavia in his back yard. Make a passport, go to Brčko district in BiH and wonder why the streets are named of American presidents. Be appalled, enter Croatia and follow Pokupsko and Kravarsko signs. Continue driving when the asphalt is gone, feel creepy, experience silent hill feeling, crop up in Zagreb celebrating you’re alive. Go to Slovenia, visit Istria, learn how to knit on the slopes of Učka while paragliding and than land in Rijeka. Breathe out.

Balkan Roads Route 2A semi-short recap of the culture tour:

Start cruising on the Adriatic costal road and then lift yourself to the deep forests of Velebit mountain highlands. Once there make sure to avoid the minefields from the last war with an amazing view on the islands (don’t stray a meter from the road or play a hero so you don’t end up as leftovers of a hero).

Enjoy the unpaved road and it’s massive serpentines with hundreds of feet deep chasms bellow your wheels (BE AWARE this road is dangerous which is kind of the whole point).

Jump of the bridge in Montenegro and proceed to Albania.

Talk to locals, try the food, dance their dance. Eat „ajvar“ and swim in Ohrid, the brightest lake in the world, dive in cave, take a kayak and paddle in the depth of the canyon.

Roam from incredible Meteora in Greece all the way to Plovdiv, the oldest populated place in Europe and have a free tour there. Go to Buzludzha, be amazed by a space shuttle shaped communist monument sitting on top of a mountain. Find your way in because it’s forbidden, have a picture with Marx and Lenin.

Drive to Serbia and don’t miss the Guča trumpet festival. Dance and sing songs you don’t know with the confidence like you do, eat, drink, eat, drink, (btw, good luck to vegans).

Get to Vukovar, stay shocked and go all “Wtf happened in Yugoslavia”, then think about it, have no answer like the rest of us and eat some „kulen“ and „čvarci“ with rakija to calm down.

Pass BiH, go to Zagreb, party like an Austro – Hungarian, and take the adventure tunnel in Slovenia. Visit Istria and the islands, rent a bike, play picigin on some God forsaken beaches, say hello to Rijeka and party one more time cos you bloody owned the Balkan Roads!

Balkan Roads Route 1Here’s the rather long quick recap from our adventures:

Take a ride on Adriatic highway, an 800 km long ultimate seaside driving experience proclaimed as one of the most beautiful in the world (And challenging with all it’s drops and serpentine twists and turns) with thousand of islands on one side while driving bellow the tops of mountains. 

Go to Montenegro up to 2000 m heights, gather some sheeps and watch over them during the night. 

Pass Albania, enter Greece. Drive the beautiful Greek coast to Istanbul – the peak of the Balkans. 

Lift yourself up to Odessa passing Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and the internationally unrecognized black market paradise country of Transnistria. 

Have a nice sleep since it’s paid somewhere around here and turn left torward Serbia while climbing up and down the southern Carpathians. No sleeping while partying in the European party capital – Belgrade. Meet some random people, mingle and secure the bed in their place next time you find yourself here again. Act like a Balkan (wo)man. 

Enter foodylicious Bosnia with your stomach prepared, loose your belt, gain a few pounds. 

Stop in Gorski Kotar forest, inhale some fresh air and go to Slovenia. Climb Triglav, get down, go to Trieste – the westernmost spot of Balkans, pass the roman amphitheater in Pula and the most diverse landscapes and drive on the top of the Učka mountain just to take a look on hundreds of kilometers of roads you just passed in Italy, Slovenia and Croatia while looking on some Austrian Alps as well – Just before you enter Rijeka again.

This route covers most of the checkpoints and takes quite a while to complete.

Additional Costs (What's not included)

How much extra you spend on the trip depends on your style of travel. Ideally, you will take a tent, some hammocks and sleeping bags, spend most of your nights outdoor, rush through the checkpoints and have a minimal total expense. 

Accommodation, gas, food, activities, entertainment, drinks… It’s all up to you. However, we’re going to try and average it out and assume that you won’t be sleeping in the boot of your car, nor will you be getting your collagen facial at the Hilton.

Basically, for a 2 week trip you should make sure to have anywhere between €500 and €200,000 per person, on top of the Balkan Roads cost. 

While for a full blown 4-week trip you will survive between €1000 and €400,000 per person, on top of the Balkan Roads cost.

The vehicle

We can’t force you to rent a Yugo. You can bring your own car with all its airconditioned comfort. Or rent one, or buy one once here, we’ll leave that to you. But keep in mind that by doing the challenge with a Yugo immediately adds 1500 points to your initial points tally. 

That’s because that’s just the way we do it here in the Balkans and if you’re signing up for this adventure then commit to doing it right. 

A Yugo will cost you €20 per day – €280 for two weeks. It’ll be the raddest €280 you’ve ever spent.

Deposit for the vehicle

When you rent any vehicle there’s going to be a mandatory redundable security deposit of at least €1000. While if you rent a Yugo, there is a mandatory €300 deposit which you will get back granted that you bring the car back to Rijeka in the same state that you rented it from us. Any required repair work or towing costs will incur additional fees. You know how it is, you break it, you fix it.

Petrol and tolls

Each toll can cost you up to a few euros if you get stuck on your way but remember – No highways!

The Yugo goes through around 8 liters per 100 km and you’ll drive between 4000 to 6000 km on your way.

Repairs and modifications

Treat the Yugo like your favourite grandparent – with respect! It’s amazing but old, wise but rusty. When it breaks – you repair it. Luckily every mechanic in the Balkans knows how to repair a Yugo and the parts are cheap. Likely from 10€ to 100€.

Accommodation

This trip is best experienced through nights camping under the stars, sharing stories on hostel balconies overlooking riverbanks or on the couches of local’s homes. This can cost you anywhere from nothing to 20€ per night. How you do it is up to you. Want to splurge on a couple of nights on a nicer BnB? Go for it. Remember we throw in a few free nights during the trip.

Visas

None of the countries on the road trip require visas for European, American or Australian citizens EXCEPT Ukraine and Moldova – details can easily be found online. We highly recommend you double check anyway.

Travel insurance

From 20€ to 100€ depending on your country of residence. Again – easily found online and we highly recommend that you get good coverage.

Getting to Rijeka and back

Whether you fly, drive, train, hop, skip or jump – there’ll obviously be travel costs involved. Contact us if you need advice specifically within Rijeka, otherwise google can help.

Equipment

Don’t take anything you won’t need 100%. Take the essentials – clothes for the beach, mountains and towns, shoes that won’t fall apart, a basic tool kit, a medical kit, camera. We’ve compiled a more extensive list for beginners that we’ll send to you.

Food and drink

In the Balkans you can eat like royalty on a peasant’s wage. But again it depends on how many fancy pit stops you want to make. 300 – 400€ will more than cover you for 2,5 weeks.

Checkpoints

You get the Balkan Roads VIP treatment with proper discounts and occasional freebies, However there will still be costs involved. Plan for approximately 300€ for a mix of adventure and cultural experiences.

Don’t forget that they USUALLY come with at least 20% reduced price for you as a Balkan Roads family member.

Are you ready to take life by the steering wheel?