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 Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK

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PostSubject: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:36 am

First topic message reminder :

Route to Bulgaria from UK.


It is quite an easy route, but a very long 2½ days for me. With 2 nights in hotels, one in Germany and the other normally in Hungary. I make sure I do not spend a night in Romania.

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.
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Blink
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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:28 am

I have the same model Darrel and it works well for me especially across europe ay you say I don't have any problems with it in sofia either but then I don't live in Sofia so it horses for courses
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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:27 am

I've just got hold of the 2011 maps so I will see how they go
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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:40 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I bought the 2009 European upgrade for my Garmin about a month before our trip to BG. It said it has the major urban areas covered? We got to Plovdiv and it had about 5 streets on it, none of which we wanted to know about. I would say for me that it was totally useless
A solution to your problem:
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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:20 pm

Not sure that would be any better than the Garmin map ?
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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:56 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
Not sure that would be any better than the Garmin map ?
The only map for Bulgaria DESIGNED BY BULGARIANS IN BULGARIA is the Garmin one - and that's why it's the best option if one is planning to use it frequently in Bulgaria
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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Wed Jan 19, 2011 11:05 am

Thanks for the update on this but does it come in verious language formats
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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:53 pm

I found it quite expensive going through Austria last time so I'm wondering about taking a more easterly route from Germany to Hungary through Czech Republic and Slovakia next time. Has anyone here tried such a route?

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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:20 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
I found it quite expensive going through Austria last time so I'm wondering about taking a more easterly route from Germany to Hungary through Czech Republic and Slovakia next time. Has anyone here tried such a route?
I've toured tho Czech and Slovakia on the way down to Bulgaria, the Czech Republic is a fantastic place to visit, the roads are good and reasonably quiet, tho there are still Vignette charges at both borders. Whether is is cheaper to travel that route is debateable, why were your costs so expensive, apart from the Vignette there are no other cost?
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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Thu Oct 24, 2013 8:29 am

We travelled straight through Austria , stopping only for a tasty lunch. ( best food on the journey ). The vignette at the border wasn't much and apart from that no other costs really involved. We were towing a caravan and left Germany , travelled through Austria and into Hungary on the same day quite comfortably.
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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:52 am

I relied solely on my Renault built in sat nav the last time I traveled over, which was about 1 month ago. It took my almost the same way as the original post apart from going to ruse rather than the ferry. Took forever to get here though due being stuck behind trucks in Romania.

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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Sun Oct 27, 2013 6:44 am

We came over 3 weeks ago, and the inbuilt sat nav took us through Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia from Austria, but we were travelling to Ravda

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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Mon May 12, 2014 1:04 pm

We have done UK-Bulgaria via both Croatia/Serbia and Hungary/Romania, as well as other routes which were for our leisure and much longer.
The Croatia/Serbia route worked out slightly shorter (only marginally), but wasn't as easy as going via Hungary/Romania.
The roads via Hungary/Romania were far superior, although a few Romanian roads needed a fair bit of TLC down towards Giurgiu/Ruse.
By boat, we always find DFDS to be the cheapest ferry company by a long-shot (Dover-Dunkirk).
Up to date sat-navs, when going via Austria, often tend to take you via Bratislava, which involves (officially) paying a toll, even though the Slovakia part of the journey is just a few minutes (A-H-SLK). We managed to avoid paying it, got out and into Hungary as quickly as possible.
Don't know if the Bulgaria Vignette prices have altered, but last year it was cheaper for us to buy 12 months (67Lev) than it was to buy 3 monthly ones (3 @ 25Lev = 75lev).
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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Mon May 12, 2014 2:03 pm

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] wrote:
We have done UK-Bulgaria via both Croatia/Serbia and Hungary/Romania, as well as other routes which were for our leisure and much longer.
The Croatia/Serbia route worked out slightly shorter (only marginally), but wasn't as easy as going via Hungary/Romania.
The roads via Hungary/Romania were far superior, although a few Romanian roads needed a fair bit of TLC down towards Giurgiu/Ruse.
By boat, we always find DFDS to be the cheapest ferry company by a long-shot (Dover-Dunkirk).
Up to date sat-navs, when going via Austria, often tend to take you via Bratislava, which involves (officially) paying a toll, even though the Slovakia part of the journey is just a few minutes (A-H-SLK). We managed to avoid paying it, got out and into Hungary as quickly as possible.
Don't know if the Bulgaria Vignette prices have altered, but last year it was cheaper for us to buy 12 months (67Lev) than it was to buy 3 monthly ones (3 @ 25Lev = 75lev).

T Paddybg for the info I am sure that will be very usefull to our members. In answer to your comment no the Bulgarian ignetta is still the same price for the year 67lev. .

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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Mon May 12, 2014 3:57 pm

When i drive the Hungary-Romania route i always use the Border crossing at Mako rather than Nadlac, very very few vehicles use it and it's a breeze to Timisoara, then you can decide which onward route to take, personally I head to Orsova, from Orsova to Drobeta-Turnu-Severin it's well worth the drive for the scenery alone, spectacular, we overnight in a small town called Baile Herculane' just before Orsova (20kms), again worth a stop-off if you have the time. Of course that is for those heading for Vidin Bridge! Drive safely. g
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PostSubject: Re: Route plan to Bulgaria from the UK   Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:52 pm

Hi All
I have been reading the route suggestions with interest. We are flying over next month for a brief visit and then will hopefully drive over in the early spring with some of our gear. I wondered if anyone has any further thoughts on road routes from the UK - I believe that motorways have been finished and bypasses built in some areas to make the driving a bit easier ? We live on the east coast so thought it would be a good idea to catch the overnight ferry from Hull to Zeebrugge and start the journey from there. Would be grateful for any information re recent experiences.
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Carolo
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