Kiri and


Balkans out of season in a motorhome

November 20th, 2013 (by Steve)

Who would choose to travel around Europe in a motorhome in the autumn / winter? This is a question that we guess the countries in the Balkans have considered, choosing the answer to be “no-one”. Instead, I think they’ll find the correct answer is “mad dogs and Englishmen”… well, with a good heap of Welsh heritage thrown in!

Our plan, following a lovely time in Ljubljana, Slovenia, was to head south along the Croatian coastline; landscape that we have heard great things about. With wild camping strictly prohibited in Croatia (we found horror stories on the internet of wild campers being woken at 3am by armed police), we started scanning for campsites to stay at. There are plenty of them along the coastline… only they’re pretty much all seasonal… and closed by the middle of November! As we scoured the remainder of our planned route down through Croatia and Montenegro, then up through Bosnia + Herzegovina towards Belgrade in Serbia, we were struck by the scarcity of campsites or even overnight stopping points for motorhomes. Hmmm. Issue. We found this out the night before leaving Ljubljana!

This is the map showing camp sites in central Croatia:
Screenshot from 2013-11-20 15:46:27
(Map courtesy of; one of our main sources for places to stop, along with and

A bit nervous about the coming few days, we chatted with our hosts about our plans (or lack thereof!) for the next few days. With a bit of local knowledge, we were given the details of a hotel on the Croatia/Serbia border which is friendly towards motorhomes, so we contacted them and they gave us permission to stay overnight in their car park. That’s a long way from Ljubljana though! With Kiri’s birthday wish being to stay on a campsite for a couple of days, we realised the nearest open one in reach would be in Ptuj, Slovenia, so we headed for a campsite there which is attached to a spa.

On the way we filled up with LPG for the first time since leaving the UK; Slovenia uses the Italian “dish” LPG adapter. It was pretty intuitive to use (screw the adapter in, put the pump in place, pull the trigger to lock it, then press the button on the pump to operate) which is a good thing, as all of the instructions were in Slovenian!

We had a lovely couple of days in Ptuj, including half a day soaking in the pools and steaming in the sauna, before the long push through Croatia – 366km in total. Now in a car, that doesn’t seem like a massive distance, but when your top speed is around 90kph, you realise that’s at least a 4 hour drive. We sometimes forget that actually the base vehicle of Bertha (a Talbot Express / Peugeot J5 / Citroen C25 van) was built to drive long distances each day. However, on the other hand, there is a “block of flats” built on the back (to use our friendly mechanic’s words!). She’s doing well though, and was happy to cruise at between 80 and 85 kph for the duration of the long trip.

This is the route we took through Croatia; driven in 1 day:

It’s a shame that we haven’t been able to experience the true beauty of Croatia this time; instead speeding(?!) through it on the motorway – we’ll have to come back in the summer at some point.

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Balkans out of season in a motorhome

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4 Responses

Hi guys! Shame about Croatia, we met some guys who had been there out of season and had received a nasty leaflet on their windscreen after sleeping in a Lidl car park! Travelling Eastern Europe out of season is going to call for a fair bit of wild camping I think, but Greece is just perfect for free places to stay, Turkey too (we’ve never been, just going off what others have said). Have fun guys, sleet here today! Jay

Hi guys, I was in Serbia a few years ago with Andy Mayo and the oak hall team.

We were delivering aid which we had brought on the long coach journey from the uk.

Hope things go ok.

Kev and jane.

We recently cut short a trip for exactly the same reasons!

I think your estimate for driving 366 kms is a bit ambitious I would suspect your journey time will be nearer 6 hours. Hope i’m wrong.
I’ll sacn the internet to see if I can locate any sites or stopovers for you.

Mike n June

Thanks all. Sounds like we’ve got better weather over here than in England; hovering around 8 degrees!

Jay, we’re looking forward to the wild camping in Greece!

Kev + Jane, Steve’s Dad has been on several Serbia trips with Andy Mayo and Oakhall and that is where we got our Serbia contacts.

Mike + June, you’re right – it was about 6 hours I think; the 4 hour estimate was for us travelling at our top speed for the whole time!

We’ve got quite a few contacts in Serbia, and maybe one or two in Macedonia now, so I think we should be ok for the rest of the Balkans… it’s just a shame that we couldn’t spend longer in Croatia this time. We’ll have to come back!

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