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Just returned from Balkans bike trip

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Rod F, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Rod F

    Rod F New Member

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    Hi all, I just thought I would share with you a trip that my wife and I have just returned from along with two friends. 6000kms long.
    We are from Australia and hired some motorbikes in Bournemouth UK then met our tour at Folkstone.
    Our tour was operated by Magellan Motorcycle tours and called the Balkans tour.
    Felix Billington is the owner and how his tours work basically are you receive a very comprehensive set of GSP co ordinates with all waypoints etc etc. Prior to you arriving you load all of this information into your GPS. If you cant Felix is there to assist. All accommodation is booked at great places and the majority of evening meals and breakfast is included.
    Each morning you get a briefing and if you wish you can head off at your own pace or join up in small groups, you end up meeting the majority of riders at lunchtime and of course in the evenings at the hotels to talk about your days riding. Felix is always around to assist where necessary and believe you me he is on the ball.
    We went through France , through Germany ( B500) Austria (Gross Glockner) Slovenia, and all of Croatia. The sights were fantastic and everywhere we went the people were great and were always willing to help. We had 10 British people on the tour mostly with GS1200's as well Six Aussies
    For the people that live close to these areas you are very spoilt with the beautiful scenery and high quality roads. It was a trip I will never forget.
    When I work out how to put photos on I will add a couple.
    Cheers to all Rod.
     
  2. boxerboy

    boxerboy Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a great trip Rod - will be good to see some photo's, what bike did you hire?
     
  3. Leon.P.

    Leon.P. Well-Known Member

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    Nice 1 Rod:)
     
  4. oscarguitar

    oscarguitar Well-Known Member

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    Really like the sound of that. Looking forward to seeing the pictures.
     
  5. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    Just looked at the details of the trip on Magellan's website. A very nice trip - I've been to most of those places listed over the years. Croatia was one of the nicest places to visit, especially the Plitvice Lakes. The Soca valley and Julian Alps in Slovenia are fantastic, as is Austria, the Black Forest & Vosges. A lot to pack in 2 weeks but you certainly saw some fantastic scenery.
     
  6. Rod F

    Rod F New Member

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    Hello thanks for your comments and question, I hired a Vstrom 1000.
    The bike was ok and had plenty of power.
    It certainly was a lot to pack in in the time we had. Biggest day was 640kms.
    I would reccomend Croatia to anyone that has not been there especially the coast road which is just a riders dream run.
    The majority of bikes were gs 1200,s as well VFR 1200 hondas, one Triumph Trophy a Tiger 800 and Explorer and a Bonneville
    Would reccomed it to anyone.
    Cheers Rod
     
  7. Orson

    Orson Member

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    I've had a couple enjoyable trips to Croatia. Istria has hill towns like Tuscany and the food ain't so bad either! Good roads too!

    I had a waitress who spoke English with a perfect American accent. I complimented her English and asked her if she had spent time in the states. She replied that she hadn't been to the states but, learned her English from watching American TV shows broadcast in Croatia.
     
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  8. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    I'd be a bit worried if I was served by someone sounding like Marge Simpson :)
     
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  9. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    oh, and yes, Istria is very Italianate - from the architecture to the stylish look of the people and their attitude to life. It was a roman outpost and has some interesting remains especially in Pula. Then it was controlled by Venice for many years. The hotels in Opatija where I stayed are often converted homes of wealthy Venetian merchants.
    Slovenia reminds me more of Austria in the terrain of the Julian Alps and the look and attitude of the people. They are certainly more Germanic in their outlook, being the bankers of the former Yugoslavia.
    Dining in Croatia is more relaxed, along Italian lines, taking hours with big gaps between courses. In Slovenia they are much more formal and like the whole silver service thing. You can set the time between courses and they are impatient if you don't eat fast enough!
    I like both countries as they have different attributes. It's no wonder Yugoslavia fragmented as they are not very well suited for integration! Shame some of it was rather barbaric to say the least.
     
  10. Rod F

    Rod F New Member

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    Hi I hope this works some photos of our trip.
    IMG_0158.JPG IMG_0411.JPG 545.jpg 628.jpg 635.jpg 699.jpg 730.jpg 733.jpg
     
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  11. folagana

    folagana Well-Known Member Contributor

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    The sixth photo shoud be dubrovnik, Am I right?
     
  12. Rod F

    Rod F New Member

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    Thats correct it is the walled city. A must see for anyone travelling to Dubrovnik
     
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  13. Barnesyboy

    Barnesyboy Active Member

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    Fantastic looking trip, thanks for sharing
     
  14. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Thanks for sharing Rod. Nice photos also.
     
  15. folagana

    folagana Well-Known Member Contributor

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    I was there perhaps 12 years ago! But I didn't take a photo
     
  16. Allan_MV

    Allan_MV Member

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    Looks great but personally I think that its £500 too expensive for a seasoned traveller in Europe. Tunnel is c£40 add £50 per night for shared accom = £740. Then the 6 evening meals at c£180 and we are at £920. That leaves £580 to pay for the planning and routes/gps etc. I can find my way around for almost £600. We first went to Croatia in 2003 in a Honda s2000 and have been to Slovenia 8 times now and toured around Hungary/Croatia etc.
     
  17. wessie

    wessie Well-Known Member

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    If the company is VAT registered then the best part of £300 will go in VAT - profit margin is not so impressive now
     
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  18. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    I agree. While there are a good number of happy and confident enough to plot their own routes there are others who for a multitude of reasons such as time, lack of experience, ability to pay, are very happy to entrust someone else to arrange the trip and pay accordingly.
    There's room for both. Im not a massive fan of group riding but knowing that hotels arranged are good along my route is attractive so that I don't waste hours on a computer sorting it out.

    Mind you Allan , if you can get me Eurotunnel return for £40 ( and not at 2am!) and good hotels for £50 I want you arranging my next trip ;)
     
  19. Allan_MV

    Allan_MV Member

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    Andy
    The trip to Spain, albeit in Dec was c£900 of which £395 was the 24hr ferry each way. The remaining £500 was spent for 6 nights accommodation [2 adults sharing] good food everywhere and of course fuel. Fuel for 1875 miles was probably 10.5 tanks so £200 or thereabouts leaving £300 for grub and accom. We certainly don't like slumming it so they were nice gafs.

    The 12 days to Portugal and back on my MV in June was again c£395 for the boat with 2 adults to a 4 berth cabin each way. 2 x nights in hotels and 4 nights and 5 nights in air bnb palatial houses. Covered around 1975/2000 miles on that trip at 40 mpg on MV and fuel was maybe £250 tops. We spent c£1700 for that jolly. £1700-395-250 = £1000 or thereabouts for 12 nights accom and grub. So again under £90 per day

    I admit that I do zero organising my mate Ade is a demon and he sorts it all out and has done since 2013. 5 Euro trips so far.
     
  20. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Over here there is a website - furkot.com - which is pretty good at plotting routes and then showing accommodations along the way, along with links to booking sites and such which makes finding the best deal not painful at all. I used it for my trip to the 2016 Rally in New York and then on to Canada.

    Agree there are many who like the package deal format - just pay money and leave the logistics to someone else. They also typically know what are the best sites and how to fit everything into the time allotted. For me plotting the trip and dreaming about the places and the various options is part of the fun that starts even before the trip actually does. There are advantages to both approaches.
     

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