How to get there 2014

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This page should serve as an overview over the different options to travel to the Biketour using public transportation. You can add here all the information about bus, train and ferry connections throughout Europe that might help getting to one of the places that the Biketour passes.

If you want to find other people to travel with, check out the page 2014 travel groups.

Where to find information

On Deutsche Bahn, you can search for train connections throughout Europe. There is some limited information about whether they take bikes.

On Loco2, you can search and book train connections throughout Europe to find the cheapest connection. Note that sometimes it calculates very long stays at the stations, so a better connection would be possible. I think there is no bike option to book.

On CheckMyBus, you can search coaches throughout Europe. Note that Eurolines goes almost everywhere, but generally does not take bikes.

WikiTravel always has some advice how to get into a certain country.

How to get to the Balkan region from different places in Europe

From central Europe / via Beograd

Traveling from central Europe to the Balkan normally involves passing through Beograd, passing either Zagreb or Budapest on the way, as this is where the main road and train connections go.

OrangeWays operates coaches from Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and the Netherlands to Budapest. They accept bicycles for a fee of 7 euros, but they have to be disassembled. The internet is full of stories where the coaches have been cancelled and no refund was given, so it doesn’t sound like a very reliable service.

There are two trains per day from Budapest to Beograd (one of them coming from Praha), with a connecting train that splits in Niš with one half going to Sofia and the other half going to Skopje. There is also one train per day from Beograd to Thessaloniki, but it isn’t synchronised with the train from Budapest. Search the connections on Serbian Railways. The train from Praha/Budapest to Beograd takes bikes (but they have to be reserved), all connecting trains from Beograd officially don’t, but it is likely that it is still possible somehow.

Florentia Bus offers a coach from Firenze to Sofia via Trieste, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Belgrade that apparently takes bikes.

From Italy by ferry

(todo)

From Turkey

(todo)

General information about travelling within the Balkan region

In many countries of the Balkan area, trains generally don’t go any faster than 40 km/h, so coaches are faster but usually slightly more expensive. Trains are usually relatively cheap, so booking them last-minute at the station is still an acceptable option. For example, the standard fare from Zagreb to Sofia is about 50 euros.

There is a ticket called the “Balkan Flexi Pass” that enables you to take all the trains in Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Montenegro on a certain number of days within one month. Only people who are not residents of those countries can buy the ticket. Online you usually only find the 1st class ticket, which is more expensive, but if you buy it at the counter, you can also get the 2nd class ticket. On Serbian Railways, you can find the prices. A ticket that is valid on 5 days within 30 days costs 53 Euros for people up to 25 years old and 88 Euros for everyone else.

Getting from and to individual places the Biketour passes

Sofia

Florentia Bus offers a coach from Firenze to Sofia via Trieste, Ljubljana, Zagreb and Belgrade that apparently takes bikes.

There are two trains per day from Beograd to Sofia. They don’t officially take bikes, but it might still be possible.

Niš

There are several trains per day from Beograd. Officially they don’t take bikes, but it might still be possible somehow. The journey takes 4 to 6 hours and costs less than 10 euros.

Priština

Getting into Kosovo by train is complicated. There are two daily trains from Kraljevo in Serbia to Mitrovica, about 40 km north of Priština. There is only one train per day from Beograd to Kraljevo, and you will have to spend 6½ hours at night in Kraljevo to wait for the train to Mitrovica. Taking a bike is officially not allowed, but might still be possible somehow.

Getting there by coach also seems to be complicated. Eurolines offers a line from Germany, but they don’t take bikes and you cannot book it online. There are apparently coaches from Macedonia, Albania and Montenegro.

Skopje

There are two trains per day from Beograd to Skopje. They don’t officially take bikes, but it might still be possible and we did in 2009 :)

Thessaloniki

There is one train per day from Beograd to Thessaloniki. It doesn’t officially take bikes, but it might still be possible. It is not very well-scheduled with other trains arriving in Beograd.

There are plenty of coaches going to Thessaloniki, for example Simeonidis Tours or Siamos tours. Don’t know if they take bikes?

Athens

The coaches going to Thessaloniki mostly continue to Athens, so you may again look at Simeonidis Tours or Siamos tours. Don’t know if they take bikes?