GENERAL EASTERN EUROPE DRIVING QUESTION

PLANNING A 50 PLUS DAY DRIVING TRIP THROUGH EASTERN EUROPE. IS THEIR ANY COMPANY OR PRIVATE PERSON THAT CAN LOOK OVER THE ITENIERY I HAVE MADE TO SEE IF I HAVE MADE HUGE MISTAKES ON MY DRIVING TIMES FROM PLACE TO PLACE WHERE I WILL END UP MISSING HOTEL RESERVATIONS I HAVE SET AND ENDING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE WHEN IT TURNS DARK AND I SHOULD BE OFF THE ROAD. HAVE TRIED TO DO ALOT OF RESEARCH BUT NOT SURE OF DRIVING TIMES FROM AN AMERICAN STAND POINT. ALL HELP GREATLY APPRECIATED THANK YOU

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

Have you checked on Mapquest for the driving times from point A to point B? Eastern Europe is a different animal than Western Europe, and the driving times would probably be much longer. I would be okay driving on busy roads, but some of the "off the beaten path" roads might be an adventure. Just try to limit your driving times to what would seem 1/2 day trips (4 hr. max), so you'll be at your hotel at a reasonable time.
And, watch out for those ox carts.

Posted by JerryG
winston salem, nc, usa
655 posts

Too David's point, it is an adventure driving in Eastern Europe. The infastructure is like the U.S. in the late 1950's so to his point, I would not be more than 6 hours between stops. Also, rent the lowest level model you can as smash and grab in some city's is an issue which also means keep everything in the truck or under the zip cover. Outside of the major cities crime is pretty low level. As far as planning, I've found a combination of Google and via Michelin are pretty on the mark.
It's and adventure, so be flexible and be prepared to have a great time; the people are terrific!

Posted by Tom
Chicago
2876 posts

My suggestion is that you post your proposed driving itinerary. This might allow others to give you more specific advice. And don't use all capital letters.

Posted by David
Seattle, WA, USA
1414 posts

Post your itinerary here. And use viamichelin.com - their estimated drive times will be pretty accurate. Just a wild guess here, but if you have never been to Europe before, you might have some larger planning issues than estimating drive times. Post your general plans and you'll get feedback. And oh yeah, STOP SHOUTING AT EVERYONE, WE CAN HEAR YOU JUST FINE when you speak with an "inside voice".

Posted by Ira
Tucson, AZ, US
3 posts

I've driven all over Europe, and my two cents is it is worth the investment in a GPS. They will tell you travel times, if the maps are d, they will tell you about construction and delays as well as photo radar cameras. Car rental agencies will rent you one but it is cheaper to just buy your own. You can buy it in Europe or buy one in the US. Just make sure it has the maps of the countries you will be driving through and make sure to the maps. Before I leave for Europe, I will enter the hotels I have reservations in and the sites I want to see. Once you are in Europe it's easy to change your itinerary by just ing where you would like to go next.

Posted by James
Frisco
1804 posts

I'm still curious who is renting you the car for such a trip.

Posted by wayner
stevens point, wi, usa
186 posts

Hi, Much of eastern Europe has excellent main roads and well paved secondary roads. Last time we were in Romania a car driver had to be on the look out for non-motorized traffic. true, this was ten years ago when 1/3rd was internal combustion, 1/3rd was horse, and 1/3rd was on foot or pedal power. Uncrushed (fresh) horse apples in the road was a good warning of horse power up the road. Driving times...on the main roads, the four lanes, about the same as here. On the secondary roads it is a bit like 1955 in the US. Even France last year(which I know is not eastern Europe) on the four lanes, pedal to the metal. On the secondary roads be prepared for a hay loaded wagon behind a tractor. A bit like Wisconsin
wayne iNWI

Posted by CAROL
DAYTONA, FL., USA
4 posts

My itinerary Arrive Lyon France Aug 27 stay overnite Aug 28-30 Rocamadour area staying in Cahors Aug 31 staying in Nimes France Sept 1 and 2 staying in Frejus France to visit Nice Sept 3-5 staying in Corniglia Italy visiting Cinco Terra Sept 6-10 staying in Lake Bled Slovenia Sept 10-15 staying in Fuzine Croatia Sept 15-20 staying in Dubrovnik Southern Dalmatia Croatia Sept 20 and 21 Skopje Macedonia Sept 22 staying Sofia Bulgaria Sept 23 and 24 staying Plovdiv Bulgaria Sept 25 thru 30 staying Istanbul Turkey Sept 30 and Oct 1 staying Goreme Turkey Oct 1 and 2 Goreme Turkey Oct 3,4,5,6,7,8, still open to finish Turkey and get to Budapest Hungary Oct 9, 10, 11 Budapest Hungary Oct 12, 13, 14, 15, open to travel back to Lyon France
Oct 16 stay in Lyon France for flight out on pm of Oct 17 This is it. Any faults in my plans please tell me while I have time to change things. Thank you

Posted by Matthew
Kihei, HI, United States
112 posts

Dont stay in skopje stay in Ohrid, skip Sofia and use that day in plovdiv or even better Edirne

Posted by Liz
Tarpon Springs, FL, USA
8 posts

Go to www.viamichelin.com and check the routes between all the different places you are going. It will tell you the best routes, the distance, the time it takes to drive and the tolls. Great site!!

Posted by Liz
Tarpon Springs, FL, USA
8 posts

Carol, when you are in Cahors, France, go north a bit to Sarlat and visit the prehistoric cave art!!!! We were there in 2007 and we still talk about what an incredible experience it was to see those cave paintings. Lascaux II was built by the French gov't and is a copy of the main chamber...and even a copy is breathtaking!! There are some smaller caves that you can actually enter. Really...do add that area to your trip. And Rick has wonderful information about the Sarlat area in his guide book. We even saw Rick one day in Sarlat and my husband took my picture with him!!!