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travel safety in eastern europe

My 21 year old daughter and her German boyfriend are taking a ferry to Greece from Italy and then want to drive from Greece through Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia and Slovenia on their way to Lyon, France. Is this a safe option in regard to road safety and crime in general? Her boyfriend has never driven through these countries. before.

Posted by
658 posts

That is an awfully long way to drive.

To be perfectly honest the quality of the roads in some places is not of the quality you will find in either Germany or the US.

If it was my daughter I'd at least be asking her about what type of vehicle they were planning to use and what measures they were planning to take regarding basic routine maintainance. For example - you're going to need more than one spare tyre and wheel; you're going to need a very comprehensive tool kit; you're going to need a little more than a basic first aid kit and you better have a little more than a passing knowledge about the mechanical functions of a vehicle.

I've never stopped my girls from doing anything they wanted ( funds permitting ) but I never let them walk out of the door under-prepared and I made sure they had done a lot of research and made sensible plans.

Based on the experience of my eldest girl - one question you have to ask is this: if you're halfway up Mount Wheretheheckarewe and you realize the relationship is going into a tailspin and you want to split up - who gets custody of the Toyota ?

It'll work if you really plan well, learn the languages, understand motor vehicles and have a good understanding of how to stay safe.

Posted by
1385 posts

We traveled through Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, etc. last year as a family with 2 kids and did not feel unsafe at all. We did this all on public transport - I would think she would have an easier time since they are driving on their own. From what I saw road travel was fine since folks are used to seeing slow moving tractors and bicycles on the roads. They just need to take the normal precautions esp when driving in the mountains.

Posted by
19 posts

We drove through Montenegro, Bosnia and Slovenia last year. Slovenia has good roads and is very safe. Roads in Montenegro are not as good, roadside service is nil, and the border guards can be a bit iffy. I agree with having plenty of spare parts and knowledge of cars. This would be not the time to drive a clunker car.

Posted by
5 posts

Slovenia is very safe. I have spent the last three summers there and have travelled all over the country. Their crime rates are very low. My one suggestion is that you check, if possible, some of the road rules. For instance, in Slo headlights must be turned on at all hours of the day or you could get pulled over. For the most part though, driving is not much different than here.

Posted by
1158 posts

When I went to Romania last year I heard some horror stories about Bulgaria. Thieves wearing cops' uniforms stop cars and rob them.
The other countries should be fine. I don't know anything about the rods' conditions.
Try to ask questions on tripadvisor.com. There are more locals on this site than on RS.
Or couchsurfing.com

Posted by
1358 posts

Too far to drive. One cannot drive fast enough on those roads to cover much distance in a day. A couple of days there will seem like a week and take all the fun out of travel. I drove for a month there one week.

Since the boyfriend has no experience there, I would not do it. But safety will not be a concern for them.

Posted by
1385 posts

Amy - do you have experience on the trains in these countries. Heading South from Dubrovnik last year, trains were not an option - in fact non existent if going down the coast in S Croatia, Montenegro, Albania.

Would love to know if there is a valid option that is convienent.