Greece to Serbia by Road in a Campervan

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By Jen

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The E75, or the Alexander the Great motorway as it’s known at this point,  is the main road from Greece up through Macedonia to Serbia.  It actually starts right at the top of Finland and ends in Crete, a distance of 5639 km.  We are driving from Thessaloniki in Greece to Austria.  This is the first part, Greece to Serbia.

PASSPORT CONTROL (Greece to Macedonia)

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At the border between Greece and Macedonia you first pass through Passport Control, and then a few hundred metres down the road, Customs. Customs are mainly checking for a valid Green Card insurance certificate but had also pulled over a couple of vehicles to spot check.

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This was the point we came a tiny bit unstuck. Having been on the road since last summer our vehicle insurance and Green Card have needed renewing en route. They are easily renewed online, but it’s less easy to be sent a hard copy. In fact we didn’t try very hard to find a postal solution for the paperwork because we didn’t think we’d need it. We had email confirmation and a screenshot copy of the renewal certificate. Anything short of the original, however, wasn’t enough to get through this border.

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We had to pull in and visit the Green Card office to buy a new temporary insurance card for 50€. Valid 15 days. If we’d had the time we’d have stopped longer in Macedonia to get the use of it! But basically the drive across Macedonia takes an afternoon and is 165 km long.

PASSPORT CONTROL (Macedonia to Serbia)

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Again there were two booths separated by a couple of hundred yards. But they both checked passports, the second adding a stamp. At the second, customs also asked us to open the campervan door, the customs official peeped in and waved us on. I think it was possibly the sight of all the dirty dishes in the sink and the mountain of Crocs at the door, that made us look like a legitimate family. No one asked about a Green Card or for any vehicle paperwork. That’s not to say that they might.

TOLLS

There are three tolls on the E75 road directly up to Serbia, costing 70MKD, 90MKD AND 70MKD respectively (a total of 3€75). We think the guy at the first toll said he’d also take euros but we used a card so couldn’t confirm this. Quite a change after the very expensive Greek tolls.

FUEL

Diesel is 65-67MKD a litre (1€10) in Macedonia, and 150-160 SD (1€30) [the petrol in Serbia is a little cheaper]- almost all filling stations we saw took Visa or MasterCard. Quite a few of the service stations have fast free wifi and a cafe.

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The road was pretty quiet, in generally good condition (a bit uneven in parts, with quite deep grooves where lorry tyres have worn it done) and is mostly dual carriageway. Although Macedonia is now part of the EU, the currency is the Macedonian Denar.

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Macedonia is very green – and we had a fresh off the press Green Card to allow us to enjoy it, albeit briefly.

TOP TIPS FOR DRIVING THROUGH MACEDONIA

1. Have a paper copy Green Card to hand to pass to Customs at the border.

2.  You don’t need a Vignette (motorway pass) driving through Macedonia.

3.  You don’t need any currency MKD for the brief passage through, as both the toll and service stations took cards.

4. There’s an overnight stop about 85 kilometres over the border into Serbia. It’s great – Motel Predejane, on the main road, a flashing arrow pointing to the turning. It’s excellent – hot showers in the hotel can be used, nice flat parking area, electricity if you want it, restaurant and wifi. 12€ per campervan for the night.

The grump at the reception wouldn’t help us to print off our Green Card (I could have understood if we’d asked her to print a year’s supply of Barbie colouring in pictures, but you would have thought that customer service would have extended to printing off a single sheet of a travel document we needed).

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3 Replies to “Greece to Serbia by Road in a Campervan”

  1. Very interesting. The stopover sounds nice and the price of diesel sounds brilliant. At least you could pay for an additional green card and they didn’t refuse entry altogether. I suppose getting paperwork is just one of those things you can’t do on the move. I look forward to hearing more.

  2. rick ryder says:

    we did the trip margate Kent UK to nea skioni halkadiki Greece and back last summer (2013)1,800 miles each way in our 170,000 recorded miles 05 Honda civic 1.7cdti it cost approx £200 in derv each way as we had a 3 week stay in Greece before driving back we had to buy a one month green card at the Macedonian border the cost is 75 euros
    i noted at the cheap Macedonian derv garage stop the number of liters dispensed at the pump did not match the higher amount showing on my Macedonian visa receipt! a surprised to be sussed out disgruntled pump operator thrust a hand-full of Macedonian dinars into my hands (which i used for tolls) along with some swear words!, my wife and daughter were being virtual victims of highway robbery by a tramp claiming to have cleaned the toilets demanding money prior to entry! not a pleasant experience, motorway toilets are a big issue for female motorway travelers in Serbia and Macedonia the porta loos in Serbia rest stops are overflowing the seats in high summer, use the service station restaurants or McDonald’s in Serbia, don’t forget to buy vignettes (motorway tax sticker) for Austria and Slovenia (Austrian motorway police direct all traffic via a service station to check) buy at first service station as you drive into Austria
    Norwich Union cover Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia but not Macedonia (as of July 2014) we are thinking about cutting out Macedonia and dropping into Greece via Bulgaria to save the 75Euros and the hassle of 2 -3 hour crossing delay at Macedonian borders we set off in two weeks wish us luck…the journey is all part of the adventure!

    1. Good luck! And thank you for your extra helpful information. You are right that the journey is all part of the adventure, as good often as the destination itself. I’m not sure where you made it to last year, but there are quite a few blog posts about places we loved in Greece if that helps. Happy travels 🙂

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