Basically I have a sailing trip in Croatia and from there I need to get to Athens. Like the guy who was going from Split to Istanbul, there doesn't appear to be any flights below $500 AU.
I'm just wondering, is it possible to do overland or by boat? How may I go about this? How long would it take and is it possible to do without booking far in advance?
I'm nowhere close a Balkans expert, but I'd say that overlanding it is not very feasible. From what I've heard, civilised world pretty much ends in Split, and looking on a map I'd say you'd have to backtrack all the way up to Zagreb and then go south again. It should be possible to do it by train via Beograd, but that would take 2 days approx.
As to flights: JAT offers a flight Banja Luka - Athens for AU$400 approx, but then you'd need to find transport from Split to there. There's also a flight to Athens from Pula, but I'm not sure how useful that is.
[ Edit: Edited on Jul 4, 2008, at 12:58 AM by bentivogli ]
SPLIT TO ATHENS
You have several options here. Contrary to what bentivogli avers, the civilised world does not end in Split. That's quite an insult to several nations. There is a measure of civilisation to many Balkan nations that I find quite enviable.
Erik85: There is, as you suggest a good ferry connection. Actually a choice of routes:
1. A daily connection from Split by ship to Patras in Greece. This is with a change of ship at Ancona. The companies that run Split to Ancona are Jadrolinja, SEM and SNAV. While for the onward connection from Ancona to Patras, daily services are run by Anek, Minoan and Superfast. So you’re spoilt for choice. Typical time from Split to Patras is about 40 hours.
2. There is a very good twice-weekly connection from Split to Patras via Bari, leaving Split about 6.30 am on Tuesdays and Saturdays. It is with Jadrolinja from Split to Bari, continuing then with Blue Star Ferries or Superfast Ferries from Bari to Patras. About 48 hours.
I personally prefer the second route, even though it takes slightly longer. From Patras there is a good bus connection (which meets and waits for the boat) on to both Pireás and Athens. The Tuesday boat from Split (in option 2) is especially nice, as en route from Split to Bari it stops in Dubrovnik for seven hours. You dock at Dubrovnik at about 4 pm, and you can then wander into town, have dinner in Dubrovnik, and get back to the boat by 10.30 pm for the continuing voyage to Bari.
There are of course flights connections, usually via Rome or Zagreb. These are mainly with a combination of two of the following four airlines: Air One, Aegean, Croatian or Olympic. Reckon on €245 one way if booked one month or so in advance.
There is a once daily train connection, leaving Split every evening and getting you into Athens 47 hours later. You change at Zagreb, Belgrade and Thessalonki. The connections are good – no uncomfortable nocturnal changes of train.
I hope this information is of assistance to you.
editor / hidden europe magazine
Of course I didn't mean that in a literal way, Nicky, sorry if I insulted anyone.
What I meant (and what you contributed seems to support that) is that overland transport in the Balkans south of the line Split-Beograd is rather difficult if you don't know the region well. Mind you, even that is second-hand knowledge, coming from a relative who set up several businesses in the region. Could have formulated it differently (like 'paved civilisation', or 'civilisation in way of public transport'), I'll give you that.
Hey, not a problem bentivogli!