In early September 2011 we set out for Greece. After diagonally crossing France we took the Frejus tunnel into Italy, then crossed northern Italy to Ravenna on the Adriatic coast. After a short break of a few days, we followed the coast road down to the port of Ancona where we boarded the overnight ferry to Igoumentisa in northern Greece. We slept in the van on deck - allowed by some ferry companies in summer. Taking our time, we followed the Greek mainland coast south to the island of Lefkada then, after a few days, carried on to Patras and the Peloponnese peninsula. Time prevented a full tour round the peninsula, but what we saw was very enjoyable. The coastline views and colour of the sea were unforgettable.
The beach at Camping Rubicone at Bellaria, nr Rimini, Italy. There is a string of coastal campsites in this area. This one is very good, having shady pitches of various sizes/prices. It has a lovely restaurant, large shop, etc. Many beaches in Italy are private, so one has to pay to use them and rent a sunshade. At Rubicone the shades are included in the camping fee. This site is not in the ACSI scheme (2012), but not expensive out of high season, it closes around mid-September. A gem.
Despite doing a lot of reading before we left home about touring in Greece (some written by other motorhomers), we found a number of things were not mentioned that would have been useful to know. For example: everywhere we went nobody would accept a credit or debit card - even when buying diesel - it had to be cash only. Fortunately, cash dispensers were not too difficult to find in tourist areas. If you like a nice steak, or even a beefburger, beef was impossible to find; all we ever saw was rather scrappy pieces of pork, or goat. We did have some 'meatballs' in one campsite restaurant, which were ok, but we didn't enquire as to the recipe...
But, of course, with any newly-visited place, one has to just do as the locals do and be prepared for things being done differently (or not at all)! It's all part of the fun.
The ferry at Ancona. The ship usually leaves in the early afternoon and docks at Igoumenitsa very early next morning.
It all looks familiar if one has used a Channel ferry before. Ah, but what is that ahead..?
A rather steep ramp...
Well, that was bit scary, but we've made it safely to the top. Now what...?
...The Deck Officer is gesturing to turn right...
No, it's a three-point turn...
...Or is it? Not quite sure what we have to do now...
...a bit more reversing and we're there - I think...
... Yes! All we have to do now is get off the other end!
'Camping on Board' the Ancona-Igoumenitsa ferry. We slept in the van, the crossing was very smooth. The cables hanging down are 240v. mains hook-ups that are stored in cassettes on the ceiling, one has to use a long pole to grab the connector and pull it down. We booked our passage in February (for September) this gave a 40percent discount if booked by end of March. This may have changed now.
Peace and tranquility in the bay at Plataria; a charming village about 8 miles from Igoumentisa ferry port. Click the link on next pic to see the view from the campsite.
Typical level of traffic on main roads once one is out of the villages and towns.
Many Greek road signs are defaced with graffiti. Note the moped rider has no helmet - we saw one chap riding a moped whilst smoking a fag and talking into a mobile phone...
At 'EnjoyLichnos' campsite in Parga, a little further down the coast from Plataria. The combination of green netting and trees form very necessary shade over the pitch.
View of the beach just beyond the van. On some days the sand was so hot one couldn't walk on it in bare feet.
Magnificent toll bridge at Patras that links the Peloponnese peninsula to the Greek mainland.
Camping Paradise on the western Peloponnes at Palouki. Another campsite with pitches adjacent to the beach.
Your scribe sets out to find the reception at a campsite on the northern coast of Peloponnese.
A cafe makes use of the pavement along the coast road of the northern Peloponnes. The sea really is that blue.
[Unfortunately our digital camera flash card, that contained most of our photos of the trip to Greece, became faulty and we have not been able to download the pics. The cost of recovery of the pics was too high. A lesson here: not to keep all one's pics on the same card!].