VanGo Caravan Services check out our comfortable cushions check out the new remote control Jockey Wheel Lithium Batteries Learn more about Sat Phone Sales How to help support the Grey Nomad Times
Members Login
Username 
 
Password 
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: Touring Europe


Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:
Touring Europe


Just looking at touring Europe next year, just wondering if anyone has experience of the challenges faced, ie. 90 day in 180 Schengen Countries limit, any idea how you stay longer, buy or rent sprinter/transporter to travel in, best time & direction to travel, looking at France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium etc a long way for just 3 months, can you store easily over there for 3-6 months till return and continue????  Any help appreciated.confuse

Is anyone looking or doing this at present? looking to sell their van on leaving Europe? know anyone that is? We are hoping to go around July/August 2019 hopefully for a once in a lifetime experience not nightmare smile



__________________


Veteran Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 38
Date:

We wintered in Europe from Dec 2016 to April 2017, trained between cities and used AirBnB for almost all accom plus train and bus to out of town/city sights. What struck me was the lack of concern for vehicles when parking and the awkward narrow road and streets between rows of parked vehicles. My advice, think about just what you hope to see when in Europe before committing to a van or motorhome. The may not suit the areas you are interested in visiting.

__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 1129
Date:

Not exactly Europe, but driving our hire car in the UK was a bl**dy nightmare.

It was so stressful, the traffic was horrendous & it was a nightmare to navigate our way which caused a lot of friction between us.

The best experience was when we dropped it off at the depot in Stratford Upon Avon.

We had a small hire car but it felt huge at times driving on narrow roads. Hedge rows blocked most of the scenery.

Never again.



__________________

Cheers Keith & Judy

Nature, the Cathedral of awe.

Trip Reports posted on feathersandphotos.com.au Go to Forums then Trip Reports.

 

KJB


Senior Member

Status: Online
Posts: 103
Date:

My wife and I leased a car and toured through 8 countries in Western Europe  using country roads not Autobahns  (approx. 10,000 kms) in 2014 . It was all very easy and relaxing  , staying in B&B's , English is spoken in most places , great food , beautiful scenery  and friendly people. Did not have a single booking for the whole 7 weeks even though it was peak holiday season. Also worked out to be super cheap compared to travelling with an  Escorted Tour Group.  Hope to return and see more this year.

KB



__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 1831
Date:

Margaret and I spent 6 months touring Europe each year in a motorhome in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The vehicle was facilitated by a friend in Germany. That made life MUCH easier.

If you REALY do your homework, the Schengen restrictions can be largely overcome. Many countries (including France, Germany, Scandinavia....) have bilateral agreements with Australia that pre-date the Schengen arrangements and that means you can generally spend 3 months in those countries without it counting towards the Schengen time. The problem comes because very few people in those countries know about those agreements, so you have to work your way through their systems. In 2015 we secured this in writing in Germany (after arrival) and in Norway (easily, for the whole of Scandinavia, by email from home). You will need to keep lots of receipts to be able to prove where you were and when though, just in case.
In 2013 & 2014 we did not need to do that because we spent sufficient time outside Schengen.

Between trips we found (courtesy of our friend) under cover parking for the motorhome in a farmer's barn (new, with concrete floor) in Holland for E180 per 6 months.
One 6 month trip is no where near enough. We seriously considered a 4th. Buying your own vehicle is probably the most economical by a long way, but does increase the risk somewhat and does take some time to buy and sell.

July/August is pretty late to start. We typically arrived in Europe in May and stayed 6 months. And a bit like Australia, follow the weather - south early and late, north in mid summer.
We most enjoyed Turkey, Norway, Scotland, France, Montenegro ..... but visited many others too and all have their own particular attraction.
In Turkey we travelled with some Australian friends for a few weeks who just happened to be there for some of the time we were there, for the rest we travelled alone.

I doubt we used commercial camping areas 5 times in 18 months travelling. Here are 3 pics, one from each year in Turkey, Ireland and Norway, just to whet the appetite....... The Turkish one we had to pay for. I think it was $3 per night, but free if you had their $5 trout dinner :)

08.jpg

Slide18.JPG

P1070202E.jpg

Cheers,
Peter

EDIT - No, that Turkish campsite was a free one, got the wrong pic.....

The Turkish authorities said "You can consider the whole of Turkey as your camp ground."



-- Edited by Peter_n_Margaret on Wednesday 14th of February 2018 07:19:13 PM

Attachments
__________________

OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 600W of solar, 460Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
CMCA Member #30276. 



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 391
Date:

Karen, unlike DD with his experiences in England, we've been there twice with different results. The second time was better for me as the driver as we took our GPS with the appropriate card in it. The first time wasn't so good as we found a lot of vital signs were covered by bush, branches. Know your round-about rules as they can have extra round-abouts running off others! The car we had first time was a VW Jetta, the second, a VW Golf. Just watch & see how the locals park in a street.

Europe? They drive on the wrong side of the road!
Go on a red bus tour of Paris & watch as they negotiate the Arc de Triomphe round-about!!

__________________

Warren

----------------------------------

If you don't get it done today, there's always tomorrow!

Nissan Patrol ST 2004/4.2TDi & gas injection/2011 17' Jayco Discovery Outback



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 1241
Date:

Our only actual driving ourselves overseas was two separate holidays in Ireland. That was fabulous and  easy. 

 

Peter and Margaret, those photos are amazing smile



__________________

Quo vadis



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 2340
Date:

Great pics Peter and Margaret but what does "Schengen" mean?

Regards

__________________

Denis

Ex balloon chaser and mercury measurer.

Toowoomba.



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 1831
Date:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area
Schengen is an area of Europe where there is free movement between countries without any border controls.
Typically, you can visit the area for a maximum of 90 days in any 180 day period, hence the apparent difficulty of staying longer than 90 days.
The UK is NOT part of Schengen and nor are many eastern European countries.

It is complicated because it is NOT the same as the European Union. There are some countries that are part of the EU but which are not part of Schengen and there are countries that are not in the EU but which are part of Schengen.

Cheers,
Peter



-- Edited by Peter_n_Margaret on Wednesday 14th of February 2018 10:59:25 PM

__________________

OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 600W of solar, 460Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
CMCA Member #30276. 



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 1831
Date:

Free campsites or "aires" in France.

There are books that tell you where all of these are in western (Continental) Europe. There are several thousand in France alone.

The sign on the first one says - Reserved for camping cars (which means motorhomes/campervans). Touring caravans are relatively rare. Mont Blanc in the background.

P1040724c1E.jpg

P1040402cE.jpg

P1040186cE.jpg

P1030162cE.jpg

Cheers,

Peter



Attachments
__________________

OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 600W of solar, 460Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
CMCA Member #30276. 



Senior Member

Status: Offline
Posts: 250
Date:

I've enjoyed all my driving experiences in the UK & Europe, many times from the '70's up to current. Some attitude alignment is necessary i.e. don't compare everything with home, wherever you are you need to become a "temporary local" in mindset. Drive/park etc as they do, learn and understand local road rules, accept the differences, have patience. The UK is very easy (although not on your list). Driving in Europe requires more concentration mainly to do with language, signs and driving on the right. In a motorhome you'd need to park out of the centres (plenty of options almost everywhere) and commute in to see the city sights. There are many upsides to appreciate: Mostly good roads, easy distances, good services and wayside stops, something see round every corner, mostly good road signage, far less road rage than Melb or Syd. Arm yourself with an up to date GPS. If it's your first time driving over there, get online and research everything thoroughly in advance. Enjoy!

__________________

Cheers,

Tony

The older I get, the better I was



Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 1831
Date:

Good advise Tony.
I would advise choosing the smallest motorhome that you can, but it must be fully self contained otherwise the cost of traditional commercial camp grounds will become very expensive.

Cheers,
Peter

__________________

OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 600W of solar, 460Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
CMCA Member #30276. 



Newbie

Status: Offline
Posts: 3
Date:

Amazing info, so excited to go, looking at a Mercedes Sprinter or VW Transporter size, donāt suppose you have an itinary for you travels?

__________________


Guru

Status: Offline
Posts: 1831
Date:

We never plan in much detail (but we buy a Lonely Planet Guide for every country that we think we might visit), preferring to use all of the flexibility that this mode of travel offers. Each year we started and finished in Germany, near the Dutch border, where we had friends.

2013, the only aim was really simply to meet up with friends in Turkey. We thought about a month in Turkey. We stayed 10 weeks (the visa was good for 90 days). Of course we had to get there and back, so chose 2 very different routes, going east fairly quickly via Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia & Bulgaria. Coming back to back to Germany via northern Greece, Albania, Montenegro (really enjoyed), Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, northern Italy, Austria and Switzerland (we had friends in Switzerland, so deviated via there often).

2014, England (via ferry from France), Wales, a month in Scotland (a favourite) then a month in Ireland and back to France via England and the Channel train. Then a month in France (not nearly enough) then visiting friends again. We usually stay out of the cities, but we drove to Paris with friends in their car (from northern Germany), hired an AirB&B flat and explored Paris for a week. Then we had 2 weeks in Cambodia with friends on the way home.

2015 to Scandianavia, (most time was spent in Norway which was a favourite, we drove all the way to Nordcapp, the furthest you can drive north anywhere in the world) then south via Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland (which is also worth more time than we spent). In this year we had over 5 months in Schengen.

Fuel costs vary lots in Europe fuel-prices-europe.info/ and if you need to fill your gas bottles outside of the country you got the vehicle from, you will need the adaptors at the bottom of that page. Despite gas central heating, the 2 x 13kg bottles we had would last us the full 6 months, but our vehicle had a compressor fridge and I added lots more solar.

In each 6 month period we drove about 20,000km.

Cheers,
Peter



-- Edited by Peter_n_Margaret on Sunday 18th of February 2018 08:49:51 PM

__________________

OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 600W of solar, 460Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
CMCA Member #30276. 

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
 
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to Del.icio.us
Purchase Grey Nomad bumper stickers Read our daily column, the Nomad News The Grey Nomad's Guidebook