/ Anyone ever driven to Crete?

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Georgert 13 Feb 2020

My partner and I are planning our (second) year in a van, and thought Crete / the Greek Islands would be a great place to start / fend off the colder months of European winter.  

We'll be leaving in December 2020 / January 2021, so at this stage I'm just researching rough routes. Seems a fairly well-driven path goes through Italy, then via ferry to mainland Greece for the onward journey to the islands. 

Any experience or tips out there?

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LastBoyScout 13 Feb 2020
In reply to Georgert:

Hope your van is amphibious...

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Le Sapeur 13 Feb 2020
In reply to LastBoyScout:

They have ferries in Greece.

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Georgert 13 Feb 2020
In reply to LastBoyScout:

UKC forum at its best. 

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Jus 13 Feb 2020
In reply to Georgert:

We thought about it and ended up staying on the Pelloponese as there was so much to do. 

We looked into it and I'm pretty sure you have to catch a ferry from Athens these days if you want to take your van/ car to Crete from Greece.

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Georgert 13 Feb 2020
In reply to Jus:

That's a mega tip, thanks – looks incredible. 

We were recommended Crete by an old boy we met in Verdon who spends his winters over there. We figured if it was good enough for him, it was worth the effort. 

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heleno 13 Feb 2020
In reply to Georgert:

We've been to Greece a couple of times in our van, though not to any of the islands (yet). 

We travelled through France, Switzerland and Italy to Ancona and took the ferry to Patras. The St Gotthard tunnel route through the alps is open in all  but the worst winter conditions and is included in a Swiss motorway vignette (but its probably a good idea to have a set of snow socks/chains tucked away just in case).

The ferry from Ancona to Patras (Superfast / Anek Lines recommended) was very comfortable and efficient. (NB the "camp on board" option is not allowed during winter).

From Patras its only a couple of hours to Pirhaeus for ferries on to the islands. However as another poster has said, the Peloponnese is a great winter destination and much easier to get to. Check out Nafplio, Zobolo and of course Leonidio.

A final piece of food for thought - when we were in Leonidio we met a couple of climbers from Crete who had come to Leonidio to escape the rain in Crete! I don't know how typical that situation was!

Hope you have a great trip - and if you do take your van to Crete I do hope you'll post some beta on how it went! 

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RM199 13 Feb 2020
In reply to Georgert:

ive driven to the White Mountains in Crete twice for student caving expeditions.

the first time we went entirely inland till Athens clocking up 13 countries along the way. With two drivers rotating (and rotating co-pilots) we made it in about 36 hours straight from Sheffield. We also drove through a massive thunderstorm in Romania on route which was awesome 

second time we took the ferry from Brindisi to Athens as well. Less far to drive for sure but soooo dull. The epic drive was much more fun ;-)

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Georgert 14 Feb 2020
In reply to heleno:

Really helpful, thank you! The Peloponnese is looking like a very safe bet so far. 

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