Here is the response to a question re driving to Corfu which was asked in the Corfu Airport thread.
In brief, we cross the Channel Dover/Calais then follow the Autoroute to Mulhouse, via Reims and Strasbourg, for the first overnight stop. Next day, it's off through Switzerland, via Basel, Lucern and the Gottard Pass into Italy. Then it's Milan, Parma.Modena,Bologna etc and on to Ancona. We use Minoan Ferries to Igoumenitsa and then a local ferry back to Corfu (although this year we're going on to Lefkas to pick up a yacht for a weeks sailing in the Southern Ionian, before coming back to Corfu)
We prefer the Ancona crossing as the ferry leaves at 17.00hrs (with a 3 hours check in) so there is more time on the day of sailing than the Venice sailing, which is 13.00 hrs (I think) which means checking in at 10.00hrs.
On Saturdays, the Autostrada between Milan and Modena is VERY busy. so allow for this - there can be large and chaotic traffic jams at the toll booths and some intersections.
This will be the third year in succession that we have done this trip.
The distance from Calais to Ancona is about 1000 miles.
If you need any extra info, let me know.
Message posted by Sailor on 28 April 2004 at 12:29pm - IP Logged
Many thanks for the information above. It is something we have discussed many times, and consider doing sometime. Just a couple of questions, is there any problems at the borders when passing through. How many night stopovers on the way down. Estimated cost of travelling this way, i.e., fuel costs, overnight stoppages. I know the ferry is about E165 for two (roughly).
It certainly sounds a very good way of travelling to Corfu, scenery, different places, etc.
Thanks again Martyn.
Message posted by MartynG on 28 April 2004 at 12:53pm - IP Logged
Border crossings are not a problem and don't exist at all when passing from one EU Member State to another The only hold up will be in Switzerland - we are usually waived through but can be in a queue of traffic so..... You need a Carnet to travel on Swiss motorways (best purchased from the Swiss Tourist Office here in the UK before you go at a cost of about £20, but can be bought at the border).
I reckon on about £230 - £250 for fuel (Petrol at about 35 mpg) but diesel will be much cheaper. Allow about £150 for motorway tolls - generally payable by credit card (a tip here - let your credit card company know what you are doing as we have had the odd problem when we've gone through 4 countries in the space of a single day and covered some 700 miles!)
As for overnight stops, this depends very much on you and how much driving you can cope with. If doing a quick trip, I would reckon on one stop each way (but it is possible to do the trip non stop. Otherwise 2 stops each way. We use Formule ! wherever possible at about E20- 30 per night
I am also interested in driving to Corfu next year. Your estimates for fuel and motorway tolls - are they for a one way or a return journey?? £150 sounds v expensive for tolls!! I knew they existed, but had not anticipated that much.
I had also looked into getting the ferry from Bari or Brindisi direct to Corfu. Is the Ancona option a better one?
Message posted by MartynG on 28 April 2004 at 4:41pm - IP Logged
Costs are for the return trip - motorway tolls are expensive, but worth the money because travel (paricularly in France, where thet tolls are more expensive) is so hassel free. This estimate may be slightly on the high side, so that there ate no surprises! I must confess, though, that I have never actually worked it out accurately!!
The crossings from Brindisi/Bari are shorter in terms of distance and also time. Typically, crossings are about 10 hours. We did this many years ago when a ferry from Ancona took 24 hours or more, so you could save time going by road. Now, the ferry from Ancona takes only 15 hrs (20 or so from Venice) as they now use High Speed Ferries which cruise at almost 30 knots. (Compare this with the high speed cross Channel cats that do 35 knots and you will see how fast these huge vessels really are.) The ferries from Brindisi/Bari are. at best, old cross Channel car ferries (no aircon) and consequently, are very slow. Brindisi/Bari is another 350/400 miles from Ancona, with is at least another 6 or 7 hours driving (as the motorway runs out well short of Brindis) plus the statutory 3 hour check in time and all of a sudden, the benefit disappears.
Message posted by Graham T-A on 28 April 2004 at 5:34pm - IP Logged
We are doing the trip this weekend. We did it last year also and found it to be real easy. We caught the overnight ferry from Harwich to Hook of Holland with a cabin which meant we arrived in Holland at 7AM nice and refreshed. I drove for about ten hours through Holland and Germany (where there are no road tolls), and we stopped just short of Austria for the night. Early start next day through Austria and Italy down to Venice for lunchtime. We caught the ferry at 3PM with a cabin again, so, nice and relaxing. We set out on Friday teatime and arrived in Curfu on Monday at 3PM with two nights on ferries and one night in hotel. It was a really easy drive with no hold ups at all. The borders are virtually non existant as we never even slowed down as we passed from one country to another, the only place we had to show passports was in England. Total cost for the round trip was approx £1000 which looks expensive at first but if you add up the cost of air tickets, airport parking and hiring a car in Corfu it's not too bad. It can be done much cheaper by not having a cabin.
The ferry from Venice is like a cruise liner with swimming pool and saterlite TV in every room. It sails straight down the Grand canal in Venice giving a fantastic view. The good news is, you don't go anywhere near Corfu airport! which is not that bad but can be slow waiting for luggage.
Message posted by Yvonne and Bob on 28 April 2004 at 6:51pm - IP Logged
I'm sure it's a nice way to go if you are not restricted by time, unfortunately for us North of the border it takes even longer and I would rather spend my precious time off in Corfu than driving in the UK (can't speak for Europe).
As for cost it is quite steep if you only have a week or two, as a comparison air tickets appr £170 per person, parking £28 for the week and car hire €165 for the week. Depends I suppose on how many you have in your car/cabin and how long you stay.
One day when I have more access to that luxurious commodity - TIME - I will try it.
I will have to do some more research, and plan the best route. I am planning to go to Corfu for 6 months over the summer next year, and taking my car with me. Therefore time is not critical and a nice leisurely trip through Europe will be just fine Also as cheaply as possible, so no cabins i'm afraid!
Message posted by Sailor on 28 April 2004 at 7:25pm - IP Logged
Hi Martyn & Graham.
Many, many thanks for all the valid information given above. It certainly has got me thinking of trying that way in the future (make sure the Volvo is up to scratch).
Martyn, I take it from your post that the ferry from Ancona, also originates from Venice. If this is the case is there any difference in getting to Venice, or is Ancona still the nearest port to go to, or visa versa.
Thanks again for all.
Message posted by markyh on 28 April 2004 at 11:06pm - IP Logged
we drove down to Corfu late last may. We left our house in Kent at 11AM on the friday morning and drove continuously ( other than food,liquid,nature and petrol stops) apart from an hour and a half snooze in Switzerland, and we arrived at the ferry terminal in Venice at 8.45 the following morning.
I would thoroughly recommend traveling from venice, if only for the view of venice from the ferry, as you cruise down the high street!!
The ferry to Corfu took 22 hours and was very relaxed and leisurely, especially after our drive. The food and facillities were superb, and it was nice to arrive in corfu from the sea for a change.
we got the directions from the AA on line, these were better than the atlas we had bought, and led us right to the ferry terminal without a wrong turn.
It is a trip that i would recommend, and we will do it again in the future allthough next time we will do it more leisurely, and perhaps spend a night in the champagne region of france and perhaps milan, but will wait for my girls to grow up a little first
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