How to Get From Greece to England with a Motorhome 36 Comments

Our last sunset in Greece

Our last sunset in Greece

Last night, I spent most of the night awake just thinking and crying. It breaks my heart to hear mum suffering and then listen to my sister trying to support her through these dark and distressing days. Our fun time travelling is certainly no fun when all I do is worry about my parents. All I want to do is hold my mum in my arms, tell her I love her and reassure her. I am sure many of you can understand where I am coming from.

Mum has vascular dementia which means sudden massive changes can occur with the onset of strokes. The strokes of recent weeks means her condition has change dramatically and she is no longer able to live independently. Currently she is scared and frightened and refusing to go home, so she has moved in with my sister. Mum is not critical but we have decided to head home and spend Christmas with our family. Then in the New Year we will look at what mum needs in terms of long term support and take it from there. When I get home, I will do an article on dementia (and our BBC news night clip!) as I know many of our readers have elderly parents and who knows, if it helps just one of you, it is worth it.

Right, enough tears, time to lighten the mood and make the most of getting home….

How to Get From Greece to England with a motorhome

The easiest way is to fly but commercial airlines are yet to provide wide enough seats for our little Vin, a 7m motorhome. How inconsiderate.

Another quick way is to go by train but pretty sure most trains don’t offer cargo service for a motorhome…not yet but bet if someone ran a weekly train from England to Greece and vice versa like the Euro Tunnel it would be chockablock…nudge nudge Richard Branson.

The complicated way is to drive up the coast through Albania etc but sorting green cards, arranging insurance is not really something we want to be looking at, at this moment. Right now we need simple and doable.

2016-11-28-at-07-37-37-greeceThe only way is to way is to sail from Patras to Italy the drive from Italy to England. We look on-line and check out the options and prices, so we can chat on the way up. Go Ferry, is one of the websites we used to check out the information. With information to digest…fast forward 5 hours after driving from Kalamata to Patras along an excellent highway with just one toll fare of €4.75 and we arrive at the port. In Patras, we park on at the port car park and walk in to the ferry terminal. There are basically 3 ferry operators open – Minoan, Speed Ferry, Anek. They all offer ferries to Italy with a variety of spot off points but in the main, Igoumenitsa, Bari, Ancona, Trieste and Venice. Speed Ferry prices were the most expensive, Anek were mid and Minoan Lines were cheapest.

After much debate, ok a quick chat, we opted for the Minoan sailing in 1 HOUR, eeek. Feels all rather surreal and very difficult to take in. Is this really happening? Our sailing from Patras to Ancona will take 21 hours and for 2 passengers, 2 dogs, 7m motorhome with a cabin (dogs permitted in to the cabin) it cost €340. Due to winter crossing they automatically offer a cabin free but still, no charge for the dogs, which is great.

Just for comparison if anyone is interested. The same deal with Anek worked out at €682 but if we chose a dog kennel (whimper from the boyz) and sleep in a chair then price reduces to €376.

Mac n Tosh wanted to walk home as they quite like the energetic life. Now that would be an adventure! Google tells me it’s 1919 miles or 423 hours of walking. At a blistering pace of 12 hours a day, you’d get there in about a month, but I reckon 8 hours a day would be enough for anyone, and that would get you there in 53 days. If anyone fancies the challenge then click here for the directions and oh, don’t forget to collect Mac n Tosh!

With tickets in hand we briskly walk back to Vin, drive over the road to the fuel station and fill up with diesel. Diesel in Italy is about 25% more than in Greece, so might as well fill up now and the saving will buy us a luxury burger, bun and beer on the ferry.

On board the Minoan Ferry

With Vin full to the brim we dash over to the ferry terminal and exit our motorhome for a full on search. The Greeks certainly examined Vin good and proper – inside, garage, underside and the full works. Glad to see someone is taking the controls for people and drugs serious. But on the flip side they missed the dogs, no control or check on their microchip or passport.

With inspection complete we zoomed over to the ferry, up the ramp then up another ramp to the second deck. A very grumpy ferry controller directed us to park in the back right hand corner. Craig parked up as directed but the guy wanted us further over to the wall. We shuffled back and forth as far as we could so literally millimetres between the body work and the ferry pillars. The grumpy controller was still unhappy but realised we could go no further. He then guided a huge lorry down our other side. Now we have travelled on a fair number of ferries but this takes some beating for packing in like sardines. We were literally hair breath away from the lorry and not impressed especially with such an empty ferry.

On deck we make our way to our cabin, a simple but comfortable cabin with 4 single beds and bathroom. A quick walk around the outside with the dogs then an hour to ourselves tootling around the ferry before heading back to the cabin after waving goodbye to Greece.

Ferry Greece Italy

Bye Bye Greece

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36 thoughts on “How to Get From Greece to England with a Motorhome

  • Sue

    So sorry to hear your news hope all is as well as can be expected when you reach the UK. So many suffering with this awful problem nowadays.

  • rockinandarollin

    Hi, So sorry to hear that your Mum is poorly! I know exactly how you feel, my mum had Alzheimers and I just wanted to be around for her all the time even when she went into a nursing home I didn’t want to be too far away. I’m sure it will make her Christmas having all her family around her.

  • Chris en Peter

    You did make the right choice! Spending time with your family and see what can be done for your mum- long term. Wish you all the best and a safe trip home!

  • Nick Pearce

    Wow, thats a tale of two problems. We’re sitting here thankful in the knowledge that although she is 86, Margarets mum is still in fairly good nick. Smokes like a train, and has her wee vodka every night. Dread to think how we’d cope if she got as bad as your mum Joanne. We’re thinking of you and your family and hope and pray it all works out. As for the trip, thats a lot of very handy information re the ferries.
    We had a frin who was taking her two prize Pekinese dogs to Crufts. While they were walking about on deck, they got spooked and jumped through the railings into the cold Irish Sea. The captain said he couldn’t go back for them because they were running late! Distraught they had no choice but continued the sailing. They decided to get the next available ferry back home, no point in going to Crufts without their prize pooches. They got home early the next morning and guess what was on their door step? You ready? Two pints of milk.

  • lexklein

    So sorry you had to suddenly ditch your trip, but family does come first (for many of us). What a resourceful (and sort of fun) solution – I hope the ferry went well and the rest of the drive does as well. I look forward to seeing you back out on the road in the future.

    • Bumble Crew Post author

      Thank you.
      The travel plan is on hold for a wee while but not for ever. As well as the blog, I have gathered so much information during this trip that I now need to sit down and compile some useful articles. Time at home will help me do this.

  • Itchy Feet

    Take it steady, hope things work out for you 4. Understand your dilemma, have same here hence no full timing. However you are on your way to her and will see her soon. Our thoughts are with you. T n K

  • Barrie Clarke

    Really looking forward to seeing you both and the dogs just wish it was better circumstances. Beau is keen to see you all as well he has a friend called Derek who he loves to walk with as you know its like little and large when we go out but we know we are Beau Derek bu better looking lol. Well when you come home we go away on the 23rd but back for New Year, we really hope to see you before we go but understand your going to be very busy with your Mum. Best of luck with her we love you both and our feelings go out to you, see you soon Michele and Dad

  • Sally

    Love your writing style and the content of course-as a relative newbie who’s only euro travel is a week in Picardy, & 2 months roaming Spain & Portugal in Moho, your blog is really interesting & inspirational🎈Very sorry to hear about your Mum – you’re combining family commitments and adventure on the road, with aplomb! Good on you🐾🚐🌻😎🐶🎈

    • Bumble Crew Post author

      Sally so pleased you find the blog useful. Hopefully, time in the UK will give me space to compile all the knowledge and information gathered over last 12 months. Loads of info to share!

  • Eleanor Mclay

    Hi Jo my heart goes out to you I really do know how you feel Gordon and I had his mum to stay with us for about 2years as she had Alzheimer’s,, so to hear that you’s are on your way home to spend Christmas with her and the family is at this moment the right thing to do we hope you’s have a lovely time 💞 Xx

  • Gilda Baxter

    I am so sorry to hear that your mum is not well. It is so hard to be miles away when there is a family ilness. I can relate to you, since my mother had end stage renal failure and spent the last years of her life having do be connected to a dialysis machine. We were many miles apart and it was very hard for us. It will be lovely to be with her and all your family for Christmas.

  • csd4t

    Sorry to hear about your mum, my partner, Lorraine is going through exactly the same with her dad, he seems to like gardening the verges outside his house at midnight in his pyjamas! Have a safe trip home.

    • Bumble Crew Post author

      Thanks Fred.
      I fitted sensors to mum’s door, so if she went out after midnight we would be alerted. It is such a shame when they really have no idea on the time of day or what they are doing. Give my love to Lorraine x

  • val and tony

    Sorry to hear about your Mum but think you are doing the right thing to head back while she is still there, we only get 1 Mum don’t we.
    We are now 3 weeks into our adventure, bought a 7.4m Bessacar, a bit bigger than we thought but it had everything we wanted, LPG, Solar, leisure batteries and a few other extras.
    Working our way down south west France in December is proving challenging as most ‘sites’ are closed or no longer operating.
    Loving your travels and have learnt a lot from your blogs and hints and tips.
    Well done, keep up the excellent work.
    Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas together.

    • Bumble Crew Post author

      Thank you x x x
      We had a similar problem with France last year but as soon as we hit southern Spain and Portugal it all changed…full of life.
      Have a great christmas and keep us posted on your travels x

  • Chris & paul

    So sorry to hear your news and would like to say that we fully understand your situaation and thank you for for your inspirational blog which have helped people trapped in this sort of ssituation to have dreams for their future. We will miss your entries and watch for your return when possible . Many thanks .. thinking of you.

  • Barbara Spurr

    So sorry to hear about your Mum . I am only too aware of the problems. My mum is now 94 and I have to give her a lot of attention- she is mentally ok but very frail . Arthur spends a lot off his time in France at our house with the two dogs and he went early November. I would of course like to be with him but sometimes you have to make difficult choices and I know you are doing the right thing by going home to be with your Mum. I am flying to France next Monday with Mum- I have arranged assistance for the journey as I normally do- French assistance is really good. Hope you get back safely and Happy Christmas and love to you. Barbaraxx