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10-Day Camper Van Adventure in the Balkans: Route and Costs

We spent 10 days traveling through the Balkans in a camper van and had an unforgettable time. In this post, we'll share our travel route and top highlights from the Balkans.


Additionally, you'll find many helpful tips on costs, best time to travel, and camping or parking spots in our article.



 

Table of Contents

 

1. Travel preparation


Before you hit the road, there are a few things you should consider or organize before starting your journey. We've summarized for you what you need to know so you can look forward to your vacation stress-free.


Renting a camper van


If you don't have your own camper van, renting one is a wonderful option. We can recommend the rental service roadsurfer. At roadsurfer, you'll find a variety of camper vans in all sizes and shapes. An added bonus for us: the vehicles come with automatic transmission and a rearview camera - a real game changer.


For our Balkan road trip, we chose the "FamilyFinca" model from roadsurfer. It includes a kitchen and a small bathroom, allowing you to easily camp freely with the camper van.


Montenegro Wohnmobil Camping Route

If you prefer not to rent a camper van, another alternative could be a roof tent for your car. This option offers great flexibility and means you won't be dependent on hotels or accommodations along the way.



Planning Your Route


When planning your route, it's important not to overcommit yourself—after all, you don't want to spend your entire vacation behind the wheel. Make sure to schedule days without driving or with only short distances to cover.

It can also be helpful to include optional destinations along your route. This way, you can adjust your itinerary on the go if you decide to spend more or less time at a particular place.


Campsite Reservations


If you're traveling during peak season or aiming for highly popular destinations, consider making reservations at campsites to ensure you have a spot. Keep in mind that this reduces your flexibility while traveling.


Camping Osteuropa Balkan Route und Kosten


Packing


Create a packing list of items you'll need for your trip. This will help reduce stress right before departure because you can simply check off what you've already packed. Our camper van travel packing list can be a great support for this.




2. Our Destinations


On our route, we made stops in four countries: Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, and Slovenia. Each of these countries has its own unique charm and is well worth visiting.

We've summarized some facts about each country on our route. For detailed information about our specific experiences and stops in each country, you can find them in our separate articles.


Croatia


Croatia is undoubtedly the most touristy stop on our route. Here, you'll find clear waters, stunning coastlines, and many camping sites, often filled with German vacationers. Prices in Croatia are nearly at German levels, especially in the touristy regions.



Wohnmobil in Kroatien - Route und Kosten


Bosnia


If you're looking for an affordable destination where you can experience pure nature and hospitality, Bosnia should not be missed. In Bosnia, not only is it much cheaper than Croatia, but it's also far less touristy, allowing you to enjoy the national parks and attractions in peace.



Campingreiseziel Bosnien: Mostar


Montenegro


If you liked Bosnia, you'll love Montenegro: more nature, lots of hospitality, and breathtaking viewpoints. Montenegro truly impressed us and was the highlight of our Balkan route. Another plus for Montenegro: the national currency is the Euro.



Wohnmobil in Montenegro - Route und Kosten


Slovenia


On the way back to Germany, Slovenia is a great stopover. Here, you'll find impressive castles, turquoise rivers, stunning lakes, and plenty of Mediterranean charm.



Camping Reiseziel Slowenien: Bled


3. Country Information


We've summarized the road conditions and whether you can camp freely with your camper van or RV in each of these countries:


Where is wild camping allowed with a camper van?


Generally, you can stay parked for up to 8 hours in most countries to rest and recuperate. However, setting up camp outside of designated camping areas can result in hefty fines.


Wildcampen Montenegro


Here's a brief summary of what you need to know in each country along our Balkan route:


  • Croatia: Unfortunately, it's not legally allowed to camp freely with a camper van in Croatia. However, in rural areas, this is often tolerated. In touristy areas and national parks, there are regular checks, and fines of up to €400 can be imposed. Camping on private property is also not permitted. If you plan to camp in rural areas, be extremely cautious as there are still some minefields left over from the last war, particularly in Velebit, Zadar, and marked areas.

  • Bosnia: Wild camping is not officially permitted in Bosnia, but it's generally tolerated by authorities and locals as long as you're outside tourist areas and urban centers. Bosnians are generally very hospitable—if you ask, you may be able to camp on private property. If you plan to camp in Bosnia, be aware that there are still many mines from the last war. Choose a spot that's not too remote and pay attention to safety warnings.

  • Montenegro: Like Croatia, camping freely with a camper van is not allowed in Montenegro, but it's often tolerated outside of tourist areas and cities by authorities and residents. Montenegrins are extremely hospitable, so it's often possible to find a spot on private property.

  • Slovenia: Officially, wild camping and camping on private property are not allowed in Slovenia. Authorities can impose fines of up to €500 for this, although this law is often not strictly enforced. Particularly in the off-season, authorities often turn a blind eye unless you're in tourist areas or national parks.


Road Conditions


The road conditions vary greatly among the four countries we've discussed. While Croatia and Slovenia have similar road conditions to Germany (with a few exceptions), the road conditions in Bosnia and especially Montenegro are often below German standards.


Wohnmobil Route Balkan Straßenverhältnisse - Route und Kosten

While main roads are usually pothole-free and paved, you'll encounter poorly maintained roads in rural areas, some without asphalt or with larger potholes.


Therefore, it's important to drive cautiously at all times, preferably during daylight so you can react promptly to changing road conditions.




Tolls and Vignette Requirements


During our Balkan route, you'll travel through several countries where you'll encounter toll roads. If you're traveling from Germany, your first toll will be in Austria. A 10-day vignette costs €9.90, which you can purchase online in advance to use all highways. Additionally, you may encounter tolls for specific tunnels or roads.


Slovenia operates a similar system to Austria. A 7-day vignette for highway use costs €15.


In Croatia, there is currently no vignette, but you'll need to pay tolls on the highways based on the distance traveled. These tolls must be paid in cash or by card upon exiting the highway. Croatia was the most expensive country on our route in terms of highway tolls.


In Bosnia, there are also tolls for certain highways, but the costs are minimal and must be paid directly when exiting the highway (cash or card).


In Montenegro, you can essentially drive without tolls except for one highway in the country, which requires a fee. Additionally, there's a toll for the Sozina Tunnel.




4. The Best Campsites on Our Journey


During our Balkan route, three campsites stood out to us and left a particularly positive impression. We want to share these with you:

Camping Site by the Tara Bridge in Montenegro:

  • Kljajević Orchard (featuring its own distillery, incredibly hospitable hosts, and breathtaking views of the Tara Bridge)

Camping Site near Una National Park in Bosnia:

  • Camp Buk (situated by the river, very hospitable, with a small on-site restaurant, perfect for relaxation)

Camping Site within Walking Distance of Mostar:

  • Camping Neretva (20-30 minutes' walk from the city center, right by the river, offering a relaxed atmosphere)

These campsites provided memorable experiences and added to the charm of our Balkan adventure.



5. The Best Time to Travel with a Camper in the Balkans


If you're not sure when to plan your camper trip to the Balkans, we recommend avoiding peak holiday times. This way, you'll likely spend less time stuck in traffic in transit countries, and camping sites, especially in Croatia, will be less crowded and more affordable compared to peak season.


Nevertheless, each season has its own charm, and countries like Bosnia or Montenegro are moderately visited by tourists even during peak travel times.


We traveled in early June with our camper and enjoyed pleasantly warm weather, relatively few tourists, and prices that were still below peak summer rates.



6. Costs - How Much Money You'll Need for 10 Days with a Camper in the Balkans


Since the countries on our route have varying price levels, the amount of money you'll need can vary depending on your budget. In our overview, we've listed how much money we spent in each country.

Costs Balkan Route

(2 pesons, w/o Camper rent)

Total

(1.385,63€)

per person

(692,82€)

per day

(138,56€)

Food

(Restaurants, grocery shops)

442,01€

221,00€

44,20€

Campsites


245,24€

122,62€

24,52€

Excursions & entrance fees

131,60€

65,80€

13,16€

Fuel costs

399,28€

199,64€

39,93€

Tolls & vignettes

154,50€

77,25€

15,45€

Others

(e.g. for parking)

13,00€

6,50€

1,30€

Please note that we did not include tips in our listing, as they are very individual. Furthermore, you can of course save some money by cooking more often in the camper and eating out less frequently.


 

Would you like more information about our route? Here are detailed travel reports for each country:


 

If you'd like further insights into our travels, feel free to check out our Instagram channels tom_rbg_ and anna_mser! If you have any questions about the routes, you can also reach out to us through these channels anytime.


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