I am planning a one-month trip from Venice to Sofia from mid-March to mid-April.
All the way from Italia to Greece is pretty easy to plan, but the Balkans’ part is way more difficult.
I am especially struggling to find train tickets:
- From Athens to Florina > Even on the website of the Greek trains company Trainose, I don’t find any tickets, even when I look for travels from Athen to Larissa - Larissa to Florina. I tried as well with a step in Thesaloniki... For all these options, the website said there is no ticket at all... Does that mean that there is no train anymore in Greece ? Or is it just impossible anymore to book on Trainose ? And where to book a ticket, then ?
- From Florina to Bitola > As far as I understood, there is no train line crossing the border between Greece and North Macedonia... How to cross the border, then ? Are there any buses or cheap cabs ? Is it safe to cross the border here as a women alone without traveling by train ?
- From Kochani to Sofia > Same here, it seems that there is no train line between North Macedonia and Bulgaria... Does anyone knows how to travel between these two destinations, then ?
Thanks for your feedbacks, and advices. I would be very grateful to have some tips to make my travel plan possible or to find a good alternative trip, if needed
Enjoy your current or upcoming journey !
Athens - Florina: As far as I know, there are three daily trains between Thessaloniki and Florina and 5 trains from Thessaloniki to Athens.Correct me if I'm wrong
Florina - Bitola: There are currently no trains and I don't think that there will be train service in the near future. If you have luck, there will return the Hellas-Express from Belgrade and Skopje to Thessaloniki, but before summer I don't think that it will return. But you can take a Taxi, there are only 30 minutes by car.
Kochani - Sofia: There is no train line, but I recommend to take a train from sofia to kulata. From there you can take a bus or taxi to Strymonas. From there are (as far as I know) two daily trains to Thessaloniki. If you take this route, you have also no problem to cross the Florina - Bitola border
Currently there is no International train out from Greece :/
Usually Thessaloniki - Bus replacement - Greek Border change to Train - Skopje - Nis - Belgrade
Thessaloniki - Strymon - Bus Replacement - Kulata back on train - Sofia
as suggest above you still can cross the border by Taxi or ofcourse use Buses to travel arround :)
and there is no Route from North Macedonia to Bulgaria (they wanna build one but till yet not much happend :/)
B smart and forget trains for there. Instead of these cumbersome-train/taxi or bus/train again, with maybe just 2 or 3 trains/day, do not even think about a pass, buy ticket when needed for what suits you best. A direct bus may run much more often and be in half the time of that cumbersome combo.
And even when in BG the problems do not stop: connections from there into Serbije also suspended, to ROmania just 1/day via roundabout route and coming spring one of the main borders from RO to HU is also closed due to works.
Other as promised on the site there are NO free ferries for now It-GR, you have to pay ticket anyway, get discount as ju/se-nior
Regarding the ferries, the discounts with the pass are actually still very interesting: 10 euros instead of 60 to go from IT to GR with superfast - anek.
Thanks for your help :)
I did this route back in the good days with trains :) There are several post´s on tripadvisor about the taxi. However i prefer currently a direct Bus from Sofia to Thessaloniki (less stress as with Train - Taxi - Train connection)