When does the Great Balkan Ride take place?
August 2-10, 2019
Is it safe?
Um, sort of. The more you obey the rules listen to advice and practice common sense; you’ll probably do just fine. But it’s not guaranteed, you won’t have a support or rescue team nudging you on, plus you’ll be in extremely remote areas at some point. This is real adventure. Read more about the threats and dangers. We never had major security/safety problems in the past years so don’t be too much concerned, just use common sense and follow the Road Book.
When do you close registration?
When the 30th team has registered or 45 days before the start date.
Who is eligible to participate?
Anyone with a valid driver’s license for the type of vehicle you’ll be using. Technically you should also be of sound mind and body… but that’s covered in the terms and conditions you sign before the start. No age restrictions, use your common sense and/or ask the organizers.
How many people can be in a team?
Typically teams consist of two people. Thanks to our liberal definition of a team (1 to 4 people), that number can vary. Maximum 30 teams can register.
What if all the spots are taken?
Now might be a good time to learn about common bribery practices…
What is the deadline for the entrance fee?
The deadline for the registration fee is 45 days before the start date. We encourage you to send it in early to guarantee your place in the rally.
– 40% of the registration fee is payable on sign-up to secure place
– balance 60% is due 30 days before start of the rally
We try to be as flexible as possible but please be aware that if full payment is not received on time we reserve the right to reallocate your place to another participant.
What does my fee cover?
Administration of the Great Balkan Ride is a full time, year-round job for the organizers and the additional support staff in multiple offices internationally. We work hard to make things as easy as possible for participants to sign up and have a great time. Your fees enable us to carry out all the route planning, research, logistics and administration whilst providing an earning for our hard working staff. In addition to the “background” work, your fee also covers the inclusive features of your trip package such as:
- Information about and help in arranging visas and all other paperwork
- Government permits & recommendations, where applicable.
- Essential and hard-to-find maps.
- A custom road book that guides you on all aspects of the journey.
- Official rally gear. (Clothing and accessories)
- Launch party.
- Finish party.
- Organization team located in Budapest available to assist with all questions and issues that arise pre-event.
What kind of paperwork is required?
Once your registration form has been processed by us, you will know your place is confirmed and can set about planning for the trip. You will need all the usual documentation you would expect for a holiday as follows:
- Passport (with visa where applicable)
- Travel insurance
- Driving licence
- International Driving Permit (if necessary)
- Vehicle registration document
What vehicle papers will I need?
The same standard papers required elsewhere: car insurance (green card) and vehicle registration paper (called ‘car passport’). If the vehicle is on someone else’s name make sure you have an authorization. Any paper that connects you with the owner of the car (or whoever is in the car papers), will be fine for the border procedures. We will notify you in advance if there are any special requirements. Anyhow, you’ll find all the details in the road book.
Where are we going to spend the night(s)?
Sleeping accommodations are the responsibility of the participants. We give you a tailor-made road book, in advance, that lists some of the local accommodations for the nights. Each night a designated hotel becomes the Great Balkan Ride base camp. This is the place where you’ll find the organizers, parties and a friendly place to hang out or get help.
We put together a hotel package, so if you sign up for that, you won’t have a problem with your places to stay for the whole length of the event. It’s not mandatory but one thing less to think about while on the road – just pick up your key and enjoy the night.Hotel package prices and conditions will be announced prior to to the start date.
What types of roads will we be driving on?
The Great Balkan Ride organizers have researched and planned the route based on roads marked on common maps, however they are not the highly developed highways you might be used to. The route is designed so that any car can participate, no matter its age or model. Of course, we might all be expected to get out and push at some point.
What if I break down on the way?
We could say bad luck but it’s rather good luck. You have a wonderful opportunity to test your sense to find a mechanic or someone who knows someone maybe far from the next village, test your team mate’s nerves and learn names of car parts in local languages.
I’m a foreigner. What kind of visa do I need to bring?
A tourist visa is sufficient. Contact your local embassy for more information and any needed application processing. We encourage you to apply early (30 days before departure) in case of delays.
What maps and navigation techniques do you recommend?
We give you a series of maps for the whole route including all countries. We highly recommend Garmin GPS products as a proven brand in adventure traveling. All the GPS maps we give to participants are Garmin format.
Participants can read more info about the GPS devices and useful maps in the Road Book.
What about vaccines, medical issues, and general health during the event?
We highly suggest contacting a traveler’s clinic in your home country or your personal doctor to find out what kind of vaccinations you might need or medical precautions you should consider before traveling across the Balkans. We highly recommend you bring a medical kit with you, which should include the following:
- Pain killers
- Ointments for insect bites
- Insect repellent
- Tweezers and needles
- Antiseptic alcohol
- Eye drops
- Generic antibiotics
- Anti-diarrhea medication
- First-aid supplies
Please remember, you will be responsible for bringing your own prescription medication as needed.
How much money should I bring?
That is entirely up to you and depends on many factors like the fuel efficiency of your car, the accommodation you choose and what you eat. We ballpark it somewhere around 1000-1500 Euro per person (accommodation included). If you choose our hotel package, this amount will naturally decrease. You can find more detailed information here.
Can we get our own sponsors?
All participants are required to have official Great Balkan Ride sponsor stickers on their racing vehicle. However some teams like to offset the cost of the Challenge or increase their charity donations by finding their own team sponsors. Go for it!