Van Life #7 | Big decision at the North Macedonian border & camping in Bulgaria

I was pretty sad to leave Greece as it had been such a good trip but we were on a pretty tight schedule now and I was also so excited to visit a new country, North Macedonia! To be honest, I’d stopped checking if our green card insurance was valid for all the countries we were travelling in because you can normally buy some insurance at borders for a small fee but, ho was I wrong for North Macedonia.IMG_20191103_104645996.jpg

The border guard told us that our van wasn’t covered so I went to the insurance booth, but I was shocked to see that for our van it would have cost €120! Previous to this we had paid €15 for Bosnia and Herzegovina and €49 for Albania. At the time, we thought Albania was a bit steep but we had stayed longer and we were only planning to stay in North Macedonia for a couple of nights. Cars cost €50 for 15 days in North Macedonia then the next category up is a commercial vehicle up to 1 tonne. The insurance lady was right, we were none of these so what were we to do?! She said we could pay €120 or potentially the next price up which was €240, but both Pete and I agreed that was far too expensive as we were on a budget so we decided to head to Bulgaria instead.

Just a heads up, Bulgaria has an e-vignette system and we paid £6 for a week which is easily purchased online. We wild camped our first night next to the river near Kresna then as luck would have it, our best friend from the Soča Valley, had a layover in Sofia so we went to meet her the next day.

We parked at a camper stop just outside the centre which was €10 a night and was close to the metro for the city. We had a mega vegan pizza at Olio d’Oliva in the evening and a great vegan brunch at Edgy Veggy.

I really liked the vibe of Sofia and it had some quirky shops and cafes with lots of vegan options too. We also found very cheap tofu in the Lidl next to the camperstop which was the best find ever! Next stop – Serbia!


Park4Night camping spots:

Vegan food tips:

  • Loads of vegan offerings in Sofia
  • Best vegan (non-cheese) pizza I’ve ever had
  • Big Lidl with Bio range and few vegan products