One of the hurdles presented is the Syria Situation. Previously, the easiest route from Saudi was through Syria and into Turkey. As you all know, the country has been literally torn apart by its civil war , resulting in no access from Saudi by road. Not that anyone would actually want to enter Syria at this moment in time, due to the large scale warfare witnessed by the world.
There were several alternative routes, covered in the section below
Saudi to Jordan, and cross the land border at Eilat into Israel. Onwards to the port of Haifa and a ferry crossing to Athens
Once in mainland Europe, the route should be fairly straightforward although nothing is finalised yet, but an approximate route map would take in:
Athens through Greece – Albania – Montenegro – Croatia – Slovenia -Austria-> Germany -Czech Republic-Slovakia – Slovenia – Poland – Germany – Netherlands- Belgium Luxembourg – France – Netherlands and to finish, a ferry onto the UK.
There is apparently a RoRo ( Roll On, Roll Off) Ferry service from the port of Duba, Saudi Arabia, that will go directly to Iskenderun in Turkey. This is by all accounts a four day crossing. In some respects, this might be easiest route to take. The latest update I have received about this route ( March 2020) is the following:
– Departures are around every 10 days from Duba. If the ferry is low on numbers departing Duba, it *may* stop at Tripoli, Lebanon to pick up some more trucks.
– Passengers are not allowed with their vehicles. You have have to fly to Iskenedrun and collect the car from there.
Route 3 Possibility:
Drive from Saudi to Emirates. Ferry from Sharjah to Bandar Abbas in Iran. Drive through Iran to northern border with Turkey, and through Turkey into mainland Europe.
There are a couple of alternatives of getting to Iran.
1- Drive to Kuwait, into Iraq and then into Iran. This would mean passing through / nearby Basra. As far as I’m concerned, Basra has been in the news for all the wrong reasons, so I’ll be giving this a wide berth.
2- There *may* be a possibility of a ferry from Kuwait directly into Iran. I haven’t explored this in detail.
However, the whole Iran thing sounds like a lot of hassle. We’d need a visa in advance ( do-able) but we would also need to be accompanied by a tour guide at all times. This means paying a daily rate, as well as all meals and accommodation, which is something neither of us wanted.
At the time of writing this article ( March 2020 ), Iran is suffering from a real outbreak of the Coronovirus Covid-19, so probably better to avoid the area anyway.
Route 4 Possibility.
From Saudi, into Jordan and a ferry from Aqaba into Egypt. Drive from Newibah northwards to Port Saeed. There is no direct ferry to Europe from here, so would have to be a ferry to Tripoli ( Lebanon ) and then another ferry to Mercin in Turkey.
Looks like Route 1 is the favourite here, providing we can drive into Israel. If not, then Route 2 will be Plan B.
Once we hit mainland Europe, I’m expecting there to be a few deviations from the route, as this is planned very much a an extended holiday, and we may decide en route to visit different places.