Morocco, Greece or Sicily in winter...that old chestnut! - Motorhome Forums, Motorhome Discussion, Motorhome Chat

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 26-04-2015, 09:17 Thread Starter
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Morocco, Greece or Sicily in winter...that old chestnut!

I'm really starting to obsess now. I'm leaving my little business and my flat behind in order to travel solo for a year come this Christmas. It's all I can think about and the lines are becoming blurred. I could use some help from other solo artists to decide where to head in January for the start of the adventure. I'm definitely aiming for something a little more extreme than Spain or Portugal. I was initially thinking of Sicily having already spent a few months wintering in Greece in 2009 - but I could also see myself back in Finikounda! Morocco has been a dream for a long time but will I get the most out of it as a female travelling alone? And will my dog be safe and welcome? Is there enough in Sicily to keep me interested for a couple of months? Other suggestions?
A little background:
I'm a seasoned motorhomer - very confident late-40s female with a small dog who provides great company and loves travelling as much as I do. I like immersing myself in local culture and always try to learn as much of the local language as my brain allows. Happy to wild camp and use aires/sostas (dislike crowded campsites but love small, simple ones too), don't necessarily need wall-to-wall sunshine but appreciate a little winter heat. I do enjoy meeting up with the occasional English speaking campers - they were few and far between as I was travelling around Greece and Italy in the middle of winter!
So that is the crux of it - would love to hear from anyone, especially soloists about their winter travels in those areas and perhaps others that I've overlooked.

Hope to hear from you!

Jacsprat
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Last edited by JacSprat; 26-04-2015 at 09:20.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 26-04-2015, 17:51
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In winter we love Portugal.
The Algarve coast, but also a little further inland/north so long as the weather forecast is good.
Plenty of wilding and also Aires (we are not fans of campsites).
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 26-04-2015, 20:06
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Last winter we spent in Morocco, the previous one in Sicily. If you are into antiquities I would definitely recommend Sicily. Huge amounts of ancient Greek culture.

If however it is weather that is the deciding factor Marc is your destination. Very friendly and welcoming people and enough culture to occupy you but as a signal woman I would try and team up with someone if you are at all retiring. Not threatening but you would need to be adept at fending off.

Dick
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 26-04-2015, 22:49
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We have tried all three options and would be happiest with Sicily (We chose Catania because there is so much more to do in the city). Morroco was good for weather and cost but a single woman would be struggling until you get well down South (Agadir etc.) In the North they are still very traditional and can be unpleasant without realising it. Greece for us was the Peleponese - Finikes, Finikounda. Good weather but the place is really almost deserted during the Winter. Cheap, though!
We stayed most of the time in Scicily at Jonio, just North of Catania and were really well looked after by both the owners and the staff for 8 euros a day. Weather just better than Southern Spain that year, anyway.

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 26-04-2015, 23:29 Thread Starter
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Good stuff folks! Thanks very much for that - I do think Sicily is really drawing me. Thanks for the campsite heads-up - 8Ä, crikey! Not bad for Italy, and I don't mind the idea of a longer stay on one site. Great to have a personal recommendation, so thanks indeed. I've heard Sicily is quite good for a bit of wild camping in winter as well?
Spain and Portugal are for another time, methinks. My first big European trip was spent roaming around there - love it but want to try something a little grittier this time.
Morocco is in the heart but the head says dunno. Think you are right - may need to hook up with another like-minded type and go convoy if at all. Can't bear the thought of not feeling able to see and do whatever I fancy without feeling conspicuous. No way would I go just to sit on the beach with hundreds of other 'vans all winter.

Hope to get more voices in though, so keep it coming!

Jac

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 27-04-2015, 09:48
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We 'did' Sicily three winters ago and wild camped just about all the way around the Island. We paid to stay inland at the Valley of the Temples - 12 euros and worth every penny to wake up with all that amazing architecture all around us.

Loved Sicily, so much to do and see and we felt very welcomed there. The weather was good, temperatures lower than Spain/Portugal but a lot of days with blue skies and full sun. We stayed for two months but could easily have stayed longer.

We've been to Morocco too and have met three single female travellers, all three were fairly seasoned travellers but if you've done a bit European adventure then I reckon you'd be fine. There will be people from this forum and others heading that way this winter - you could always arrange to meet up and travel over together?
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 27-04-2015, 14:12
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Also planning a trip to southern Italy this autumn, what is the southern mainland like compared to Sicilly?

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 27-04-2015, 15:12
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Originally Posted by WildThingsKev View Post
Also planning a trip to southern Italy this autumn, what is the southern mainland like compared to Sicilly?

Kev
The bay of Naples is fantastic and there is enough interest there to have at least a week of day trips. A convenient site is the ASCI Camping Pompeii. It is literally just outside the entrance to ancient Pompeii, there is also a railway station adjacent that will take you to Naples, Herculean, Sorrento (for Capri), Solerno etc etc. You can get day tickets that will also cover you for the buses quite reasonably. An early start and you can get the train to Sorrento, bus down the Amalfi coast to Amalfi (donít contemplate driving it yourself) and another one up to Revello. All for less than 5 euro.further south on the west coast (Calabria) is very poor and has less interest than Puglia on the east coast where there are plenty of sites of interest.

There is however a reason to go down as far as Reggio de Calabria. To see what I found to be the highlight of our whole trip, the recently displayed Riace Bronzes, they are breathtaking, in there new purpose built museum.

Then when you are there it is only 90 euros for an open return across to Messina and Sicily!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riace_bronzes
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 27-04-2015, 22:34 Thread Starter
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Well, that really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be thanks to your convincing arguments; Sicily in January wins! Then, if ferry prices aren't too insane, I'll head to Greece for the Spring. Guide books ordered, Earworms Italian lessons ordered, maps ordered.
Thanks for all your help and suggestions - Bay of Naples sounds amazing - we shall see.
Now the tortuous countdown begins...



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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 28-04-2015, 09:42
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Originally Posted by JacSprat View Post
Well, that really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be thanks to your convincing arguments; Sicily in January wins! Then, if ferry prices aren't too insane, I'll head to Greece for the Spring. Guide books ordered, Earworms Italian lessons ordered, maps ordered.
Thanks for all your help and suggestions - Bay of Naples sounds amazing - we shall see.
Now the tortuous countdown begins...



Jacsprat
We drove down through Italy and were quite glad we did as we got to see many places we'd only ever dreamed about. Be aware however that after Naples the roads can be very challenging - motorways half finished and single lane for much of the way. If we were going to Sicily again we'd probably take out a second mortgage and take the boat from Genoa - from memory it cost us 700 euros on the return journey but was worth every penny not to have to drive up through Italy once more. We're in an old, noisy, slow van - for you maybe the roads would not be such an issue.

Give me a shout nearer the time and I'll dig out all our wild camping spots for you.

Roughing it Smoothly...
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