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Balkan Express 2021
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The high Tatras & Carpathians
The ultimate road trip through the Balkans
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No GPS - No Motorways
13 Days - 14 Countries - 4.000 km
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The diversity of Southeast Europe
Albania - Adria - Adventure
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Dusty Roads & Cool Cars
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Are you ready?
This is your next big Adventure!
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Discover unknown terrain
along breathtaking routes
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THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE
THROUGH SOUTHEAST EUROPE

13 days of undiscovered terrain. Down dusty roads, along white beaches, overtop rugged mountain ranges and through the secluded wilderness—right through the heart of the former Eastern Bloc. Experience the pulsing metropolises of Southeast Europe and discover cities and towns where time seems to have stood still. It’s the ultimate old-school auto rally: The Balkan Express!

Next August, get ready to embark on the wildest adventure road trip of your life, as you make your way through the fascinatingly diverse landscape of Southeast Europe. Cruise your classic—or modern classic—rally vehicle (which should be at least 20 years old) across 14 countries in 13 days, covering 4,000 km: all without the help of GPS or navigation systems.

Your next big adventure starts here!

Sign-up 2021 is open NOW!
Rally Dates: 19 August - 01 September 2021

The sign up is open!

Rally Date 2021: 19.08 - 01.09.2021

Quickfacts - BALKAN EXPRESS

THE ROUTE

Start: Dresden, Germany. Finish: Salzburg, Austria.
4,000 km in 13 days through:

  • The Carpathians, the Low & High Tatras, the Dinaric Alps
  • The Balkans, incl. Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia
  • Budapest, Belgrade, Sibiu, Sofia, Sarajevo, Tirana, Dubrovnik, Split
  • Transylvania & the Adriatic Sea
  • Slovenia and Austria

THE VEHICLE

Cars
Old-school cars: Classics or modern classics, at least 20 years old (incl. 2001 makes)

Two-wheelers
Old-school bikes: At least 20 years old (incl. 2001 makes); a motorcycle team may consist of no more than two motorcycles

Commercial vehicles
Old-school vans & trucks: At least 20 years old (incl. 2001 makes); campers/RVs and trailers are not allowed


REGULATIONS

Codex

  • No GPS
  • No navigation systems
  • No highways/motorways
  • More adventure!

Roadbook
The Roadbook awaits you and your team, filled with great suggestions for your trip in addition to cool challenges and opportunities for extra fun.
The activities and tips in the Roadbook are just a bonus, not mandatory!

 


YOUR TEAM

How many members can a team have?
There’s no upper limit. But you do all have to fit in the vehicle!

Charity:
Each team collects €500 for sustainable charity projects.

Entry fee:
A two-person team starts out at €890.
Each additional member costs €250.


START EVENT

On 19 August 2021 the rally starts in Dresden. The event begins at 10am and the official start takes place between 11am and 1pm. 
On 18 April all adventurers can already get to know each other at the pre-adventure-get-together and get in the mood for the upcoming adventures. The event will start around 6pm.
Of course, all friends and fans are welcome.


THE ROADBOOK

At the Starting Line of the Balkan Express in Dresden, your team will be given the Roadbook, which is packed with useful tips for your route, unbelievable challenges, and plenty of suggestions to maximize your fun and get the most out of your adventure.

The activities and adventures in the Roadbook are best undertaken as a team. Creativity and a talent for improvisation are your best assets here!
The activities and tips in the Roadbook are just a bonus, not mandatory!


PARTY TIME

Along the way through Southeast Europe we’re going to party like crazy togethertwice—at some truly extraordinary locations.

At the official rally parties we’ll pitch a tent and celebrate our adventure into the wee hours.

The exact party locations will be our little secret up until the Rally Start…The Roadbook will tell you all you need to know.


THE WINNERS

In Salzburg we’ll celebrate the successful conclusion of the Balkan Express with a big send-off party and, of course, we’ll crown the winners!

The winning team of the Balkan Express Rally Roadbook Competition will earn a starting position at a future S.A.C. rally of their choice at a value of up to €1.090!

No obligations, just a load of possibilities!


LIVE TRACKING

With SAC TRACK—the live tracking app for all rally teams—your friends and relatives can follow your team live throughout the trip.

You can also attach your best photos to the SAC TRACK and, at the end of the rally, download the route you took.


THE ROADWAY

The conditions of the roadways can vary considerably during the rally:
from dry asphalt lanes in the Pannonian Steppe at 35 degrees C,
to dirt roads through the high mountain passes in the rain and hail at 8 degrees C,
through to the Balkan “slalom pothole parkour”…

Anything’s possible and there’s a little something for everyone!


LODGING

From rustic Balkan-style camping, to post-communist motels, to posh beach hotels—anything goes! You’re free to choose your own lodgings at every stage of the trip depending on your budget and your notion of “adventure.”

Even playing it by ear and deciding as you go has worked out for teams in the past and generally isn’t a problem in the time period the rally takes place.


RALLYE KIT

The Rally Kit has everything that belongs at an official rally:

  • rally vehicle branding with the official Balkan Express logos and your official rally starting numbers
  • rally T-shirts
  • awesome additional Balkan Express merchandise

Your team will receive the Rally Kit four weeks before the Rally Start.


PIMP YOUR CAR

Creativity pays off!
Teams with extravagant costumes and eye-catching vehicle decorations will be awarded extra points by the rally jury.
Whether you dazzle your fellow drivers with slick racing stripes and fluttering flags or go full techie with flashing disco lights on your radiator, we’re looking forward to seeing how you bring it.

Anything goes, as long as it’s street-legal.


ENTRY FEE

The registration fee for the Balkan Express is €940 for a two-person team. The fee for each additional team member is €250.

Additional team members can be added up to 1 month before the Rally Start.

The registration fee does not include the charitable donation of €500.


YOUR CHARITY

Round up €500 for great charity projects.
The money can go to projects that we have carefully vetted to ensure that all contributions go where they should—to the people who truly need them. Or you are free to pick a charity project that has always been dear to your heart.
Charity donations can be collected any time from the date you sign up to the moment you cross the Finish Line. More


START THE RALLY ROADBOOK COMPETITION NOW!

Car Challenge

• Oldtimer (30 years and older): 30+ additional points

• Very Old-timer (40 years and older): 40+ additional points

• Slow Rider (less than 70 horsepower): 30 additional points

• Best Pimped Car - rewarded by the rally jury: 30 additional points

FAQ - Frequently adventured questions

A sense of adventure, a vehicle 20 years old or older, a visa for Russia (if you want to drive through Russia), and 16 days’ time!

 

If you are an EU citizen, you need a visa only for Russia. And if you want to check out the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, you should apply for a double-entry visa so you can enter Russia twice. And remember, always carry a valid passport.

To obtain your Russian visa, contact a travel agency specialized in Russia or a bigger visa service agency (google it). Alternatively, you can apply for a visa directly at any Russian consulate or embassy.

Please be aware that your passport might need to be valid for an extended period (perhaps even beyond the date you plan to leave the country), and that the issuing of a visa in the first place can also take time.

 

Tips for your visa application:

As tourist visas for Russia are generally valid for 30 days, you can select the rally’s start date as the date of entry into Russia. As each team can decide individually when and where exactly to enter Russia, you can also just make your own schedule.

S.A.C. isn’t a tour operator, so we don’t issue any type of travel confirmation. The purpose of the trip to Russia should be listed as personal.

Our Russia expert and visa partner Russland Reisen Romanova can support you in a fast and unbureaucratic way with the visa application process and can also get you directly the suitable double entry visa. If you would like to process your visa through our partner, please send an email to info@romanova-reisen.de. Then you will receive an information sheet and a sample for the visa application. Mention explicitly that you are a participant of the Baltic Rallye.

We ask our rally participants who do not come from the European Union to inform themselves about the respective entry regulations of the individual countries.

 

Modern classics and classic classics

Cars
Old-school cars: At least 20 years old (incl. 2001 makes)

Two-wheelers
Old-school bikes: At least 20 years old (incl. 2001 makes); a motorcycle team may consist of no more than two motorcycles

Commercial vehicles
Old-school trucks: At least 20 years old (incl. 2001 makes); campers/RVs/mobile homes are not allowed. Buses and vans such as the T3, T4, GMC Vandura and the Ford Transit are not classified as mobile homes.

 

Again, vehicles built explicitly as mobile homes/campers/RVs (e.g. with alcoves) are not allowed!

You don’t have to have nailed down your vehicle to register for the rally. You’ve got until the Rally Start to find your dream machine.

Of course, your vehicle needs to be road approved and MOT certified to ensure you can enjoy the rally to the fullest. Any kind of vehicle is welcome; bikes, vans or cars. BMW, Trabi or VW Beetle let your style decide. More(edit_link)

 

Look on the Internet or in the advertising section of your daily newspaper. On the relevant used car portals, you will find a wide selection of suitable and inexpensive vehicles. Or ask your grandmother if she lends you her old Mercedes for a spin. The vehicle does not have to be fixed at the time of registration. Until the start of the rally, you have time to find your perfect rally vehicle.

 

That’s up to you! How about just happily driving it home, you full of adventure and the car full of luggage, and rolling up in it again next year for the next rally?!

Accommodations are chosen and organized by each team.

From wild camping on a glacier to catching z’s in a log cabin alongside the beavers, to treat yourself to a luxury hotel and a bottle of bubbly—anything goes! Choose your own lodgings depending on your budget and your notion of “adventure.” Even playing it by ear and deciding as you go has worked out for teams in the past and generally isn’t a problem in the time period the rally takes place.

At the official S.A.C. party stops along the way, all the teams set up camp together. Of course, you can also decide to sleep in your rally-bus or truck.

In the Roadbook you will find some challenges which include sleeping in a tent. Therefore, don’t forget your tent and sleeping bag.

Collect €750 for great charity projects.
The money can go to projects that we have carefully vetted to ensure that all contributions go where they should—to the people who truly need them. Or you are free to pick a charity project that has always been close to your heart.
Charity donations can be collected any time from the date you sign up to the moment you cross the Finish Line. More(edit_link)

 

Come up with something! Tell your friends, family, business partners, colleagues about your commitment to great charity projects. Collect online via Social Media. Organize a flea market. Make a tombola. Get into the local press or organize a charity party. There are countless ways. Collecting donations is an adventure in itself. More

 

Create your personal donation collection pages at movember.com or any other online donation platform. Online donation platforms give you the opportunity to present your donation collection transparently and easily and to handle it online. All donations collected via movember.com or other online donation platforms directly benefit the SAC aid projects and organizations as well as your charity projects. More

In order to get even more support for your project and your fundraising, you are welcome to contact the press. Tell the local newspaper, radio or TV about your charity rally. So you might get even more donations and find additional sponsors.

 

Ask the workshop of your confidence if your rally car will be ready for you. Ask at the shop on the corner whether he will provide you with the right equipment. Or get a rally haircut from your favourite hairdresser. In return, your sponsors can immortalize themselves on the rally car or you can include them on your website or in your press work. Here, too, there are countless possibilities.

 

You have found the right vehicle, you have your sponsors and now you want to visually pimp the car/van/motorbike. We give your creativity absolute freedom. There is only one thing to consider: a sticker with the official rally logo will appear on the driver and passenger doors as well as on the bonnet. Furthermore, two stickers with your starting number must be placed clearly visible on the vehicle. 

Dimensions of the stickers: 
Official rally logos: circular, approx. 45 cm diameter 
Starting numbers: circular, approx. 45 cm diameter

The SAC Live Tracking App - SAC Track - is available for free download for all rally teams in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store - for Android and iOS. SAC Live Tracking is as simple as it is intuitive. Simply switch on tracking and be tracked. Furthermore, you have the possibility to attach your most beautiful pictures to the track. All teams receive the log-in data one week before the start. 

Offline and still be tracked. Is this possible? 
Yes, that works without any problems! Your phone records your route even without an internet connection if a GPS signal is available. As soon as you are online the next time, the SAC Track will automatically move your route to the server and your route will be up-to-date again. 

Your personal rally route After the rally, you can download the tracked route so that you can show it to your grandchildren.

You’ve got to repair your vehicle! 

But don’t worry - even if you have no clue about technical workings, you’ll get your ride up and running again. This is how we know: 

  1. It’s part of the rally code of honour that teams help each other whenever necessary. There’s nearly always a fellow rally participant in close proximity who has enough technical know-how and the right tools to help you out. 
     
  2. If you’re really stranded way out in the sticks, don’t hesitate to ask for help from local people. Even if you don’t speak the language, you’ll encounter people more than willing to help out. Sometimes just a friendly smile and a couple of shared vodkas will do - before you know it, your motor will be running again…. 
     
  3. If all else fails, your saving grace will be having registered for some kind of abroad insurance protection at one of the big auto associations.

The rally kicks off on August 19th, 2021, right in the heart of Hamburg. We’ll let you know the exact address of all this action on time.

 

To help you warm up as you make your way around the Baltic Sea, we’re gonna throw a couple of amazing parties. The exact locations will be mentioned in the Roadbook, which you receive at the starting line. 

In Hamburg we’ll celebrate the successful conclusion of the Baltic Sea Circle with a big send-off party and, of course, we’ll crown the winners!

 

Everything is open to the top! However, you must be at least 18 years old to be allowed to participate. Further, we point out that you should be in good physical condition. The participation in this adventure rally is not a coffee ride with an electric blanket.

The conditions of the roadways can vary considerably during the rally: from dry asphalt lanes in the Pannonian Steppe at 35 degrees C, to dirt roads through the high mountain passes in the rain and hail at 8 degrees C, through to the Balkan “slalom pothole parkour”…

Anything’s possible and there’s a little something for everyone!

Each rally has its own Facebook group. There you can exchange ideas with other teams before, During and after the rally. 

The following topics are gladly discussed there:

  • Personal team introduction and presentation of your own charity project
  • Tips & tricks for the right equipment
  • Progress in pimping the rally car
  • Purchase and sale of reinforced rally vehicles
  • Search for other team members or a team to ride with

To the official Baltic Sea Circle Group.

To the official Baltic Sea Circle Dutch Edition Group.

Yes, you are welcome to do so. You can find a selection of pictures and the Rally logos under the section Media. 
If you don't find what you are looking for, you can download the logos directly from the website (right mouse button, save image as). 

Please always refer to us for pictures and logos, especially if they are passed on to the press, for example. 
Photo Credits: Superlative Adventure Club

You can easily register for your rally adventure in three quick steps.

  1. Log in under my SAC
  2. Afterwards, you can create a team under point 2 "My Teams"
  3. If you have successfully registered your team, you can book the rally with your team.

Tip: 
You can change and edit your team name, the number of team members, as well as the facts about your vehicle and pictures even after registration.

In addition to the entry fee there are additional costs for food, accommodation, petrol, possible ferry crossings or tolls.

The amount depends on you and your budget and the thirst of your car. To give you an idea of your individual travel costs, here is a rough overview of the travel costs per day for a team of 2 people: 

Fuel costs:
approx. 1,50€ per liter

Calculation example:
1,50€ × 8 liters per 100 km × 400 km per day =48 €

Accommodation:

Overnight stay in the open air, in a tent, vehicle or with new friends: 0€.
From campsite to luxury hostel: 15€ to 150+€

Catering:

Hunters, Collectors, Fishermen: 0€
Self-catering from the supermarket: 30€
Gourmets and restaurant testers: 60+€

Other costs:

Depending on the route chosen, additional costs for road and bridge tolls, ferry crossings or speeding tickets from 100€ - 250+€ may be incurred on the entire route.

 

Yes, you can still change and edit your team name, the number of team members, as well as the facts about your vehicle and pictures after registration. 
Simply log in with your team account and go to point 2 "My Teams". Under your team page, you will also find your team members and can edit, delete or add their profiles.

 

In order to make a booking, you must first create a team. You can change the team data, the number of members and the name at any time.

 

The starting fee has to be paid within 2 days so that the starting place is officially booked. 

If you cancel within the first 4 weeks after booking, we will refund 100% of the starting fee.[nbsp

We recommend you to protect your ticket with our ticket insurance! 

If the registration is closed, we try to give the starting place to a successor team, if this does not work, we offer to postpone the starting place to the coming year or another rally of your choice. A reactivation fee of 250 € is Due for this. 

Alternatively, you can assign the starting place yourself to friends, relatives or acquaintances and change the data in the team log-in. If you decide to do so, please send us an e-mail via the contact form. 

The personal data stored with us, such as name, company and telephone number as well as all other information are used exclusively for the communication / inquiry processing and under no circumstances pass on to third parties.