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Balkan Express 2022
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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!
Register now
Discover unknown terrain
along breathtaking routes
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THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE
THROUGH SOUTHEAST EUROPE

14 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 adventure rally 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 13 countries in 14 days, covering 4,000 km: all without the help of GPS or navigation systems.

This is the Balkan Express!
It's time for your next big adventure!

Rally data and application

2022: 18 - 31 August 2022

Sign up is open!

Quickfacts - BALKAN EXPRESS

THE ROUTE

Start: Dresden, Germany. Finish: Salzburg, Austria.
4,000 km in 14 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 (12/2002)

Two-wheelers
Old-school bikes: At least 20 years old (12/2002); a motorcycle team may consist of no more than two motorcycles

Commercial vehicles
Old-school vans & trucks: At least 20 years old (12/2002); 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. All of you have to fit in the vehicle, however!

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

Entry fee:
A two-person team starts at 980 €.
Each additional member pays €250.


START EVENT

In August the rally starts in Dresden. The event begins at 10am and the official start takes place between 11am and 1pm. 
The day prior 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 completion of the Balkan Express with a big finish line event and of course we’ll crown the winners!

The winning team of the Balkan Express Rally Roadbook Competition will earn a starting spot for 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 the SAC Live Tracking App for all rally teams, your friends, relatives and colleagues can follow your team live during the rally.

With the app you can view your driven route as well as rally statistics and add photos, videos and comments to the individual stages. You can also create a professionally designed photo book with all your rally memories after the rally.


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 980 € 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


Covid-19

You can book your Adventure Rally with complete peace of mind. 

If the tour does not take place due to Covid-19, we will refund your entry fee or we will reschedule your entry (entry guarantee).

So you have all options!


Balkan Express TV

SAC Television

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 don't need any visas for this tour. 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 vintage cars

Cars
Old-school cars: At least 20 years old (incl. 2002 makes)

Two-wheelers
Old-school bikes: At least 20 years old (incl. 2002 makes); a motorcycle team may consist of no more than two motorcycles

Commercial vehicles
Old-school trucks: At least 20 years old (incl. 2002 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.

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.

The rally kicks off in the heart of Dresden. The event will start at 10am. The official start will take place between 11am and 1pm.
We’ll let you know the exact address of all this action one month in advance. All adventurers can already get to know each other on the day prior at the pre-adventure-get-together and get in the mood for the upcoming adventures.
The event will start around 6pm. All friends, family and fans are welcome.

 

Along the way through Southeast Europe we're going to party like crazy - twice - at some truly extraordinary locations.

At the official rally parties we'll pitch a tent celebrate our adventure into the wee hours. Overnight stays in nearby hotels and other accommodations are also possible!
Where exactly remains our secret until the start...You'll find out in the roadbook.

we celebrate the successful end of The Balkan Express with a big closing event and of course an award ceremony.

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 rustic Balkan-Style camping post-communist motels to posh beach hotels, everything is allowed! Depending on your adventurous spirit and budget, you are free to decide what you like best on each stage.

The spontaneous search for a suitable overnight accommodation on the respective stage is usually no problem during the rally period.

At the official SAC party stop all teams pitch their tents together. Of course, you can also spend the night there in your own rally bus or truck.

In the road book there are always tasks that directly aim at sleeping in the tent. So pack your tent and sleeping bag, because "wild" camping is only a real adventure when you are in your tent..

The conditions of the roadways can vary considerably during the rally:

From dry asphalt track in the Puszta at 35 degrees, to gravel tracks in the high mountains with rain and hail at 8 degrees, to the Balkan slalom pothole course....

Everything is possible & there is something for every taste!

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 proven rally vehicles
  • Search for other team members or a team to ride with

To the official facebook group

Collect €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 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

 

Come up with something! Tell your friends, family, business partners, colleagues and sponsors 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.

If you collect donations for your freely chosen heart project, please send us a donation receipt at the end of the donation campaign or at the latest at the end of the rally. This can also be done by email. 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 trust 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: approx. 45 cm diameter 
Starting numbers: approx. 45 cm diameter

Yes, as soon as you are officially enlisted for a rally, you are welcome to do so. You can find the Rallye- and Route-Logos in the Team News section in MySac. 
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

Every team can be found in real time on the SAC Live Tracking map. For this we work together with the tracking specialists of FindPenguins and use the FindPenguins app. The app can be downloaded through the PlayStore for android phones and through the AppStore for iOS devices. 
The Live-Tracking map shows you the driven kilometres aswell as the current postion of every team in real time. SAC Live Tracking is of course optional for every team and can be turned off at any time.

All memories in one app - or as a foto album right to your home.
The FindPenguins app allows for every team to create a shared journey. That way all team members can add Fotos, Videos and comments to the respective stages aswell as seeing their detailed Route and Rally-Statistics. You can share each adventure with your friends, family, sponsors or the press via Link. In addition, you can also generate a professional foto album in a matter of seconds.

Offline tracking. Is that possible?
Yes, without any difficulty! Your phone captures your route as long as there's a GPS signal. The next time you're online that information will automatically be send to the server and your route will be up to date.

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 and before you know it, your motor will be running again…. 
     
  3. If everything else fails, your saving grace will be having registered for some kind of abroad insurance protection at one of the big auto associations.

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.

 

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

  1. Log in to MySAC
  2. Afterwards, you can create a team in the "My Teams" section
  3. If you have successfully registered your team, you can book the rally for 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.

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 "My Teams". On 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 entry fee must be paid within 3 days to the SAC registration account, so that your starting spot is officially booked.

In case of a cancellation within the first 4 weeks after booking we will refund 100% of the entry fee.

Furthermore, you have the possibility to secure the entry fee for your starting spot through our ticket protection, should something unexpected, such as a serious illness or pregnancy occur.

Should you not be able to participate in the rally for any other reason, we also offer you the possibility to rebook your starting spot for another year or another rally. For this we charge 250 € reactivation fee. A rebooking is possible until 4 weeks before the start of the rally.

As a further option you can also pass on your starting spot to a third party. If friends, relatives or acquaintances take over your starting spot, please inform us directly via e-mail about the changes. You can then change the team data yourself in the team area under MySAC.

It's possible to book a ticket protection for the entry fee. If due to an unexpected event, for example a bad illness or pregnancy, you can't participate in the rally, you'll get a refund. Yo can find more information about insurance options in the Rallye-News section in MySac.

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 = 48 € a day.

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.

 

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.