Kosovo, Pristina, 22-24 July 2013

It took me a little while to figure out the route between Podgorica, Montenegro and Pristina, Kosovo without going through Serbia or Albania and where there was a Border crossing post. Google and my GPS maps only confused the issue, anyway other travellers experiences online came to the rescue and the route I followed was E65 going past the towns of Podgorica, Kolasin, Mojkovac, Berane. This is a fairly good road through the mountains with a little bit of traffic and many police with radar, I got stopped and let off, they turned out to be nice guys probably wanting to have a look at my bike but they were not being so nice to the many Serbian drivers who were heading back to Serbia. The speed limits on the highway vary from 40-60 kph and everyone except for a few locals are doing 80-100 kph wherever possible, lots of small towns bring your average speed down to 60 kph.

There are many tunnels with no lights, I had one scary experience when I had to slam on my brakes in a hurry, there was a bus stopped in my lane  inside this pitch black tunnel, all I could see were 2 brake lights which I assumed were moving but they were not and a truck coming in the opposite direction stopped as well with no headlights. Coming out of bright sunlight into a tunnel with no lights means you are effectively blind, not a good feeling. They were stuck because the tunnel was too narrow and they could not get past each other, anyway they managed to inch past and we got going again.

I turned off  the E65 at Rozaje, this is a narrow winding paved road mostly in poor condition but nothing to worry about, climbing towards the border and then descending into Kosovo to the town of Pec (Peje), very little traffic besides the cows which stand in the middle of the road and don’t move, I had to honk and thread my way through them hoping one would not take a swipe at me hahaha. You have to stop at the Montenegro side and show them your passport and bike papers, no idea why, then ride 10km to the Kosovo side where you have to buy Insurance for E15 valid for 15 days which is the minimum. After Pec its flat and the last 33 km is a 4 lane road into Pristina.

Visa Restrictions:

Serbia officially states that it will block passports containing stamps or visas from Kosovo. As of 7 Jul 2012, Serbian authorities deny passage to passport holders with only a Kosovan entry stamp.

  • If you are just visiting the region, visit Serbia first. You will not be given a Serbian exit stamp if you enter Kosovo from Serbia.
  • If you are living in or intend to travel frequently to Serbia, you should get matching pairs of entry and exit stamps; this would mean backtracking and leaving through Serbia via a regular border crossing point. Just avoid mentioning Kosovo.
  • You can ask Kosovar authorities not to stamp your passport at the border.
  • Alternatively, use a national ID card at border crossings (no stamps involved).

While the legitimacy of the Kosovar government is disputed by many UN countries, from a traveller’s point of view the Kosovar government has de facto control of most of the the country; local Serb authorities administer five municipalities in the north.

There is still tension in this area and while landmines have been cleared from the roads, you are advised not to stray off them.

Pristina, population 198,000, currency is the Euro, big fans of the US and NATO, not a bad place to spend a couple of days, there is a statue of Bill Clinton at the top of the main road called Bil Klinton Boulevard and there is a George Bush Boulevard which leads onto Mother Teresa Boulevard. The Mother Teresa Boulevard is a pedestrian only street and its also the area with all the cafe’s and where people go to hang out in the evening when its packed. There are two museums small but well done.

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2 Responses to Kosovo, Pristina, 22-24 July 2013

  1. Elliott says:

    Hello,

    How long did the entire process take during border passport controll between Kosovo and montenegro,

    Thanks in advance!

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