Lately, there has been increasing mention of the route through Bulgaria to Thassos as one of the good travel options. On this occasion, I want to share with you one of the impressions from my guests, and I hope there will be more soon.

“This was my first time traveling through Bulgaria, and I was also skeptical. The route was indeed problematic, but the Bulgarians are constantly improving the infrastructure. From Pirot, it’s either a highway (with 3 or 4 lanes) or a comfortable main road with new asphalt and no bad sections. The road surface is excellent. There’s only one intersection throughout Bulgaria, and in front of Sofia, you take a right turn and go straight to the Greek border. Big cities are bypassed, so there’s no wandering. The toll is 7 euros for a week, and you can buy a vignette at the gas station when entering Bulgaria. I don’t know the price for a longer period. Along the way, there are plenty of good gas stations and rest areas. Shell gas stations accept euros, while others mostly don’t. The route can be a bit congested, with speed restrictions and radar patrols (be cautious!) as you pass through smaller settlements, but it’s within acceptable limits.
Passing through Bulgaria is seamless, and suddenly you’re in Greece. Border queues are probably smaller than at Evzoni. Bulgaria and Greece are literally intersected by this route, and you can reach the sea at Asprovalta (a slightly longer but faster route) or at Kavala (a shorter route but with more curves). You avoid the traffic congestion in Thessaloniki and shorten the journey by about 200 km one way (Pirot-Asprovalta is 380 km).
So, Serbia to Thassos, only through Bulgaria.
I hope this report helps you at least as much as you helped us in October.”

The situation in 2023 is even better. If you’re heading towards Thassos and Kavala and decide to travel through Bulgaria, you can shorten the journey by up to 70 km compared to the route through Macedonia. Unfinished sections have discouraged many of our tourists from taking this route, but overall, the route through Bulgaria to Thassos is still a better option. The good news is that about ten days ago (May 2023), there was a grand opening of the section between Kalotina and Dragoman (the direction towards Sofia). The detour between Blagoevgrad and Simitli is still in place (they say until the beginning of summer) due to landslide repairs near the Zheleznitsa Tunnel. The most challenging section for highway construction is from Simitli to the village of Kresna, which they haven’t started yet because it involves the Struma River Valley, surrounded by high hills, and it is expected that this part will be completed in a few years.

The highway is in excellent condition, even though some sections were built about ten years ago. The speed limit is 140 km/h, and there’s a speed limit of 80 km/h at tunnel entrances (be careful - there are speed cameras at the tunnel exits).

The purchase of a vignette for roads in Bulgaria is mandatory, and there is video surveillance to control this obligation. You can buy an electronic vignette through (, install the mobile application, register, make an electronic payment, and choose the option that suits you for how many days. You don’t have to stick the sticker on the windshield; the cameras read the system to check if you have paid, and it’s sufficient to keep the email confirmation.
About 30 kilometers from Sofia, there is a Shell gas station and rest area for a short break.
For the latest information on toll booths and road costs to Greece, check our article HERE.

The most comprehensive offer of accommodation on Thassos find HERE.

Have a safe journey!

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