Ferries between Italy and Greece
Truck companies, have special deals with the ferry companies. Their deal includes a free ticket for their co-driver. Many times the truck owners (the free ticket applies only if the truck owner is travelling and not a worker) travel alone so they still have the co-driver free ferry ticket. You can try to ask them on the ports, if you can have their free ticket. Just go a few hours before the ferry's departure.
- I tried getting a ride from Igoumenitsa to Italy for two days (May 2012) following these instructions. It can indeed be very hard to get into a conversations with the truckdrivers but the few that actually responded told me that this isnt possible. Maybe I was just unlucky but I lost my patience after two days and paid the EUR 50 ticket to Bari. May 2012 - Thomas
- I wanted to go from Brindisi straight to Albania but was impossible. I waited one evening and the day after I quite easily found a lift for Igoumenitsa. Lots of truckdrivers were rough and didn't want to asnwer me but with a bit of patience and going to everyone I found the right one, offering me the entire ticket. (July 2012) Fedecicco
- Mathieu and I tried to go from Igoumenitsa to Bari or Brindisi mid-August 2014. First, we tried to talk to the truck driver at the port entrance but we got rejected by the customs man. Then we reached by foot a small gas station at an exit of the highway leading directly to the port (see on OpenStreetMap). There was few trucks, and the only truck driver who was there told us that the ticket is always bought in advance by the company during the high season. We decided to give up with trucks and to try with private boats. We hitchhiked to Plataria, the closest private boat port from Igoumenitsa. We found many Italian private boat but all of them were going back to Italy in 2 or 3 weeks (at the end of August). Because we didn't had the time to wait so long, we came back to Igoumenitsa and took a Grimaldi Line ticket at 44 euros per person. (August 2014) NicoL3AS
Brindisi to Igoumenitsa
From Brindisi to Igoumenitsa there are only 2 company operating, in spite of that lots of trucks pass by there, directed to Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. Just go to the new terminal (outside of the city) and start to ask truck drivers around the ticket terminal. They all have to pass by there to make their ticket. Co-driver ticket is not free, costs EUR 17 but your driver may offer it. In case you don't find anyone don't give up, there are dozens of trucks everyday, just sleep at the harbour and try the day after
Bari to Igoumenitsa
From Bari to Igoumenitsa you can go to the Ferry terminal in Bari( the righthand side building as you go through the gates, you have to walk a bit to get to it). Just walk inside the building and ask truckers before they pay. After paying, the drivers/trucks have to wait in a car that is usually far from the terminal. For that there is a free shuttle they take to the car park.
There are two companies that do this route: SuperFast and Ventouris ferries. Supposedly SuperFast is way better quality service than Ventouris. The crossings leave in the evening, between 19:00 and 21:00 so try to be at the terminal around 16:00ish to catch the drivers before they get their ticket. Crossing takes around 12 hours. You can get out from the ferry at Igoumenitsa on foot so you don`t need to stay with the driver or have a ticket after you've gotten inside. So it would be OK to just leave the driver if by chance you find that he's a creep.
For the first company (SuperFast), the girl working at the desk wouldn't allow a hitchhiker to be a co-driver on a truck but maybe you get lucky and someone else will be on the shift. For Ventouris they had no problems but even as a co-driver they asked me to pay 15 euro, which is not bad for an overnight crossing and a bed, but still too bad it costs. Note that this was a worker and not a truck owner. I did ask at the counter where I paid if there is any way when it wouldn't cost and they said no, always costs.
You will get cabin with two beds (+warm shower, flatscreen tv) one for the driver and one for you. They are bunk beds. If you're not comfortable with that you can just sleep in the common area or restaurant where there are other people sleeping also.
Igoumenitsa to Italy
From Igoumenitsa, the cheapest ticket to Italy is 44 euros with Grimaldi Line (to Brindisi). It does not sail every day, you have to check at the office.
If you want to hitchhike trucks to get inside the boat, it's difficult : they come directly from the highway to the customs. You can try to talk to the driver at the customs but it will not please the customs agents. You can also try to reach the last gas station on the highway before the customs (~15 minutes walking, see on OpenStreetMap). There is few trucks there, and they may accept you if you buy a co-driver ticket.
Infront of the passenger terminal there's a car and truck parking, might be worth a try. When I was there in 2015 the three truck drivers talked to me but didn't want to have me in their trucks. Not many trucks waiting there, I went and bought the passenger ticket. To Ancona was only 4 Euroes more expensive but it's at least a full night's sleep and not just three or four hours.
Another way to get to Italy is to take a private boat. It should work well in summer. You can hitchhike to Plataria, the closest private boat port from Igoumenitsa. During the summer there is several Italian private boats which generally come back to Italy at the end of August.
Had no luck getting to Italy from Igoumenitsa so went to Plataria. Talked to boat owners there and quickly found an Italian man who agreed to take me to Brindisi but I had to wait around 4 days for favorable wind. (Viktor, august 2016)