What can I expect on a GrapeHops tour?
Our tours are centered around the food and beverages of the region, with a bit of history and culture thrown in. You can count on a lot of stops for snacks and beverages, convivial meals, and tastings of local products. You can also expect to be taken care of along the way by your guides.
Why take a tour? Why not just plan this myself?
This is a way to just relax and let someone else do all the work – the planning, the check-ins, the driving, the translating, problem-solving, and the check-paying. You can just kick back and have a good time. And you will definitely have some experiences you would not have if you were on your own.
How fit do I need to be?
There is a moderate amount of walking on all GrapeHops Tour and to join one, you should be able to walk, unassisted, two or three miles in a day. Some tours have short hikes, but they are optional whereas other walking on the tours is not. In some of our daily activities we may be walking on rough or cobblestoned streets, dirt paths, stairs and hills. If you are reasonably fit you should have no problem. You also need to be able to carry your own luggage. Each individual tour page has information on the activity of that tour, and feel free to get in touch for more information.
How big are GrapeHops tours?
Usually 8-10 people – never more than 14 people.
I don’t see the dates I can travel on your website, but I want to take a GrapeHops tour.
If there are four or more in your group, depending on the time of year we can build a tour around you, but a lot of advance notice is required. Private tours can be arranged with a minimum of six or eight people depending on the tour, but again, a lot of advance notice is required – 18 to 24 months before traveling is ideal.
What kind of travelers go on a GrapeHops tour?
Active travelers of all ages will be on GrapeHops tours. We eat and drink a lot on a GrapeHops tour; visiting wineries and eating regional foods are favorite pastimes of a GrapeHops customer.
What kind of lodgings can we expect?
Our lodgings are, for the most part, comfortable, clean and basic. Hotels and pensiones will have private rooms with bathrooms. In the case of Venice and Croatia, we sometimes stay in apartments, but you will always have your own bedroom and bathroom unless you are willing to share.
When should I arrive and depart for the tour?
It’s up to you, but it never hurts to get in one day early to “recover” from the journey, even if you land in another area and transfer to the tour starting point on the first day of the tour. Even better, allow two or three days before the tour starts to get over the jet lag and get accustomed to the local time zone.
Can I come alone?
Absolutely you can come alone! You’ll have a great time and meet some good people along the way.
Do I have to pay a single supplement?
There are no single supplements on any GrapeHops tour. If we are staying in apartments, you might be asked to share a two bedroom apartment with another solo traveler, but you will ALWAYS have your own bedroom.
Will there be any private time?
There is always some free time on every tour. The week-long tours tend to be a bit more activity-packed while the longer tours have a bit more free time. There is always a lunch or dinner where you will be on your own, and it is always OK to take a break from a day’s activities if you want to. If you would like to see a sample itinerary, you can get a better idea of the free time on a certain tour. Get in touch and a sample will be emailed to you.
What will our meals be like?
Fun, convivial, lots of food, lots of laughter. Generally speaking, don’t expect haute cuisine in a quiet room. Expect lots of courses of tasty local foods accompanied by plenty of beverages.
Will we have to drive?
No! Once we meet you on day one until the end of the tour, you will not need to worry about a car – we will get you where you need to go. If you prefer to have your own car or are traveling to and from the tour in a car, let us know and we can go over any details (where to park, any parking fees, etc.)
How will we meet up with the tour in the beginning?
You will be responsible to get from the airport or station to the first stop on the tour, but they are all in places where this shouldn’t be too much of a cost or an issue. We will be on hand once you get into town to get you checked in, and hand you a welcome drink!
Do I need to speak the language?
You don’t need to speak the language as we will have local guides that do this for you. It is nice to learn a few key phrases.
How would I need to dress?
Casual dress is fine. Capris, jeans, T-shirts, sneakers and even Bermuda-style shorts are fine for daytime touring. Be sure to bring something to cover the shoulders in case we go into a church. In the evenings, casual dress is also fine – the most important thing is to be comfortable.
I have a physical disability. Can I go on a GrapeHops tour?
All GrapeHops tours involve walking from upwards of one mile a day (usually more) over rough streets and paths, cobblestones, and on stairs. If you can walk, unassisted, for two or three miles a day over this sort of terrain, it should be OK for you to handle the tour. Some tours are easier than others – the best thing to do is to get in touch so we can talk the possibilities.
How much money will I need to bring on the tour?
Most everything is covered on the tour. You’ll need to get to and from the local airport or train station, and there are a couple of meals that are not covered. See each tour for details. Otherwise, bring spending money for shopping, beverages not included on the tour, things like postcards and stamps. We do recommend bringing an ATM card for cash withdrawals as you get the best rate at ATM machines (excluding fees your bank may impose). We also recommend a credit card for shopping/emergencies.
Do I need to tip anyone on a GrapeHops tour?
Tipping is not obligatory but of course it is appreciated by the local guides, bus drivers, and housekeepers we encounter on our tour. Tip on your own, don’t tip, or feel free to spearhead a collection from everyone on your bus (especially if the guide and driver are with you the entire time.) Bottles of wine are also appreciated!
How do I pay?
We can take Visa or Mastercard, or you can write a check. Checks may be mailed to:
P.O. Box 161124
San Diego CA 92176
What if I have to cancel?
Unfortunately, due to deposits and reservations that we must make for each tour, cancellation fees will apply if you have to cancel regardless of the reason. If we can fill your spot(s) – and we will make every effort to do so – we will at the very least let you postpone your tour with us and if we can, we will refund your deposit. We do recommend you take out travel insurance if you are concerned.
Do I need any specific travel documents?
Visas for Europe are not required for citizens of Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand but a valid Passport (good for at least six months from your return date) is required to enter all of our destination countries. Citizens from other countries (excluding European Union nationals) may need a visa.