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Here is a collection of the most frequently asked questions by Islandhopping guests as well as a list of the most important events throughout the Islandhopping year. In order to help you find the answer you are looking for efficiently, we have sorted the questions into topic groups: “General”, “Cycling Tours”, “Life on Board” and “Reservations”. And here you will find Islandhopping's most important dates at a glance. If we were unable to answer your question here, or if you are interested in more detailed information about Islandhopping feel free to contact us any time.
The ingredients are simple: take a bike (hybrid, e-bike, mountain bike or road bike), add a motor yacht or sailing ship and combine this with beautiful landscapes, secluded bays, quiet, side roads, trails and coastal paths. And there you have it: “Islandhopping”.
Islandhopping is an active holiday that combines cycling with discovering a country and its culture. With a boat as your floating hotel, you will be taken to a new location every day, whether from island to island or along the mainland; from one enchanting region to the next. A complete package which combines activity and relaxation, athletic challenge and enjoyment, experience and discovery. This is why we say; Islandhopping is more than just a holiday.
Islandhopping tours are available throughout the world. We offer tours by boat and bike in Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Scotland, Italy, Denmark /Sweden, Germany, Holland and Vietnam. We also have hotel and bike tours in Albania, Croatia, Greece, South Africa and Patagonia. You can be sure to find us anywhere where there is sea, dreamlike locations and breath-taking landscapes. Every year we expand our program, by either creating new tours or exploring new destinations.
Our guests are generally active individuals between the ages of 30 and 70 years old, who enjoy being out on their bikes. Be it hybrid cyclists, mountain bike enthusiasts, road bike fanatics, or a family on wheels: you will find just the right crowd to cycle with on tour with us. Sometimes we even have ambitious children along for a tour, although the majority of families feel most comfortable on one of our Multi-Aventure Cruises.
Around a third of our guests come from Germany. A further 10% come from Switzerland. The remaining majority of our guests come from countries throughout Europe such as Austria, England, Ireland, Sweden, Italy, Holland, Belgium, France and Spain or from abroad. We have welcomed countless guests from over-seas for quite some time now including Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians and Americans. The international interest in our tours quickly led to English becoming the second official language on our boats.
As most of our tours take place on chartered boats, the majority of our itineraries are guided group tours. The groups on board our Bike & Boat tours generally range between 20 and 35 participants depending on the capacity of the boat in question. In general, 1-3 guides will accompany a travel group, and give insight to the country and culture. Most of our tours cater for a specific cycling interest group such as touring cyclists, mountain bikers or e-bikers. However, we also operate tours where hybrid and mountain bike tours are offered parallel on the same boat. These departures are especially interesting for couples or friends who wish to spend their holiday together without sharing the same interest in cycling style.
The group sizes on our Hotel & Bike tours are generally smaller at around 8 to 16 participants. These tours are commonly accompanied by a guide and a driver. Some Hotel & Bike tours are also available as a self-guided program including luggage transport between the hotels. Here the participant number is mostly just two people.
On our Bike & Boat tours, you will live on one of our motor yachts for the duration of your holiday. The boat will accompany you on the tour as a floating hotel – with all the advantages you can imagine! There is no need to pack your bags every day, as your cabin follows you to wherever you cycle each day. Our boats usually sail during the day with night cruises being an exception to ensure you get a restful night’s sleep. We usually stay overnight in harbours so that you have the opportunity to truly enjoy the enchanting harbour towns in the evenings.
On our Hotel & Bike tours, you will be staying in carefully selected mid- to good range hotels – typical for the travel destination.
Due to our international audience, Islandhopping tours are conducted in both English and German.
Even non-cyclists are welcome on board of our boats! Our tour guides can give you tips as to how you can enjoy your holiday on tour with us without taking part on the daily bike tours. Often the boat will travel from one harbor to the next and you can enjoy the peace and quiet on board.
Our Multi-Adventure tours are especially suitable for children of all ages. Our regular tours on the other hand require a good physical conditions and a minimum age of 10 years in order to take part in the cycling program. Children’s bikes are available for a minimum height of 1.20 m. Smaller children who are not yet able to cycle independently can participate using a comfortable bike seat, or a tag-along trailer bike. Children under the age of 18 cannot be left on board unsupervised.
A boat journey is dependent on wind and weather. Due to this and other logistical reasons, tour changes are possible. However, changes are not necessarily a disadvantage and can help to improve the holiday experience of the tour. We sometimes execute our tours in the opposite direction to the published itinerary.
Even in the Mediterranean, the sun doesn’t shine all the time. Should wind or rain interfere with our regular travel program, our local tour guides are well equipped with interesting alternatives. So don't worry: even if the weather does not play along, you will still be able to enjoy a well-planned alternative program. Nevertheless, we do recommend to bring along some weather proof clothing for cycling in rainy conditions.
You can leave your evening dress and dinner jacket at home. Relaxed leisure clothes like t-shirts, shorts and swimming gear is sufficient for all occasions. For occasionally cool evenings, we recommend bringing along a long-sleeved sweater or sweatshirt in your luggage, a wind and waterproof jacket may be useful from time to time. Special bicycle gear is not compulsory but may make your ride a more comfortable experience. We do recommend wearing padded cycling shorts for longer rides and a pair of cycling gloves can increase comfort and safety on your ride. As storage space in the cabins is limited, we recommend you pack your clothing in a soft-shell bag rather than a hard-shell suitcase which may be more difficult to stow.
Towards the end of an Islandhopping tour you will have the chance to leave your guide team and the crew of the ship a tip as a token of your appreciation. We are regularly asked by our guests what the expected amount to tip is. This really depends on the individual and his/her appreciation for the provided services and efforts given. We suggest – providing you are pleased with the service – a sum of 10 € per guest/tour for each tour guide and the same amount for each crew member on board the boat. Most commonly, tour participants will organize the tips amongst themselves, once for the guide team and once for the crew, presenting these during a celebratory last evening on board. Your transfer driver and city tour guides also appreciate a small token of acknowledgement for their efforts.
If you wish to travel to one of our tours, starting in Europe, by car, a member of our reservation team will gladly provide you with the relevant parking possibilities for the duration of your Islandhopping tour. In some destinations, Islandhopping provides their own secure parking spaces and in others a secure park house or parking spaces from a third party provider are used.
A basic level of fitness, acquired by regular cycling is required for all of our Islandhopping tours. It is important to understand that all of our bike tours start at sea level and therefore often start with an uphill climb. Throughout the ride, participants may be confronted by steeper and longer uphill sections. We try to provide enough time for each tour that pushing your bike up a difficult section is possible. You can inform yourself to the difficulty level of each individual tour in more detail on the specific tour page.
On our Tall Ship tours the following is important to remember: surefootedness and agility is required in order to access / exit our tall ships. On most days, access to these boats takes place via a ladder or by dinghy. The tour guides and crew will provide assistance where possible in these circumstances.
Islandhopping tours require bikes with a fully functional set of gears. Should you prefer to bring your own bike with you, please make sure to check the condition of your breaks, gears, and tires and don’t forget to bring along a puncture repair kit and the essential spare parts (e.g. brake pads and tubes). Your bike should be in prefect mechanical working order. We do not allow private e-bikes on board of our boats. This decision has been made due to insurance regulations. If you wish to ride an e-bike for the duration of your tour, please get in touch with us about the rental options. Islandhopping can offer you high quality, fully serviced rental bikes perfectly suited to your tour.
Wearing a helmet is mandatory on all Islandhopping tours. Our priority is to provide a safe riding experience which starts with our guests wearing a helmet when cycling. We recommend bringing your own, well fitted bike helmet with you. Rental helmets are available free of charge if reserved in advance.
Our tours are primarily guided. However, in some cases it is possible to arrange an alternative route independent from the rest of the group with the guide on site.
Yes you can bring your own bike seat and pedals. Our guides are happy to assist you in attaching these to your rental bike.
Our rental prices vary according to the course of the tour (number of cycling days per tour) and the bikes available in our regions. Below you will find our bike rental prices for the 2024 season:
Gravel bike / Road bike
Premium Carbon MTB
Premium Carbon E-MTB
Gravelbike / Roadbike
Hybrid Bike/Children´s Bike
Child Bike Seat
rental price included
Some of our ships offer you the choice between booking a cabin above or below deck. Whether you decide on one or the other is subject to your personal preference. In general, our guests consider the cabins below deck as the quieter and cooler sleeping places. Cabins above deck have a better natural airflow due to the doors and windows and offer more natural daylight. Aside from the listed advantages, it is fully up to personal preference which cabin type you wish to book.
Electricity and water are available on board, within limits. All ships have 220V electricity when cruising and a generator for when in port. However, it is common for the generator to be switched off during the night to ensure a sound night’s sleep. The power outlets on board are suitable for German euro plugs.
The water tanks are large enough to provide sufficient cold and warm water for washing and showering for everyone, if used in moderation and consideration of other participants on board. The boats have a central water heater which provides each cabin with sufficient warm water for everyone to take a shower as long as this is done in moderation.
Seasickness is a form of travel sickness. The rougher the sea, the more likely it is that people will feel sea sick. In order to prevent this risk, our ships remain in port in stormy weather. Nevertheless some individuals will experience symptoms of sea sickness even in calm conditions. The best remedy is fresh air and to concentrate on a stationary point on the horizon. If you know that you are susceptible to sea sickness prior to your Islandhopping tour, we recommend purchasing suitable medication at your local pharmacy in preparation for your cruise. Import is that the medication includes Dimenhydrinate as an active ingredient.
The food on board our ships typically matches the national standard, whereby we take into account the larger appetite of our active guests. The catering options specific to your tour are outlined on the respective travel pages as well as in the detailed travel documents which you will receive before the start of your journey.
If you prefer a vegetarian diet or have specific eating habits, please communicate this to us prior to arrival. We will do our best to cater to these preferences but may not always be able to fulfil these entirely. In case of allergies please inform us of these early on. In the case of multiple intolerances, please send us a list of food which you are ALLOWED to eat before you start your journey, so that the cook can shop accordingly and make an appropriate meal plan.
And is an occupancy of more than 2 people cheaper?
There are a limited number of three-bed cabins available on many of our ships. Four-bed cabins are only available on our Croatian Premium and Deluxe Ships. Our reservations team will be happy to provide you with exact cabin availability on our individual ships.
In the case of a triple or quadruple occupancy of the cabins, we grant a 50% discount on the basic travel price for the third and fourth person each (not combinable with other discounts). If the booked cabin is above deck (only triple available), we also do not charge an above deck surcharge for the third person.
Especially for families with smaller children, we highly recommend choosing a cruise with a ship where multi-bed cabins are available to ensure that parents and children can stay in the same cabin.
The saloon of the ship is a restaurant, lounge and bar at the same time. Here you can order cool drinks - with or without alcohol. In most cases, the beverage consumption is entered in a tally sheet and settled at the end of the trip (cash only). Please remember - the beverages on board are more expensive than in the supermarket around the corner, as you are enjoying them in a small floating restaurant. As in any other bar or restaurant, you are not allowed to consume your own (brought or purchased elsewhere) drinks on board.
Many guests enjoy the unique experience of sleeping on deck under the stars. Almost all of our boats provide some form of upholstered area where sleeping on deck is possible. In order to take advantage of this possibility, we recommend bringing a personal sleeping bag as the bed linen and mattresses provided in your cabins are not allowed to be taken out of the cabins.
Unfortunately it is not possible to pay with a credit card on any of our boats. Payment of the bar tab, tourist taxes, parking space etc. can be made in cash only. Either in euro or in the local currency. Your tour guide will gladly point you in the right direction of the next available ATM or conversion office.
Pets are not permitted on board of any of our boats as we are responsible for the health and safety of all participants equally. Many people suffer from animal related allergies or have a fear of the animals themselves. We wish to respect these restrictions.
It is our biggest wish at Islandhopping to be able to operate our tours without any restrictions; however, the global situation has had a great influence on all of our daily lives and will continue to do so for this season. Throughout 2022, Islandhopping will adhere to the respective country regulations and hygiene measures, as far as they are ethically justifiable and logistically possible, and will inform you prior to the start of your trip about the regulations that will apply to you on your visit.
In almost all of our travel destinations we are able to provide you with additional nights or a tour extension package before or after your Islandhopping tour. Detailed information to our partner hotels and our tour extension modules can be found on the respective travel page under ‘Additional Nights’.
Generally our tours have a minimum participant number, which varies between tours. You will find this number on the respective tour page. Once a specific departure date has reached the minimum participant number, the tour departure is confirmed and flights can be booked. Should the confirmed number of participants decrease due to influences which are out of our control, we will not be held liable for travel arrangements outside of our tour package. We hope for your understanding and will of course assist you in finding a suitable tour alternative. If you do not wish to take advantage of the provided alternatives, your tour payment with Islandhopping will be fully reimbursed. Please inform yourself of the full conditions under paragraph 8 of our General Terms and Conditions.
Make sure to book your flight, bus, train, ferry etc. only then when your planned tour departure has been officially confirmed by us. If you organize your arrival without this confirmation, and we are forced to cancel the departure, we will not be held responsible for any reimbursements other than the Islandhopping tour.
We highly recommend purchasing travel cancellation insurance as well as international health insurance. The e-mail from Islandhopping confirming your reservation, includes a link to our insurance partner, Allianz Insurance. A step by step process will help you find the right travel insurance policy for you. If you are using the insurance offered by your credit card provider, please make sure that the full extent of your travel package is covered.
When cancelling an Islandhopping tour, the cancellation conditions found in our General Terms and Conditions will apply. We cannot deviate from these should you wish to cancel your tour without having purchased travel cancellation insurance.
If you book a one-week Bike & Boat tour operated directly by Islandhopping before the 31.12 (in the year before your trip) we will offer a 5% discount off the basic tour price. Returning Islandhopper's are also rewarded: as of the third tour booked directly via Islandhopping you will receive our 5% SEA-YOU-Again discount for bookings placed before the 31.12 (The SEA-YOU-Again discount applies to all tours in our program which are booked directly via Islandhopping given that the previous bookings actually took place).
Our General Terms and Conditions including our cancellation policy can be found by clicking on the following link: General Terms and Conditions
Islandhopping's most important dates at a glance! Here you will find everything you need to know about special Islandhopping dates and events: Whether it be trade fairs, open days, trail building weeks, discount promotions, or important key dates such as the start and end of the season, you can stay well informed about everything Islandhopping with our event calendar.
Our office team will be taking a well-deserved break over the Christmas period. Therefore, we will not be reachable by phone from the 22.12.2023 to 02.01.2023. During the break there will also be a delay in answers to your email enquiries. However, from the 02.01.2023, the office team will be back in full swing to help you plan you next dream holiday. We wish you a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones and dream of new travel adventures together for the new year!
If you book a one-week Bike & Boat tour organized by Islandhopping by the 31.12.2023, you will receive a 5% discount on the basic tour price. Returning guests are also rewarded with our SEA-YOU-AGAIN discount. Those who book their third trip directly with us before 31.12.2023 will also receive a 5% discount on the basic tour price. (The SEA-YOU-AGAIN discount can be combined with the early bird discount, but this only applies if the previously booked trips actually took place.)
Islandhopping has piqued your interest, but you still have a few questions? Would you be interested in a personal consultation? Then visit us in January at the CMT Stuttgart where you can get to know our team and gather some inspiration for your next adventure. Our travel experts look forward to meeting you personally and answering any questions you may have about the Islandhopping experience. You can find us between 13.-15.01.2024 in Hall 9, Stand B73 amongst the Bicycle and Hiking Holidays. We look forward to meeting you in person!
On Easter weekend, the Thalassa and the Erato set sail to officially open our 2024 travel season (Peloponnese and the Saronic Islands from/to Athens). For the Erato it is also the maiden voyage as part of our Islandhopping fleet. Two weeks later the season will also begin for our motorsailer, the Panagiota, through the Ionian Islands from/to Corfu.
Vacation and training – does that go together? We certainly think so, because our Road Bike Camp combines the passion of road cycling while island hopping amongst the Croatian islands. For racing bike fans, our training camps, which are now being held in Dalmatia, offer the perfect opportunity to both get back into shape after a winter hibernation and to improve one’s riding technique under professional supervision. Spectacular views on the bike tours coupled with memorable evenings in rustic harbors make this unique training camp unforgettable.
From mid-April, several ships will also be hopping in Croatia. Look forward to diverse tours in and around the Kvarner Bay, Istria and Dalmatia! In the land of 1000 islands we are underway with six ships as we explore the entire Croatian coast from north to south. We will drop our anchor on countless occasions – whether in history-filled ports for bike and city tours or in beautiful bays for the always-popular swimming breaks.
To ensure that the 2024 season runs smoothly, we invite our guides to our training camp in Croatia. On our charming San Snova, the team gets into the mood for the 2024 summer season. Through group discussions, discoveries of new tours and techniques and good old-fashioned team building, we ensure that our guides are fit and ready for the adventures ahead.
Our deluxe fleet will welcome several new ships in 2024. With the Admiral and the Boreas as their floating home, island hoppers can look forward to stylish seafaring combined with every comfort (from/to Bodrum). Dreamlike journey into the Gökova Gulf, along the Lycian coasts and through the Greek Aegean Islands are awaiting you. Both ships will life their anchor for the first time on April 4, 2024!
As of today, we are also on the road again with the Flying Dutchman in the far north of Europe! For the next three weeks, the quaint sailing ship is home once again for island hoppers to who to discover the Inner Hebrides and Scottish Highlands by water and land on our extremely popular Scotland Tour. You can also take part on an Islandhopping Tour in Scotland in late summer as the Flying Dutchman will sail again in late summer 2024.