Finding the right tour for you

Our search engine is designed to simplify the process of searching for your tour. You can use one or all of the selection boxes at the front of the home page of our website. If you know which country you would like to visit, click on the box 'where?' then click on that country for a list of all tours in that country. If your desired country is not there, let us know, as we are constantly updating our website with new tours.

If you are only interested in one type of tour, leave the other boxes empty and click on the list 'type' - e.g. 'cycling' then you will have a display of all the cycling tours in any country.

If you have specific dates of arrival and departure, enter these in the two middle boxes and you will have a list of all the tours which run during those dates.

Evaluate your own needs and desires from a sporting and fitness level as well as your interests. Decide whether you would like to see battlefields, gardens, sail and cycle, or have a general 'culture and exploring' with some walking and options for half day use of bike or canoe on many tours.

And we appreciate all feedback on your search success - or if you are unable to find what you seek.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and Conditions may be found at the bottom of the website homepage along with our Privacy Policy

Booking a tour

Once you have found the right tour(s) for you, you can book in several ways: a) book directly online b) email us with details of the tour(s) you would like, with any questions you may have - send your email to info@slowtours.com c) Our number is on the top of the home screen, and you are welcome to call and book with us directly.

On each tour page, you will find a description, itinerary, prices and dates. There is also a booking box for each tour. You can select how many single,double or twin rooms you would like to book. These are added to your cart.

You can continue finding other tours and adding them to your cart in the same way. Once you are finished, click on the cart at the top of the screen, and a list of tours you would like to book are presented.

Check that you have all the tours correctly reserved, then click on the booking button. You will be asked for your contact details and names of persons travelling with you. Once completed, you select whether you would like to pay by credit card of by direct funds transfer.

Funds transfers must be received within 48 hours to confirm your booking.

Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm places on your tour(s). Should there not be enough places, we will immediately tell you so you can change your tour.

As most of our tours are for smaller groups, it is wise to book early to secure your place(s)

Some of our tours require a minimum number of people, although this if often only 2 people. Each tour is different, and we will let you know this at the time of booking. If tours are cancelled by the operator, your total funds paid will be reimbursed. Please check our Terms and Conditions at the bottom of the home page for other eventualities.

Pricing

All the inclusions are listed on each tour, as some are different from others. You can see how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners, are included in the price, also for cycling tours equipment included is shown. This information will also be in your confirmation email

Single supplements are charged particularly on tours where the accommodation is restricted, such as a barge with only 5 or 6 cabins, and on many tours where room charges vary for one person. Solos are very welcome on our tours and you won't feel alone. Most tours have a solo host/guide who will accompany singles on days when you have free time to wander in a town or village.

The price we show is per person for the entire length of the stay, unless otherwise stated. A single supplement is shown as a separate price where there is only one person in a room or cabin. Shared rooms may be selected as twin beds or double bed, and if your choice is not available, we will let you know.

This depends on the country and hotel as in some places a tax is not included in the hotel or tour price, but has to be paid each time a tourist stays in a hotel, and is charged at your departure. This applies in France in particular and is around 1 Euro per day per person. Tax requirements change from country to country so it's always good to check.

Check each tour you book in the ‘description’ tab, as they differ depending on the country, type of tour and location. You will often find a number of meals listed as ‘free choice’ which allows you to choose your preferred type of meal, snack or full menu, with a choice of restaurant. Most cycling tours will either include a packed lunch, or suggest a local place where you can buy a snack en route.

Airport transfers are mostly included in tour costs unless specified in the ‘inclusions’ on the tour description. If you need help organsing your transfer to the start of the tour please contact our Customer Service Support on +61 408 358 448

No, we do not charge any fees at all, but we ask you for a deposit to secure your place on the tour(s)

Paying for your tour

We accept Credit Card and EFT payments. When you search for your tour with our search engine on the front of the home page, you can then book and pay for it online, either by credit card (in Australian dollars and Euros) or you can pay by Electronic Funds Transfer to our bank account in Euros, Austalian dollars, US dollars or Great British Pounds.

We ask for a deposit to ensure your spot is safe on the tour. Most of our tours are for small groups so it is important that places are reserved.

Full payment must be made at the latest 90 days before departure. If there are any issues with payment, please contact Slow Tours Customer Service Support on +61 408 358 448. Cancellation fees are in our Terms and Conditions.

Before my trip

A valid passport from your country of citizenship is required for any Slow Tour passenger who is travelling out of their residential country. Please check on our website which countries your tour will cover and if in doubt, check with your Embassy

Slow Tours cannot organise your passport but our customer service team are more than happy to give advice and point you in the right direction if you need assistance. Please contact our Slow Tours Customer Service Support on +61 408 358 448.

Generally, you will need 6 months before expiration of your passport before travelling, but please check with your local embassy and the countries where you will be travelling how much validity is required on a returning residential passport.

Please contact your local embassy to arrange a Visa or Visa Waiver if you require one. The Visa and Visa Waiver does not apply to every country so it is important to check which countries your tour covers, and refer to your Embassy or passport office of your country of residence.

Yes you will need to get full coverage travel insurance before you leave and your policy number is required by Slow Tours before you travel.

You are advised to bring at least 2 copies of your passport, travel insurance, airline tickets, car hire documents, Doctor medication letters and your Slow Tours booking confirmation. We suggest you have a copy of all documents in your hand luggage and one in your suitcase. Also, leave a copy at home with your next of kin so they are able to contact you in family emergency.

Slow Tours requires a copy of your passport and passport number, travel insurance company name and policy number, emergency contact numbers and a fully completed booking form prior to your tour departure date

Please check with your Doctor and your local embassy if you require any immunizations

Communication

There will be access to public phones at your accommodation throughout the tour but we cannot guarantee daily access to a phone. Calls are at your own cost. In an emergency your family should be able to contact you as long as you leave the list of accommodation contact numbers with them.

Most of the accommodation will have wifi access and mostly it is free, but we cannot guarantee this. Also, many town centres and airports have free or small fee-paying wifi available.

Please check with your local mobile provider for user accessibility and charges whilst overseas. Charges can be quite elevated if you use data roaming. It is a good idea to check and compare costs and offers before leaving home.

We will send you contact details of your guide and your accommodation in your Tour Information Pack. We strongly advise that you leave a copy of all your travel information with your next of kin before departing.

Many countries have the 220/240-volt electricity supply, but often with a different plug. Some countries have a 120-volt system. It is important that you check before travelling, so you will have the necessary adapter equipment with you.

Money requirements while on tour

For currency information on your chosen tour(s) please check the Tour Information Pack which will be sent to you before you depart. Most banking institutions have a travel card where you can change your own currency online and continue using the card for payments and cash withdrawals. Ask at your bank for the best way to do this, and let them know which countries you are travelling to.

Most of our destinations have money changing facilities at airports, some banks, and in most palces your credit/debit/travel card will work in cash distributors (teller machines). Always check the Tour Information Pack which will be sent to you before you depart. We also advise that you exchange a small amount of cash before you leave home so you’ve got some money when you arrive in case the nearest Currency Exchange, bank or automatic teller machine is not close by.

It is also possible to have cash sent to you via institutions such as Western Union. Check the charges before leaving home

There are some minor costs that will need to be paid on the day by the guest including some meals, extra hotel charges, such as telephone and mini-bar costs, your own souvenirs etc. but these are generally detailed in the tour descriptions on our website, also in the Tour Information Pack which will be sent to you before you depart.

Meal inclusions vary on tours, as do costs, so luxury hotel barge cruises include all meals and drinks. Many tours include breakfasts and most dinners, but not lunches. Check each tour inclusions separately so you know how much extra money you may require.

Tours do not include flights, unless specifically mentioned in the tour description.

Some countries that we travel to have a tipping culture but your local host/guide will be able to advise you on the local protocol. Hosts/guides who do a really good job of looking after you often receive tips, but this is entirely at your own discretion.

Most major credit cards work whilst overseas but also may have conversion fees attached. Please contact your local credit card company or bank before you travel to organise your money whilst overseas. There are some very convenient and less expensive ways of handling money overseas.

Slow Tours is committed to providing the most value for money tours whilst keeping you in comfortable style. As we offer a range of 3 - 5 experiences, tour costs and inclusions are bound to vary. Any extra on-the-day costs that you will need to pay for have been detailed in your tour description for the specific tour on our website and also the Tour Information Pack which will be sent to you before you depart.

We would love to have a crystal ball, but 'unforeseen' costs are just that! Your host/guide is there to assist with any difficulties which may crop up.

Packing and luggage

Your airline determines your maximum luggage weight allowed. If you are travelling on an international airline, and include some domestic flights during your holiday, then it is wise to use the lesser amount allowed so you won't end up paying excess luggage fees. We suggest that one small (preferably a secure backpack) and one medium case (on wheels) is all that you need, so you can manage your baggage yourself. In many countries now, you may not find a baggage handler to assist you. There are laundry facilities along the way where you can wash items of clothing and a smaller case is easier to carry around.

As our tours range from cycling to relaxing on a barge our packing lists are varied! Also, much depends on the season and climate of the countries you visit. Make sure you check the tour description(s) on our website, also the Tour Information Pack which will be sent to you before you depart. There will be suggested/required items in your information pack.

Please check with your Doctor for any prescription restrictions there may be on your medication in the countries you will be visiting. If you are bringing any medication ensure that you have a Doctors letter with you in case it is needed at Security at the airport.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your luggage is secured, and whilst we endeavour to keep your luggage secure at all times, we will not be held responsible for stolen or lost luggage. Your travel insurance should cover any damage or losses.

We suggest 1 (or maybe 2) small to medium suitcases as smaller cases are easier to manage. A secure and safe back pack is also strongly advised over a handbag for day trips and site seeing.

On tour information

It is better to be prepared, so this information is here to help you, however, this is a rare occurrence, and if your valuables are lost or stolen, this is the reason we insist you take out travel insurance.

Some of the destinations we travel to are unfortunately home to pick pockets but our local guides will be able to give you information and tips to make sure you feel comfortable. We recommend a secure back pack (zippers on the inside next to your back) for your day trips to towns and cities when you are more vulnerable. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, stay with your local host/guide who is there to help.

Nearly all the countries we visit have good protection laws and police to enforce them, so there is no reason for you to feel unsafe.

Slow Tours is committed to your safety and the safety of our guides and will do everything we can to ensure guests safety during the tour. We will keep you updated with any information relevant to your chosen destination but please also check with your local embassy for any travel restrictions placed on residents of your home country.

Please ask your guide during your tour if you have any concerns and your guide will be sure to let you know if a specific site has any restrictions.

Please let your tour guide know immediately and they will help you handle the situation with advice from your local Embassy.

Our maximum group sizes vary but generally our numbers do not exceed 16 apart from some of the small cruising ships and barges. The average number of guests is 10 so you will be well cared for by your attentive guide!

Each tour uses different transport from smaller mini-buses to barges/boats and bicycles! For the transport used in your tour please check the tour description for the specific tour on our website and also the Tour Information Pack which will be sent to you before you depart.

There is no predetermined fitness level required for any of our tours and it is up to the individual as to how energetic they feel! Some walking is included in all of the tours for site seeing but this can be adjusted to suit any issues you may have, just make sure you discuss this at the time of booking. Some people may prefer to wait in a nice coffee shop when the group climbs hills and explores villages, or you may like to just go halfway at your own pace and meet in a coffee shop when the rest of the group returns.

In many cases, we can tailor your experience for you. Our cycling and walking tours, however, require a moderate level of fitness, and the hiking and skiing requires a greater level. Check the cycling tours for the level of difficulty (1-4) and if you are concerned, there is usually the option of an electric assisted bike.

We cannot guarantee a laundry facility at every accommodation, although most hotels offer an in-house service of laundry and dry-cleaning. There will most certainly be access to cleaning facilities at some point during your tour.

The concept behind Slow Tours is that there are rarely extended periods of sitting on buses or trains as the whole tour is conducted at a leisurely, relaxing pace. We prefer that you relax and enjoy yourself on holiday, so endeavour to avoid long travel times in one day, unless there is something exceptional to visit.

Yes, definitely! Due to the nature of Slow Tours philosophy, our tour operators provide the opportunity for as little or as much activity as you want and your host/guide will endeavour to tailor activities to suit the individual where possible, including factoring in free time.

Certainly! The beauty of the small Slow Tour groups is that it is easy for you to opt out when you feel like resting at the hotel for the day. Just let your guide know what you would like to do in advance if possible, and they will make every effort to accommodate your requirements.

Each tour has different accommodation standards but every tour has comfortable accommodation with ensuites to each bedroom. Generally most tours are 3-5 stars which means there is a range of accommodation from small family B&B's often used out in the countryside on cycling tours, to 5-star chateaux with a luxury touch. Similarly barges may be a neat and tidy 3-star with good meals, or a luxury hotel barge with state rooms, a first class crew and chef on board. For individual tours take a look at the specific tour information on the website or in your Tour Information Pack which will be sent to you before you depart.

We understand that flights may be delayed and often you arrive late due to no fault of your own. However, as your tour has been booked, we are unable to offer a refund (please see Terms and Conditions). Your travel insurance should cover you for all lost days and any extra travel expenses to help you join the tour.

We will do our best to get you to the tour, which may involve extra transport costs if the tour has already departed. Again, this should be covered by your travel insurance.

Our guide will ensure that any dietary requirements are taken care of at any group meals. Please let us know when you fill out your booking form which is sent to you when your tour is booked and confirmed.

Our tour operators will endeavour to meet your dietary requirements, but on some tours there may be a small charge for this.

The weather will depend on the destination of your tour and the time of year that you are travelling. We suggest that you take a few 'layers' of clothing, so it is easier to add or remove one layer of clothing as the day or season gets warmer or cooler.

A small range of uncrushable tops and a couple of scarves or cravats will save a lot of room in your luggage and will be the invaluable items !hat you will wear a lot of the time!

None of the current Slow Tour destinations have undrinkable tap water but please drink bottled water if this works better for you. If you are in doubt, check with your local tour guide.

There certainly are in most places! In some of the less well known European countries, there are still facilities which are not to the standard we are accustomed to, but your guide will know where the best in the area can be found. The others are a good photo shot to show your friends when you return home!

After your tour

Yes, you will receive an evaluation survey, and we would really love you to fill it out. this helps us to make sure our clients receive the best available in slow travel on this planet!

Yes, you will. And we will continue to send you information on early bird pricing and information on new tours as our website is updated.

As a Slow Tour Member (someone who has come on a Slow Tour) you will also receive Member only offers. Also other specials before they are open to the public.

If you have any more questions or comments after your tours, we would be delighted to hear from you. Send us an email to info@slowtours.com with details of the tour(s) you went on.

If you have not found an answer to any of your questions, please contact us so we can make sure the FAQ's are kept interesting and informative for future clients.

Thanks so much for travelling with us and welcome to Slow Tours Members Club!