Islandhopping - Company History





1998 - 2001


Assigned by the ADFC Baden-Württemberg, the first cycle tour by boat and bike departed the harbour of Rijeka, Croatia in 1998 to tour the Kvarner Bay. Due to the great success of the first tour a second tour was offered the year after in South Dalmatia and a decision was made to develop this success-concept for the broader market.

And so in 1999, Klaus Schenk and Peter Eich, suddenly became shareholders and company directors of their own company. In the following year, Wikinger, Eurobike, Pedalo and Velotours became the first partner agencies to work in cooperation with Islandhopping. This number was to increase rapidly in the coming years.

In 2001 the Kvarner Bay welcomed the first fleet of Islandhopping mountain bikers and hikers.



2002


2002 came with a number of important developments for Islandhopping: for the first time, Islandhopping is bookable as a direct product of the tour operator.

Additionally, the first mini-brochure is published, advertising a tour of middle Dalmatia (today’s ”National Parks of Dalmatia”) as well as the first tours in Turkey.



2003


The interest for the Islandhopping product grows amongst tour operators and we are approached by international companies from Italy, the Netherlands and the USA.



2004


The first bound, 52 page, Islandhopping catalogue includes tours in Turkey and in Montenegro. The arrival of the Turkish gullet, Bahriyeli, enriches our Turkish fleet with its 3 masts.

Istria belongs henceforth to our Croatian Islandhopping program.



2005


In the south of Turkey, the Islandhoppers conquer Lycia with its rich culture and Rhodes, the island of the Sun god, expands our program in the Greek Dodecanese to the south.

Islandhopping is now being marketed by tour operators in almost every English and German speaking country of the world.



2006


For the first time the Islandhopping catalogue reaches 100 pages and is accompanied by a wonderful short film, captured and edited with great passion by our tour guides,

Tobi and Jenny.

Islandhopping expands in Greece by taking the first tour through the Cyclades – a success story of its own.

Also new is the MTB tour of south Dalmatia.

The constant growth of the company forces the team to pack their things together and move into a larger office in Konstanz.



2007


Islandhopping looks back at its most successful season yet with 2500 satisfied guests.

In Greece the Panagiota joins the Islandhopping fleet.

A new boat brings new regions – the Ionian Islands and the Saronic Gulf, between Attika and Peloponnes join our list of destinations.



2008


Islandhopping celebrates a decade and sets foot outside of the Mediterranean for the first time with a new tour in the Seychelles and in Vietnam.

The hiking tour in Istria is expanded and a mountain climbing tour takes a test run.

A new tour starting in Turkey leads our guests onto the three Greek Islands of Chios, Lesbos and Samos.



2009


2009 brings big change: Klaus Schenk takes over sole charge of Islandhopping as company director and the growth of the company is reflected in the search for a larger office space.

Multi-Adventure tours are added to the program, a successful concept which continues to impress families to this day.

The San Snova joins our fleet and offers 7 day tours along the Montenegrin Coast.



2010


For the first time Islandhopping sponsors a tour in cooperation with the cancer aftercare foundation for children and invites several young patients and their families on board for a tour in Dalmatia.

Already in May a new record is set with 3000 bookings. The end of the season comes in at more than 3500 guests. 

Winning the prize for innovative travel concepts from the German newspaper Sonntag Aktuell rounds off a very successful year.



2011


The addition of the Flying Dutchman to the Islandhopping fleet introduces our first tall ship and offers us the opportunity to explore the far north. The Flying Dutchman takes us to Denmark and we explore the Danish South Sea. A second tall ship, the Artemis, enables us to explore the Balearics.

The e-bike market develops a new trend among Islandhoppers and with the addition of the Princeza Diana we now have a deluxe boat with an on board garage to store the newly acquired, high quality e-bikes – the PLUS concept is born.

This year’s tour for the cancer aftercare foundation for children is recorded by the SWR camera team and a half hour short film is aired multiple times on TV.



2012


The Flying Dutchman takes us to Scotland for the first time – a long awaited dream comes true!

We expand our program in Croatia with a MTB tour from Dubrovnik and the Kvarner Bay is christened with the e-bike. A hotel and bike tour connecting the Kvarner Bay with Istria expands our tour portfolio. 

A photography competition lays the foundations for the first Islandhopping calendar for the year 2013. A new record is set with a total of 4300 guests in the year of 2012.



2013


Islandhopping turns 15 years old and receives an award from the German newspaper, Sonntag Aktuell, for the first guided hotel and bike tour through Albania. Albania leaves incredible impressions on our guides who take part on their annual tour guide conference there that year.

For the first time we have 100 participants for our tour in Vietnam and our three new tours in Turkey are well received.

We have reached a new annual total with 5000 Islandhopping guests this year.



2014


Our PLUS-tours now operate in three different Croatian coastal regions, and the Panagiota offers the first Multi-Adventure tour outside of Croatian waters.

The boat and bike tour in Montenegro is changed into a hotel and bike tour for logistical reasons.

For the first time we are able to offer 10 departure dates in the Balearics and our support for the cancer aftercare foundation results in us hosting yet another wonderful cruise experience for several young patients and their entire family.



2015


Even in its 17th year of existence, Islandhopping stays true to its motto ”more than a holiday”. Aside from our classic trekking bike and MTB tours we now offer four different PLUS-tour alternatives.

Two MTB education events started the ball rolling for our MTB tours, with the changes evident in the new season.

Hotel and bike tours prove to be popular among Islandhoppers as well as our tour extension modules. Taking advantage of this trend we now have an excellent tour extension module in the Balearics in the Valley of Soller on Mallorca.



2016


The 18th season not only offers hotel and bike highlights but also plenty of new MTB action.

We have optimized our MTB tours by making them exclusively for MTB riders, now available in the Kvarner Bay, South Dalmatia and in the Greek Aegean, not only offering new trails and routes but also catering for varying levels of riding ability.

On top of that we have the ”4 Island” MTB race, hosted for the second time and proving to be the perfect season opener for off-road fans.

In the development of our hotel and bike tours we have noticed a recurring transnational theme.

A brand new tour from the floating city of Venice to the history clad city of Porec in Croatia, or the Cycle 4 Education event which will spur many cycling enthusiasts right the way through Europe on two wheels. …and for all of those who have been itching to get to Montenegro: We have now extended our tour here to eight days and remains a real highlight in the touring scene.



2017


It has been an incredibly exciting year for us at Islandhopping. Our 19th season brings with it new tour categories as well as new destinations such as the Family MTB tour in the Kvarner Bay, a Sail & Bike tour in Northern Ireland as well as a Hotel & Bike tour in South Africa. Our inter-continental tour selection grows! This exciting addition leads us through the fascinating game reserves of South Africa and brings with it incredible encounters with beautiful natural landscapes and the beasts which call this wonderful wilderness on the southern tip of Africa their home.

A holiday with the kids without missing out on your daily joy ride? Our Family MTB Cruise in the Kvarner Bay in the north of Croatia combines athletic indulgence with a separate multi-adventure program for the kids.

For the first time we welcome more than 6000 Islandhoppers on board our boats.

We host our first marketing based cruise, visited by all kinds of media outlets, in combination with the first ever Bike Forum for Cycling tourism in Croatia, executed by our subsidiary company, Cycle Croatia.

A cooperation between Islandhopping, Ernesto Hutmacher and his Trail Brothers from Tuscany, Italy and the Hellenic Federation of Mountain biking leads to the launch of an international trail building project on the Greek Aegean Islands, laying the foundations for the successful development of the Aegean islands into an irresistible trail paradise. In order for us to give this project a digital residence, we founded a subsidiary company, Cycle Greece, with its HQ in Athens.

What a year! The last year of our teens, before we come of age.



2018


Islandhopping turns 20! A good cause to celebrate with a special tour, a tour of the Aegean Seas. Our voyage will take us not only to the islands of Kos and Kalymnos, but will also include the beautiful islands of Paros, Naxos, Amorgos and Astypalaia.

With the addition of the, Newstar, we welcome the second First Class boat into our fleet. The new addition to our fleet also welcomes a new tour to our Croatian program, cruising between Zadar and Dubrovnik – the tour will include the full list of Dalmatian Highlights.

We welcome Holland as a new destination. On board a tall ship we discover the Ijselmeer and the Wadden Sea and explore the quaint coastal towns and islands by bike, either in the company of a guide or on our own.

Our new Hotel and E-Bike charity tour through the Norwegian Lofoten takes our summer program to new, northern heights! Discover the island world between Tromsø and Å characterized by its picturesque harbor towns, typical boats houses and fascinating fjords. Tour profits will go towards supporting the international disaster relief organization, ADRA.

Our fleet of bikes welcomes the innovative, FLEXeBIKE, switching comfortably between hybrid bike and e-bike simply by replacing the rear wheel.



2019


The gradual growth of our tour count (280+) as well as that of our guests (7000+) is a big compliment to us. It is also a great motivation for us to continue offering ‘more than a holiday’ on hybrid bike cruises, mountain bike cruises, e-bike cruises as well as family friendly multi-activity cruises.

In 2019 our current tour destinations by boat and bike, Croatia, Greece, Turkey, Great Britain, Holland, Denmark and Vietnam will welcome a new country and culture to the program: Italy – along the Tuscan coast by sailing ship and hybrid bike as well as mountain bike.

A further addition will enrich our sailing program in Holland. The Tulip Tour by sailing boat and bike will join the Ijselmeer and Wadden Sea tours in this region. Cast the line and hoist the sails!

A further highlight joining us this season is a new PLUS tour between Split and Dubrovnik. An active holiday filled with highlights and comfort along the incredible South Dalmatian coast.

A incredible tour experience in Greece awaits our MTB enthusiast this year: the MTB SPECIAL tour in the Greek Aegean takes guests to the most beautiful Dodecanese Islands with incredible trail diversity in breathtaking landscapes.

Also our international trail building project in the Greek Aegean, in partnership with Ernesto Hutmacher and his Trail Brothers from Italy, as well as the Hellenic Federation of Mountain biking, continues to grow and progress in preparation of a fantastic trail paradise in the Aegean: in 2019 the third trail building week will take place in Thessaloniki on the Greek mainland. The Aegean Trails Web Portal is now live!

Not only our boats tours but also our land based tours will provide new destinations to be discovered: MTB in Croatia on the ‘Golden Island’ Krk, on the Istrian Peninsula around Rabac, or along the former Parenzana Railway, or in Greece in the Southern or Central Aegean – These destination are being redefined as MTB highlights and can be explored by hotel and MTB.


Any questions?

Contact us:

Monday - Friday
09:00- 12:30 Hrs
14:00- 17:00 Hrs

Tel. +49(0)7531 361860

info@islandhopping.com