Set sail and cycle through beautiful Croatia

A Comox Valley cycle tour organizer is planning a trip of a lifetime.

Willy van Kemenade and Cathie Hagenson on a previous cycle trip. The couple looks forward to their next adventure in Croatia and Austria — and invite others along for the ride.

Willy van Kemenade and Cathie Hagenson on a previous cycle trip. The couple looks forward to their next adventure in Croatia and Austria — and invite others along for the ride.

Terri Perrin

Special to the Record

A few years ago, Willy van Kemenade was guiding a cycle tour along the mountainous terrain of the Sunshine Coast. Between huffs and puffs up a steep incline, one of the cyclists said with a smile; ‘Next time, let’s go somewhere that’s flat!’

“I took that chal- lenge to heart and came home to research international cycling tours,” says van Kemenade. “We picked Holland for our first trip. It is really flat and has an amazing net- work of bicycle paths. Since then, we have also cycled through Belgium, Germany and France, so I know that European destinations are both popular and, of course, amazing. For 2015, I decided on a cycle tour to Croatia, which borders on the Adriatic Sea. It has a lovely Mediterranean climate and a rare blend of spectacular ocean and mountain scenery, combined with old world charm.”

An avid cyclist with more than 30 years travel industry experience, van Kemenade and his wife, Cathie Hagenson, are well respected in the Comox Valley and beyond for their leadership in organizing fun, safe and extraordinary cycle tours at home and around the world.

“We have planned our Croatia Bike and Boat Tour for July 4 through 11, 2015, and can accommodate up to 32 travellers,” explains van Kemenade. “Participants will stay aboard the beauti- ful Princess Diana, a three-mast deluxe class motor yacht with 16 comfortable private cabins. We have the option of starting with a visit to the beauti- ful city of Dubrovnik. We board the Princess Diana in the city of Trogir, Croatia, and sail northward along the coast and through a multitude of island passages. We will bicycle through the countryside (and yes, there are hills), to national parks, medieval towns and larger cities. There will be time to shop and enjoy the local culture during our stops in coastal ports.”

The Croatia Bike and Boat Tour includes seven nights accommodation on the yacht with two meals a day, plus bike rentals, all water and park entrance fees, taxes and more. Flights and other travel arrangements from the Comox Valley to Europe may be booked through Willy at Square 1 Travel.

If you enjoy mountains and hiking, vanKemenade is planning a second adventure to Austria immediately after the Croatia trip, from July 12 to 19.

“After all, we will have travelled all the way to Europe,” he says with a grin. “We may as well make the most of it!

“The Austria leg of the trip will be a week of hiking, exploring and taking in the breathtaking scenery in the Schladmig Dachstein area of Austria,” van Kemenade said. “In the winter, this area is world-famous for ski- ing but, in the summer months, it transforms into one of the top hik- ing regions in all of Austria. We will stay in the Schutterhof Hotel for seven nights. The cost includes accommodations, breakfast buffets, dinners, afternoon snacks, hotel taxes, and a Summer Pass, which covers rides on local transit, mountain gondolas, guided hikes and other attractions. Cathie and I will be there to help plan and organize your days.”

People interested in learning more about joining van Kemenade and Hagenson on this southeastern European adventure are invited to attend a free information evening from 7–9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 26.

The location is to be announced.

Please phone 250- 339-7628 or email by Nov. 20 to confirm your attendance.






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