Croatia Island Hopping Trip Overview
Pack your sense of adventure this summer and explore Croatia, one of Europe’s hottest off-the-beaten-path destinations! You’ll experience the very best this country has to offer, from the breathtaking Krka Waterfalls in the north to the incredible walled city of Dubrovnik in the south. What better way to enjoy your summer vacation than by cruising from island to island in the Adriatic sea on your own sailboat? We’ll begin by island-hopping on our private boat, your home for the first week of the trip. Throughout the trip we’ll take several excursions ashore to check out Croatia’s impressive natural scenery, like the turquoise lakes and rushing waterfalls found in its protected national parks. Finally, we’ll wrap up this trip of a lifetime in picturesque Dubrovnik, where you’ll explore the cobblestoned streets, relax on the beach, and even have the chance to take a Game of Thrones tour to see where the series was filmed. What are you waiting for? Come discover Croatia for yourself this summer with Travel For Teens!
During this program, you will…
- Spend a week cruising through the turquoise water of Europe’s best-kept secret, the Dalmatian Coast, on our private sailboat
- Stargaze and sleep on the top deck under a dazzling night sky
- Discover the wonders of the Adriatic Sea by stopping at secluded snorkeling spots, private beaches and stunning islands
- Swim in the sparkling emerald green waters of the Krka Waterfalls
- Get the adrenaline pumping on a whitewater rafting adventure
- Go off the beaten path to the tiny island of Vis and take a spin on a bike tour to discover the area like a local
- Wander the inviting cobblestoned streets of Dubrovnik, also known as the Pearl of the Adriatic
- See Game of Thrones come to life on a tour of filming locations, and even sit on the Iron Throne!*
*This is an optional excursion
DAY 1: DEPART FROM NEWARK (EWR)
DAYS 2-9: ISLAND-HOPPING IN THE ADRIATIC
Welcome to Croatia! Our first stop is the ancient city of Split, founded by the ancient Greeks and home to the ruins of Roman Emperor Diocletian’s grand palace. Upon your arrival, you’ll head down to the port and get settled into the boat that will be our home for the next week. You don’t need any sailing experience to join this trip – you can either choose to relax and soak up the journey, or you can take the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of sailing from our professional skipper. You’ll spend the day gliding through aquamarine waters, stopping at secluded snorkeling spots and private beaches and a different island each night. Have the time of your life soaking up the sun in the paradise of Brac, living a real life fairy-tale in Hvar, swimming in picturesque Krknjaši Lagoon and biking around fascinating Vis in St. George’s Bay.
DAYS 9-10: SPLIT
Once we’re back on dry land, see one of Croatia’s biggest cities, Split, surrounded by the ancient Diocletian’s Palace! Walk along the ramparts and gaze over the whole city, stroll along the seaside promenade, and do some souvenir shopping in the shops that adorn the winding cobblestoned streets. We’ll also take a guided tour from a local. The next day, take a day trip to the spectacular Krka Waterfalls to bike the secluded trails around them, capping off the day with a dip in the crystal-clear water to cool off! We’ll also spend a morning on an adrenaline-pumping whitewater rafting adventure on the Cetina River, one of the most popular rivers in Europe for rafting.
DAYS 11-12: DUBROVNIK AND LOKRUM ISLAND
We’ll say goodbye to the north and head south to the ancient city of Dubrovnik, one of Europe’s most picturesque port cities. Relax on Banje Beach, shop the hip boutiques for souvenirs, and take in the laid-back Dalmatian culture. You can even choose to take a Game of Thrones Film Location tour and sit on the Iron Throne! On our final day in Croatia, take the ferry out to nearby Lokrum Island, where you can hike, relax on the beach, and even try stand-up paddleboarding. Top off this trip of a lifetime with a photo shoot of a breathtaking sunset from atop Mt. Srd.
DAY 13: RETURN FLIGHT TO THE USA
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can go on this trip? What kind of teen typically goes on this trip?
Teens from all over the world join this program! Typically, our participants are culturally curious individuals who are excited to make new friends, experience something unique, and interested in stepping out of their comfort zones and expanding their horizons.
This program is exclusively for students who are currently in grades 9th through 12th and approximately 14 to 18 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are chosen specifically in safe areas and are well suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. We do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities; we prefer to select smaller, family-run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
For most of the trip we will sleep on our own private sailboat(s). In Split we stay in one of the city’s top-rated family and youth hostels–don’t worry, all of our rooms are private just for our group. In Dubrovnik, we will stay in the Old Town.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for the program.
Do most travelers go on their own?
Yes! In fact, over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that form along the way. When we travel by ourselves, we are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new friends on another TFT program the next summer!
If you are thinking about joining a TFT program by yourself but you are feeling unsure, please let us know! We have plenty of references from solo travelers who had great experiences and would be happy to chat with you about it.
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We ask that if you do come with a friend, you and your friend(s) maintain openness to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students generally like most on this program?
Students really like the cities and locations we visit, but it’s the freedom and carefree atmosphere of sailing along the Dalmatian coast they LOVE! Feeling the wind in their hair as the boat cuts through the water or lying on the deck at night under a canopy of stars, the gentle lapping sound of water against the hull of the boat, are just a few of the special moments that make this experience so wonderful.
What is unique about this program?
Small group sizes and private boats mean the trip is easily tailored to create a custom experience for the students. We pride ourselves on giving each and every student a unique experience they couldn’t get anywhere else!
What is included?
Tuition cost includes ground transportation; accommodation; chaperones and guides; program-related activities and admissions; taxes and tips; all breakfasts and dinners.
Not included in cost (this is not intended to be an exhaustive list): airfare; lunches; visas and visa application fees; personal and medical expenses; activities and admissions that are not program-related or referenced in the itinerary; beverages other than filtered water at meals; participant expenses that are outside of the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels; expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss the program’s flight details. There is no requirement to take the group flight, but there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is usually chaperoned by a TFT staff member, and it also offers an opportunity for the students to get to know one another prior to the start of the program. Parents are responsible for coordinating transport to the departure airport – however, the logistics team will send out instructions detailing the exact meeting spot and airport point person. For additional information about flights, visit our dedicated flight page.
Who leads the program?
Our staff is a cut above the rest! We seek out two main characteristics in our counselors – extensive knowledge of and experience in our destinations, and a passion for working with teens. Our staff’s backgrounds include living abroad and working in summer camps or other educational settings. Team members are proven leaders and role models, who connect easily with others and form genuine friendships with each student – all while bringing each destination to life.
We celebrate diversity! Our staff represents 49 different nationalities, speak a combined total of 21 languages, and visited 142 countries. Additionally, 80% of our staff lived or worked abroad in their lives. With so many unique experiences to share, you are sure to gain a global perspective.
Our average minimum ratios are one staff member to every seven participants. Each program has one Trip Director with several support staff, depending on the group size. Directors must be at least 25 years old and have prior experience working with TFT.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
What is the average group size?
We pride ourselves on small group sizes to create a more authentic and personalized experience. Our group sizes fall between 14 and 21 students – the perfect size to facilitate new friendships without feeling lost in a crowd! We believe smaller groups eliminate the likelihood of cliques, and allows for a well-rounded, healthy group dynamic.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Our program dates are designed specifically so that participants can opt to combine trips throughout the summer. When connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and assist you in meeting your next group at your new destination.
Families who sign up for more than one program will also receive a 15% discount on the lesser-priced program.
What is the food like on this program?
In a word – delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
Croatian cuisine is very diverse with each region boasting its own mouth-watering dishes. Try various charcuterie, goulashes, stews and of course incredible seafood fresh from the sea!
Of course, we are always willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do we ever get time to go off on our own?
Our staff and teens are nearly always together, but we do provide the opportunity to break up into smaller groups to allow for flexibility and customization within the itinerary.
We offer free time in defined safe areas – for example, shopping in a market or exploring a museum. During these times, students remain in groups of at least two and are given no more than an hour. Of course, the counselors remain nearby and available. Additionally, a lifeguard-certified counselor supervises the campers any time they are involved in water activities.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend checking with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the destination you are visiting. For more information, please check the World Health Organization’s website. Upon registration, we provide a list of recommended vaccinations that can be discussed further with your doctor.
What kind of visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa.
When joining a TFT trip from outside of the US, please be sure to check your country’s specific visa requirements.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!
Authenticity is engrained in everything we do. Eat, stay, and travel like a local.
Check out what past travelers have to say about TFT and discover why we are consistently awarded “Top Youth Travel Organization” year after year.
"I have traveled with TFT for four summers now, exploring Costa Rica, Croatia, Fiji and Greece. These trips have been the highlight of my summers. They have broadened my horizons and strengthened my confidence. Going on these trips and meeting new people changed how I view the world. I love having conversations with locals and people I meet along the way. The small TFT groups and the knowledgeable and enthusiastic group leaders make for a fun and eye-opening experience. What sets TFT apart is that we immerse ourselves in the culture and we are not just tourists. We meet locals, hear stories about their lives, and it is truly invigorating. Travel For Teens has given me so much more than fun memories over the summer. They have given me the ability to be comfortable talking to anyone, being in new places, having a widened perspective on other cultures, and to be independent. On my Costa Rica and Fiji trips, we volunteered with school children. In a very short time we made deep connections that I will always cherish. I feel so fortunate to have had my eyes opened through TFT to so many beautiful places and memorable people."
"Before I went on this trip I knew nothing about Croatia. I was mainly going on this trip cause the idea of spending a week on a boat island hopping sounded nice and relaxing. It most certainly was but Croatia has so much more to offer than that. Every island offered something new and unique. I never thought I'd be in a Cold War nuclear bunker on the same island they filmed Mama Mia two at yet there I was. The islands are just beautiful and offer the best of Eastern European culture. Additionally, if you are a Game of Thrones fan this trip is a must for you. Not a lot of people can say they have spent the night in King's Landing and this trip gives you the opportunity to say that. If relaxing on a boat and island hopping in a beautiful country sounds nice to you, then go on this trip."
"Love your daily updates and pictures!!! Carly is having an amazing time!! Thanks for everything."