Europe for Older Teens: Prague, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia
$4,495 + $275 Rail Pass + Airfare
Jun 24 – Jul 8
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Prague, Vienna, Eagle’s Nest, Lake Bled, Krka National Park, Split, Dubrovnik
|Optional group flight there:||
New York (JFK) To Prague
|Optional group flight back:||
Dubrovnik to New York (JFK)
The perfect blend of cities and outdoor adventure, this trip is great for those seeking a mix of classic destinations while also experiencing some of Europe’s best kept secrets! Step back in time to the fairy tale city of Prague. Wander the cobblestone streets and see why this is Eastern Europe’s hottest city. Head over to Austria for palaces, markets, breathtaking views of the Alps and a first hand look at the country that inspired “The Sound of Music.” Visit Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest where, in one of history’s weird turns, a birthday present to Adolf Hitler is now a restaurant with a spectacular 360 degree view of the Alps. Explore stunning Lake Bled in Slovenia and walk along the side of a cliff over a the stunning turquoise waters of the Vintgar Gorge; go for a traditional pletna boat ride across the lake; and relax on the beach underneath the hilltop castle. Finish off your trip in the country that is steadily climbing to the top of every traveler’s list: Croatia. Home to the famous Krka lakes, hidden waterfalls, pristine beaches and charming seaside cities. Your time here will be filled with a mix of relaxation and adventure. These hidden gems won’t remain hidden for much longer, so come join us for the experience of a lifetime before the secret gets out!
On This Trip You Will:
- Explore Prague Castle, Old Town Square and bike through Prague’s winding cobblestoned streets on our hit bike tour
- Sign the famous John Lennon wall
- Savor a slice of famous Viennese chocolate cake and take an authentic Austrian cooking lesson
- Have lunch at Vienna’s hip Naschmarkt, featuring hundreds of food stalls stretching for almost a mile
- Visit the elegant Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna and go for a ride at the Prater, the world’s oldest amusement park!
- Ride an elevator up to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, perched at the top of a mountain in the Bavarian Alps
- Enjoy traditional Austrian cuisine at one of Vienna’s classic beer halls
- Jump through waterfalls, cascade down natural rock slides, climb over rocks and swim in crystal clear pools on a canyoning adventure in Slovenia
- Hike a cliffside walk over the rushing river in Vintgar Gorge, famous for its dramatic natural scenery
- Tour the castle sitting serenely in the middle of Lake Bled, only accessible by pletna boat
- Swim in a refreshing Alpine lake
- Explore breathtaking Krka National Park and swim in the turquoise waters
- Island-hop the spectacular Dalmatian Coast on our private boat cruise
- Travel back in time and explore the palace of Roman Emperor Diocletian in Split
- Experience an official Game of Thrones tour on the stunning island of Lokrum, where the hit series was filmed*
*This is an optional excursion.
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM NEW YORK-JFK
DAYS 2-4: Prague, CZECH REPUBLIC
Our first stop is Prague, in the Czech Republic, a destination where the historical and the modern collide. Old cobblestone streets provide space for a vibrant youth culture. We’ll learn about the Velvet Revolution, shop in Wenceslas Square, climb to the top of Prague Castle to watch the changing of the guard and to take in some amazing views. Plus, enjoy our awesome bike tour throughout the hidden corners of this Bohemian city. We will top it all off with a city tour and the chance to sign the famous inspirational John Lennon Wall!
DAYS 4-6: Vienna, AUSTRIA
In Vienna we will visit the elegant and decadent Schonbrunn Palace, which was the imperial family’s summer home. We will be amazed by this lavish 18th century palace and get lost in its garden maze. Afterwards we will enjoy some of Vienna’s famous chocolate cake for an afternoon snack followed by a walking tour of the city seeing all of the best sites, including Mozart’s famous Opera House. We’ll also enjoy a wonderful Austrian cooking lesson where we’ll learn how to make schnitzel and other local favorites! Our time in Vienna will conclude with some shopping on the upscale Mariahilferstrasse.
DAY 6: Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest, GERMANY
En route from Vienna to Slovenia, we will spend a day in the Bavarian Alps while stepping back in time and visiting Hitler’s infamous Eagle’s Nest. Perched at the top of a mountain we will ride an elevator up and have the unique opportunity go inside this piece of history. Not only will we learn about this dark period from the past but the views of the surrounding Alps are also stunning!
DAYS 6-10: Lake Bled, SLOVENIA
Nestled in the Alps, Lake Bled in Slovenia is a postcard perfect lake town surrounded by gorgeous mountain scenery. Our time here will be filled with adventure! We will jump through waterfalls, cascade down natural rock slides, climb over rocks and swim in crystal clear pools while canyoning. We’ll hike the cliffside boardwalk of the Vintgar Gorge, tour the castle sitting serenely in the center of the lake, explore some enchanting caves, and of course swim in the lake’s inviting and refreshing waters. You’ll also ride a traditional pletna boat out to the island in the center of the lake, watch the sunset from atop a lookout point after an easy hike, and slide down a luge!
DAYS 10-13: Split, CROATIA
After crossing the border into Croatia, stop at the famous waterfalls of Krka National Park for amazing views and a refreshing afternoon in the water. Head on to Split, a coastal town known for its pristine beaches, white washed marble streets, and the ancient fortress of Diocletian’s palace at its center. In Split we will spend our time relaxing at the beach, soaking up the sun and culture while enjoying some of the freshest seafood! One of the mornings you have the opportunity to whitewater raft down the picturesque Cetina river canyon on an optional excursion. Our last day in Split might be everyone’s favorite – we island hop on a catamaran day trip exploring the breathtaking locations of Hvar, Brac, Solta and the Pakleni islands, with ample time to swim and soak up the Dalmatian sun! One of our nights here we will dance the night away at one of Split’s exciting beachside clubs.
DAYS 13-15: Dubrovnik, CROATIA
Leaving Split, we will finish off our trip in the elegant Croatian coastal city of Dubrovnik. This ancient walled city is a UNESCO World Heritage site with millennia of history and an easy going, seaside vibe. It is home to beautiful churches, fountains and palaces and provides plenty of breathtaking views. Climb the walls of the city, explore the pedestrian only narrow streets, and see the second oldest synagogue in Europe. Plus, you’ll explore rugged and beautiful Lokrum island with some time to swim in its tranquil bays, and have the option of going on a Game of Thrones tour–you’ll even get to sit on the Iron Throne! We’ll wrap up this amazing trip of a lifetime with a photo shoot in front of one of the prettiest sunsets you’ll ever see, before enjoying a fantastic final Croatian feast overlooking the coast.
WHAT KIND OF TEEN TYPICALLY PARTICIPATES IN THIS PROGRAM? WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
This program is only for students who are currently in 11th and 12th grades in high school (approximately 16-18 years old). Students living outside of the USA are also welcome to join!
WHERE DO WE STAY ON THE HIDDEN GEMS TRIP?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means 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. All of our hotels are in safe areas with 24 hour security. Every student will have his or her own bed.
In Prague, our 3* hotel is right in the center of the city and near Wenceslas square. We are in a great location that connects easily with the public transit. Our hotel has a lot of experience with groups and is ready to work with us to make our stay memorable. In Vienna we stay in a 3* hotel right on one of the hippest shopping boulevards. In Lake Bled we stay in a modern, comfortable hotel right on the lake. It is within walking distance to everything and a great place to hang out! In Split we’ll be staying at an award-winning youth hostel right in the city center, and in Dubrovnik we’ll be in a beautiful bed-and-breakfast in the historical quarter of 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 a program.
Do most travelers go by themselves?
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 are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you 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 BFFs on another TFT program the next summer!
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, program related activities, program related activity admissions, taxes and tips.
Not included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, visas and visa application fees, beverages other than filtered water at meals, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not program related, such as movies, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters, as well as personal and medical expenses.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this program’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the program starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on programs that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
WHO LEADS THE PROGRAM?
The Trip Director for every program is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the program fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Programs may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
WHAT ARE THE SAFETY QUALIFICATIONS FOR OUR STAFF?
All of our staff members attend a week-long training session prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE GROUP SIZE?
Group size is important! A smaller group size provides unique opportunities that a large group cannot accommodate. Think of your favorite local restaurant; could it easily accommodate a group of 50 teens? Probably not! Our group sizes average between 14 to 21 students, which means that we are able to comfortably use local transport, enjoy local restaurants, and have a more authentic experience overall! A smaller group size also eliminates the likelihood of cliques, meaning that our groups all tend to bond as a cohesive unit. We guarantee that you’ll have enough people to meet some new best friends, but not so many that you feel like “just a number” or lost in a crowd.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Most of our Europe programs are designed specifically so that participants can combine them with other programs. If you are connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group.
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!
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/.
How much free time do we get?
Our counselors are with the group almost always. Everyday we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. We do offer some free time in defined areas that we are very familiar with, for example shopping or exploring the safe pedestrian areas of each city. During these times, students will be organised into groups and given no more than an hour on their own. Additionally, a lifeguard certified counselor will be supervising the students any time they are involved in water activities.
What kind of visa do you need for this program?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa. If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country 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!
Do I have to bring a backpack?
No, the bag you bring is up to you but we strongly recommend a smaller and lighter bag. Larger “backpacker style” backpacks are also appropriate. Please keep in mind that you will be responsible for your own bags throughout the duration of the program, so packing light like a true traveler is key! The great thing about this program is all of the moving around we do, but the challenge of this program is also all of the moving around that we do. We promise, if you overpack, you will wish you had not! See our packing guidelines section and you should be just fine.
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