Greece & Croatia Mini Semester

START Dubrovnik, Croatia |
FINISH Athens, Greece |
DURATION 6 weeks |
AGES 17 - 22 |
STUDENTS 12
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Ancient Cultures, Ocean Adventures, Sailing Excursion

From the rich history of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations that once roamed these lands, to the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea - you will get to experience the very best of what these beautiful countries have to offer

Throughout this journey you will learn the ropes and maneuvers of what it takes to be a true sailor on board our very own vessel off the Croatian coast, and you’ll enjoy an adventurous sea kayaking island expedition where we will not only explore but give back to the coastal waters of the region. Then we will head a little south to the city of Athens, where you will delve into the cultural history of the area and then spend time in the famously welcoming small Greek communities of Crete where we will work on some projects around the island. Basking in the delicious cuisine, picturesque coastlines, and vibrant culture throughout the entire journey.

Highlights

Explore the stunning coastlines of Crete with a range of water-based adventures. Snorkel vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish, and push your limits with exhilarating coasteering – traversing rocky coastlines by swimming, jumping, and climbing. Kayak through hidden coves and crystal-clear waters, soaking in the beauty of secluded beaches.

Visit a picturesque rural olive farm and learn the time-honored craft of olive oil production.  This is a hands-on experience where you'll help harvest olives, witness the traditional pressing methods, and even create your own bottle of golden oil.  This unique experience allows you to connect with the land, learn about Greek culture, and savor the taste of a truly authentic product.

Set sail on a journey of discovery with our introductory sailing excursion! You'll be learning the ropes (literally!), mastering the art of navigation, and feeling the thrill of harnessing the wind's power.  This hands-on experience equips you with valuable sailing skills, fosters teamwork, and creates unforgettable memories as you explore the open seas. 

Itinerary

This is a guide to what you can expect to do on program. The order in which the activities occur might vary.

Click download to view the full 6 week sample itinerary.

Download Sample Itinerary

Exploring Old Town Dubrovnik

We start our Mediterranean Adventure in Dubrovnik - Dubrovnik is a stunning city located on the southern coast of Croatia, known for its picturesque Old Town and seaside location. The city is surrounded by a wall that dates back to the 16th century, which provides an impressive and imposing sight as you approach from the sea.

The Old Town itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and for good reason. Its beautiful architecture, narrow winding streets, and countless hidden alleys and courtyards make it a perfect place to wander and explore. The city is particularly famous for its red-roofed buildings and beautiful baroque architecture.

Here we will settle in, orient ourselves to each other, and prepare for the adventures ahead. We will do our first, but definitely not last, Island exploration with a day trip to Lokrum Island, home to a botanical garden, salt lake, and Benedictine monastery dating back at least to 1023, a great escape from the bustle of Dubrovnik.

Sailing & Sea Kayaking off Croatian Coast

Week two we make our way up to Croatia's ancient and exuberant city, Split. Here life has just the right balance between tradition and modernity. One of the main attractions in Split is the Diocletian's Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was built in the 4th century AD for the Roman emperor Diocletian. The palace is a stunning example of ancient Roman architecture, with its towering walls, grand archways, and intricate details. Today, the palace serves as a living museum, with restaurants, shops, and cafes located within its walls. In the evenings we will stroll along the Riva, a promenade that stretches along the city's waterfront. The Riva is a lively gathering place for locals and visitors alike, with its many cafes and restaurants offering stunning views of the sea and nearby islands. And along its shores are some of the most ancient ports in the world-  which is where our next adventure begins.

Have you ever dreamed of sailing the open seas, feeling the wind in your hair and the sun on your face? Well, from the ports of Split we will get experience just that on our  intro to sailing excursion. Here you will get some hands-on experience with boat handling, sail setting, and navigation with an experienced Skipper. You'll gain your sea legs while also taking turns in the galleys, scullery, and as first mate as we tack and jibe our way through the Adriatic Sea. All the while taking in the beauty of the open water surrounding us while experiencing first hand that not all treasure is silver and gold.  But don't worry, no experience is needed to climb abroad, just a willingness to learn and a mindset to enjoy the adventure of the open sea.

Now that we have our sea legs under us, after two days on land in Split we pack our bags and head off to the island of Zlarin - for another epic sea adventure, but of a very different kind. From this small island we embark on a 5 day sea kayaking exhibition - here we will kayak and camp our ways across the Sibenik Archipelago - a stunning collection of over 200 islands and islets, each with its own unique beauty and charm. During this journey we will take breaks to not only swim and snorkel - but also pause to do some beach and ocean clean-ups - giving back to the pristine waters that have been such a large part of our adventures thus far. We will wrap up this excursion back where it began on the island of Zlarin - which after this jam packed week we will relax, unwind, and reflect on our time at sea. 

Visit Zadar and Telašćica National Park

From our week full of adventures at sea, we step back onto the mainland to head up the coast to our final Croatian stop - Zadar. Zadar has a very historic Old Town, which is surrounded by medieval walls and features a number of important landmarks and attractions. We can explore Roman Architecture, the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, and the Sea Organ, a unique instrument that uses the power of the waves to create music.

Zadar is also a great base for the surrounding countryside and nearby islands.  From here we will hop on yet another vessel to go explore Telašćica National Park. This time we get to sit back and enjoy the stunning nature reserve located on the island of Dugi Otok, which is part of the Zadar archipelago in Croatia. The park is known for its rugged cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and rich marine life, and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. During this excursion we will get to immerse ourselves in the secluded coves and hidden beaches that are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. 

Program Details

What's Included?
  • All in-program travel and transport, excluding flights
  • All accommodation
  • All meals
  • All expeditions, activities, excursions, volunteer projects and entry fees as described in the itinerary
  • Experienced Program Instructors and local guides
  • Informal lectures from resident experts on conservation and eco-tourism
  • Experiential core curriculum that pushes students to reflect and ask questions of themselves
  • Certificate of Program Completion

 

For full program details, please request the information booklet.

Request Information Booklet

Medium Activity Level

Anyone with an average fitness level and an enthusiasm for the outdoors and new experiences will have a great time on this mini semester! You will need to be prepared for some physical work during the volunteer projects on the program, like trail building or the removal of invasive plants.

Low Camping Level

You will be camping for a couple of nights on this program, but you will spend most of your time in comfortable hostels and lodges.

Medium Service Learning Level

You will be able to make a difference to the local community during your stay. Be prepared to get your hands dirty and do some hands-on learning about local issues.

Have you got any questions before applying?

Greece & Croatia Mini Semester