Location: Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Target Year Groups: Y10 to Y13
Maximum number of students: 36
Approximate cost: HK$20,700
Outside Provider or Organisation: Rustic pathways

Trip Leader: Mr Steve Coats and Mrs Jenny Hodson

Please note that parents are responsible for the arrangement of visas if required. Visas for Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina are quite complicated to obtain so please be sure to look into this matter in plenty of time.

Please ensure that your child’s passport is valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of departure from their destination.

Explore the rich history of the Balkans region by visiting small towns and big cities. Engage with history, past, and present, and learn about the complexities of this crossroads of civilization. Perched on very important land and sea routes, Balkans has been a desired strategic location for all major powers through European history. Most recently, civil war in the region left the scars that can still be felt. Meet local people, learn about their personal experiences, and hear their visions for the future. Encounter local traditions and sample cuisine from the Dalmatian Coast to the Bosnian Mountains.

Itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrive in Croatia

Land at Zagreb International Airport and explore the capital city of Croatia. Walk the bustling streets and enjoy the views of the metropolis from the hilltop where old city is located. Hear from your Rustic leaders about the excitement in days to come.

Overnight: Hotel or Guesthouse in Zagreb, Croatia

Croatia - 3

Day 2 – Plitvice Lakes and Travel to Split

Start your day early and head out to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Admire the crystal clear emerald waters of this marvel of nature.
Croatia -plitvice cascadesCroatia - Plitvice-lakesCroatia -plitvice lakes

After a traditional lunch to warm you up, continue driving to Split, a beautiful ancient city set along the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Sample the food of the Dalmatian coast and enjoy an evening visit to Diocletian’s Palace. This structure, built as a retirement home for a Roman emperor, is now enmeshed with the cobblestone streets of Split’s old city.


Overnight: Hotel or Guesthouse in Split, Croatia

Day 3 – Explore Split

Continue to learn about Split’s history through the ages. See the influences of the Romans, Venetians, Austrians, and Communist that once ruled this small coastal town. Wander through its historic markets where people buy the freshest seafood and produce each and every day. Dine on the freshest seafood the Mediterranean has to offer alongside mouthwatering handmade pasta and risottos. Hike to the top of the Marjan Hill for a panoramic view of the city and harbor.
Croatia - MarjanCroatia - Marjan churchCroatia - View frm Marjan mountainCroatia - St Nic churchCroatia - Marjan caves

Overnight: Hotel or Guesthouse in Split, Croatia

Day 4 – Dubrovnik and Travel to Mostar

Leave for the ancient city and the former republic of Dubrovnik. A stunningly intact walled city on the Adriatic Sea coast and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old city of Dubrovnik is a postcard came to life. It was a trading power that at its peak in the 15th and 16th century was able to rival the Republic of Venice and other Italian maritime republics. It’s fleet of ships used to sail the world buying and selling goods and information, connecting different civilizations.

Dubrovnik has more recently been made famous by the filming of HBO’s Game of Thrones series and is now visited by more than 1.1 million tourists per year. You will walk these streets of “King’s Landing” and tour the walls. In the afternoon, take a ride across the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina and settle into Mostar which will act as your base for the next few days.

Overnight: Boutique Hostel (StarMo Design Hostel), Mostar

Day 5 – Cultural Workshops in Mostar

Get to know Mostar and visit sites that bear witness to the turbulent history of the Balkans. Learn about traditional life from local performers, participate in a coffee workshop, and hear our local staff share their personal histories and visions for the future.

Overnight: Boutique Hostel (StarMo Design Hostel), Mostar

Day 6 – Dervish House and Valley Views

In the morning, visit the local mosque and church to see the differences between the religions that have lived as neighbors in this small town for centuries. In the afternoon, visit the beautiful surrounding countryside of Herzegovina and visit a traditional Dervish house, the home of Islamic mystics, where a mountain spring births the Buna River. Visit the medieval town of Pocitelj and climb to the top of its fort which long ago protected the entrance to the valley below. Take in the spectacular views out over Mostar and the Neretva Valley.

Overnight: Boutique Hostel (StarMo Design Hostel), Mostar

Day 7 – Explore Sarajevo

Head to Sarajevo, the capital and business hub of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Spend the day learning all about the siege of Sarajevo during the recent conflict in the 1990’s and see the tunnel dug out during the war to serve as its only lifeline. Take a walking tour of one of the most culturally diverse towns in the world, where East meets West and the major religions of the world are represented just blocks apart.

Visit the bazaars of Baščaršija to sample dishes influenced by Ottoman empire and shop for souvenirs in its cobblestone alleys. Wrap up the program with a Rustic Pathways tradition.

Overnight: Boutique Hostel (StarMo Design Hostel), Mostar

Day 8 – Depart for Home

On your final morning, you’ll wake up early and be packed and ready to go so you can take advantage of your last hours in Sarajevo. We wish you a safe journey home and hope you come back soon- HVALA!