Croatia: Dolphins & Islands Expedition – Volunteer Vacations | Discover Corps

Croatia: Dolphins & Islands Expedition

Dive deep and experience Croatia in a unique way as you lend a hand at the Dolphin Research Project. When you’re not venturing out by boat alongside conservationists, enjoy the stunning Adriatic coastline, rolling hills, and delicious Croatian cuisine.


The Place and The People

With a World Cup appearance in 2018, the picturesque Game of Thrones royal city, and a stunning natural coastline, Croatia is quickly becoming known across the globe for its beauty, culture, and picturesque island landscapes. Located just across the Adriatic Sea from Italy, Croatia is  often referred to as Europe’s largest natural park, boasting 1,246 islands, unforgettable views, and a rich array of marine wildlife. On land, almost 10% of Croatia is made up of nature parks and reserves, with wonderful Gothic and Renaissance buildings set amongst rolling hills that rival Tuscany.

While the beauty of the country never fails, Croatia is also home to important nonprofit organizations, research centers, and more, all playing a pivotal role in keeping Croatia pristine. We’ll get involved with this movement by volunteering with The Blue World Institute – the leading Adriatic bottlenose dolphin conservation organization in Europe.


What You'll Do

Go behind-the-scenes and aid in dolphin monitoring with the Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation, helping firsthand to preserve the threatened dolphins that reside in the blue waters just offshore. In addition to learning more about the species, get a taste of life as a marine biologist as you set out to sea for a dolphin monitoring project. Along the way, collect data on environmental conditions, locations and sightings of encountered dolphins, photographs of dorsal fins for photo-ID analysis, and data about dolphin behavior. We’ll also have a chance to visit a sea turtle rescue to learn about how these turtles are rescued as they make their way up the Adriatic coast.

Experience a tour of the island’s famous Blue Cave by boat, then it’s off to the Island of Hvar. Experience a three-course cooking class with a local chef at one of the town’s local taverns overlooking fields of vineyards, a hike through picturesque fields of lavender and olives to the village of Stari Grad, and a morning kayaking excursion to the Pakleni Islands, famous for having some of the clearest water in the world.


What You'll See

Experience the rich landscapes of Croatia as you travel by land and sea. After a gorgeous drive from Zagreb all the way to the glistening coast, hop on a ferry to the quaint island of Losinj. Off the beaten track, this is one of Croatia’s largest Northern Adriatic Islands and offers some of the most pristine coastline in the country. Relax at one of the many outdoor cafes, search for dolphins off the coast, explore the trails that wind along the coast, and get adventurous with a tour of the Blue Cave.

Then journey to the southern islands of Croatia on by ferry, marveling at the truly remarkable panorama of Croatia’s natural beauty along the way. Spend three nights in the UNESCO World Heritage village of Stari Grad. Explore the charming stone alleyways, enjoy a glass of wine alongside the harbor and learn to cook traditional Croatian dishes with a local family. For those that want to continue the adventure, opt for the 3-day extension to stunning coastal town of Dubrovnik.

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Itinerary Overview

They say Croatia is one big natural park, and you’ll see these landscapes at every turn as you journey by ferry between islands, by boat in search of dolphins, and by car through the green rolling hills. Your days will be filled with exploration, wonderful Mediterranean cuisine and visits to gorgeous historic towns. In the first part of the trip,  spend time aboard a boat

in search of dolphins in order to collect data and photo identification for The Blue World Institute. Learn to read this data and understand why these excursions are so important for the conservation of dolphins and other marine wildlife in the Adriatic Sea.

Email Me a Detailed Itinerary

or call us now at 1-619-758-3030

Where You'll Stay

Stay in a cozy European-style hotel in the heart of the small island of Losinj. Complete with all of your basic amenities and a pool, it is the sweeping views of the sea and outdoor restaurant that make this hotel one to remember. In Hvar, experience true Croatia charm in a locally-owned boutique hotel that sits right next to the water. Each room is different than the next, but all include the European hospitality and comforts that will make you feel at home.

Jeanne D.

Miami, FL

Traveler's Journal

I wanted to see as much of Croatia as possible and do something different. I truly felt like my contributions to the Blue World Institute made an impact on the small local community of Losinj and a big impact to the dolphin population. While this was the highlight for the family, the extension to Dubrovnik was also absolutely amazing. The beauty we witnessed throughout the trip, both in the unexplored Northern Islands and then the more popular Dalmatian Coast, was breathtaking and something I feel incredibly privileged to have seen. Truly a trip we will never forget!

Dates and Fees

We offer several Family Friendly dates, to help families book travel around common school vacation times

Reserve a Trip

or call us now at 1-619-758-3030

8 days / 7 nights

Program Cost: $3,895 Adult / $3,495 Child*

These are our 2018 prices. Book now to lock them in before our annual price increase.

2019 Dates

May 27-Jun 3, 2019

Jun 8-15, 2019

Jun 22-29, 2019

Jul 6-13, 2019

Jul 20-27,2019

Aug 24-31, 2019

Sep 21-28, 2019

  • All prices are double occupancy price. Single Room Supplement = $795
  • Children’s pricing applies to travelers 16 years old and younger sharing a room with an adult

What's Included?

Our trips are inclusive of all activities, lodging, transport and meals to make your experience hassle-free.  Here’s a sample of what’s included:

  • An active daily itinerary, with all activities included
  • All meals except for 1 dinner included: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
  • 7 nights lodging in  locally-owned boutique hotels in the 4-star range
  • Volunteer project with the Blue World Institute
  • Airport transfers and all ground and water transportation
  • Expert local guides that are there to support, inform and guide you throughout the trip
  • Admissions and entrance fees to national parks, historic sites and other scheduled events throughout the trip
  • All gratuities for hotels and meals
  • $50,000 emergency medical evacuation insurance

What’s not included:

  • International Airfare
  • Tips for Discover Corps Guide
  • One dinner
  • Beverages at meals including alcoholic beverages
  • Phone calls, laundry, or Internet costs during the trip

Alumni & Family Discounts

Repeat travelers and groups are eligible for discounts and special deals.

Customized Private Trips

Let us create a custom trip for your group. Learn more about custom group travel.

Add a 4 day/3 night post-trip extension to Dubrovnik to any Croatia departure for free time to relax and explore. Click the “Email Me a Free Itinerary” button above for more information!

As Seen In

Los Angeles Times USA Today Road Warrior Blog International Business Times

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Prices increase December 15th! Learn more here.