may 4–13 | 2019



may 4 –13 | 2019


The Balkans have served as a crossroads of the ancient and modern world across the centuries. From the most recent independence of the individual states that once made up the Former Yugoslavia to the remnants of the Greek and Roman empires scattered across the shores of the Dalmatian Coast, Croatia offers a marvelous look into the world as it once was.

On this exclusive small group tour created by NPCA’s Next Step Travel Program, join a handful of other intrepid former Peace Corps Volunteers exploring a country where peace is a daily active practice. Learn how the nation, and its neighbor Bosnia and Herzegovina have created cultural national identities beyond their shared histories.  Through food, wine, dance and discussion find yourself transported to another culture and time.

Trip Highlights

  • Community and Culture.  From gulaš to Zagorski Štrukli and Nikolai Tesla and narodna nošnja, be immersed in all this new nation has to offer.

  • Peace Corps Connections.  Dozens of Peace Corps Volunteers have served in the former Yugoslavia since the Peace accords were signed in 1996. This trip will focus on meeting with local NGOs and former Peace Corps Volunteers in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina.  

  • Crossroads.  After spending centuries as part of other Empires—Greek, Roman, Venetian, and Austro-Hungarian—Croatia boasts an eclectic mix of Eastern European, Mediterranean, and Turkish cultures, evident in their cuisine, architecture and art.

Croatia Reservation
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Croatia Reservation
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Trip Price - $3999 ($499 Single Supplement)

Maximum travelers: 17

This trip is coordinated by RPCV Mary Bruce of tour operator Insider Expeditions.

Full Ticket orders available 90 days before departure. Reservation fee will be credited towards full ticket.


Accommodations are charming, locally-owned 3- and 4-star hotels. Prices are based on double occupancy. Private accommodations are available for a $499. As a solo traveler, if you prefer, we can also pair you with another traveler (two twin beds, requiring no single supplement, based on availability).


Croatia is known for its stunning beaches and wonderful wilderness. While this trip is accessible for most healthy travelers, please note that the trip can involve the following: somewhat long days, a good amount of walking (including stairs, varied elevations, and uneven surfaces). It’s critical that all travelers pack appropriate all weather clothing (additional details and recommendations will be provided after registration in a suggested packing list). If you have any medical conditions or other concerns, there will be opportunity for you to make us aware of them, and then we can determine if the trip is appropriate for you.


  • All activities, sightseeing, and entry fees listed in the itinerary.
  • Accommodations as described in the itinerary.
  • All meals listed in the itinerary.
  • Transportation by private, air-conditioned motor coach, as well as transfers for the group as appropriate.
  • Bottled water during all excursions.
  • Comprehensive cultural information and reading materials.
  • The services of an exceptional, bilingual local guide as described in the itinerary.
  • All gratuities for participants and staff to cover drivers, wait staff at group meals, guides, and tour directors.


  • International Airfare.
  • Expenses of a purely personal nature (including cab fares, laundry and other personal items, room service charges, passport application fees).
  • Transportation of luggage in excess of weight allowance.
  • Travel insurance (we strongly advise that each participant arrange for their own travel insurance).
  • Food and beverage other than that specified in the itinerary.
  • Medical expenses.
  • Costs associated with trip interruption or modification due to weather, travel conditions, political/civil disputes, medical emergencies or other causes beyond our control.


Day One—May 3, 2019—Zdravo, Croatia!

Depart your home city for the capital of Croatia, Zagreb—a city which traces its past all the way back to Roman times.

Day Two—May 4, 2019—Dobrodošli to Zagreb!

After your overnight flight arrive at the Zagreb’s Franjo Tuđman Airport (ZAG), where you will be met by your local guide, one of the best in the country, and Next Step Travel Hosts to begin your adventure. In the evening, join your fellow travelers and local representatives NGOs for a Welcome Reception, enjoying local Croatian wines, sumptuous cheeses, and engaging conversation. Cheers! Živjeli!

Meals: Welcome Reception

Day Three—May 5, 2019—Get The Scoop on Zagreb

After a delicious breakfast at your hotel head out to the cobblestoned streets of Zagreb for an immersive walking tour of the city. Meander the streets popping in and out of shops. Then come together again for dinner with a representative from the U.S. Embassy in Zagreb.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day Four—May 6, 2019—Waterfalls and Cherries

After breakfast head out into the wilderness, and enjoy the Plitvice Lakes. Spend the morning on a walking tour of the national park and board a vessel for a splendid boat ride on the lake. Then enjoy coastal vistas of Zadar offers an intriguing mix of ancient history and modern spectacles. En route visit the famous Maraschino cherries plantation and taste the juice fruit. Delve into the history of this unique coastal town on a guided walking tour among its ancient Roman sites, vibrant narrow alleys, and stunning coastal front known to have the most beautiful sunset in the world.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Five—May 7, 2019—Open-Air Museum of Life in Croatia

After breakfast depart Zadar end drive to Sibenik, a well-preserved historical core of the town. Amble through on a guided walking tour through the old part of the town. Afterwards continue to Trogir, a town likened to an open-air museum. Just to taking a stroll through narrow streets will be an unforgettable experience.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Six—May 8, 2019—Down the Middle of Split

Spend the day exploring Croatia’s second largest city, the beautiful coastal Split. Amble through the narrow streets and alleys which unveil a vibrant mix of historic buildings and trendy coffee bars, restaurants and shops. Split has no shortage of entertainment or shopping for travelers.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Seven—May 9, 2019—Bridging Divides

This morning, drive to one of the most famous sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mostar. Home to Balkan’s most famous bridge, Mostar takes its visitors by surprise with charming alleys, Ottoman architecture and its astonishingly diverse historic heritage. Afterwards depart Mostar and drive to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Spend the evening exploring Sarajevo.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Eight—May 10, 2019—Seeking Sarajevo

Enjoy the day exploring Sarajevo. After breakfast in the hotel tour of the city. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant joined by a representative of a local NGO to discuss the role of civil society has had over the past twenty years of rebuilding the nation beyond genocide. Visit the Tunnel Museum, the high hand-dug tunnel under the airport runway that acted as the city's lifeline to the outside world during the 1992–95 siege, when Sarajevo was virtually surrounded by hostile forces. The evening is yours to explore this wonderful city.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Nine—May 11, 2019—Monks and Stecaks

This morning, drive to one of the most famous sites in Bosnia and After breakfast, leave Sarajevo on the way back to the coast. Stop in Blagaj Tekija, a dervish monastery nestled beneath a cliff at the source of the emerald green River Buna. On a guided tour of the monastery learn about life in the monastery before enjoying a delicious lunch in a river side restaurant. Make your way then to Old Blagaj Fort, and the Zadro winery for some Neretva Valley Wines tasting along with snack. Visit Radimlja, a stecak necropolis near Stolac - one of the most important medieval period monuments in the country. Around sunset, arrive in Dubrovnik to see the colors dance off the Dalmatian Coast—one of the clearest bodies of water in the world. Explore the city on your own this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day Ten—May 12, 2019—Delightful Dubrovnik

Step into centuries of history among the cobbled streets of Dubrovnik, known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. A great way to scope out the layout of the city is to take the cable car up to the summit of Mount Srdj, overlooking the city to the Adriatic Sea and back over the mountains of Herzegovina. In the evening, enjoy a Farewell Dinner in the countryside of Dubrovnik with friends old and new, celebrating with a traditional dance performance and a feast fit for a Roman emperor.

Meals: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner

Day Eleven—May 13, 2019—Doviđenja, Croatia!

Check out of the hotel and transfer to the Dubrovnik airport with memories of this remarkable land fast in your mind.

Meals: Welcome Reception


This particular tour has been designed with specific individuals and events in mind, whose schedules and availabilities may change without notice. While we do our best to adhere to the itinerary, traveling to Croatia requires flexibility, and changes to specific interactions and other activities may occur. In addition, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and changes to timetables and transport routes, which can happen with little notice. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary from time to time. Each day we will update you on the program and keep you informed throughout the trip.