Trip Finder
Croatia
Information for Enrolled Students

Packing List

Keep in mind that June and July will mostly be very warm (90’s F) in Croatia; however, it can still be cold in the mountains! Warm layers are important, as evening temperatures can dip down in the low 50s.

Long Underwear Top

Medium-weight long sleeve (polypropylene or Capilene, NOT Cotton)

Qty: 1
Patagonia Capilene Daily Long-Sleeve Tee

Sun Hoodie (Optional)

Qty: 1
Patagonia Capilene® Cool Daily Hoody

T-shirts

Minimum of 2 short sleeve Capilene or synthetic fabric t-shirt, others may be cotton

Qty: 3
Patagonia Capilene T-Shirt

Fleece jacket

Fleece pullover or full-zip jacket works great

Qty: 1
Patagonia Synchilla or R2 Jacket

Rain Jacket with hood

Must be waterproof, not water resistant

Qty: 1
Marmot Precip or Patagonia Torrentshell

Sports bra

For girls

Qty: 3

Long Sleeve Rash guard

For sun protection and comfort in the water

Qty: 1
Patagonia rash guard, Quiksilver, O'Neil

Required clothing items

Long Underwear Bottom

Medium-weight (polypropylene or Capilene, NOT Cotton)

Qty: 1
Patagonia Capilene Lightweight/Midweight Bottoms

Hiking Pants

Synthetic, non-cotton pants

Qty: 1

Quick-Dry Shorts

Synthetic, non-cotton shorts

Qty: 2
Patagonia Baggies

Underwear

Synthetic, non-cotton are best (but a couple cotton pairs are okay)

Qty: 6

Bathing Suits

Boys: your quick-dry shorts can double as your bathing suit

Qty: 2

Rain Pants

100% waterproof pants large enough to fit over regular pants

Qty: 1
Mountain Hardware, REI

Required clothing items

Warm Hat

Wool or fleece, non-cotton beanie1

1

Baseball Hat

A baseball hat or wide-brimmed hat for sun protection

Qty: 1

Work gloves

An inexpensive pair of basic work gloves for community service

Qty: 1

Required additional items

Hiking Boots

Low or high top, light-weight or Gore-Tex hiking shoes (No tennis shoes!)

Qty: 1

Tennis Shoes

A lightweight, comfortable pair of tennis shoes you wouldn’t mind getting dirty!

Qty: 1

River Shoes

These can be open-toed, but do need to have a back strap - no flip flops! (Be sure to break these in before your trip! If not, they cause blisters!)

Qty: 1
Chaco, Teva, Keen

Socks

Non-cotton, mid-weight hiking socks + regular socks

Qty: 6 Pair
Smartwool or Darn Tough

Required Shoes

Duffel Bag

40-60 liters duffel with shoulder straps; this must be carry-on size

Qty: 1
Patagonia Black Hole Duffel 55 L

Outdoor Daypack

30-45 liter daypack, one with a waist strap is highly recommended

Qty: 1

Lightweight Daypack

15-25 liter lightweight, collapsible daypack to carry your rain jacket, water bottle and snacks

Qty: 1
Sea to Summit Ultra Sil Day Pack

For carrying all of your gear
* Please keep all necessary trekking gear in your carry on, including hiking boots, headlamp, warm gloves/hat, hiking socks, rain jacket, water bottles, and layers as airlines have been extremely inconsistent with lost baggage over the past year.

Sleeping Bag Liner

Highly recommended. Silk, cotton, or synthetic. Used as a “lightweight sheet” in warm climates in lieu of a sleeping bag. Used when staying in hotels/ hostels as a personal sheet.

Qty: 1
Sea to Summit Expander Travel Liner

You will be staying in hostels, so this is for extra comfort

Dopp Kit*

Contains: toothbrush, toothpaste, prescription medication, travel shampoo & soap, deodorant

Qty: 1
Patagonia Black Hole Cube 6L – M

First Aid Kit*

Contains: Band-aids, Moleskin, Chapstick w/ SPF, Wet Ones wipes, Dramamine (if prone to motion sickness), personal hand sanitizer

Qty: 1

Prescription glasses + Contacts

If your child wears glasses and/or contacts, please bring at least one spare pair of glasses/ lenses. Contact lens wearers should bring a pair of glasses as backup in addition to contacts.

Qty: 2 pair

Sunscreen

Travel size, waterproof reef safe

Qty: 1
Kokua, Thinksport, Stream2Sea

Bug Spray

Travel size

Required Hygiene Items.
*Please keep in mind that you will be carrying all toiletries with you on the plane, so make sure they are travel-sized (3.4 oz or less)!

Wallet

Personal wallet with $150 spending money and valid identification

Qty: 1

Bandana / Buff

For additional sun and wind protection. Buffs are tube-like and can be worn up to 12 different ways providing versatile sun protection. Can even be worn as a headband!

Qty: 1

Passport + copies

Passport (valid for 6 months after the last day of your trip) + 2 additional photocopies of your passport

Qty: 1 + 2 Copies

Pack Towel

Absorbent & quick to dry, large or extra-large is ideal

Qty: 1
Sea to Summit Drylite Towel

Mesh Stuff Sack

Mesh nylon stuff sack (sleeping bag size) for dirty clothes, etc.

Qty: 1
Sea to Summit Mesh Sack

Additional Required Items

Water Bottles

Minimum 32oz water bottles

Qty: 2
Nalgene 1L Wide Mouth

Headlamp

With fresh batteries + 2 sets of spare batteries

Qty: 1
Black Diamond Spot or Black Diamond Storm

Sunglasses

With 100% UV protection

Qty: 1

Sunglasses holders

Qty: 1
Croakies or Chums

Additional Required Equipment for your trip

Casual Clothing

One (1) set to wear while in Dubrovnik

Qty: 1

Small Notebook w/ pen

For journaling

Qty: 1

Digital Camera*

With charger + adapter, and a 32- 64GB memory card

Qty: 1
Cannon Powershot G9 X

Go Pro

With charger and 32-64 GB memory card

Qty: 1

ENO Hammock

Lightweight, packable camping hammock; HIGHLY recommended

Qty: 1

Hydration System

(i.e. Camel Bak)

Qty: 1

A Good Book

Paperback books are less bulky

1

Packable Camp Chair

(i.e. Crazy Creek)

Qty: 1

Travel/Camping Pillow

A luxury to have while camping or on travel days

Qty: 1

Not required but highly recommended.
*Since we don’t allow cell phones during the course of our trips, you may not use your phone as a camera. Leaders will take photos that will be shared at the end of the summer.

Packing Tips

In the event that your luggage is delayed or lost in transit, we want you to be prepared. Therefore, wear tennis or hiking shoes on the plane. Plus, pack the following items from this packing list in your daypack / school backpack carry-on:

  • A change of clothes (underwear + t-shirt + shorts or pants)
  • Your rain jacket
  • Prescription medications & toothbrush
  • Passport, ID, money
  • Completed International Travel Authorization form

These items are already included in the packing list – they are not additional items!

Immunizations

Routine Vaccines

Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include:
Chickenpox (Varicella)
Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
Flu (influenza)
Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
Polio
Shingles

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to the country this trip visits.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to the country this trip visits. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to the country.

Rabies

Rabid dogs are commonly found in this country. If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other mammal while in this country, there may be limited or no rabies treatment available.

Consider rabies vaccination before your trip if your activities mean you will be around dogs or wildlife.

Travelers more likely to encounter rabid animals include

Campers, adventure travelers, or cave explorers (spelunkers)
Veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers handling animal specimens
Visitors to rural areas
Since children are more likely to be bitten or scratched by a dog or other animals, consider rabies vaccination for children traveling to this country.

Tick-borne Encephalitis

TBE vaccine is recommended for persons who will have extensive exposure to ticks based on their planned outdoor activities and itinerary.
TBE vaccine may be considered for persons who might engage in outdoor activities in areas ticks are likely to be found.

Measles

Infants 6 to 11 months old traveling internationally should get 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This dose does not count as part of the routine childhood vaccination series.

COVID-19

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see Your COVID-19 Vaccination for more information.

Click here to view a map of where Moondance groups will be traveling throughout Croatia. Provide this information to your physician of choice (primary care physician, travel clinic, etc.) in order to get the most accurate suggestions for immunizations and vaccinations.

Click here to see what the CDC recommends for travelers in Croatia.

Flights

Croatia 1, June 7-June 20, 2024, Option 1

Arrive
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Friday, June 7, 2024
  • Arrive before 3:00 PM
Depart
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Thursday, June 20, 2024
  • Depart after 7:00 PM

Inbound Flight

DateFlightDeparture CityDeparture TimeArrival CityArrival Time
Friday, June 7, 2024United Airlines 70EWR (Newark)6:00 PM(AMS) Amsterdam7:15 am (6/08)
Saturday, June 8, 2024Croatia (OU) 451 / United Airlines 7276(AMS) Amsterdam11:20 AM(ZAG) Zagreb1:10 pm (6/08)

Outbound Flight

DateFlightDeparture CityDeparture TimeArrival CityArrival Time
Thursday, June 20, 2024United Airlines 386Dubrovnik (DBV)10:00 AMEWR (Newark)2:15 pm (6/20)

Croatia 1, June 7-June 20, 2024, Option 2

Arrive
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Friday, June 7, 2024
  • Arrive before 5:05 pm
Depart
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Thursday, June 20, 2024
  • Depart after 7:30 pm

Inbound Flight

DateFlightDeparture CityDeparture TimeArrival CityArrival Time
Friday, June 7, 2024Air France 689 / Delta 8672ATL (Atlanta)8:05 PMCDG (Paris)10:25 am (6/08)
Saturday, June 8, 2024Air France 1560 / Delta 8488CDG (Paris)2:10 PMZAG (Zagreb)4:05 pm (6/08)

Outbound Flight

DateFlightDeparture CityDeparture TimeArrival CityArrival Time
Thursday, June 20, 2024Croatia (OU) 418DBV (Dubrovnik)7:25 AMFRA (Frankfurt)9:30 am (6/20)
Thursday, June 20, 2024Delta 15 / Air France 3619FRA (Frankfurt)11:50 AMATL (Atlanta)4:00 pm (6/20)

Croatia 2, June 23-July 6, 2024

Arrive
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Sunday, June 23, 2024
  • Arrive before 3:00 PM
Depart
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Saturday, July 6, 2024
  • Depart after 7:30 PM

Inbound Flight

DateFlightDeparture CityDeparture TimeArrival CityArrival Time
Sunday, June 23, 2024United Airlines 70EWR (Newark)6:00 PM(AMS) Amsterdam7:15 am (6/24)
Monday, June 24, 2024Croatia (OU) 451 / United Airlines 7276(AMS) Amsterdam11:20 AMZAG (Zagreb)1:10 pm (6/24)

Outbound Flight

DateFlightDeparture CityDeparture TimeArrival CityArrival Time
Saturday, July 6, 2024United Airlines 368DBV (Dubrovnik)12:15 PMEWR (Newark)4:30 pm (7/06)

Croatia 3, July 9-July 22, 2024, Option 1

Arrive
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Tuesday, July 9, 2024
  • Arrive before 2:45 pm
Depart
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)
  • Monday, July 22, 2024
  • Depart after 7:00 pm

Inbound Flight

DateFlightDeparture CityDeparture TimeArrival CityArrival Time
Tuesday, July 9, 2024Delta 88 / Air France 3604ATL (Atlanta)5:45 PMCDG (Paris)8:20 am (7/10)
Wednesday, July 10, 2024Delta 8488 / Air France 1560CDG (Paris)12:40 PMZAG (Zagreb)2:35 pm (7/10)

Outbound Flight

DateFlightDeparture CityDeparture TimeArrival CityArrival Time
Monday, July 22, 2024Croatia (OU) 418DBV (Dubrovnik)7:25 AMFRA (Frankfurt)9:30 am (7/22)
Monday, July 22, 2024Delta 15 / Air France 3619FRA (Frankfurt)11:50 AMATL (Atlanta)4:00 pm (7/22)

Croatia 3, July 9-July 22, 2024, Option 2

Arrive
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Tuesday, July 9, 2024
  • Arrive before 3:00 pm
Depart
  • Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)
  • Monday, July 22, 2024
  • Depart after 6:50 pm

Inbound Flight

DateFlightDeparture CityDeparture TimeArrival CityArrival Time
Tuesday, July 9, 2024United Airlines 70EWR (Newark)6:00 PMAMS (Amsterdam)7:15 am (7/10)
Wednesday, July 10, 2024United Airlines 7276 / Croatia (OU) 451AMS (Amsterdam)11:20 AMZAG (Zagreb)1:10 pm (7/10)

Outbound Flight

DateFlightDeparture CityDeparture TimeArrival CityArrival Time
Monday, July 22, 2024Croatia (OU) 418DBV (Dubrovnik)7:25 AMFRA (Frankfurt)9:30 am (7/22)
Monday, July 22, 2024Lufthansa 402FRA (Frankfurt)1:25 PMEWR (Newark)3:50 pm (7/22)

Important Travel Notes:

  • We highly recommend that all students fly on the designated flights above. If you have any questions OR if you are considering another flight path please contact the Moondance Adventures HQ BEFORE purchasing your airfare.
  • We also highly recommend making your flight reservation through our partnered travel agency, Exito. They are familiar with all Moondance flights. Please follow this link to start the booking process.
  • Remember when booking your child’s flight to allow at least a 3-hour layover in any connecting airport to avoid missed connections or baggage delays.
  • Please keep in mind the group flights will begin and end at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport or Newark. It is imperative that every student arrives to their gateway city in a timely fashion. If one individual does not arrive in on time to make the group flights, it can delay the entire trip. Leaders are not guaranteed to be on the flight.
  • Croatia gets 2,715 hours of sunshine a year which is more than Australia.
  • June 25 is Statehood Day in Croatia.
  • Croatia has 1246 islands, isles, and inlets
  • The city, Dubrovnik, is used when filming King’s Landing scenes from the TV show Game of Thrones!
  • Croatian money is named Kuna because trappers used to trade the furs of an animal we call a marten (think ferret), but is called a kuna in Croatian.
  • 10% of Croatia is made up of 11 nature parks, eight national parks, and two nature reserves.
  • The last specimen of the Mediterranean seal lives in the Croatian aquarium
  • Hum is a small town in Croatia and it is the smallest town in the world!
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Plitvice Lakes, Dubrovnik, Split, and Euphrasian Basilica
  • According to legend, the Croatian King Stjepan Držislav was once held captive in a Venetian dungeon, after losing a war against the Venetian ruler Peter II. Orseolo. Peter offered the Croatian ruler a deal – a game of chess and if Stjepan Držislav could beat him three times in a row, he’d be released and free to return to Croatia. The king accepted the challenge and won three times. He then created the Croatian coat of arms (pictured) using the red and white chessboard in order to remember the event.

 

  • Dalmatia was the northern part of Illyria in the 4th century BC until the Illyrian Wars when the Roman Republic gained possession of the area.
  • The Kingdom of Croatia began in 925; Tomislav was the first ruler of Croatia. Tomislav defeated Hungarian and Bulgarian invasions, spreading the influence of Croatia kings.
  • In the 11th century, the Croatian kingdom fell after Stjepan II died, and Ladislaus I of Hungary claimed the crown. This led to a war and then union of Croatia and Hungary.
  • The Habsburgs began to rule Croatia and Hungary in the mid-1500s; however, Croatia was still vulnerable to the Ottomans. By the 18th century, the Ottoman Empire was finally driven out of Hungary, resulting in Croatia gaining some freedom.
  • After WWI, in 1918, Croatia became a part of Yugoslavia and merged with Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia.
  • During WWII (1941-1945), Yugoslavia was occupied by the Axis Powers, allowing the Croatia radical right Ustase to come into power which formed the Independent State of Croatia. However, they were defeated at the end of the war, leaving them to become a part of the Socialist Yugoslavia until 1991.
  • Croatia became independent in 1991 and was involved in the Bosnian Wars following the breakup of Yugoslavia. The Bosnian wars lasted four years (1991-1995).
  • Mountain ranges: dinaric alps, velebit, biokovo, uĉka, svilaja, mosor, veilka akapela, slavonian mountains
  • Rivers: zrmanja, sava, kupa, danube, drava, cetina, mrežnica, korana, krka, gacka (and many more)
  • Lakes: kozjak, wrana, dubrava, prokljan, vrana (and many more)
  • The highest point of croatia is dinara peak and is 6,007 ft. (1,831 m).
  • Dalmatia is the narrow belt of the east shore of the adriatic sea. 79 islands run parallel to the coast.
  • Forests make up 36% of the surface area of croatia.
  • Croatian rivers belong to the drainage basins of the black sea (62%) and adriatic sea (38%).
  • Croatia is roughly the size of West Virginia.

Croatia is home to numerous animal and plant species even though the country itself is relatively small.

Some mammals include:

  • eurasian lynx
  • grey wolf
  • european pine marten
  • ural owl
  • european otter
  • european hare
  • eurasian brown bear

Zagreb, Croatia

  • Pronounced “Zah-greb” – is the capital city of Croatia, and also the country’s largest city, with a population of approximately 1 million people (around ¼ of Croatia’s total population). Although the city has a medieval past and is over 1000 years old, it has become quite modernized and urban over the past century. Pittsburgh, PA is Zagreb’s sister city!

Plitvice Lakes National Park

  • Pronounced: Plit-vits-uh – this UNESCO World Heritage Site covers almost 73,000 acres in central Croatia. Its most famous attractions are the 90 waterfalls and 16 lakes that are scattered throughout the national park, as well as many caves and forested areas. There are 12 Upper Lakes and 4 Lower Lakes, all interconnected by small above ground and subterranean rivers. The limestone and dolomite rock in the area, known as a “karst area,” form sinkholes and caverns that create underground rivers. The lakes are most well known for their unique colors, which are constantly changing based on the mineral content of the water. The highest waterfall is the “Large Waterfall,” at the end of the Lower Lakes. There are 1,267 species of plants in Plitvice Lakes National Park, as well as over 321 species of butterflies!

Paklencia National Park

  • Pronounced: Pahk-len-itsa, Paklenica National Park, located in Central Croatia along the Dalmatian Coast, was declared a national park in 1949. The park covers approximately 95 square km of protected area, and the mountain Vaganski vrh is the highest peak in the park at 5,764 ft. The park is named after Black Pine Rosin, also called “Paklina,” that was used for folk medicine and coating boats in shipbuilding.
  • The park contains numerous canyons, caverns, and valleys, and the sheer cliffs forming the canyons are ideal for rock climbing. Paklenica is one of the most popular climbing destinations in all of Europe, and the nearby town of Starigrad is an outdoor sports hub. The park contains a number of mountain huts and refuges for hikers and mountaineers exploring the area.

Zrmanja River

  • Pronounced: Zer-man-yah, The Zrmanja River is located in the southern region of Lika and the northern region of Dalmatia. The river is 43 miles (69 kilometers) long. Its basin covers an area of 350 square miles (907 square kilometers). The water is a perfectly clear blue-green color and incredibly beautiful. The river is also full of rapids and waterfalls.

The Dalmatian Coast

  • The Dalmatian Coast is one of Croatia’s most well-known attractions, and for good reason! This beautiful stretch of coastline stretches down the Adriatic Sea from Split to Dubrovnik and is littered with islands both large and small to explore. It is a very popular area for sailing and sea kayaking. Croatia is the home of the dog breed Dalmatians, who were named after this region.

The Elaphiti Islands

  • The Elaphiti Islands are an archipelago, stretching up the coast of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast near Dubrovnik. The main islands are Koločep, Lopud, and Sipan. The name “Elaphiti” came from Pliny the Elder in the 1st century, after the Greek word “elaphos,” meaning deer. These rocky islands are covered by forest, with several exclusive beaches and tourist resorts. Only 850 people live on the islands full time.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

  • Pronounced: Doo-brahv-nik, the walled old-town of Dubrovnik is one of the most iconic images in all of Croatia, if not all medieval Europe. Located at the far south of Croatia’s Dalmatian coastline, Dubrovnik looks out over the Adriatic from behind its impressive fortress-like walls that surround the city. in the 16th century, this coastal city was one of the largest centers for naval trade in the area, full of sailors, merchants, and diplomats.
  • Today, it is a bustling tourist destination with beautiful beaches. It is also the filming location for much of the popular HBO series, Game of Thrones! Visitors can walk the medieval walls that surround Dubrovnik’s old-town and look out to the Adriatic Sea and the several small islands just off of the coast that are reachable by kayak or ferry from Dubrovnik.
  • Gateway City/Capital: Zagreb (ZAG)
  • Bordering Countries/Bodies of Water: Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro / Adriatic Sea
  • Official Language: Croatian
  • President: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
  • Prime Minister: Andrej Plenkovic
  • Economy: Tourism
  • Population: 4,154,200 (2017 census)
  • Area: 21,851 sq. miles
  • Currency: Croatian kuna
  • Time Zone: Central European Time: 7 hours ahead of CST

Did you know: Croatia is experiencing increased aridity?

Aridity refers to the state or quality of being extremely dry. In some cases, aridity leads to prolonged droughts that widely disrupt a community–both ecologically and socially. As precipitation patterns in Croatia become less consistent and more abnormal, the country’s water quality and availability both decrease, creating widespread systematic problems for both ecosystems and society alike.

The data-backed trend of global warming explains why these conditions are occurring in Croatia. For example, in the 1920s Croatia’s mean temperature averaged 50.9 degrees Fahrenheit. Shy of a century later, from 2010-2019, the mean temperature for the country rose to 54.1 degrees Fahrenheit. A difference greater than 3 degrees between the averages of these two decades is astronomical. For perspective, consider the impact on your body when your internal temperature rises a couple of degrees when you’re sick with a fever. The earth is no different! A temperature change of only one or two degrees has serious and detrimental repercussions, as we’ve observed with Croatia’s changing climate.

CLICK HERE for an interactive map of where in the world our Croatia trip will take us!