Pre WearActive, we both enjoyed 11 years of teaching Physical Education and Health to 4-18 year olds in the UK and around the world. When we first arrived on Vis Island in 2004 to make Croatia our home, we only had a kayak and a bike as transport. We quickly realised how perfect the island was for exploring, with caves, climbing opportunities, a varied history and a diverse biology. The benefit of inviting school groups to visit the island also became apparent as a perfect way to involve the local Vis community in helping to educate visiting groups on the physical and social impact of tourism on the island life. Our experience and the islands enthusiasm, helps us greatly in assessing the needs of your students both when planning and participating in activities.
This trip can be tailor made for your school.
Students will explore the Island by foot, paddle and peddle power. Kayak into remote bays, cycle to small villages through the vineyards and hike through the old trails to fishing coves. The trip involves physical challenges combined with cultural experiences and a visit to the local school to gain a greater understanding of life on a Croatian Island.
In the past we have hosted schools from Russia, Switzerland, Finland, England, Scotland and Azerbaijan. Our preference is to keep activity groups to 9 (7 students, 1 teacher and 1 guide). For this reason we offer 1 free teacher placement with every 7 students. Generally school group programs are based on a 3 or 4 day rota of activities. It's always nice to finish the trip with a whole group activity. These details are dependent on the group size (generally between 20-50 students) and trip duration. Below is an example of some of the activities that we can offer
Travel to Split, then catch the ferry to the island of Vis. Check into accommodation and receive information on the activities and a general island overview.
Kayak trip. The students will be advised on safety, equipment and techniques prior to the trip. The group will then embark on a full day kayak which will visit caves, coves and remote beaches. Lunch will be provided in the bay of Rukavac and will be a typical Vis meal cooked on the grill and using locally grown produce. In the evening the students will have time to explore the town of Vis and reflect on the days adventures while enjoying a meal at the hotel.
After a energy fuelled breakfast, the group will embark on a bike ride through the middle of the island. The students will experience off road trails through vineyards, challenging hill climbs and exhilarating downhills. For lunch the group will visit one of the inland vineyards and sample one of the islands infamous lamb and octopus dishes in a traditional ‘Peka’. In the afternoon students will visit the local school. Within the school, students from both groups will have the opportunity to interact and share differences in their education and culture. This is will allow the local English class to practice their spoken English and the visiting group to better understand life on Vis.
From the hotel the students will participate in a 5 hour hike through rosemary bushes, lavender fields and olive groves on the north of the island to the fishing town of Komiza. While in Komiza the students will have chance to explore the old town and swim in the sea at one of the local beaches. The return trip will be made by boat to the hotel.
Ferry journey back to Split. After breakfast in the old town, students will have chance to explore the old Diolectian palace accompanied by a local guide. After lunch we will then transfer you then to the airport for the return flight to the UK.
A visit to the island of Vis is a great way to combine physical activity with discovering life on this beautiful historical island. Students will be encouraged to develop leadership skills and cooperative skills while experiencing sea kayaking, cycling through vineyards and hiking to remote villages.
The trip is about self development, discovery of new communities and participation in everyday Croatian life. Croatian history is very diverse and the island of Vis is no exception. The trip can be tailored to suit the curriculum requirements of your school. It can be a combination of physical experiences with History for example. The island was a Yugoslav military base until 11 years ago and the British helped General Tito hide on the island during WW2. The locals have a first hand knowledge of the impact of conflict on the community. As far as Geography and Environmental topics, students can understand the issues that seasonal employment has on the local economy and the positive and negative effect that tourism can have on an island.
In 2016 we organised a specialist week linking activities with a science element, this was done in cooperation with the students from Vis Island High School.
What’s special about this island is that tourism has only been allowed to develop in the last 10-15 years, and is very controlled. You won't find hotel complexes or rampant commercialisation on Vis.
Education will be combined with the friendliest of people, unspoiled, secluded coves, delicious food, stunning scenery and the cleanest waters in the Adriatic .
When we asked the students what was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday the answers varied. Many really enjoyed the biking and kayaking, but it was amazing how many appreciated the 5 hour hike we went on as they enjoyed the nature along the way. Some also like the caving ("except the spiders in the cave", replied one student). It was great seeing students interact with each other, helping each other, and getting excited when they were learning new skills. The students in the local school we visited were super excited to meet us and discuss their culture and customs, as well as find out the backgrounds of our students. We were also able to give business to locals (guides, cooks, hotel employees, etc). Our students also learned about the environment (local plants and herbs), as the hosts as well as one of the guides (Pino) was very knowledgeable about the island. This will be an annual trip for our school as it is so successful. We owe Craig and Xania our gratitude as they provide everything needed to make the experience a memorable one, for staff and students alike. I recommend this trip to anyone that wants an active holiday. A must DO trip!!!
One of the things I really liked about this trip was the lack of motorized vehicles, tourists, and abundance of clean air. By biking, kayaking and hiking we were able to see a lot of the countryside, and also interact more with the locals. On a one to five scale with five being the highest, I would give it a 4.9. Only due to the fact for the educators it was a holiday with 38 high school students.
Our students loved getting to meet the locals and exploring the countryside. I would say that their favorite part of all was the bike ride back down to town after they made it over the rocky terrain and up the hills. Most of all, the trip provided them with enough of a challenge to really acquire a sense of pride in their accomplishments, and a stunning backdrop and great company in which to enjoy it. Our students got to lunch with locals, explore different towns, and interact with students from the local school. Our outings were led by local guides or by Craig and Xania themselves, and led us to patronize local venues and restaurants. 5 STAR - A great experience for our students, we hope to make this an annual trip. Truly a memorable experience!
Personally I thought the biking day was the best day. It included many different aspects of the island in one day (sport, swimming, amazing food, etc.). I think it challenged every person mentally and physically. Our group, for example, had people who barely biked before and others who mountain bike regularly. The group naturally broke up into more advanced and more beginner bikers which ended up benefitting everyone. I would rate my holiday a 10 out of 10. I was put into a new environment and had to make decisions by myself. I was challenged but had plenty of time to just relax. The views we had over the island, and the new experiences I had are unforgettable.