4 destinations… 4 reasons!

Monday, 18th October 2021

Katherine Woollett

edu mallorca azores costarica montenegro 6

Choosing a destination to visit for your next school trip is challenging. In the aftermath of the pandemic, you need to find the balance of destinations that; support your curriculum to enhance students’ learning, can help improve students wellbeing and get them out their comfort zone, are packed full of fun and unique activities that will help students to make memories to last a lifetime and immerse students into a new culture after months of being stuck at home. Add entry requirements into the mix, and we understand that you may need a little help choosing!

To help, we have selected four destinations, and four reasons to visit. Each of these destinations have less restrictions for school groups, with current entry requirements allowing school groups in, unvaccinated. With the complications around entry requirements not being a barrier, let’s get down to the fun stuff, so you can actually enjoy planning a school trip for your students!

Mallorca

It is time to rediscover Mallorca. Around the corner from the popular tourist hotspot you know, is a destination bursting at the seams with epic geography to explore. From stony mountains to verdant natural parks and deep dark caves, Mallorca has diverse geology and striking scenery. Plus, the abundance of geography curriculum links, fieldwork opportunities and unforgettable activities, can all be enjoyed at a fantastically low price. Check out our top four reasons to visit Mallorca for a school trip:

  1. Fieldwork Opportunities: We have teamed up with the Es Pla Education Centre in Mallorca to bring you a range of customisable fieldwork experiences. Whether you are looking for a half day fieldwork taster, an introduction to fieldwork or a comprehensive multi-day experience we can provide an itinerary to meet your school’s needs. With topics from water security and rural regeneration, right through to sustainable city and tourism, the expert guides at Es Pla Education Centre can support students studying A-level, IB or even KS3 or university groups.
  2. Watersports: There is a reason Mallorca is such a loved beach destination, its stunning coastline and crystal clear waters are unrivalled. After months of having to stay in side and the pressures of catching up on their education, students can have some fun as they take to the waters to try their hand at paddle-boarding or sea kayaking. Mallorca itineraries can be perfectly crafted to combine fun and adventurous activities, with activities that support your lessons and the curriculum.
  3. Soller and Sa Colobra: This is one of our favourite days schools can do in Mallorca. Students get to see the full catalogue of Mallorca’s diverse landscapes, including mountains, coast and city. Students will travel by train through the Tramuntana Mountains, a UNESCO heritage site which covers around 30% of the island to Soller. At Soller they can wind through the old town to the port where they will catch a boat across to Sa Colobra. During this boat ride not only will students be able to see the features of the cliffs, but may also get a chance to spot dolphins! At Sa Colobra you will be able to explore two epic beaches joined together by a stone tunnel, which showcases the effect of erosion.
  4. Hiking in Llevant: Llevant Natural Park is a protected area which includes mountains, unspoilt beaches and is home to birds, tortoises and unique flora. As they hike through the area, down towards the coast, the expert guide will tell them all about the history and geography of the area. As well as being perfect to enhance their studies, being immersed in this beautiful part of Mallorca will not only give your students time for self-reflection, but the day hike will test your students’ resilience and other key skills.

Azores

Get ready to fall in love with the Azores. Created at the junction of three tectonic plates, the nine Portuguese islands of the Azores make an unforgettable destination for an educational and inspirational geography trip. The Archipelago is a leading global case study in the development of renewable and sustainable energy production. On top of environmental geography, the Azores are a hub for physical and human geography too. Check out our top four reasons to visit The Azores for a school trip:

  1. Renewable energy: One thing that makes the Azores such a fascinating destination for studying sustainability is the unique way the islands use their location to their advantage. The islands were originally formed by volcanoes, and now the lakes that fill ancient craters, the geothermal power beneath the ground and the rough winds of the Atlantic all provide the Azores with opportunities for renewable energy. We have a host of activities that can be experienced to enhance students’ learning of this topic. For example students will see how local people make use of bubbling fumaroles when they indulge in a Cozido lunch; a delicious meal cooked traditionally underground using geothermal heat.
  2. Whale Watching: Some moments of a school trip will leave a lasting impact on students. One activity that is truly life changing is whale watching. The Azores are home to many types of whale including sperm, humpback and blue whales, not to mention huge schools of dolphin and even sharks. The tour includes an on-board marine biologist to help uncover the secrets of the Azorean waters.
  3. Island hopping: The Azores are made up of nine islands and one of the truly special parts of a trip there is being able to see more than one island. For example, students will explore Sao Miguel, the largest of the islands and home to the hot springs, caldeiras and epic beaches. In the same trip, students could also explore Pico, which features an epic volcano, stunning vineyards and one of Europe’s longest lava tubes and Faial, which boasts beautiful harbours, a stunning caldeira and Capelinhos and the interpretation centre documenting Capelinhos’ 1957 eruption.
  4. Sete Cidades: Sete Cidades is listed as one of the seven natural wonders of Portugal. This must see attraction features distinctive green and blue lakes, situated in one of the largest volcanic craters of the Azores. According to myth, the lakes were formed by a princess and a shepherd who shared a forbidden love.

Costa Rica

Stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife make Costa Rica a paradise for geographers and scientists alike. It is hard to find a destination that so completely combines the opportunities for learning with adventure and unique experiences. If you are looking to immerse your students in a country completely unlike the UK, you will be hard pressed to find as special a choice as Costa Rica. Check out our top four reasons to visit Costa Rica for a school trip:

  1. Sustainability: Costa Rica contains 5% of the world’s biodiversity, all in a country the size of Denmark! Monkeys, frogs, butterflies, turtles, birds, bats and sloths can all be found among the wet lowlands, sandy beaches or mountainous jungles across the country. On top of this, Costa Rica is home to 22 national parks that cover 26% of the land, protected beaches, and produces 99% of its energy from renewable sources. Often cited as the poster child of ecotourism, if you are looking for a shining example of sustainability, look no further. Check out an example of an itinerary all around sustainability in Costa Rica >
  2. Zip lining: The Monteverde Cloud forest directly translates to “Green Mountain” an accurate description for the towering, biodiverse paradise. National Geographic describe Monteverde as “the jewel in the crown of cloud forests” and it is listed as one of the seven wonders of Costa Rica. See the forest from a new height in this adventurous Zip lining activity! Zip line on Costa Rica’s longest cable and become truly immersed in virgin forest. The tour is made up of 15 cables and 18 viewing platforms, crossing over two miles of forest and combining the thrill of the zip line with a unique perspective of the tree top canopy.
  3. Pacuare Reserve: Pacuare Leatherback Turtle Reserve was established in 1989, and its 6km of coastline is one of the most important nesting sites for endangered leatherback turtles in the country. The reserve and surrounding canals are rich in wildlife, with more than 300 recorded species of animals. The non-profit organisation is now under the stewardship of Ecology Project International. In this life changing activity, students will get a chance to assist with the conservation of the turtles, from assisting with the nesting process to helping the turtle’s hatch, depending on the time of year you visit. Want to know more? Discover our Turtles of Costa Rica Resource!
  4. Costa Rica Essentials: No matter where your itinerary takes you, we can add in these exciting Costa Rica essentials, to help you and your students become fully immersed in the culture of Costa Rica. These essentials include a Spanish lesson, which will help you converse with locals for the rest of your trip, a dance class, to get your blood pumping and learn some famous Latin American dances, such as the Salsa or Merengue. Last but not least, students can have a cooking class where they will make (and then eat) traditional Costa Rican dishes such as Tortilla Aliñada, Empanada de Platano and Prestiño.

Montenegro

You won’t believe how much is packed into the small but mighty country of Montenegro.  At just 100 kilometres from head to toe, you will still see a diverse range of landscapes, from breath-taking beaches, lush mountains, charming villages and colourful forests. Montenegro is perfect for both cross-curricular learning and cultural or rewards style trips. Check out our top four reasons to visit Montenegro for a school trip:

  1. Coastal: Whether it is the popular tourist attraction of Budva Riviera, the islet and 5 star resort of Saint Stefan, The Bay of Kotor or the tiny island Catholic Church, Our Lady of the Rock, there are endless opportunities to explore Montenegro’s epic coastline. Whether exploring the stunning beaches by foot, taking to the water by boat or even climbing through enchanting caves, students will get a 360 view of one of the most awe-inspiring coastlines in Europe.
  2. White water rafting: If you are looking for an activity that is adventurous and exciting but still accessible for beginners, then white water rafting in Montenegro is unrivalled. Students will take to the Tara River canyon, the second biggest canyon in Europe! As the Tara River runs through Durmitor National Park, the eroded valley has created a landscape perfect for whitewater rafting; the ideal way to experience the scale of the canyon.
  3. National Parks: Montenegro is home to five spectacular national parks. Of them all, probably the most iconic is Durmitor National Park. It is home to no less than 18 glacier lakes including the famed Black Lake. Next up is Lovcen National Park, which is home to the 1,749 metre-tall Mount Lovcen – the mountain that gave Montenegro its name (Black Mountain), due to its impressive colouring. Students will also be able to visit Lake Skadar National Park, home to Balkan’s largest lake, Skadar, but that deserves its own point! If you want to find out more about the national parks of Monetenegro, check out our blog “An insider’s guide to Montenegro’s National Parks” >
  4. Skadar Lake: Lake Skadar’s surface is populated with meadows of water lilies’, making the national park’s defining lake appear more like a river than a lake at first glance. Whilst the lake is a true Montenegrin treasure, a third of it crosses the border neighbouring Albania. Students will get a chance to see this lake from a new angle, as they glide through the clear waters on a majestic boat cruise.

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