Going on holiday in these parts usually implies lounging around in your bathers, sipping cocktails and going for an occasional swim when the heat becomes too unbearable.
That’s what the Adriatic is for, but if you have some extra time on your hands, why not unite leisure and a useful but fun activity?
Just wait until you hear this – here on Kvarner, you can volunteer to spend two weeks working with dolphins. It feels wrong to even call it work, but researching and preserving wildlife is a commendable undertaking and not always as easy as it sounds, so the hard-working scientists might use some help. That’s where you come in!
You might have noticed we like to mention the Blue World Institute from Lošinj island every once in a while; those mentions are usually accompanied by their heartwarming photos of baby dolphins peeking out of Lošinj’s waters to show their adorable little faces.
As stated on their site, the Blue World Institute of Marine Research and Conservation is a group of scientists and educators aiming to carry out scientific research and conservation projects and promote environmental awareness. As part of their activities, they have been monitoring and researching populations of wild free ranging bottlenose dolphins in the Adriatic sea for over twenty years – hence all those delightful photos they regularly post on Facebook.
The institute offers an incredible opportunity to anyone who wants to work with these wonderful animals and learn more about maritime wildlife. The programme lasts twelve days; the participants go for daily boat rides around Lošinj’s waters in order to help track dolphins and collect data on their locations and behaviour. Sometimes it takes only a couple of minutes to stumble upon a pod of dolphins, sometimes it’s a few hours – a few hours spent cruising around the archipelago. Oh no. In case of bad weather, you’ll be joining the team in the Lošinj Marine Education Centre (LMEC), where you can help enter data, attend lectures and assist in educational activities.
Volunteers are hosted in a nicely furnished house in Mali Lošinj town, where they can use all the facilities, cook, and hang out together when they’re not accompanying researchers on a boat or in LMEC. There’s a couple of conditions required to participate: you need to be over 18 years old, speak English, be in good physical condition and able to swim, and also be able to stand long periods in the sun while you’re out on a boat.
You can find out more about the programme, the lodgings and accommodation prices in this handy guide prepared by the Blue World Institute, along with some raving reviews written by former volunteers. And just to drive the point home, here’s a blog post written by a traveller who described her Lošinj experience in a way that will make you want to sign up right this minute.