Slovenia WHO? Most people have never even heard of this tiny Eastern European country, and that’s a good thing. This amazingly photogenic country features the best of Europe but without the crowds and high costs: castles, cathedrals, rustic farms, fantastic food/wine and so much more. I’m partnering with Strabo Photo Tours, a company with long experience in this place.
Discover the ‘Secrets of Slovenia’ and the Julian Alps with your camera in hand and capture stunning images of mountain landscapes, glacial lakes, wine vineyards, rivers, as well as scenes of every day life in traditional villages and the historic city of Ljubljana.
Discover the warmth and charm of Ljubljana with its contrasting styles of architecture, café culture and bustling riverbank and markets. Try creative long exposures to capture fast-flowing rivers and waterfalls at Soca River Valley. Travel through many picturesque villages to shoot traditional hayracks and agricultural details and document a slower pace of life. Piran and the Adriatic coast take us to Predjama castle, one of the most picturesque in Slovenia. Karst and Goriska Brda offer breathtaking vineyards, where we stay in a lovely lodge. Explore Lake Bled and its iconic church on Bled island starting with sunrise at the shore and ending with sunset from a stunning vantage point. Contrast this with the more tranquil but equally inspiring Lake Bohinj in the heart of the Julian Alps.
Experience a range of incredible photographic locations and experiment with a variety of photography techniques on this 10-day tour where you’ll travel in a small group, stay in well-chosen accommodation and be guided and assisted by your photography leader, and a local Slovenian tour leader and professional photographer.
What to expect: This tour is outdoor oriented and there will be a moderate amount of walking involved. Some of the paths are off-track and we recommend sturdy walking shoes. There may be a limited amount of uphill walking. If clients have health issues they should tell us in advance so we can plan activities for them with an easier level of walking.
Slovenia is a very safe country, and you will find the people very welcoming. The food is also excellent and we have including a wine tasting when overnighting in the midst of the surrounding vineyards. There is a great mixture of Mediterranean, Alpine, Hungarian, and Balkan cuisine with a local touch. Most of the food is organic and locally produced. Spring is great time as there is a lot of seasonal produce, including wine.
While designed for the intermediate and advanced photographer, we welcome any skill level, as he knows everyone will enjoy the photography in Slovenia. Your photo leader is there to help anyone make their best pictures. Participants should know how to use their specific cameras, and have a working knowledge of the basics of photography – shutter, aperture, exposure, etc.
The itinerary will guide us, but we also make unscheduled stops for discoveries along the way, with an eye for the group’s interests. You can plan to be out for early and late light when weather and schedules permit. Your photo leader and local guide will offer guidance and some instruction on the tour, and will also be available to answer questions and provide photographic advice.
Note: There is a surcharge for a single room supplement of $400, and a small-group fee (if we don’t meet a certain enrollment) of $400.
May 1: U.S.
Your journey begins with your overnight flight to the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana. (LJU). (meals on plane)
May 2-3: Ljubljana
Arrive anytime today when you will be transferred to the hotel. Today is a day to rest and get over your jet lag. There will be a group introductory meeting late this afternoon/early evening and a welcome dinner. Accommodations are close to the old town district for a sunset photo walk. The next two days will be full to explore and photograph the capital city. Wander the charming streets of the old city, camera in hand and capture the highlights of Ljubljana including baroque churches, diverse architectural details and the castle as well as trying our hand at some street photography and candid portraits in Ljubljana’s bustling marketplace and along the café-strewn riverbanks. Overnight Adoro Hotel or similar (D; B, L or D)
May 4-5: Piran – Adriatic Coast
After breakfast drive southwest towards the Slovenian Adriatic Coast. There will be a photo stop at Predjama castle to photograph the most picturesque castle of Slovenia. Arrive this afternoon in Piran, an ancient coastal town with a beautiful old town core. Of all the towns on the Slovenian coast, Piran, as a whole, has the most original town architecture, with a partly preserved town wall with seven mighty towers, a symbol of the past power and pride of the city. In the center of the town is Tartini’s Square with a bronze monument of the famous violinist and composer, Giuseppi Tartini. The most beautiful building in this square is a Venetian Gothic house from the first half of the fifteenth century, with a typical balcony and window trifora in Venetian Gothic style. The pictu¬resque background of the square is rounded off by the cathedral on a hill with a fine view of the Bay of Trieste. There will be afternoon and sunset photography today.
The next day begin with sunrise photography above Piran, one of the classic Adriatic experiences. Travel to Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, marked with the centuries-old tradition of salt making; from the Middle Ages until today, it has created a unique saline landscape. The large area of once-thriving saltpans is today protected as a cultural monument and nature park. Saltpans are a great place for landscape photography, especially in the warm afternoon sun. Overnight Tartini Hotel (B, L or D both days)
May 6-7: Karst & Goriska Brda
After breakfast we leave the coast and travel north. First we stop at Karst area, which features beautiful stone villages, fascinating caves, and is home to Lipizzaner horses. We might even visit one of the UNESCO Karst caves with an underground river canyon. Late this afternoon you will arrive to Šmartno, old town situated in Goriška Brda, wine country. Capture sunset over the vineyards with views that go all the way to Adriatic Sea, Julian Alps, and Italy.
The next day capture the incredible emerald waters of the Soca and discover gorges and waterfalls as you hike along the riverbanks. As well as stunning landscapes, you may be lucky with some wildlife photography and will also take the opportunity to photograph the historical World War I remnants along the trail. Your route takes you on some of the highest mountains in Slovenia offering incredible views across the country in to Italy. Overnight Mangart Hotel (B, L or D both days)
May 8-10: Lake Bled
Take one of the most scenic routes in Slovenia, drive via the Soca river valley with incredible photo stops. The road will take you to the highest mountain pass of Slovenia, which offers stunning views of the surrounding Julian Alps. Arrive late afternoon at your accommodations near the picturesque Lake Bled.
Enjoy another two full days exploring the beautiful Gorenjska region. The fashionable mountain resort of Bled, near the Austrian and Italian borders, is set on the idyllic Lake Bled. It is one of the most stunning places in Slovenia with its church on an island in the middle of the lake. We can visit the island by traditional “Pletna” boat. Bled Castle on the cliff above offers superb views of the lake, and there will be plenty of opportunities to capture landscape photos from this vantage. The nearby Lake Bohinj is also a glacier-made body like Bled, but as it is located in the heart of the Julian Alps it provides a very different setting. After photos stop at the lakeshore, head to the picturesque Savica waterfall. From there, pass through many picturesque small traditional-style villages on your way to the stunning Vintgar Gorge. Overnight Hotel Berc(B, L or D two days; B, L, D)
May 11: Lake Bled – Home
If your flight schedule allows there will be time for photography this morning. There will be a group departure (time to be announced) from the hotel to the airport (approximate 1-hour drive). (B)
In Ljubljana and Piran we use 3-star hotels that have best possible photographic locations. Clients literally just walk out of hotel and start taking photos. Karst is a wine region; we will stay at a lodge, close by a traditional wine maker, and therefore we will experience great food and wine. At Lake Bled we stay at Village Selo, which is about a 10-minute walk from the lakeside, providing excellent location for sunrise and sunset photography. This is one of the best places and the village life with its authentic traditional vibe is a highlight. All lodging has Wi-Fi available. We have chosen all locations with the most important thing in mind – getting to the right location at the right time.