Just to clarify: Slovenia is not part of the Czech Republic! It is a tiny country north of Croatia, east of Italy, and south of Austria. It is an amazing place to visit and to photograph. Mountains, lakes, rivers, gorges, medieval towns and castles, hilltop churches (I recently counted 6 at one glance). The cultural influences of all its neighbors are felt in the landscapes, cuisine, language, and history, making Slovenia a very intriguing destination. Lake Bled, in the northwest of the country, and its surroundings are ideal for a rewarding photography tour. Add to that two of northern Croatia’s top photo destinations, Rovinj and the Plitvice Lakes National Park, and our Slovenia & Croatia Photo Tour offers some of the best photo ops in this part of Europe. In 2018, we added one of our favorite and undiscovered photo ops just over the Slovenian border in NE Italy, Monte Lussari. In 2021, we will spend the last night of the Slovenia & Croatia Photo Tour again high up on top of Monte Lussari for amazing alpine photography.
You are invited on this immersive trip with award-winning photographer Jim Nilsen and designer Magrit Baurecht Nilsen. On this guided Slovenia & Croatia Photo Tour you will explore the delightful former Venetian town of Rovinj and the magical waterfalls, streams, and lakes of Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia as well as the stunning alpine landscapes and charming towns of northern Slovenia and the fairytale mountain-top hamlet of Monte Lussari in Italy. You will come home with stunning photographic masterpieces worthy of publication. In addition to guiding you to the most photogenic locations, this Slovenia & Croatia Photo Tour also includes instructional sessions in workflow and post-processing using photo editing software so that you will end up with the best images possible.
Join us for this exciting Slovenia & Croatia Photo Tour to one of our favorite regions in Europe.
A 5% discount will apply to those participating in the Venice tour. The 5% also applies to both the Slovenia & Croatia Photo Tour and the Venice Photo Tour.
Two nights in the delightful former Venetian seaside town of Rovinj on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula.
Three nights at the magical Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia. Experience sixteen lakes, cascading streams, bubbling creeks, and waterfalls all accessed by wooden boardwalks and paths. At times you feel as if you are walking on water.
Three nights basing out of Lake Bled, Slovenia. We think that this is one of the richest areas for photo ops in all of Europe.
One night on top of Monte Lusssari, Italy. This is a spectacular high alpine location and one of our favorite photo ops.
Stay in quaint, cozy, alpine-style B&Bs in Plitvice, Lake Bled, and Monte Lussari, and a charming former Bishop’s palace hotel in the center of Rovinj.
In addition to great photo opportunities on our Croatia & Slovenia Photo Tour, we will be lecturing (mostly in the field) on photographic topics including:
Depth of Field calculation
Blue Hour Photography
Filters, Neutral Density, and Neutral Density Grads
This is a sample itinerary that is subject to change depending on weather and other circumstances beyond our control. Changes in the itinerary are always made to provide the best possible experience for our clients.
May 17, 2023
Plan on spending this evening near Venice airport or in Venice proper. This will allow you to get some rest before the tour begins and also ensure that you arrive on time for the following day’s departure.
Please do not fly to Venice on the day of our departure!
May 18, 2023
Our group meets at the Courtyard by Marriot Venice Airport at 10 am for the beginning of the Slovenia & Croatia Photo Tour. We will then depart via van to our first destination, the Venetian, and Habsburg-inspired beautiful harbor town of Rovinj on Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula. This is a roughly 2.75-hour drive not counting our lunch stop and any possible photography along the way.
After the hotel check-in, we will meet as a group, get to know each other, check our equipment, and go over the agenda for the next ten days.
We’ll enjoy an early dinner in the old town of Rovinj before heading out for our first blue hour photography session. Rovinj is a fantastic location for the magical blue hour with its crooked cobbled lanes and plenty of old-time street lamps.
We will spend this day in the wonderful town of Rovinj. We will photograph the morning and evening blue hours with time during the day to rest and explore the inner core of the town.
Today we leave at 9 am for the 2.5-hour drive to the magical Plitvice Lakes National Park. We will spend three nights in a cozy, alpine-style B&B located only 3 minutes from the park entrance.
We’ll make the first foray into the park before the friendly staff of our B&B serves a local feast for dinner (and, if so desired, bathtub-sized glasses of wine and complimentary plum brandy).
Today our host will have a light breakfast ready for us at 5:45 am. We depart for the park entrance at 6:20 am in order to catch the first boat at 7 am. A short 25-minute walk will take us to some of the best photo ops in the park and we will have 2 to 3 hours of good photography time before the tourist crowds show up.
Back to our cozy B&B for a nap/rest/downtime/post-processing.
We’ll enjoy lunch at a wonderful local restaurant featuring delicious Croatian fare.
Late in the afternoon, we head back into the park, this time in the opposite direction. The tour groups will have thinned out and the light will be better as evening approaches.
Dinner again at our B&B.
Today is a repeat of the day before. We will have the opportunity to further explore some of our favorite locations in greater depth.
9 am departure for a roughly 3.5-hour drive north into Slovenia to the charming village of Bled on the shores of Lake Bled where we will spend the next four nights. This is one of our favorite places of all our travels . . . very tranquil and beautiful. The highest mountain in Slovenia, the mysterious snow-peaked Triglav, can be seen near our hotel.
We’ll have an early delicious dinner before heading out for blue hour photography around the lake.
May 24 & 25
Two full days to explore and photograph the Lake Bled area, including blue hour photo sessions along the lake, as well as at the Chapel of St. Primoz in the hills nearby.
The last night of our Slovenia & Croatia Photo Tour will be spent in NE Italy in the wonderful mountaintop hamlet of Monte Lussari. It is a short drive to the NW to Tarvisio where we will catch a gondola lift to the top of the mountain to spend the night in a rustic alpine hotel. This will allow us the opportunity to photograph the evening and morning alpenglow and blue hour scenes of the village.
10 am departure for the drive back to the Venice Marco Polo Airport.
Temperature range for this time of year: 54 to 66º F
Average monthly rainfall for this time of year: 3 ”
Please pack light, as we will not have room in the van for more than one piece of luggage plus a camera bag for each of us. Magrit & I both travel for 4-5 months with 25-26 inch Travel Pro Max Lite luggage. Most airlines are now charging for more than one piece of checked baggage. Keep in mind that laundry service is usually available.
Two pairs of shoes: One sturdy pair for in the field that you can get wet and muddy. One pair for evenings.
Lightweight rain jacket and rain pants. You don’t have to go all out here, but if we have some wet weather and it is not raining too hard we can still go out and get some good photos. * I really suggest a rain jacket if nothing else. We have worn cut open Hefty bags as skirts and they work great when we did not have rain pants. The rain gear will keep you dry when walking in tall, wet grass.
Small umbrella for rain and shade. I use an umbrella often to block the sun from hitting the front element of my lens. Black is the best.
Sweater or light jacket for a possible chill on early morning shoots. A light layer underneath a rain jacket can be surprisingly warm. Magrit and I both carry lightweight down vests and jackets. We also carry stocking caps and gloves as well as rain protection for our cameras.