Tour Details

• May 21 to 30, 2017 (9 nights)
• Oct 9 to 18, 2017 (9 nights)

• May 25 to June 3, 2018 (9 nights)
• Group size: min 5, max 12
• Cost: $4,495, single supplement $695
• Tour starts and ends in Venice, Italy

 

Our Slovenia & Croatia Photo Tour will stun you with the beauty of the sea-to-summit locations. Photograph high alpine meadows, waterfalls, romantic castles, medieval towns & much more.

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5%_circleHear Ye, Hear Ye. 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 better yet, to photograph. Mountains, lakes, rivers, gorges, medieval towns and castles, hilltop churches (I recently counted 6 at one glance). Influences of all its neighbors are felt in the landscapes, cuisines, language, history and culture, making Slovenia a very intriguing destination. Lake Bled, in the northwest of the country, and its surroundings are ideal for photography and a wonderful photography tour. Add to that 2 of northern Croatia’s top photo destinations, Rovinj and Plitvice Lakes National Park, and our Slovenia & Croatia Photo Tour offers some of the best photo ops in this part of Europe.

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 and the refreshing mountain landscapes and charming towns of northern Slovenia. You will come home with stunning photographic masterpieces worthy of publication. In additional to guiding you to the most photogenic locations, this 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 coming from  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 separated by cascading streams and waterfalls all accessed by wooden boardwalks and paths. At times you feel as if you are walking on water.
  • Four nights basing out of Lake Bled, Slovenia. We think that this is one of the richest areas for photo ops in all of Europe.
  • Stay in quaint, cozy, alpine-style B&Bs in Plitvice and Lake Bled and a charming former Bishops palace hotel in center of Rovinj.
  • In addition to great photo opportunities on this Slovenia & Croatia Photo Tour we will have time for photo sharing and critiques. We will also be lecturing on photographic topics including:
    • Composition
    • Digital Workflow
    • HDR Photography
    • Panoramic Photography
    • Depth of Field calculation
    • Focal Blending
    • Blue Hour Photography
    • Filters, Neutral Density and Neutral Density Grads
    • Photoshop Tips and Tricks
    • Nik software


This is a sample itinerary which 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 20, 2017 (day before the tour starts)

Plan on spending this evening near the Venice airport or in Venice proper. This will allow you to get some rest before the tour begins and to also insure that you arrive on time for the following day’s departure. Or better yet, join us for the Magic of Venice Photo Tour from May 16 to May 20.  A 5% discount will apply to both tours.

In Venice, we recommend the Best Western Titian Inn Hotel Venice Airport or the Courtyard Venice Airport.

Please do not fly to Venice on the day of our departure! 

May 21

Our group meets at the Best Western Titian Inn Hotel Venice Airport at 10 am. 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 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 . . . crooked cobbled lanes and plenty of old-time street lamps.

May 22

Up early for the sunrise to photograph the delightful inner core of the old town. We return to the hotel for breakfast and a nap (we want to pace ourselves for the nine day tour).

Midday we’ll head north to explore the quaint seaside villages of Vrsar and Porec and have lunch in Vrsar.

After returning to Rovinj, Jim will present a couple of teaching modules on relevant photographic techniques  and then meet for an early dinner in the old town before another blue hour session.

May 23

Today we get a 9 am start 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 a mere 3 minutes from the park entrance.

We will take a shakedown tour of the park, surveying the entire length of it via bus and boat. This will give us a good idea of areas that we want to concentrate on during the following two days.

The friendly staff of our B&B will serve a local feast for dinner.

May 24

Today our host will have a light breakfast ready for us at 5:45 am (thanks, Christina). 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 crowds show up.

Back to our cozy B&B for a nap/rest/down time/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.

May 25

Today is a repeat of the day before. We will have the opportunity to further explore some of our favorite locations in greater depth.

Dinner will be earlier this evening at 7 am at a local place that offers tasty grilled meats and other Croatian treats.

May 26

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 27

Today we head NE up near the Austrian border to the back-in-time stunningly beautiful alpine area of Logarska Dolina with its meadow-strewn valleys and high-mountain working farms.

We will explore along a high-alpine road before descending into the valley of Logarska, a broad alpine valley surrounded by high jagged peaks. With some luck we will have lots of wildflowers in the foreground. Switzerland has nothing on this location and Julie Andrews might burst into song at any moment – “The hills are alive with the sound of shutters.”

Late in the afternoon we head back to Bled. We’ll have reservations to dine at the elegant restaurant inside of Bled Castle, an amazingly preserved medieval fairy tale castle with grand views of Lake Bled below. After dinner, we will have a blue hour session photographing inside the castle courtyards as well as the amazing view of the little church on the island in the middle of the lake below.

May 28

After breakfast we get a 9 am start for nearby Vintgar Gorge, a fantastic river gorge that we access via a meandering boardwalk. We return to Bled for lunch and then we take a traditional oar powered Pletna boat (Bled’s equivalent to the Venetian gondola) out to St. Mary’s Church on the island in the middle of the lake.  Back to our hotel for some photo sharing and critiques as well as post-processing lessons.

At 7:30 pm we depart for our favorite blue hour scene in all of Europe, a tiny chapel on a hill, illuminated by two lights, with amazing snow capped peaks in the background. Wow! We never tire of this location.

May 29

After breakfast at 9 am we depart for the 5 minute drive to the trail that will take us up a few hundred feet for a great viewpoint of the lake and island below. We then head south to explore the charming medieval towns of Radovljica and Skofja Loka.  Lunch in Skofja Loka. Back to Bled for some R&R before heading out for sunset photography along the lake.

May 30

10 am departure for the drive back to the Venice Marco Polo Airport.

Along the route while still in Slovenia, we will stop and photograph the amazing spectacle of Predjama, a picture book castle built into a rock wall and the oldest cave castle in Europe. We will take lunch here sitting with a splendid view of the castle and later head west towards the Italian border, passing by Trieste before arriving at Marco Polo Airport where we say our goodbyes.

We will allow at least 6 hours for this journey. Please do not make any tight travel connections from Venice this day as we never know about delays along the route.

Also, if you would prefer not to return to Venice with us and instead want to keep traveling, you can catch trains out of Bled. For example, if you wanted to explore Austria you could catch a train to the north. Or for Dubrovnik in southern Croatia you would head south from Bled to Zagreb where you can catch a flight.

Dates: May 21 to 30, 2017 (9 nights) 

Cost: $4,495 | single supplement $695

A 5% discount will apply to those coming from the  Venice tour.  The 5% also applies to the Venice tour.

A $500 deposit will secure your spot. Click here to make your deposit »

What is included?

  • 9 nights lodging
  • All breakfasts
  • Daily van transportation to photo locations
  • All entrance fees and tolls as well as ground transportation except for transport to and from the airport.
  • Jim’s & Magrit’s expertise in guiding and photographic instruction

Level of physical difficulty: 3 out of 5

Involves walking for distances up to 5 miles per day at Plitvice Lakes National Park.

For Terms & Conditions and insurance recommendations, please click here »

Join us before your Slovenia & Croatia Photo for the 4 day The Magic of Venice Photo Tour.

Take 5% off of the total costs of any tours when you sign up for 2 or more.

Personal Items and Weather Conditions

Temperature range for this time of year: 54 to 66º F

Average monthly rainfall for this time of year: 3 ”

Try to pack light, as we will not have room in the van for more than one piece of luggage plus camera bags for each of us. Most airlines are now charging for more than one piece of checked baggage. I love the Osprey Ozone series of lightweight wheeled luggage. Magrit used the Ozone 28 for 2.5 months on the road and found it perfect. You will appreciate the lighter load when you have to haul your luggage up steep streets or stairs.

Two pairs of shoes: One sturdy pair for in the field that you can get wet and muddy. One pair for evenings.

Light weight 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.  Montbell makes an excellent parka and pants that are extremely lightweight.

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 best. I have recently begun using a handsfree telescopic umbrella which I love. You can watch a video of my review at PhotographyTravelTours.

Sweater or light jacket for possible chill on early morning shoots. A light layer underneath a rain jacket can be surprisingly warm.

Hat for sun and rain protection.

For equipment recommendations, please click here »