Slovenia



It’s been said that exploring the storybook landscapes of timeless Slovenia is like discovering “Europe in miniature.”  Slightly smaller than New Jersey and often referred to as "the sunny side of the Alps," the number one reason to have a landscape photography adventure in tiny Slovenia is that it is ridiculously pretty!
Surrounded by Austria, Hungary, Italy and Croatia plus a short stretch of Adriatic coastline, it is the place in Central Europe where the Alps meet the Mediterranean.  Slovenia lies at the nexus of four major European biomes—Alpine, Mediterranean, Pannonian lowlands and Dinarides mountains.  The country has one of the highest levels of biodiversity in the European Union and currently 13 percent of its territory is protected through nature parks, reserves and natural monuments, while almost 60 percent is covered by forests.
 
Slovenia Julian AlpsAs we photograph our way around Slovenia, we encounter a patchwork of spectacular lakes, majestic mountains, striking waterfalls, alpine meadows, vineyards, bucolic farms and architecturally picturesque villages.  To top it off, there seems to be a photogenic fairytale castle perched on every available promontory.
 
Our group photographs Lake Bled and its iconic church on Bled Island.  Lake Bled is one of the most popular places to visit in Slovenia and is arguably one of the most beautiful spots in the whole country.  If ever there was a picture postcard setting, this is it!
 
With a photogenic backdrop of the Julian Alps we capture the tranquil beauty of Lake Bohinj—Slovenia's largest lake—with plenty of time to soak in the dramatic alpine surroundings.  We shoot creative long exposures to photographically accentuate the water of fast-flowing rivers and waterfalls at Vintgar Gorge, and travel Slovenia's pastoral scenic byways to shoot traditional hayracks—often artistically designed, handcrafted and regarded as a distinctive form of Slovene architecture.
 
COMBINE THIS TRIP
croatia.jpg
This trip can be combined with our Croatia photo tour Apr 28–May 10, 2018.
We linger in the Logarska Valley to photograph the wealth of wildflowers that bloom in May, drive the scenic mountain road overlooking the highest peaks of Kamnik-Savinja Alps, explore the Adriatic coast, and shoot the Secovlje saltpan landscape where we witness production of salt harvested in the time-honored way.  Finally we visit the historic capital Ljubljana.  From Roman ruins to baroque palaces, the pedestrian-only historic city center provides imagery of its past as well as today's café culture, vibrant riverfront and bustling markets.
 
Join us on this compelling 11-day Slovenia photo tour to capture an impressive overview of the very best of this small country’s rich landscapes, architecture and culture.  

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Depart from home. (D)

Day 2 (May 11)
Arrive in Ljubljana, Slovenia airport and transfer to our hotel at Lake Bled.  Dinner at one of the nearby fine restaurants. (D)

Days 3–5
Three days photographing in the picturesque Julian Alps featuring extensive landscape photography of beautiful Lake Bled and environs.  At what is, perhaps, the most beautiful scenic location in Slovenia, our attention turns to Bled Island surrounded by the emerald green mountain lake.  The 17th-century baroque Church of the Assumption crowns the little island, its bell tower and red shingled roof juxtaposed against the photogenic Julian Alps.  The impressive and highly photogenic 11th-century Bled Castle is perched on a sheer 430-foot-high cliff that soars up from the lake.  The strategic position of this medieval fortress was once a key stronghold for Napoleon.  Bled Castle was obviously built when defense, aesthetics and opulence trumped modern architectural priorities like easy accessibility.
 
Slovenia Vintgar GorgeWe visit Vintgar Gorge with sheer canyon walls carved by the Radovna River.  Here is a great location to experiment with slow shutter speeds to accentuate water movement as we "shoot the rapids."
 
Our second spectacular glacial lake is Bohinj—the largest lake in Slovenia.  This is another Slovenian postcard location where alpine shepherds and cowherds still head into the mountains to graze their cattle, and charming wooden houses and iconic hayracks compete for pixels in our cameras.  We have plenty of time to explore this area to capture stunning natural landscapes as well as bucolic scenes of rural life.  (BLD)

Day 6
Following breakfast, a scenic mountain drive allows our first photo session with the lovely Kamnik-Savinja Alps.  Our first stop will be Jezersko with its beautiful lake and surrounding alpine scenery.  We enjoy lunch at nearby mountain lodge and travel onward to the Logarska Valley.  (BLD)

Day 7
May is the best time to visit the green Logarska Valley as there is an abundance of photogenic wildflowers and the sun angle illuminates the north side of the mountains.  Those who wish can hike to Rinka waterfall or explore small mountain streams in the valley.  Our afternoon drive follows a scenic mountain road that overlooks the highest peaks of Kamnik-Savinja Alps.  (BLD)

Day 8–9
We travel south to the coast of Slovenia.  Our late afternoon arrival at Piran—one of the best-preserved historical towns on the Adriatic—is in time to capture sunset over the ocean.  The following morning we start our day by capturing sunrise above Piran—a classic Adriatic photo experience.  Later we shoot the historic city walls as well as its Venetian Gothic architecture.  The photogenic Secovlje saltpans in the Secovlje Salina Nature Park contain one of the oldest saltworks on the Adriatic dating back to the 13th century.  Here we see the production of salt in the traditional way.  These interesting saltpans provide great opportunities for unusual landscape photography, especially in the glow of late afternoon sun.  (BLD)

Slovenia Lake BledDays 10–11
With the coast behind us, the journey continues on to Ljubljana.  The town is dominated by the majestic Ljubljana Castle on the hill overlooking the Ljubljanica River that splits the town in two.  Here we wander the charming streets of the old city—camera in hand—and capture the delights of Ljubljana including baroque churches, diverse architectural details, the bustling marketplace, street artists and the cafes crowding the river.

Day 12 (May 21)
Following breakfast we transfer to the Ljubljana airport for flights home.

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Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris Enrollment Information

Slovenia

May 10, 2018 - May 21, 2018


1. REGISTRATION
A deposit and completed and signed Registration Form are required to reserve a place for you on a Joseph Van Os Photo Safari.

2. PAYMENTS, CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS

All prices are quoted in US dollars and all payments must be paid in US dollars. For deposits only, we accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Final payment of the trip fee is due 120 days priors to departure and must be paid by check or bank transfer. Trip deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

We must receive written notice of your cancellation, at which time cancellation fees in the following amounts apply:

If Written Cancellation is Received:
90 days or prior:
89 to 61 days prior:
60 or fewer days:
Cancellation Fee:
100% of deposit
50% of trip fee
100% of trip fee


No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a trip for any reason whatsoever. Trips are sold as a package only. This policy also applies to tour extensions and independent travel arrangements. Cancellation fees are not transferable.

3. TRIP INSURANCE
Protect your travel investment and purchase a trip insurance policy that includes emergency evacuation coverage. A trip insurance brochure will be sent with your enrollment confirmation.

4. HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS
Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris are within the capabilities of average people in good health. Some of these trips require the capability of walking for several miles over uneven trails, stepping from a small boat to a wave-washed rocky beach, flying in small planes and helicopters, and occasionally hiking at high elevations—all while carrying an assortment of camera equipment. If you have concerns about your own capabilities and/or fitness as it relates to a trip, please inquire with our office before reserving a space. By forwarding a signed Registration Form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants and you agree to inform our office in writing if changes in your health occur any time prior to the tour. We reserve the right to request a doctor's statement of good health. The company's or trip leader's judgment shall provide the ultimate determination of an individual's ability to embark upon or to continue a trip. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements. “Meatless” meals are normally available at most locations. Due to the remote nature of many photo locations, and the growing diversity of today’s dietary trends, participants requiring special food items are encouraged to bring their own.

Tour members are asked to refrain from smoking with or near the group.

5. CONTACT SCHEDULE
Participants will receive three emails before the trip departs: 1. Initial Tour Information sheet confirms the deposit and provides pre-departure information. 2. Invoice/Practical Information provides clothing and photo gear recommendations, climate data, applicable health advisories and reading list. Visa information will also be included (if applicable). 3. Final Tour Information includes arrival instructions, itinerary revisions (if any), hotel addresses, trip telephone contact information and participant list. We provide the trip leader's telephone number(s) and/or e-mail address with final documents so you can inquire about special photographic questions you may have regarding your trip. We welcome your calls or e-mail messages to info@photosafaris.com.

6. PHOTO SAFARI COSTS
Information supplied upon enrollment describes the specific costs that are included in your trip fee. Generally these costs include lodging in double room occupancy, all meals (specified in the itinerary as BLD denoting breakfast, lunch or dinner), ground transportation during the trip in vans or small busses, air transportation as specified, meal and baggage tipping, and guide services provided by the trip leaders. Not included are airfare or other transportation from your home to the trip staging location, airport departure taxes, insurance, alcoholic beverages and bar expenses (plus bottled water and soft drink expenses on international tours outside of North America), tips and gratuities to local guides abroad, phone calls, passport or visa expenses, laundry or items of a personal nature. Gratuities to Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris trip leaders are optional and always appreciated. Rates are based on group tariffs; if the trip does not have sufficient registration, a small party supplement may be charged.

Single accommodations are available for a supplemental cost in many locations; see the pre-departure trip information or call our office for details. You will be charged the single supplement fee if you desire single accommodations or if you wish to have a roommate, but one is not available. In some remote locations, clients with single rooms are infrequently compelled to share a room due to circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, appropriate per diem refunds will be made reflecting the direct cost of the single room at the facility where clients are required to share. There is no additional single supplement fee on ship-based cruises, if you request a roommate and one is not available.

Cost increases may occur unexpectedly due to rising costs of airfares, ground transport, fuel surcharges, accommodations and currency fluctuations, among others. Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. may be compelled to amend prices, and we reserve the right to do so without prior notice. An increase in trip prices shall not be sufficient grounds for any refund of funds paid for the trip other than as determined by the terms of our cancellation policy.

7. LOGISTICS
Whenever possible, our trip participants are lodged in comfortable, modern hotels. We select among the best available accommodations, but refrain from extravagance. Some interesting photographic destinations are far removed from modern amenities, however, and where necessary we will be accommodated in rustic country inns, cabins or tented camps.

Meals are always a special part of our trips for the camaraderie they engender and the opportunity they provide to try new foods from different areas. Depending on the trip and specific locale, participants order restaurant meals from the full menu or, less frequently, table d'hôte. Some trips include picnic lunches in the field. Fruit juice for breakfast and coffee or tea are included with the meals. Soft drinks are included with meals on tours within North America. Participants are responsible for their own bar tab (including bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages on tours outside of North America) at restaurant lunches and dinners.

Our itineraries are intended as examples only. Participants should allow for flexibility due to changes in weather, natural history or cultural events, or other logistical arrangements deemed necessary by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. or our leaders.

The second tour leader (and any subsequent additional leaders) listed for each trip on the website will be added as the group size warrants. If only one space remains on a trip, and logistics permit, we accept two persons traveling together, even if it exceeds the trip maximum.

8. RESPONSIBILITY
Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. and/or their Agents act only as agents for the passenger in regard to travel including, but not limited to, sightseeing, meals, lodging, transportation, and all other services whether by railroad, motorcar, motor coach, boat, ship or aircraft and they assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned either by reason of defect in any vehicle or for any reason whatsoever, or through the acts or default of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the trip.

They can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, volcanic eruption, terrorist acts, political unrest, quarantine or other causes. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger, as trip fees provide for arrangements only for the times and locations stated. Baggage is at the owner's risk entirely.

The right is reserved to 1) substitute hotels of similar category for those indicated and to make any changes in the itinerary or transport where deemed necessary, or caused by changes in air schedules or equipment substitution; 2) cancel any trip prior to departure, in which case full refund of the paid trip funds will be given, but Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. is not responsible for any other trip preparation expenses such as penalized or non-refundable air tickets, visa fees and medical related expenses; 3) substitute trip leader(s) for the leader(s) originally specified, in which case the substitution is not a basis for participant cancellation or refund other than provided by our normal cancellation policy; or 4) accept or retain any person as a member of any trip.

Trip prices are based on tariffs and exchange rates in effect at the time of publication and are subject to adjustment in the event of any change therein.

A Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section must be signed by each participant prior to the commencement of the trip. Participation by any trip member will be declined in the absence of the signed Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section, with no trip fee refund. No modification to the Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section will be accepted.

Should Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., or anyone acting on their behalf be required to incur attorney's fees and costs to enforce this agreement, the enrolling trip participant(s) agree(s) to indemnify and hold them harmless for all such fees and costs. In the event a lawsuit is filed, the enrolling participant(s) agree(s) to do so solely in the County of Lewis in the State of Washington. Certain ship owners require the use of pre-printed ticket forms that limit the ship owner's and operator's liability. When such tickets are used, the passenger is bound by the terms of these tickets with respect to the passenger's legal relationship to the owners and operators of the ship, their agents (Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc.), and the ship's crew.

Slovenia
Highlights
  • 10 photo days exploring the landscape, architecture and culture of captivating Slovenia, from its pristine alpine wilderness to the stunning Adriatic coast
  • Shoot a picture-postcard castle surrounded by stunning, emerald Lake Bled with the Julian Alps in the background
  • Capture the May wildflowers at the height of their bloom in the Logarska Valley
  • Experiment with slow shutter speeds as you “shoot the rapids” of Vintgar Gorge 
 
May 10 - May 21, 2018
Fee: WAITLISTED (see note below)
Deposit: $800
Limit: 12

NOTE: Our 2018 Slovenia trip is currently full. You may call us at 206-707-9481 and have your name added to our waitlist or register now for our May 9 – 20, 2019 departure.
 
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