Croatia

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Beautiful Croatia is rapidly becoming recognized as a premier photography tour destination, offering an outstanding combination of timeless unspoiled nature coupled with centuries-old medieval villages and a lively contemporary cultural and gastronomic scene. With its photogenically diverse mainland, dreamy offshore Adriatic archipelago, outstanding national parks and picturesque historic terra cotta-roofed villages, it is no wonder that this tiny country is drawing more and more photographers.

Roughly the size of Ireland or West Virginia, the terrain of Croatia is wonderfully varied with fertile plains, extensive lakes, inspiring waterfalls, densely wooded mountains, and pristine beaches. In fact, the Croatian coastline is one of the most indented in the world with more than 1200 islands and islets studding its Adriatic shore. The country extends from the furthest eastern edges of the Alps in its northwest to the banks of the Danube in the east while tracing an arc around much of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

As today’s fastest growing Mediterranean travel destination, Croatia’s gaining popularity is due, in part, to its rich canvas of filming possibilities—probably none more prominent than its featured role in HBO’s Game of Thrones series where the medieval city walls and fort in Dubrovnik became King’s Landing. Other Dubrovnik filming locations include its arboretum used as the Red Keep’s gardens, the Fortress of Klis used for exterior shots of the slave city of Meereen and the Church and Monastery of St. Dominic in Trogir, which appears as the walled city of Qarth.
 

COMBINE THIS TRIP
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This trip can be combined with our Undiscovered Montenegro in Spring tour
May 14-25, 2023

On this productive Croatia photo tour, we have wonderful opportunities to shoot the best of Dubrovnik as we explore its narrow streets, image-beckoning architecture, Old Town street performers, and impressive medieval walls. The island of Hvar—the “longest and sunniest island in Croatia”—provides a pleasant Mediterranean climate in which to stroll along fishing village streets packed with photogenic Renaissance architecture and bustling markets and waterfront. Another outstanding feature of this photography trip is the superlative panoramic waterfalls of Krka and Plitvice Lakes National Parks.

Though tiny Croatia—and its many former Roman, Venetian, and Austro-Hungarian incarnations—has been part of a long and turbulent history, it can be said that “everything old is new again.” The Republic of Croatia obtained its recent independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 following several years of intense conflict. Croatia became a member of NATO in April 2009 and joined the European Union in July 2013. Now its prospects seem very bright and travel to “the Mediterranean as it once was” has never been easier.

For trip questions or to enroll give us a call at (206) 463-5383

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Depart from home.

Day 2 (May 3, 2023)
Arrive in Zagreb, Croatia. The city is the most important transport hub in Croatia and its brand-new airport terminal makes it a nexus for travel in Southern and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean region. Transfer to our hotel. Following a short evening photo shoot in the old town area, we meet this evening for dinner and an introduction to our days ahead. (D)

Day 3
After some early morning photography, we depart Zagreb for the Istrian Peninsula. The peninsula dangles like a heart-shaped jewel into the Adriatic from Croatia’s north coast. Depending on light and weather we head to Rovinj—one of the last true Mediterranean fishing ports. Along our drive we capture stunning village panoramas and bucolic landscapes from prominent vantage points. Following our day afield we delve deeper into Rovinj for an evening shoot as we soak up the atmosphere of its bustling harbor, lively squares, and its maze of narrow streets that wind amidst attractive medieval buildings. (BLD)

Day 4
Following a session with morning light at Rovinj and breakfast, our journey continues to explore the medieval hilltop towns of the Istrian Peninsula with our cameras. These towns are rich with architectural detail and street scenes. During our drive we stop at several panoramic locations. This evening we head back to Rovinj, arriving in time for a sunset shoot in the Old Town. (BLD)

Days 5–6
Having made the most of early morning light in Rovinj, we depart for Plitvice Lakes National Park—one of Croatia’s most beautiful locations where we spend these two days photographing the lakes, waterfalls, and caves in this incredible natural treasure. The park, the largest in Croatia, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979 and within the first few moments of our arrival it is easy to understand why. This forested park is dotted with 16 improbable turquoise-blue lakes, waterfalls, limestone canyons, and caves carved over thousands of years. The distinctive colors of these lakes range from azure blue to green depending on mineral content and light conditions. The park’s paths are wooden walkways suspended right over the lakes, curving along the clear water, winding around rocky outcroppings, and past the park’s many waterfalls. We plan to be on site in the late afternoon to make the most of the play of golden light and reflections on the water. (BLD)
 
Days 7–8
Like virtually all the mornings on this trip we try to be out early to catch morning light and then have breakfast before we depart Plitvice Lakes. We arrive to Krka National Park later this afternoon and have two days to explore and photograph the area, known for a truly photogenic series of seven waterfalls. These falls are a great place to use a tripod and a slow shutter speed to accentuate the beautiful cascades. In the south, Skradinski Buk waterfall is flanked by traditional watermills. To the north, a nature trail passes another striking cascade, Roški Slap, and the Krka Monastery, built above ancient Roman catacombs. Visovac Island is home to the 15th-century Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of Mercy, stunningly sited amidst a ring of cypress trees. (BLD)

Day 9
After breakfast and another chance to capture morning light on the Krka falls, we drive to Split, another recently designated World Heritage site. Following a short lunch stop we shoot Diocletian's Palace—a Game of Thrones filming location—built at the turn of the 4th century by the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Later in the afternoon, a short ferry ride delivers us to the sunny island of Hvar where we spend the afternoon exploring this charming town and photogenic gem with our cameras. (BLD)

Day 10
Our morning begins with a panoramic sunrise shoot over the Adriatic before we head out with our bus to explore western Hvar Island. We photograph some of the most scenic traditional villages as we pass through a rich agricultural landscape of vineyards, olive groves and citrus orchards. On hillside slopes, graphically interesting, terraced plots of lavender are harvested to produce essential oil for the perfume industry. Also in quantity are rosemary and other aromatic plants that give Hvar honey its distinctive flavor. (BLD)


Day 11
A scenic drive along Hvar Island—one of Croatia’s longest islands—delivers us to our ferry and a short boat ride to the mainland. Continuing our drive, we reach Dubrovnik the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” in the afternoon in time for evening photography. (BLD)

Day 12
We walk the shimmering marble streets in the historic UNESCO-listed Old City section of Dubrovnik, known for its grand baroque churches and magnificent 16th-century Sponza Palace. Our photography itinerary takes us to spectacularly photogenic medieval bastions, guarded by the imposing fortress of Lovrijenac rising vertically from the sea. We shoot the iconic panorama of Dubrovnik’s city/seascape and its quilt of terra cotta rooftops juxtaposed with Old City white stone walls and the blue Adriatic. The medieval walls offer spectacular views of the city, and we use this vantage point to make the most of the light for creative long exposures and blue hour shots. (BLD)

Day 13 (May 14)
We depart for home this morning from the Dubrovnik airport. For those continuing their journey with us on the following Montenegro in Spring tour, we will have a short driving transfer to Kotor town in Montenegro where we begin our next photo adventure. (B)

 
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Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris Enrollment Information

Croatia

May 02, 2023 - May 14, 2023


ENROLLMENT CONDITIONS

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. A CANCEL FOR ANY REASON policy is available.

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 (trip participant) 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 or other conveyance, 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, bankruptcy 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, cancellations or changes in flights or other tour services, and by force majeure including sickness, weather, strike, war, volcanic eruption, terrorist acts, political unrest, quarantine, epidemics and outbreaks, 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 flight schedules or equipment substitution; 2) cancel any trip prior to departure due to low enrollment, 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) At the company’s sole discretion, suspend or postpone any trip due to force majeure in which case the trip may be rescheduled, or a refund issued less any non-refundable deposits paid to tour component providers on behalf of the passenger, or a travel credit 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; 4) 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 5) 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 Enrollment Conditions and Release and Assumption of Risk sections 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.

Croatia: Moderate Activity Level

Van Transportation.  Old Town Dubrovnik is a maze of cobblestoned streets and alleys and requires climbing numerous stone stairs to experience it well.  There is no escaping at least some of the stairs—even in the hotels.  During the rest of the tour we explore the countryside by vans and often shoot within easy walking distance from our transportation.  We explore on cobblestoned streets while on foot in other medieval villages.

Trip Details
May 02 - May 14, 2023
Fee: $6,995 from Dubrovnik, Croatia
Deposit: $1,000
Limit: 12 participants
Activity Level: ModerateModerate
 
Highlights
  • 11 productive photography days capturing the breathtaking, varied landscape of Croatia, from fertile plains and charming medieval architecture to inspiring waterfalls and forested mountains 
  • Shoot the iconic panorama of Dubrovnik’s city/seascape and its quilt of terra cotta rooftops juxtaposed with Old City white stone walls and the blue Adriatic  
  • Two days photographing the lakes, waterfalls and caves of Plitvice Lakes National Park
  • Explore the Island of Hvar, photographing scenic traditional villages and a rich agricultural landscape of vineyards, olive groves and citrus orchards
 
Tour Leaders
Joe Van Os

Joe Van Os

And local leader