Croatia and Slovenia: Food, Wine & Photography

Food, Wine and Photography

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Who says, “You can't have your cake and eat it too?”
 
This unique photo tour of Croatia and Slovenia focuses on the breadbasket of this beautiful multicultural region.  Our photography concentrates on the autumn-hued landscapes of rolling hills, traditional villages, lush vineyards, private estates and wine cellars, as well as the Adriatic seacoast.  For much of this trip we are “off the beaten path” of the usual regional tourist destinations.  A big bonus comes as this trip also features a large culinary component where we sample and photograph the exceptional cuisine and excellent regional wines as we learn the art of natural light food photography, and food arrangement, with the help of a professional food stylist.
 
Avid wine enthusiasts are encouraged to partake in private wine tastings and sample some of the region’s best wines—directly at the vintner’s beautiful estates and private wine cellars—and hear the story of how it is made and what makes it so special.  We have excellent access to some of the area’s most photogenic private estates.  Of course, food is high on our list as each day we sample some of the region’s delicacies such as organic olive oil, truffles, homemade brandies, and cheeses.  Every location we visit is handpicked for its excellent food, wine, and photography.

 Autumn is the best season to photograph in Slovenia’s wine country.  The vineyards glow in red and yellow hues and low-angle light creates wonderful contrasts.  It is also the time of year where misty veils hang artistically over hill and dale adding a mysterious softening element to our landscape panoramas.
 
We traverse a broad spectrum of picturesque culinary regions, explore diverse Croatian and Slovenian traditional villages, shoot some of the world’s most beautiful vineyards, sample delicious regional food and wine in private estates, and try our hand in the art of styled food photography.
 
On this delightful “off the beaten path” Croatia and Slovenia food, wine, and photo tour, you can have your cake and eat it too!
 

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Depart from home.

Day 2 (Oct 23, 2024)
Meet the group at the Ljubljana, Slovenia airport and drive to the Vipava valley wine country. We check into our hotel followed by tour orientation. In the evening we have our first photoshoot and sunset followed by a wine tasting. (D)

Day 3
Vipava valley is known for the best prosciutto in Slovenia and some of the best wines. Some local varieties can be sampled only here, such as Zelen or Pinela. Or you can try one of the region’s best Pinot Noirs. We explore the valley and its traditional villages. The typical village is built entirely of stone and the traditional design is still well preserved. We are not rushed. Depending on the pace of our previous photography session and lunch we may also visit the nearby Karst region which is known for Lipizzaner horses and delicious Teran wine. (BLD)

Day 4
Today we visit Goriška Brda, the most famous wine region of Slovenia where winemakers regularly list on the Wine & Spirit 100 top wines list. This is a small hilly area bordering Italy. Incredibly scenic views are everywhere as we drive the curvy roads from village to village. We stop at Šmartno village for lunch and to sample some of the local delicacies. We might have an opportunity to visit the drying chamber for prosciutto and salamis. Dinner and wine tasting at one of the best wineries of Slovenia. (BLD)

Day 5
After breakfast we drive to the Slovenian Coast and visit Piran. This tiny coastal town has Venice written all over it. On a clear day you can see Venice from there! A stroll along the waterfront and a visit of the Tartini square offers many photo opportunities. We enjoy a seafood lunch at one of the local restaurants before we travel across the border to Croatia. The next four nights we reside in Istria, the northernmost peninsula of the Adriatic Sea. Istria is a true delight for food and wine lovers. The iconic little towns on the coast and hilltops provide plenty of photographic opportunities. (BLD)

Day 6
We have three full days to explore Istria and sample its foods and wines. Here, a professional food photographer/stylist joins us, as we learn practical and simple techniques on how to get the most out of our staged food shots. Istria has been a food production hub since Roman times and nowadays it is a prime destination for food and wine connoisseurs. It is also known for truffles and excellent olive oil. Some of the cities we visit include Motovun, Grožnjan, Rovinj and Pula with its Roman theater. With proper timing and cooperative weather, we might witness olive oil production at a local olive press. Istrian wines are quickly becoming internationally recognized, and we can try some local varietals such as Malvazija. (BLD)

Day 7
We have three full days to explore Istria and sample its foods and wines. Here, a professional food photographer/stylist joins us, as we learn practical and simple techniques on how to get the most out of our staged food shots. Istria has been a food production hub since Roman times and nowadays it is a prime destination for food and wine connoisseurs. It is also known for truffles and excellent olive oil. Some of the cities we visit include Motovun, Grožnjan, Rovinj and Pula with its Roman theater. With proper timing and cooperative weather, we might witness olive oil production at a local olive press. Istrian wines are quickly becoming internationally recognized, and we can try some local varietals such as Malvazija. (BLD)

Day 8
We have three full days to explore Istria and sample its foods and wines. Here, a professional food photographer/stylist joins us, as we learn practical and simple techniques on how to get the most out of our staged food shots. Istria has been a food production hub since Roman times and nowadays it is a prime destination for food and wine connoisseurs. It is also known for truffles and excellent olive oil. Some of the cities we visit include Motovun, Grožnjan, Rovinj and Pula with its Roman theater. With proper timing and cooperative weather, we might witness olive oil production at a local olive press. Istrian wines are quickly becoming internationally recognized, and we can try some local varietals such as Malvazija. (BLD)

Day 9
Today we leave the Istrian peninsula and head to one of the most traditional parts of Slovenia. Our journey takes us to Ptuj, a small medieval town that is our base for the last three nights of our trip. In the afternoon we explore the streets of Ptuj and visit its photogenic castle. Ptuj is also known for the oldest and the largest wine cellar in Slovenia. We have open access to photograph it—with a selection of local wines of course! (BLD)

Day 10
Prlekija, Prekmurje and Kozjansko. The northeastern wine region of Slovenia features beautiful rolling hills and vineyards. As photographers, we find plenty of graphic motifs here. Typical vineyards are built on terraces which add an additional graphic quality to our images. The food of this region is completely different from the coastal area, and we learn that pumpkin seed oil is the king here! One of the highlights of this area is a visit to a local wine maker who was the first in Slovenia to start producing organic wines. His winery is very entertaining to photograph and each year he hosts an art colony. We can wander around among the vineyards to find the best spot for a sunset. In the meantime, local women prepare a hearty dinner for us. (BLD)

Day 11
Prlekija, Prekmurje and Kozjansko. The northeastern wine region of Slovenia features beautiful rolling hills and vineyards. As photographers, we find plenty of graphic motifs here. Typical vineyards are built on terraces which add an additional graphic quality to our images. The food of this region is completely different from the coastal area, and we learn that pumpkin seed oil is the king here! One of the highlights of this area is a visit to a local wine maker who was the first in Slovenia to start producing organic wines. His winery is very entertaining to photograph and each year he hosts an art colony. We can wander around among the vineyards to find the best spot for a sunset. In the meantime, local women prepare a hearty dinner for us. (BLD)

Day 12 (Nov 2)
If time and weather conditions allow, we have a sunrise shoot before breakfast. Today we pack our gear and drive to the airport for flights home. (B)
 
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Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris Enrollment Information

Croatia and Slovenia: Food, Wine & Photography

Oct 22, 2024 - Nov 02, 2024


ENROLLMENT CONDITIONS
1. REGISTRATION
A deposit and completed and signed Registration Form are required to reserve a place 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 we accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Final payment of the trip fee is due 120 days prior to departure and may be paid by check or bank transfer. If you wish to make your final payment with a credit card a 3% convenience fee will be charged.

We must receive written notice of your cancellation. Based on the cancellation date the following apply:

Trip deposits are non-refundable.
150-91 days before the trip start date: We will refund any payments made exceeding 50% of the total trip cost.
90-61 days before the trip start date: We will refund any payments made exceeding 75% of the total trip cost.
Within 60 days of the start of the trip: No refund.

If, on the trip start date, your space has been resold and the tour is full—as designated by “Limit” number of travelers on the tour website page—we will refund your payment, minus the non-refundable trip deposit and any discounts given to resell your space.

No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a trip for any reason. 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
We strongly encourage you to protect your travel investment and purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy that includes emergency evacuation coverage. We can provide travel insurance options, or it can be purchased online. A CANCEL FOR ANY REASON policy is available. Trip participants without travel protection insurance are considered “self-insured.” Without insurance you assume all risks and losses for any conditions requiring your cancellation.

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, including viral illnesses, 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. 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, and applicable health advisories. 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 email address with final documents so you can inquire about special photographic questions you may have regarding your trip. We welcome your calls or email messages to info@photosafaris.com.

6. PHOTO SAFARI TRIP FEE INCLUSIONS
Information supplied upon enrollment describes the specific details that are included in your trip fee. Generally, these 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, internal tour 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, 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.

Most of our trips are priced in double occupancy (shared) accommodations. Single accommodation is 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 accommodation 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 is 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, as well as 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 people 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, motor coach, automobile, van, boat, ship or aircraft or any other conveyance, and they assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned 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, pandemics 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, travel insurance premiums and medical related expenses; 3) At the company’s sole discretion, suspend or postpone any trip due to force majeure or disease outbreak 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 signed Registration Form with the Enrollment Conditions and Release and Assumption of Risk sections must be returned 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.


ENROLLMENT CONDITIONS AGREEMENT & RELEASE & ASSUMPTION OF RISK
I have read, understand, and agree to the terms, conditions, and provisions of the enrollment information, as stated on the Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris website and the Enrollment Conditions section of this form, especially noting the policy on cancellations, refunds, and limitations on responsibility.

I am aware that during any trip or tour that I am voluntarily participating in under the arrangements of Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., a Washington corporation, and its employees, agents and associates, certain risks and dangers exist while traveling in the United States, foreign countries, and wilderness areas in any country or territory that include the possibility of property damage, bodily injury, and death. There is a possibility of accident or illness occurring without access to immediate or timely medical treatment or facilities. There is a risk of tropical or communicable diseases that may require quarantine and removal from the tour at my expense, food-related illnesses, the risk of personal injury and property damage or delay or inconvenience by forces of nature, wildlife or wildlife models, quarantine, political instability, acts of terrorism, strikes, government restrictions or regulations change, thefts, and the risk of accidents during travel while on foot or by aircraft, train, automobile, van, bus, boat, ship, or other conveyance. I understand that such risks cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of this trip or tour. In consideration of, and as part payment for the right to participate in such trips, tours and/or other activities and services arranged for me by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, agents and associates, I have and do hereby assume all risks, and hereby release Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, shareholders, agents and associates, and will hold them harmless from any and all liability, actions, causes of actions, debts, claims, and demands of every kind and nature, howsoever caused, which I now have or which may arise of or in connection with any of my trips or tours and participation in any activities arranged for me by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, agents and associates.

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, I agree to indemnify them and hold them harmless for all such fees and costs. In the event a lawsuit is filed, I agree to do so solely in the County of Lewis in the State of Washington and further agree that the substantive law of that state shall apply in that action without regard to the conflict-of-law rules of that state. The terms hereof shall serve as a release and assumption of all risk for myself, my heirs, executors, and administrators, and for all members of my family.

If any part, article, paragraph, sentence, or clause of this Agreement is not enforceable, the affected provision shall be curtailed and limited only to the extent necessary to bring it within the requirements of the law, and the remainder of the Agreement shall continue in full force and effect.

I acknowledge that if anyone is hurt or property is damaged during my participation in this activity, I may be found by a court of law to have waived my right to maintain a lawsuit against Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., its employees, shareholders, agents, and associates, based on any and all claims from which I have released them.

Croatia and Slovenia: Food, Wine & Photography: Moderate Activity Level

Van transportation. Photography from roadways and trails near the vans. Walking on cobblestoned streets and established trails for up to two miles (total) on several days. Daily photography commutes from our lodging with midday breaks and lunch at restaurants,winerys, and private estates.
Trip Details
Oct 22 - Nov 02, 2024
Fee: $7,695
Deposit: $2,000
Limit: 12 participants
Activity Level: ModerateModerate

Single Supplement: $418
 
Highlights
  • Visit Croatia and Slovenia at the height of autumn color
  • Travel “off-the-beaten-path" away from crowded tourist destinations
  • Photograph the autumn-hued landscapes of rolling hills, traditional villages, lush vineyards, private estates and wine cellars, and the Adriatic seacoast.
  • Learn natural light food photography with the assistance of a professional food photographer and stylist
  • Sample and photograph the diverse local cuisine and excellent regional wines
  • Includes all meals, lodging, ground transportation, wine tasting sessions, entrance fees, photo guides and instruction
 
Tour Leaders
Joe Van Os

Joe Van Os

And local guides