Croatia Photo Tour - Gem of the Adriatic

Tour Intro

"Gazing on this coastline, it's like you've been transported back 50 or 60 years, to the unspoiled European coastlines of classic movies...crystal blue waters, weathered clay tile roofs, picture perfect villages... It's an almost magical scene...pristine mountains and sparkling seas dotted with billowing sails..." --International Living

Croatia is one of Western Europe’s best-kept secrets: a lush region of coves, forested islands, and its crowning jewel, the walled city of Dubrovnik. This country offers an astounding array of natural and historic wonders from the rich Renaissance architecture of Hvar to the grandeur that was Rome in Diocletian’s palace in Split. We immerse ourselves in a unique culture that draws on both Roman and Venetian influences. The riches of these former empires unfold as we follow ancient trails through fertile countryside and along rocky coasts that lead to pristine beaches. We move in step with local life as we make our way through lively fishing villages, bustling markets, and charming hamlets preserved as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The variety of stunning places in Croatia creates a diverse canvas for photographers. The mountains, national parks, red-tiled roof cities, numerous islands, and sunny paradises of the south provide infinite photo opportunities of beautiful city scenes and landscapes.

This tour, created to give maximum insight into all the beauty Croatia holds, travels from the stone walls and ancient streets of Dubrovnik, to the harbor town of Hvar, the sunniest of the isles, to the lakes and waterfalls of the Krka Falls & Plitvice National Parks, and finally ends in ‘The Second Tuscany,” the Istria Peninsula.

The itinerary will guide us, but we also make unscheduled stops for discoveries along the way, with an eye for the group's interests. You can plan to be out for early and late light when weather and schedules permit. Your leaders will offer guidance and some instruction on the tour, and will also be available to answer questions and provide photographic advice.

Tour Highlights

  • Istria, the "Second Tuscany"
  • The historic cities of Split, Dubrovnik, and Rovinj
  • Krka Falls & Plitvice National Park with its many lakes and waterfalls
  • Visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, rich castles and monasteries
  • The sunny island of Hvar
  • Limited to twelve passengers
  • Photo passion and instruction by Brenda Tharp.
  • Ten days with local photography guide and photo leader.

Tour Itinerary

September 26: Home
Croatia

Photo By: David Tejada

Photo Location: Croatia

Your journey begins with an overnight flight to Dubrovnik, Croatia. All participant flights will need to be multi destination, flying in to Dubrovnik, and return from Zagreb, Croatia or continue on to Glasgow Scotland with Brenda. (meals on plane)

September 27: Dubrovnik

Photo By: Luka Esenko

Photo Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

US and Canadian citizens arrive today to Dubrovnik Airport, transfer to the hotel via taxi. Today will be a day to rest from the flight, with a brief introduction to this beautiful city and enjoy a welcome dinner with your photo leader and your Croatian guide. The “Pearl on the Adriatic: as Lord Byron so famously described Dubrovnik, is a much celebrated town, a World Heritage Site, and is completely encircled by over a mile of beautifully preserved walls built between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries. Historically, these walls provided protection against all intruders, from the Saracens to the Turks, coming by way of sea. Today, however, it can be strolled at leisure and makes for a delightful introduction to the town’s intricate, stone-paved inner structure.

We explore the town’s main works of art, learn about its history of proud and fierce economic and political independence from Venice, marvel at the loving way the town was restored after the shelling in 1991, and take pleasure in discovering its architectural details, enchanting secrets, and narrow alleys. Overnight Dubrovnik (D)

September 28: Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik

Photo By: David Tejada

Photo Location: Croatia

Today view the traditional sites of Dubrovnik’s old city; with your local guide at your disposal, and your photo leader will choose which locations will best suit the interests of the group. Such sights include Orlando’s Column, Sponza Palace, and the Franciscan Monastery with one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. Take part in walking the walls, which surround the city to record its spectacular views. Dubrovnik (B, L or D)

September 29-30: Hvar

Photo By: Luka Esenko

Photo Location: Hvar, Croatia

After breakfast depart Dubrovnik, traveling north along the spectacular Adriatic Coast, past old fishing villages, and new resorts to Drvenik, where you board a ferry to Sucuraj. Upon arrival to this quaint harbor town, there will be a brief introduction to Hvar, including views of the Franciscan monastery and fortress, the beautiful town square by the sea, and the old theater, the first in Europe to be open to the public. With accommodations in town, you will have plenty of time to relax and photograph the beautiful scenery that surrounds us. Hvar is Croatia's sunniest island and home to lush lavender and rosemary fields. This exclusive island is constantly drawing in tourists from all over the world because of its natural beauty and alluring atmosphere. Overnight Hvar (B, L or D each day)

October 1: Krka Falls

Photo By: Luka Esenko

Photo Location: Krka National Park Croatia

After breakfast and another chance to capture early light in the old town, take the ferry to Split, another UNESCO world heritage site. After a quick lunch, visit the Diocletian's Palace. Continue your drive to Krka National Park and check in. Enjoy this afternoon and tomorrow morning exploring and photographing this rich area, known for a series of 7 waterfalls. 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. Overnight Krka Park (B, L or D)

October 2-3: Split - Plitvice National Park

Photo By: Dan Briski

Photo Location: Plitvice National Park Croatia

Photograph early morning light in the park, and depart for Plitvice Lakes after breakfast.
Take a walking tour around several of the Lower and Upper Lakes of the National Park. This is one of the most scenic parts of Croatia. The entire day will be filled with photographing waterfalls, breathtaking scenery, and sixteen terraced lakes surrounded by thickly wooded mountains and lush vegetation. Capture the serenity of this natural wonder. (Accommodations are basic with large tour buses arriving for the day, it is however the best location, being located directly in the park, with early morning and late afternoon access. Overnight two nights, Plitvice (B, L or D each day)

October 4-5: Rovinj - Istra Peninsula

Photo By: Jacque Boehm Steedle

Photo Location: Rovinj Croatia

Returning to the coast you will travel along the beautiful Bay of Kvarner to the lovely Opatija, a once famous retreat of Middle European nobility, and then on to your final destination for the evening. Bale Village is a gem, it is off the beaten path, which adds to it’s appeal, and just a short drive from Rovinj. You will feel like you’ve been transported back in time as you walk the cobblestone street up to the church. The region is appropriately named, "The Second Tuscany." Istria is a magical land of old hilltop towns, wonderful valleys, and picturesque coastal towns.

There will be time for photography in Rovinj, along the coast, it is a wonderful old town, with narrow cobblestone streets and a charming atmosphere. You will begin early in the morning for the right light looking over the harbor, taking a mid day break, and then enjoy evening photography along the harbor. Take time to photograph the Basilica of Euphrasius, a UNESCO Heritage Site. Overnight Rovinj (B, L or D each day)

October 6: Rovinj – Zagreb

Photo By: Luka Esenko

Photo Location: Hvar Town, Croatia

Depart the Istria Peninsula after breakfast, traveling to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. There will be time to capture the city’s highlights, the upper town with small cobbled streets, the beautiful sand-stone made cathedral or even the unique Mirogoj cemetery. There will be a farewell dinner after checking in to the hotel. Overnight Zagreb (B, D)

October 7: Home
Croatia

Photo By: David Tejada

Photo Location: Croatia

There will be a group departure (time to be announced) from the hotel to the airport; or hotel arrange taxi service. (B)

Photo Leader

Brenda Tharp
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Brenda Tharp

Brenda is a professional photographer, speaker and educator with a life-long wanderlust for exploring the world and photographing it. The travel bug bit when she was young, reading the pages of National Geographic and Life magazines. Today, she loves to escort people to a variety of wonder-filled places to share in the adventure of the place and to help in the making of memorable images. Brenda believes that in the process of exploring and photographing the world around you, wherever you are, you gain so much more than just photographs - you bring back the experiences from those places that remain with you forever. She advocates photographing with a sense of purpose, keeping your eyes and your soul open to what's going on around you. Brenda's sensitive approach to photographing people has her often trying to blend in with the 'background' to capture special moments of daily life. Even her portraits are approached with sensitivity and respect for the person and the culture. Brenda has an untiring desire to help participants with their photography. She challenges you to see in new ways. Topics of discussion on each trip are tailored to the groups' needs, yet typically include: how to photograph people/strangers, paying attention to the light, using elements of design in a scene to help create more impact, creating visual depth, and storytelling with your images. Additional discussions often include processing and workflow, which Brenda often covers while on the bus on longer drives, or in the hotel lobby. There or in the field, she is always available for technical or visual help, offering tips and suggestions to help you to refine their own vision of the place.

I really enjoyed Brenda's style of talking as we were on the bus. Very informative without being too formal. Lots of chances to learn as we took photos as well - in early morning or in evening. Got some great tips from Jed as I was photographing on various occasions. Very responsive to our questions with NO judgement about our skill levels. I have told many people that this was the best or one of the two best trips I have ever been on. The leaders great, group jelled fabulously and for me, traveling with all photographers was amazing.

 

Nancy Hauserman

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 5-7 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Testimonials

I really enjoyed Brenda's style of talking as we were on the bus. Very informative without being too formal. Lots of chances to learn as we took photos as well - in early morning or in evening. Got some great tips from Jed as I was photographing on various occasions. Very responsive to our questions with NO judgement about our skill levels. I have told many people that this was the best or one of the two best trips I have ever been on. The leaders great, group jelled fabulously and for me, traveling with all photographers was amazing.

 

Nancy Hauserman

Hi Brenda, I want to let you know how much I enjoyed photographing Cuba with you. The Cuba experience was phenomenal. Cubans are such wonderful, open and caring people that I couldn't help falling in love with them. And it seemed that there was another photo op around every corner. Shooting side by side with you really enhanced the experience. You helped me see the shot and afterwards I could look over your shoulder at your composition. That process really helped me see alternative compositions in other scenes. Again, thanks for all the help and attention you gave me during our time in Cuba. I'm looking forward to another photo tour with you sometime in the future.

Ron Alvig

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

Accommodations

Accommodations are in central locations to maximize your photographic experience. In order to be located in the City of Dubrovnik, for instance, where you can begin photographing as soon as you step outside your hotel door, you also have to be prepared to handle your luggage and equipment on the flights of stairs. In order to be close to Plitvice Park at sunrise and sunset, we are staying very close to the park with a wonderful restaurant. While on the island of Hvar we stay at a lovely beach resort, and on an island in the Istria Peninsula near Rovinj. WE have chosen all locations with the most important thing in mind – getting to the right location at the right time.

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