Photo Tour: The Wonders of Slovenia

Tour Intro

Discover the ‘Wonders of Slovenia’ and the Julian Alps with your camera in hand and capture stunning images of mountain landscapes, glacial lakes, wine vineyards, rivers, as well as scenes of every day life in traditional villages and the historic city of Ljubljana.

Discover the warmth and charm of Ljubljana with its contrasting styles of architecture, café culture and bustling riverbank and markets. Try creative long exposures to capture fast-flowing rivers and waterfalls at Soca River Valley. Travel through many picturesque villages to shoot traditional hayracks and agricultural details and document a slower pace of life. Piran and the Adriatic coast take us to Predjama castle, one of the most picturesque in Slovenia. Karst and Goriska Brda offer fall foliage and breathtaking vineyards, where we stay in a lovely lodge. Explore Lake Bled and its iconic church on Bled island starting with sunrise at the shore and ending with sunset from a stunning vantage point. Contrast this with the more tranquil but equally inspiring Lake Bohinj in the heart of the Julian Alps.

Experience a range of incredible photographic locations and experiment with a variety of photography techniques on this 10-day tour where you’ll travel in a small group, stay in well-chosen accommodation and be guided and assisted by your photography leader, and a local Slovenian tour leader and professional photographer.

Tour Highlights

  • Limited to twelve passengers, two meals each day.
  • Photograph education and critiques by photo leader Randy Ziegler.
  • Travel with Slovenian guide who is also a professional photographer.
  • Photograph the colorful vineyards and farms in the Karst & Goriska Brda region, and Piran and the Adriatic coast.
  • Discover the warmth and charm of Ljubljana with its architecture, markets and bustling riverbank.
  • Try creative long exposures to capture fast-flowing rivers and waterfalls of Soca River Valley.
  • Photograph sunrise and sunset at Lake Bled and its iconic church.

Tour Itinerary

October 9: Home
Ljubljana

Photo By: Luka Esenko

Photo Location: Slovenia

Your journey begins with your overnight flight to the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana. (LJU). (meals on plane)

October 10-11: Ljubljana

Photo By: J Steedle

Photo Location: Ljubljiana, Slovenia

Arrive anytime today when you will be transferred to the hotel. Today is a day to rest and get over your jet lag. There will be a group introductory meeting late this afternoon/early evening and a welcome dinner. Accommodations are close to the old town district for a sunset photo walk. The next day will be full to explore and photograph the capital city. Wander the charming streets of the old city, camera in hand and capture the highlights of Ljubljana including baroque churches, diverse architectural details and the castle as well as trying our hand at some street photography and candid portraits in Ljubljana’s bustling marketplace and along the café-strewn riverbanks. Overnight Adoro Hotel or similar (D; B, D)

October 12-13: Piran - Adriatic Coast

Photo Location: Piran, Slovenia

After breakfast drive southwest towards the Slovenian Adriatic Coast. There will be a photo stop at Predjama castle to photograph the most picturesque castle of Slovenia. Arrive this afternoon in Piran, an ancient coastal town with a beautiful old town core. Of all the towns on the Slovenian coast, Piran, as a whole, has the most original town architecture, with a partly preserved town wall with seven mighty towers, a symbol of the past power and pride of the city. In the center of the town is Tartini’s Square with a bronze monument of the famous violinist and composer, Giuseppi Tartini. The most beautiful building in this square is a Venetian Gothic house from the first half of the fifteenth century, with a typical balcony and window trifora in Venetian Gothic style. The pictu¬resque background of the square is rounded off by the cathedral on a hill with a fine view of the Bay of Trieste. There will be afternoon and sunset photography today.

Enjoy another full day to explore the beautiful Slovenian coast. We can start our day by capturing sunrise above Piran, one of the classic Adriatic experiences. Secovlje saltpans are one of the oldest in the Adriatic and you can still witness production of salt in a traditional way. Saltpans are also a great place for landscape photography, especially in the warm afternoon sun. Overnight Tartini Hotel (B, D both days)

October 14-15: Karts & Goriska Brda
Winery Jeruzalem

Photo By: Jacque Steedle

Photo Location: Slovenia

After breakfast we leave the coast and travel north. First we stop at Karst area, which features beautiful stone villages, fascinating caves, and is home to Lipizzaner horses. We might even visit one of the UNESCO Karst caves with an underground river canyon. Late this afternoon you will arrive to Šmartno, old town situated in Goriška Brda, wine country. Capture sunset over the vineyards with views that go all the way to Adriatic Sea, Julian Alps, and Italy.

The next day capture the incredible emerald waters of the Soca and discover gorges and waterfalls as you hike along the riverbanks. As well as stunning landscapes, you may be lucky with some wildlife photography and will also take the opportunity to photograph the historical World War I remnants along the trail. Your route takes you on some of the highest mountains in Slovenia offering incredible views across the country in to Italy. Overnight Mangart Hotel (B,L,D; B,D)

October 16-18: Lake Bled

Photo Location: Lake Bled, Slovenia

Take one of the most scenic routes in Slovenia, drive via the Soca river valley with incredible photo stops. The road will take you to the highest mountain pass of Slovenia, which offers stunning views of the surrounding Julian Alps. Arrive late afternoon at your accommodations near the picturesque Lake Bled.

Enjoy another two full days exploring the beautiful Gorenjska region. The fashionable mountain resort of Bled, near the Austrian and Italian borders, is set on the idyllic Lake Bled. It is one of the most stunning places in Slovenia with its church on an island in the middle of the lake. We can visit the island by traditional “Pletna” boat. Bled Castle on the cliff above offers superb views of the lake, and there will be plenty of opportunities to capture landscape photos from this vantage. The nearby Lake Bohinj is also a glacier-made body like Bled, but as it is located in the heart of the Julian Alps it provides a very different setting. After photos stop at the lakeshore, head to the picturesque Savica waterfall. From there, pass through many picturesque small traditional-style villages on your way to the stunning Vintgar Gorge. Overnight Hotel Berc (B, L, D three days)

October 19: Ljubljana - Home
Slovenia Church & Lanscape

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Slovenia

If your flight schedule allows there will be time for photography this morning. There will be a group departure (time to be announced) from the hotel to the airport (approximate 1-hour drive). (B)

Photo Leader

Randy Ziegler
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Randy Ziegler

Randy Ziegler is a Texas-based internationally published and respected natural light photographer with over 40 years behind the lens. His photographs appear in books, corporate installations, and private collections. During his career, he has photographed several world-renowned people including the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Former First Lady Barbara Bush and Lesley Stahl with 60 Minutes. Randy is a visual storyteller using his camera to capture life in response to the moments when the play of light, the drama of color, and the gestures of life unfold before him.


Randy is the recipient of several awards and recognitions including the Mayo Clinic Karis Humanitarian Award, the International Print Media Communicator Award of Excellence, and the Platinum MarCom Creative Award. A contributing photographer for Nikon, his work can be seen on the Nikon Learn & Explore website, Nikon tradeshows, and social media properties. Where some of his published work has appeared: Mayo Clinic, New York Times, Nikon, Business Week, Four Seasons Hotels, and Newsweek-Japan.

A graduate of Concordia University, Minnesota he also attended the Rochester Institute of Technology College of Graphic Arts and Photography, New York where he strengthen his knowledge of illustrative photography. Randy continues to expand his education and share his passion for photography by teaching photographers at his workshops, photo tours, and lectures.

“I strive in my workshops to help photographers appreciate and become more sensitive to the natural, organic quality of light and color in the world around them. I also work with them to elevate their awareness of how natural light and color can further enhance and reveal the essence of their subjects.

A major theme of my photography tours is teaching photographers to see better. The hallmark of a good photographer is to be able to see something most people never notice, and bring the necessary artistic elements together to create a memorable photograph. In the end, to take great images you have to see greatly. I want to energize their seeing so that they will leave my tours with a renewed confidence in their ability to capture the enchanted moments of life that may never happen again.”

One year ago I was exploring photography trips and came across Strabo Tours. For numerous reasons, I chose to participate in “The Contrast and Colors of Morocco” - March 5 -17 2016.  Randy Ziegler led this tour. In preparation for this trip I contacted Randy and asked numerous questions about what to bring on the trip with an emphasis on equipment.  Randy responded enthusiastically and provided subtle suggestions for additions to my existing equipment and was sensitive to my budget. Due to Randy’s positive energy and wise council during the preparation for this trip, I arrived in Morocco with the proper equipment for my ability. 

I was overwhelmed by Morocco … its sights, smells, light and culture.  Everything met or exceeded my expectations regarding accommodations, knowledgeable local guide, convenience of travel and meals.  But I didn’t go on this tour just for a great travel experience with a camera in hand, I went to learn, to improve my photographic skills to take the best shots I could. Randy took the time to review all the settings on my camera and make suggestions to get better pictures.  In addition to looking for light, colour, and gesture, as is Randy’s mantra, I found I was looking at potential shots differently.Yes the trip to Morocco coupled with Randy’s tutelage enabled me to broaden my perspective on what I see through the lens.

My learning curve did not end when I stepped of the plane in Toronto. I found I was more eager to experiment with my camera and with postproduction software.  I played with every setting on my camera. A year has come and gone since I first decided to participate in the Strabo tour and that tour is still having an impact on what see through my lens.  I want to thank Jacque for making the trip possible and Randy for sharing photographic nuggets during the trip and being a positive resource afterwards.

Thank You


 

D. Windsor

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 9 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 6-8 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

The trip covered all the bases - the outdoors, (The Julian Alps and Lake Bled), a coastal town with pastel-colored houses (Piran), and a wonderfully preserved Old Town complete with castle, cathedral, fountains and bridges (Ljubljana).  Slovenia was a complete surprise as to what it had to offer and has become one of my favorite European destinations. 

S.Wolfe - Slovenia

Strabo’s trip to Cuba will be one you will never forget. There are photo ops galore. While Cuba may be economically deprived, it is culturally rich.

Janice

I can't thank you enough for the time you spent with me.  What a special day.  I think I had brain overload but in such a good way.  Your enthusiasm to pass along your wonderful gift is incredible.

Connie

Jack and I would like to thank you very much for the wonderful workshop. The experience was invaluable. We particularly love traveling and learning with a group that enjoys photography as much as we do. Above all, we appreciate your instruction. You are always so willing to share your expertise, wisdom and insights. Bravo!

Phyllis

Additional Notes

What to expect: This tour is outdoor oriented and there will be a moderate amount of walking involved. Some of the paths are off-track and we recommend sturdy walking shoes. There may be a limited amount of uphill walking. If clients have health issues they should tell us in advance so we can plan activities for them with an easier level of walking.

Slovenia is a very safe country, and you will find the people very welcoming. The food and wine is excellent. There is a great mixture of Mediterranean, Alpine, Hungarian, and Balkan cuisine with a local touch. Most of the food is organic and locally produced. Autumn is great time as there is a lot of seasonal produce, including wine.

This tour is designed for all levels of photographers, from novice to advanced. However, should have a basic working knowledge of their camera’s settings and functions. Randy will encourage, guide, and inspire you to capture artful images in this enchanted country.

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

In Ljubljana and Piran we use 3-star hotels that have best possible photographic locations. Clients literally just walk out of hotel and start taking photos. Karst is wine region, you will stay at a lodge, close by to a traditional wine maker, and therefore will experience great food & wine. At Lake Bled stay at a lovely hotel, which is about a 10-minute walk from the lakeside, providing excellent location for sunrise and sunset photography. All lodging has Wi-Fi available. 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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