May 28th - June 9th, 2017
2017 Slovenia Photography Tour
Picture this: Mountains jutting into the sky, glacial lakes and rivers, a country half covered in forests and riddled with underground passages and caves. Within this landscape, traditional villages, castles, and the historic capital city of Ljubljana sit at the crossroads of European cultural and trade routes—an extension of human habitation that started around 250,000 years ago.
Join photographer Daniel J. Cox and explore Slovenia and the Julian Alps. Dan will guide you in shooting Lake Bled and its iconic church at sunrise. We’ll explore rural life in picturesque villages, cross the highest mountain pass in the Slovenian Alps, and sample local olive oil, prosciutto, cherries, and wine in Slovenia’s famed vineyards and bustling riverbank markets…feel the warm winds off the Adriatic coast and visit the the saltpans of Secovlje.
Come and discover one of Europe’s most beautiful countries, Slovenia!
2017 Slovenia Photography Tour Travel Plans
Sunday, May 28
Depart US to Ljubljana (LJU), Slovenia
Monday, May 29 (D)
Arrive in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Transfers to the hotel at Lake Bled provided. Spend the afternoon at leisure. We’ll meet up tonight for our group welcome dinner to get to know each other and discuss the following days. Overnight Grand Hotel Toplice
Tuesday, May 30 and Wednesday, May 31 (2B, 1L, 2D)
We’ll spend two full days exploring the beautiful Gorenjska region, where peaks of the Julian and Kamnik-Savinja Alps decorate the skyline. Start the days off with a sunrise shoot on the shores of captivating Lake Bled. We’ll make our way to the clifftops near Bled Castle to photograph stunning panoramic views of the lake and its legendary island featuring a quaint 17th-century baroque church. We’ll visit Vintgar gorge, a ravine with radiant blue-green waters, a great place to experiment with long exposures and photographing fast-flowing water. Slovenia’s largest glacial lake awaits us, Lake Bohinj, set among the peaks of the Julian Alps. Nature-lovers will enjoy this serene paradise and its picture-perfect reflections on the glass-like water. We’ll be sure to take in the local culture — the rural life in these picturesque villages — including the landmark hayracks of Slovenia. Cap off the evenings with a Lake Bled sunset shoot. Overnight Grand Hotel Toplice
Thursday, June 1 (B, L, D)
After breakfast, our route will take us over the Vršič Pass, the highest mountain pass in the Slovenian Alps. We’ll stop along the way to absorb and photograph the incredible views the pass offers. The road, previously known as Ruska cesta or “Russian Road,” was built during World War I for military purposes and renamed to Vršič Pass in 2006 to honor the prisoners of war who built it.
In the afternoon, we’ll arrive in Šmartno, an old village situated in Goriška Brda wine country. This former medieval military fortress has been beautifully renovated with five preserved towers, and the entire village has been declared a cultural heritage monument. At sunset, we’ll capture the breathtaking scenes over the vineyards along with views that extend to the Adriatic Sea, Julian Alps, and Italy. Overnight Hotel San Martin
Friday, June 2 (B, D)
We’ll seize the day and fully explore Goriška Brda wine country. pausing to take pleasure in the lush scenery and traditional villages that comprise the area. We’ll get a chance to sample the local olive oil, prosciutto, cherries, and of course, the wine 🙂 Today, a visit to a wine maker’s home is on the agenda, so we’ll learn firsthand the art of Slovenian wine-making. Overnight Hotel San Martin
Saturday, June 3 (B, L, D)
Today after breakfast, we’ll leave wine country and make our way south. Our first stop puts us in the Karst area of Slovenia, home to beautiful stone villages and the world-famous Lipizzan horses. We may get a chance to visit the fascinating UNESCO Karst caves, formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks, hence the topographical name karst.
Our final destination this day is Piran, a jewel situated at the tip of the Piran peninsula on the Adriatic coast. Piran is labeled as “one of the most photogenic cities in the Mediterranean” due to its charm, rich history, and culture. Overnight Hotel Piran
Sunday, June 4 (B, D)
A full day to explore the beautiful Slovenian coast. We’ll start early, capturing sunrise above Piran. Nearby Sečovlje is one of the oldest salt pans in Slovenia and one of two locations in Slovenia where salt is still produced in a traditional way. This wetland area is also internationally important as a breeding place for waterbirds. This is a great area for landscape photography! Overnight Hotel Piran
Monday, June 5 (B, L, D)
A sunrise shoot and breakfast on our last day in Piran, and then we’ll make our way back to wine country, this time heading northeast. Along the way we’ll stop in the charming medieval town of Ptuj, the oldest in Slovenia. In the afternoon, we’ll arrive in Jeruzalem. After we check into our hotel, we’ll spend the rest of the day photographing the beautiful lines and curves the lush green hills and vineyards create, ranked by many among the most exquisite landscapes in the world. This area of Slovenia is also famous for the white wines produced in the local Ljutomer-Ormož hills. Overnight Dvorec Jeruzalem
Tuesday, June 6 (B, L, D)
Enjoy this area for a full day, starting by capturing sunrise with possible mists hovering over glowing vineyards. Today we’ll have a chance to experience the hidden gems of Slovenia that most tourists don’t get to see. Throughout the day, we’ll taste some of the best food and wine of this welcoming region, ending the day with a hearty dinner and a glass of the finest wine, all organic and locally grown. Overnight Dvorec Jeruzalem
Wednesday, June 7 and Thursday, June 8 (2B, 2D)
As the tour draws to an end, we cannot forget Ljubljana. Ljubljana is the capital of Slovenia and its dynamic history dates back five millennia. We’ll spend two days wandering the enchanting streets of this old city, capturing the baroque churches, diverse architecture, and of course, the castle. We’ll get a chance to try our hand at street photography while getting candid portraits along the cafe-strewn riverbanks and at the city’s bustling marketplace. There is also a side trip planned to capture one more unforgettable Slovenian landscape before we head home. Overnight Grand Hotel Union for two nights
Friday, June 9 (B)
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart at your leisure. Transfers are provided to the airport for your flight home.
Tour Extensions Available
May 14th - 25th, 2017
June 11th - 23rd, 2017
8 Guests Minimum
12 Guests Maximum
4950 per person, based on double occupancy
ADD 200 per person, based on double occupancy
Single supplement: 750
Pricing in USD
$500 Per person due at time of booking
Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover, or check accepted
Deposits are non-refundable. If cancellations are necessary, we require this request in writing. We will do our best to resell your space. Only if we can resell your space, we will refund (minus deposit and discounts given to sell your space). No partial refunds are possible for unused services.
November 1, 2016: $2500 First Installment
February 1 2017: Final Payment
Check only for first installment and final payment. Please make check payable to Natural Exposures and mail to:
810 N. Wallace, Suite E
Bozeman, MT 59715
- Private small group travel with professional photographer Daniel J. Cox plus local photography guide
- Airport transfers on scheduled itinerary days
- Entrance fees to all locations
- Meals with beverages (wine, beer, soft drinks) where indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
- 11 nights accommodations
- Transportation on private bus
- International airfare
- Airport transfers pre and post tour
- Laundry, miscellaneous expenses, Internet charges, some beverages/meals
- Any attractions/activities not listed on itinerary
- Travel insurance
- Gratuities for guide/bus driver
Flights to Book
May 28, 2017
May 29, 2017
Arrive in Ljubljana (LJU)
Welcome dinner this evening
June 9, 2017
Depart Ljubljana (LJU) any time of day
Travel/emergency evacuation insurance is not required for this photo tour, but we always recommend purchasing it for any trip. We recommend one or more of the following, depending on your needs:
(use code natexp)
Allianz Global Assistance
(use travel agency ID F203564)
Terms & Conditions
Natural Exposures cannot control nor is responsible for abnormal weather, natural disasters, or any other disaster that might affect the trip. Travel insurance should be purchased to cover any missed flights or medical problems that may affect/delay your travel. National Parks have the right to change our itinerary.
By booking a trip with Natural Exposures, you agree to the following CANCELLATION AND LIABILITY POLICY
Accommodations for 2017 Slovenia Photography Tour
May 29, 30, and 31 (3 nights)
Grand Hotel Toplice
A lakeside setting surrounded by striking natural beauty — a fairy-tale backdrop of castles and mountains — the location of Grand Hotel Toplice is just magical. Set in the stunning alpine resort of Bled, the hotel sits on the lake shore overlooking the small island of Otok, with its fairy tale church, and beyond towards Bled Castle with the Julian Alps in the background. With three wonderful restaurants, two bars, an indoor thermal pool, saunas, massages and a private beach, this is surely one of the most romantic spots in Europe.
Each of the rooms and suites at Grand Hotel Toplice has its own unique character. Traditionally styled with beautiful parquet floors, rich furniture and paintings on the walls, the majority of rooms benefit from superb lake views.
June 1 and 2 (2 nights)
Hotel San Martin
All rooms are bright, airy, and furnished in a modern style with natural and earthy colors. The beds are very comfortable to enjoy a wonderful night’s sleep. All rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi, a safe, cable television and plenty of wardrobe space. Bathrooms offer a touch of chic with large walk-in showers and a good selection of toiletries, including soap, shower gel and shampoo.
June 3 and 4 (2 nights)
Hotel Piran was built in 1913, and following its renovation in 2013, boasts modern equipment and an offer of various culinary delights. The friendly staff is always at your disposal for pampering and creating unforgettable memories during your stay. You may visit the numerous pleasant restaurants and bars in the direct vicinity of the hotel, and in spending time with the locals you will feel the warmth and homeliness of this seaside town.
Internet access allows you to carry out your business obligations and keep in touch with your family members.
June 5 and 6 (2 nights)
Dvorec Jeruzalem (The Jeruzalem Mansion) is a 4-star elegant property that offers beautiful accommodations. It is surrounded by beautiful terraced vineyards and close by is a church and a wonderful park. The mansion is located in Prlekija in the heart of the beautiful Jeruzalemsko-ormoške gorice in Jeruzalem.
Legend tells that Jeruzalem got its name during the Crusades, when the Crusaders stopped here on their way to the Holy Land. They were greatly impressed by the beauty of the hilly landscape, the exquisite wines and food and the hospitality of the locals. They said it was a real Jerusalem, and some of them stayed here forever.
June 7 and 8 (2 nights)
Grand Hotel Union
This breathtaking hotel in Art Nouveau style offers an exclusive location in the heart of the city center, overlooking Prešeren Square, the Triple Bridge, and the Ljubljana Castle. Wi-Fi throughout the hotel during your stay along with complimentary access to the rooftop/indoor swimming pool.
Helpful Information for 2017 Slovenia Photography Tour
As many of you know, we try to combine photography and vacation. The price for this trip includes a few boutique hotels and beverages (wine, beer, soft drinks).with included meals where indicated. You may want to consider arriving earlier in the day and departing later when booking your flights to spend extra time enjoying the hotels. We will have a private bus for transfers; many of the locations are very close to one another.
We’ll have early morning and late evening photo shoots to catch the best light. Many shoots will be optional for those who do not want to participate or have spouses who are not interested in photography and want to relax. If we’re staying at a hotel for multiple nights, you’ll have the option of exploring with the group or on your own. We try to be flexible. After all, this is your vacation!
Weather should be beautiful this time of year, and we have planned to beat the summer heat and crowds. We tried to work the schedule around non-cruise days in the areas. Spring flowers will be in bloom and grass will be lush and green. These details can add value to your trip!
As in many European cities, there will be cobblestone paths and stairwells, with some paths going uphill. There will be a moderate amount of outdoor walking and activity on this tour, so we ask all guests to prepare before the trip.
Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned date of departure from the Schengen area (keep this in mind if you are doing more than one European trip/have your own extensions planned), and it is strongly suggested by the embassy to make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your departure date. One blank page is required in your passport for the Slovenia entry stamp. US citizens do not need a visa for tourist stays less than 90 days in Slovenia/the Schengen area.
All foreigners in Slovenia must carry official identification at all times; for U.S. citizens, this means either your Slovene residence card or your U.S. passport.
No vaccinations are required to enter Slovenia.
Slovenia is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the south and southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest, a crossroads of main European cultural and trade routes.
Slovenia’s currency is the Euro.
Visitors from other countries can obtain a VAT refund by getting a special form at the point of sale, and this is filled out by the seller. As you exit Slovenia, you must get the form certified by the customs authorities. At the same time, of course, you need to present the original receipt. Goods purchased must be taken out of the country before the expiry of three months from the day of purchase. The tax is refunded to you by the institutions indicated on the tax-free purchases form. VAT refunds cannot be requested for mineral oils, alcohol and alcoholic beverages or tobacco products.
230-volt, Type C Europlug (CEE 7/16) – the plug used in most other European countries, or Schuko Type F (CEE 7/7). Plug adaptors will be sufficient for most laptops, cellphone chargers, and digital cameras. A voltage converter/transformer would be needed for appliances such as a hair dryer or electric shaver.
Have a question?Have a question about this tour? We're happy to answer any queries you may have.
Testimonials from Natural Exposures' Explorers
"Tanya and Dan’s logistic skills provide a seamless photo tour where one can truly enjoy the experience. With unlimited photographic opportunities Dan’s instruction has taken my photography to a higher level."
Linda Henry, Oregon
"What a trip
What a group
What a fabulous everything
To our next encounters with nature"
Maud and Leon Soriano, Florida
"I just wanted to again thank you for a wonderful week of photography and relaxation away from the office. It was a really a good group."
Sue Wolfe, Texas
"If you ever want to travel to another country and you want to go first class, travel with Natural Exposures. They are number one in showing their guests the best time ever in the classiest way. I would recommend Natural Exposures Tours to everyone. If you want to go in style, go with NE!"
Michelle Duggan, Massachusetts