Croatia Photography Tour – itinerary

September 2-14, 2019

A thirteen-day photography adventure to Croatia with Branimir Gjetvaj; visit one of the most beautiful natural and historic regions of southern Europe. Check out the main 2019 Croatia Photo Tour page for information about the cost, registration etc.

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1 (September 2, 2019): Zagreb
Arrival in the Croatian capital Zagreb, the city of parks and cafés. Check-in at a hotel located close to the historic downtown core. Rest after a long trip or explore the medieval Upper Town; Branimir will provide tips on where to go. If there is interest, we will go for an easy stroll and photograph beautifully landscaped Maksimir City Park. A perfect activity to get some fresh air after a long flight. Crime rates are low, and you will feel safe photographing the city.

After lunch, we will explore the city by van in company of an English-speaking local guide. Tour of Donji Grad (Zagreb city core), Opera House, Mimara Museum complex, Green Horseshoe (inter-connected complex of city parks) and Mirogoj cemetery. After the orientational bus tour, we will explore the narrow streets and red-tiled roofs of the Upper Town on foot. We will visit the Zagreb Cathedral, Dolac – main farmer’s market with it’s picturesque red umbrellas, Stone Gate and the cobblestone streets of Gradec, colourful St. Mark church and the Lotrscak Tower. We will meet as a group in the evening for dinner and tour orientation. Overnight in Zagreb.

What is included: accommodation, lunch and dinner, transfer from the airport, bus tour with a local, english-speaking guide.

Radiceva Street in Zagreb, Croatia

A stroll along Radiceva Street will take you from Zagreb downtown to the historic Upper Town, and transport you back in time

Zagreb - Strossmayer Promenade

Strossmayer Promenade with a sculpture of Croatian poet Antun Gustav Matos – a short walk from our hotel

Nikola Subic Zrinjski Square - part of the Green Horshesoe complex of city parks in downtown Zagreb, Croatia

Nikola Subic Zrinjski Square – part of the Green Horshesoe complex of city parks in downtown Zagreb

Cupolas at the Mirogoj Cemetery, Zagreb

Cupolas at the Mirogoj Cemetery, a Zagreb landmark designed by the famous architect Hermann Bollé

Day 2: Hrvatsko Zagorje (Trakoscan Castle, Varazdin)
After breakfast, we will board the bus for an all-day trip through Hrvatsko Zagorje, a region rich in history and photo opportunities. We will drive through gently rolling hills of rural Zagorje dotted with vineyards and small Baroque churches. Our destination is the picture-perfect Trakoscan Castle built on a forested hill side. Optional walk around the Trakoscan lake. After Trakoscan, we will visit Varazdin, a town considered to be the best preserved and richest urban complex in continental Croatia.  We will photograph along cobblestone streets with a lot of character,  colourful Baroque palaces in the old town and the impressive Varazdin Fortress. Dinner in Varazdin. Return and overnight in Zagreb.

Included: accommodation, all meals, entrance to the Trakoscan Castle.

A picture-perfect Trakoscan castle (13th century) reflecting in calm surface of a lake, Croatia

A picture-perfect Trakoscan castle (13th century)

View of King Tomislav square in Varazdin, Croatia

King Tomislav square in the centre of Varazdin

Gallery of Old and Contemporary Masters (located in the rococo-style Sermage Palace). Varazdin, Croatia

Gallery of Old and Contemporary Masters (located in the rococo-style Sermage Palace), Varazdin

Day 3: Pula, Rovinj
After breakfast, we will board the bus for a 250 km drive to Istrian Peninsula, affectionately known as the ‘Second Tuscany’. Our first stop will be the city of Pula, to visit and photograph the 1st century amphitheatre which is among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the world, and several other well-preserved buildings from ancient Roman times.

Arena - remains of the Roman amphitheatre in Pula, Croatia

Arena – remains of the Roman amphitheatre in Pula (among the six largest surviving Roman arenas in the world)

Detail of Arena amphiteatre in Pula, Croatia

Detail of the Arena, Roman amphitheatre in Pula, Istria

After Pula, we will head up the coast to Rovinj, considered to be one of the most beautiful towns on the Istrian Peninsula. We will explore its beautiful Venetian architecture, narrow cobblestone streets, harmonious colours of house facades, and rich archaeological and cultural heritage. One stop will include the large church of St. Eufemija, on top of a hill with a stunning view. Dinner and overnight stay in Rovinj.

Included: accommodation, all meals, entrance and tour of the Arena Roman amphitheatre and other historic buildings.

Cobblestone street in the old city of Rovinj, considered to be one of the most beautiful towns on the Istrian peninsula

Cobblestone street in the old city of Rovinj, considered to be one of the most beautiful towns on the Istrian peninsula

View of the coastal town of Rovinj at dusk, Istria.

Coastal town of Rovinj at dusk, Istria

Day 4: Porec, Motovun
Day four will include a tour of Porec, a beautiful coastal town still showing the ancient Roman Castrum architectural outline. We will visit the Euphrasian Basilica built in 5th century, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After Porec, we will visit walled town of Motovun, a medieval settlement built on top a hill in the river Mirna valley, 270 metres (886 feet) above sea level. Dinner and overnight in Rovinj.

Included: accommodation, all meals, entrance to the Euphrasian Basilica, entrance to Motovun.

View of vineyards surrounding the medieval town of Motovun, with a morning fog in Mirna River valley. Istria

View of vineyards surrounding the medieval town of Motovun, with a morning fog in Mirna River valley

Loggia at the entrance to fortified town of Motovun, Croatia

Loggia at the entrance to town of Motovun

Day 5: Rovinj, Plitvice Lakes National Park
Early morning photography around Rovinj. Leave the town by mid morning and drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Stop along the way for photography, with arrival to Plitvice in late afternoon. Overnight in a hotel close to the boundary of the park. Watch an excellent BBC documentary about Plitvice Lakes (48 minutes – long but definitely worth your time)

Included: accommodation, all meals.

Aerial view of Sastavci waterfalls. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Aerial view of Sastavci waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Waterfall in Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Waterfall dream, Plitvice Lakes National Park

Day 6: Plitvice Lakes National Park
Full day of photography in the national park. If you are looking for a few places to visit and photograph in your lifetime, Plitvice National Park should be one of them. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Plitvice boasts 16 turquoise lakes inter-connected with hundreds of waterfalls and spectacular karst formations. The lakes are surrounded by 29,000 ha of beautiful beech and conifer forests.

Included: accommodation, all meals, entrance fee to the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Detail of Veliki Prstavac waterfall, Plitvice Lakes National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Detail of Veliki Prstavac waterfall, Plitvice Lakes National Park

Forest detail. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Along the lake. Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia

Day 7: Zadar
After breakfast, we will drive to the coastal town of Zadar. A walking tour of the old Zadar and historical buildings with a local guide: St. Donat church from the 9th century, Cathedral Sv. Stosije (St. Anastasija) and the Bell Tower, the city walls. In the evening we will photograph the “Sea Organ” and “Greeting to the Sun” architectural displays at sunset. Watch a 15 minute orientation video about Zadar here.

Included: accommodation, all meals, entrance fees to historic buildings and guided tour of Zadar with a local, english-speaking guide.

Church of St. Donatus (Crkva Svetog Donata) in Zadar, Croatia.

Church of St. Donatus (Crkva Svetog Donata) in Zadar

'Greeting to the Sun' architectural display, Zada

‘Greeting to the Sun’ architectural display, Zadar

Day 8: Krka National Park, Sibenik
After breakfast, we will take a short drive to Krka National Park and photograph a series of stunning waterfalls. Thanks to its special position in the Mediterranean region and the mosaic distribution of various types of habitats, the park is characterized by exceptionally rich and varied plant and animal life. Drive to Sibenik. Sunset photography and overnight in Sibenik.

Included: accommodation, all meals, entrance fee to the Krka National Park.

Skradinski Buk waterfall in Krka National Park

Skradinski Buk waterfall in Krka National Park, Croatia

Stone stairway in Sibenik, CRoatia

Street scene in old Sibenik

Sibenik at dusk, Croatia

Old town of Sibenik at dusk.

Day 9: Sibenik, Trogir
Our hotel in Sibenik is just a few minute walk from the Cathedral of Cv. Jakov (St. James), one the most important architectural monuments of the Renaissance in Croatia. Since 2000, the Sibenik Cathedral has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A unique feature of this monument is a remarkable frieze decorated with 74 small Renaissance portraits immortalizing important Sibenik nobles and citizens of the era.

St. James Cathedral (Crkva Sv. Jakova), Sibenik

The Cathedral of St. James (Katedrala sv. Jakova) in Šibenik

After Sibenik, we will drive a short distance to Trogir and tour the town accompanied by a local guide. Trogir is a remarkable example of urban architecture, listed as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will tour the city core with numerous buildings from 13th century, the city gate and walls, the Duke’s palace from 13th century, and highlight of this location: the Cathedral of Sv. Lovre (St. Lawrence) with the Romanesque portal by Master Radovan, a unique work of this Croatian artist.  Overnight in Trogir.

Included: accommodation, all meals, entrance fees to the historic buildings and guided tour of Trogir with a local, english-speaking guide.

Trogir at twilight, Croatia

Trogir, a UNESCO World Heritage Site at twilight

Day 10: Split
After Trogir, we will spend a large part of the day in Split and tour the city accompanied by a local guide. Split is centered on the ancient Roman Palace of the Emperor Diocletian from 4th century, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will explore the monumental court called the Peristyle (designed with a prominent Venetian influence), underground complex of the Diocletian’s Palace, the Jupiter’s Temple, and the Cathedral of St. Domnius. Later in the day we will leave for Dubrovnik, 260 km to the south-east. Overnight in Dubrovnik.

Included: accommodation, all meals, entrance fees to the historic buildings and guided tour of Split with a local, english-speaking guide.

The Prokurative square in Split, Croatia

Split – Prokurative, a neo-Renaissance style square built to resemble the St. Mark’s Square in Venice

Peristil – part of the Diocletian palace from Roman times. Split

Day 11: Dubrovnik
We will sped two days photographing the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ – the walled city of Dubrovnik. It is our last UNESCO World Heritage Site on the tour. We will spend our first morning checking out the locations assisted by a local tour guide: gates to the ancient city, Franciscan and Dominican monasteries, Rector’s Palace and others. In the afternoon we will go by boat to the nearby 72-hectare wooded island of Lokrum where according to legend, Richard the Lionheart was cast ashore after being shipwrecked in 1192. The island includes a fortress, botanical garden and a protected nature park with a small, 10-metre deep lake. We will be able to photograph details of an abandoned monastery and enjoy a gorgeous view of Dubrovnik city wall just a short distance away. Return to Dubrovnik and sunset shoot of city walls and Stradun, Dubrovnik’s main street. Overnight in Dubrovnik.

Included: accommodation, all meals, entrance fees to the historic buildings and guided tour of Dubrovnik with a local guide, boat ride and entrance fee to Lokrum.

Part of the city walls and harbour, Dubrovnik

Part of the city walls and harbour, Dubrovnik

Botanical garden on the island of Lokrum, Croatia

Botanical garden on the island of Lokrum

Day 12: Dubrovnik
Full day in Dubrovnik to photograph and explore the city at your leisure. We will leave early to avoid the crowds and mid-day heat to walk along the city walls. Branimir will be available if you have any questions or need assistance. Sunset photography of Dubrovnik vistas. Overnight in Dubrovnik.

Included: accommodation, breakfast and dinner (note: optional group lunch, depending on your preference), entrance ticket for the tour of Dubrovnik city walls. You will receive a one-day Dubrovnik Card, a unique pass allowing entry into 9 cultural and historical monuments and top Dubrovnik attractions.

In front of Rector's Palace. Dubrovnik, CRoatia

In front of Rector’s Palace, Dubrovnik

Stradun - Dubrovnik's main street at night

Stradun – Dubrovnik’s main street at night

Day 13 (September 14, 2019): Dubrovnik
Free time after breakfast, until scheduled transfer to the airport for departure flights. We recommend that you book an afternoon or evening flight and spend an extra day in Dubrovnik (your travel luggage can be stored in the hotel).

Included: breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure flights.

The last rays on sunlight on Dubrovnik city walls, Croatia

The last rays on sunlight on Dubrovnik city walls

City walls at sunset, Dubrovnik

City walls at sunset, Dubrovnik

 

red pointer - important informationReturn to the main 2019 Croatia Photography Tour page.

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