Croatia Photography Tour – itinerary

October 2 - 14, 2017

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 2017 Croatia Photo Tour page for information about the cost, registration etc.

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1 (October 2, 2017): Zagreb
Arrival in the Croatian capital Zagreb, the city of parks and cafés. Check-in at a hotel located just minutes from the historic downtown core. Free afternoon to rest or explore the medieval Upper Town on your own; Branimir will provide tips on where to go. It 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. We will meet as a group in the evening for dinner and tour orientation. Overnight in Zagreb. What is included: accommodation, dinner, transfer from the airport, pre-paid daily pass for the city transit (to help you explore the downtown core).

Maksimir Park in autumn. Zagreb, Croatia

Autumn colours in Maksimir Park, Zagreb

Citizens of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, enjoy a morning stroll along Tkalciceva Street

Historic Tkalciceva Street in downtown Zagreb, about 5 minute walk from our hotel

Radiceva Street in Zagreb, Croatia

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

 

Day 2: Zagreb
After breakfast, we will explore Zagreb by tour van accompanied by 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 orientation 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. Afternoon and evening will be available for participants to return to the pre-scouted locations and photograph in afternoon and evening light. Crime rates are low, and you will feel safe exploring the city on your own. Overnight in Zagreb. Included: accommodation, breakfast, dinner, bus tour with a local, english-speaking guide.

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 of the Mirogoj Cemetery, a Zagreb landmark designed by the famous architect Hermann Bollé. Croatia

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

Mirogoj Cemetery arcade, a final resting place of many famous Croatians. Zagreb, Croatia

Mirogoj Cemetery arcade, a final resting place of many famous Croatians

 

Day 3: Hrvatsko Zagorje (Varazdin, Trakoscan)
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 visit Varazdin to photograph the Varazdin Fortress and colourful Baroque palaces in the old town. After Varazdin, 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. Return and overnight in Zagreb. Included: accommodation, all meals, entrance to the Trakoscan castle.

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

Change of guards in front of the Varazdin City Hall, Croatia

Change of guards in front of the Varazdin City Hall

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

A picture-perfect Trakoscan castle from 13th century

 

Day 4: 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, including several other well-preserved buildings from ancient Roman times. 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.

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)

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, Croatia

Coastal town of Rovinj at dusk. Istria

 

Day 5: Porec, Motovun
Day five 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 and tour of 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

 

Day 6: Plitvice Lakes National Park
Leave Rovinj after breakfast and drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park. Afternoon and evening photography in the park. If you are looking for a few places to visit and photograph in your lifetime, Plitvice 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 photo tour is scheduled to coincide with the arrival of fall colours at over 29,000 hectares of forests that surround the lake system. Overnight in a hotel close to the boundary of the park. Watch an excellent documentary Plitvice: Land of the Falling Lakes (54 minutes – long but definitely worth your time) Included: all meals, entrance fee to the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

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 7: Plitvice Lakes National Park, Zadar
Second day of photography in the national park. After lunch, we will drive to the coastal town of Zadar. In the evening we walk to the old part of town and photograph the “Sea Organ” and “Greeting to the Sun” architectural displays at sunset. Watch a 15 minute orientation video about Zadar here. Included: all meals, entrance fee to the Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Veliki Prstavac waterfall in autumn. Plitvice Lakes National Park

Veliki Prstavac waterfall in autumn, 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

 

Day 8: Zadar, Sibenik
A walking tour of the old Zadar and historical buildings with a local, english speaking guide: St. Donat church from the 9th century, Cathedral Sv. Stosije (St. Anastasija) and the Bell Tower, the city walls. Option to have a lunch in Zadar and sample local seafood dishes.

'Greeting to the Sun' architectural display, Zada

‘Greeting to the Sun’ architectural display, Zadar

After lunch, 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. Overnight in Sibenik. Included: all meals, entrance fees to historic buildings and guided tour of Zadar with a local, english-speaking guide, entrance fee to the Krka National Park.

Stone stairway in Sibenik, CRoatia

Street scene in old Sibenik

 

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.

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

View of buildings in coastal town of Trogir (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Croatia

View of buildings in coastal town of Trogir (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

 

Day 10: Split
After Trogir, we will spend a day in Split and tour the city accompanied by a local guide. Split is centred 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 head off on our way to Dubrovnik, 260 km to the south-east. Overnight in Dubrovnik. Included: 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

Perystil - part of the Diocletian palace from Roman times. Split, Croatia

Perystil – 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: 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 recommend the tour of city walls. Branimir will be available if you have any questions or need assistance. Sunset photography of Dubrovnik vistas. Overnight in Dubrovnik. Included: breakfast and dinner (note: lunch on your own), 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 (October 14, 2017): 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 (we can store your travel luggage on the tour bus). Included: breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure flights.

City walls at sunset, Dubrovnik

City walls at sunset, Dubrovnik

Return to the main 2017 Croatia Photography Tour page.