There are plenty of reasons why Slovenia should be on every photographer’s bucket list but we boiled it down to only five so that you won’t spend all afternoon sitting in front of your screen. Our picks are merely a tiny fraction of all the locations we will visit during our Slovenia photography workshop with Better Moments expert Arne Hodalic.
If I had to describe Slovenia in five words, it would be those: green, diverse, unique, boutique – and photogenic.
The country of Slovenia lies in the heart of the enlarged Europe. It has a border with Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. The capital Ljubljana is a modern, fresh, young, creative and vibrant city which makes it the perfect starting point for our workshop with Arne Hodalic.
From there, we will continue our journey to discover and photograph Slovenia’s natural beauty, picturesque villages, and friendly people. There is plenty to explore in this small country so charge your batteries, check your SD cards and read on!
Predjama Castle reigns over the surrounding area, perched high up in a vertical cliff, not far from the Postojna Cave in the idyllic village of Predjama. It is an interesting and romantic sight throughout the year and a fantastic subject for photography. In the spring and the summer its surroundings are abundant with blossoms and flowers, in the autumn it is clad in the colours of surrounding forests but it is at its most enchanting in the winter when the surrounding area is covered with snow.
Much of the area set aside as part of the Triglav National Park and overall it is a haven for any landscape photographer. Soca Valley is dominated by one of Europe’s most beautiful rivers. Soca’s stunning turquoise hue flows for about 100 kilometres against a backdrop of imposing limestone mountains, cloaked in dense forests, lush meadows, rich in wildflowers and a clutch of small towns and villages, including Tolmin, Kobarid and Bovecthat which are just waiting to be explored by photographers. Scared by history, the valley was part of the first world war and consequential Isonzo front, which resulted in the bloodiest mountain battles ever known.
You can explore most Slovenian caves on foot, but Križna (Cross) Cave, one of the most magnificent water caves in the world, is one of few where you can take a subterranean boat ride. This is also Slovenia’s only tourist cave without electric lighting – visitors are given lamps (and boots) for their visit. For photographers it is a great place to experiment with strobe lights. Krizna is 8.8km long and counts 22 underground lakes filled with green and blue water. It is well known for the amount of fossilised cave-bear bones found inside.
The Secovlje salts flats are the northernmost salt flats in the Mediterranean. The salt is produced in the traditional way based on a 700-year-old method that harmonizes man and nature. Over the centuries, a unique habitat has formed for halophytic plants and animals and migrating birds. Apart from flora and fauna, the salt pans are a dream for landscape photographers. Especially during sunrise and sunset when the golden colors are reflected in the pan’s surface, using them as a canvas for a fleeting painting that stretches until the horizon.
The picture-postcard alpine town of Bled is surrounded by the wreaths of the Julian Alps and Karavanke Alps, placed in a dish shaped basin of a glacial lake, the warmest in Europe. Its many charms include a medieval castle, perched high on a rocky cliff, a scenic lake studded by a tiny wooded island and the alpine splendour of the nearby Triglav National Park. It is Slovenia’s best known attraction for a reason – the surroundings will leave you in awe. Keep your camera chrage and ready to capture the unmatched beauty of Bled.
Explore Slovenia with the photographer and photojournalist Arne Hodalic, an Associate Professor of Photojournalism at the University of Ljubljana, and the first photographer from Slovenia whose work was published by National Geographic magazine.