Tag: Ozalj

My 10 best photo locations in Croatia

Croatia is a photographers paradise…Forget the selfie crowds and the trophy hunters at Plitvice and Dubrovnik. There are literally hundreds of unique places of unequalled beauty. The best time of the year is Autumn when the colours are warm and the sun is not so bright anymore. Morning mist creeps in over the lakes and valleys. Over the years I scouted and stored so many locations. I just want to share ten of my favourite ones with you.

1. Lović Prekriški
On a clear day, you can see 50 per cent of Croatia from this hilltop. After rainy days the mist fills the Kupa valley below and turns the landscape of the Nature Park Zumberak into a fairytale landscape.

2. Brinje
Just outside of Brinje there is a great viewpoint on this little village. You have it all in one picture; a castle, some churches, a beautiful landscape, great mountains and most of the time some nice layers of fog.

3. Fužine
I love this artificial lake. It has some interesting spots for photography. Autumn colours are stunning!

4. Novigrad na Dobri
There is the old castle, the old stone bridge, and the Lipizzaner horse riding school, and the local church. From the top of the castle (free entrance), you have a wonderful view of the surrounding landscape.

5. Ozalj
The view of the castle with the Kupa river is quite impressive. One of Croatia’s best photo spots.

6. Vina Gora
The hills of Zagorje are enchanting. The best viewpoint of them all is Vinagora.

7. Trakošćan
Another great spot in Zagorje is the castle of Trakoscan. In fact, the lake in Trakoscan is very photogenic. In Autumn the light is just magical.

8. Plešivica
The viewpoint at the elementary school of Plesivica is unforgettable.

9. Lokve
Around the lakes of Lokve and the outside of the village, there are some great photo locations to capture the wild beauty of Gorski Kotar.

10. Vivodina
The Church of Vivodina has been an object in many of my pictures. When the lights of the church switch on in the evening and the sun goes down the atmosphere turns into magic!

Wonderful Vivodina

   Location: Vivodina in the Nature Park Zumberak
One of the most astonishing and breathtaking photo spots in the Zumberak Nature Park is Vivodina. From the cemetery of Petrus Vrh the view is so very rewarding. Many times I went to this location and very often I was able to shoot some very diverse pictures. Especially during late Autumn days and in winter Vivodina is almost transformed into some scene from a fairytale world. Special about the Vivodina church is that when the sun sets low the church transfigures into a 3d object. That shows really well in your pictures. Therefore Vivodina is such a great location for your photography. 

   Take a walk:
There is a signposted hiking trail that starts at the church of Vivodina. You can park your car for free. Do not forget to see the view from the church itself on the surrounding vineyards. It takes you through vineyards, hilltops and villages. The hike takes about 3 hours and has a moderate level.

   Take a break:
The homestead of Frlan offers great meals (mostly meat dishes) and homemade cakes.

    Photo tip:
Vivodina is great in the wintertime. Snow on the roofs of houses and light trough the windows gives your picture an extra magical touch. As you can see in one of my pictures it is worthwhile waiting for the street lights to switch on the village. They also add this extra fairytale atmosphere. Most churches in Croatia are illuminated during the dark hours. Be in time when those lights are switched on. Especially when there is mist. You need to be in time as after one minute of switching on the lights they will get too bright and your photo object will lose detail.

The little village of Vrhovac

   Vrhovac (near Ozalj)
The village of Vrhovac is located in the hilly area of the Zumberak Mountains. It is located only five minutes from Ozalj. I personally love this village for the many lovely vineyards and small “klets” (wine sheds). It is an ideal starting point for a simple walk. You can start your walk at the church. There are signs that show you the way.

You can park your car at the church and a little further there is a nice cafe. Just drop in because some of my photos can be seen there. Next to the cafe, there is a small supermarket where you can buy the necessary provisions. The route also passes a beautiful stretch of the Kupa River. In good weather, you can go for a swim.

   Take a break: 

The homestead of Culig is a wonderful place to taste some real homemade food. The location itself is ideal for landscape photography.

   Photo tip: 
The human element and influence in the landscape make the landscape picture more interesting. This is what I appreciate so much about Croatia. The area around Vrhovac has many little chapels and churches and they really serve as a very welcome object in many of my pictures. This picture shows that even a dull morning without any direct sunlight can be a good photo opportunity. I like the dark grey/blue sky. The great thing about Spring is that for a period of 10-14 days the green colors are not so boring and overwhelming. In this picture, the fresh leaves are just opening up whilst there is still a lot of brown branches around. It adds great “freshness” to the picture. Take that same picture two weeks later and it is much less interesting. Take it two weeks earlier and it will be too brown. Because of the lack of sunlight, the picture almost becomes a pastel painting. I really like the fact that the little sandy road that is part of the walking trail catches the attention and leads you to the main topic of this picture; the church.