During this adventure we’ll visit the essence of western Scotland, exploring the lochs, moors and mountains of the Highlands, the historic standing stones in the Outer Hebrides of Lewis and Harris (among the best in the British Isles). Our pace is relaxed and fun. Traveling in a comfortable mini-bus, we’ll begin with going from Glasgow to Glencoe. The journey takes us past the famous glens and past Ben Nevis, site of many film productions. We’ll linger at Loch Leven with its steep-sided mountains and dramatic scenery. And of course we’ll photograph Eilean Donan Castle. Then it’s on to the Isle of Skye with its spectacular Quriaing Range, a basalt uprising that is the dominant feature of the Trotterish Peninsula. Finally, we spend several days at Breascleate on the west coast of Lewis, between Callanish and Carloway. Callanish–an inspiration to artists, poets and photographers–is an icon of archeology. (Harris and Lewis are not separate islands, despite often being talked about as if they’re two islands).
We’ll stay at quaint inns or lodges. Each room has its own private bathroom. We eat breakfast at the lodges. Lunches are picnics in the filed or pub lunches. Dinners are at local restaurants. Those meals included are listed in the itinerary. Food is delicious and wholesome.
The trip is suited for people of all photographic levels, and there will be plenty of time to work individually with participants to address specific photographic concerns. This is primarily a photo tour, concentrating on shooting rather than critique. Participants should be in good physical condition if they wish to partake in hikes over rough terrain.
We suggest taking this tour in tandem with the earlier-scheduled trip (October 1-9) to Lofoten, Norway.
Special thanks to master photographer Ron Rosenstock for his Scotland images.
October 11 U.S.
Depart from the U.S. today on an overnight flight* to Glasgow International Airport. Your arrival time on September 29 will need to be 11am or prior, if any questions or concerns, please contact our office. Recommendations for airport hotels will be given if you would like to or need to arrive early. *PLEASE NOTE: International tickets will be issued
multi-city, flights will be your home/GLA-Glasgow Scotland, and return flights being from Stornoway, Lewis SYY/Home.
October 11-13 Glasgow – Glencoe
Your guide and driver will meet you at the Glasgow Airport and depart for Glencoe. Your accommodations are set in the heart of Glencoe, surrounded by mountains. In the Highlands, the past is all around. Ancient cairns and stone settings, the later broch’s (defensive round towers), then the Picts with their mysterious carved symbol stones have all left their faint traces on the landscape. Although the old clan ways have vanished, the Highlands are a special place, enjoyed not only for their unspoiled environment, but also for their particular sense of the intertwining of past and present. Signal Rock is a pleasant short walk from the inn, where in the past, bonfires were lit to warn of imminent danger.
From Rannoch Moor there are distant views to the surrounding mountain ranges, Blackmount to the west, and the almost perfectly shaped mountain, Buachaille Etive Mor, the subject of numerous well-known photographs. The Devils Staircase is a short uphill stretch of The West Highland Way, and there are even better views from higher viewpoints. An eleven mile long sea loch, Loch Leven, takes us from Ballahullish in the west to Kinlochleven in the east. The loch is fringed to both north and south by steep sided mountains, giving some dramatic scenes. Overnight Glencoe (L; B, L two days).
October 14-16 Isle of Skye
The Trotternish Peninsula, which consists predominantly of a long basalt outcrop, gives rise to dramatic cliffs and mountain scenery. Driving around the “North End” of Trotternish,
you will make a number of photo stops along the way. Photographing the strange and dramatic rock formations of the Quiraing is a highlight along with one of Skye’s best-known sights, The Old Man of Storr. It is a pinnacle of rock, 160 feet high, visible from much of the east coast of Skye. Overnight Isle of Skye (B, L each day)
October 17-20 Outer Hebrides – Harris – Lewis
A trip across the peninsula will take you to the tiny village of Uig, where you will take a ferry to Tarbert on Harris. Your accommodations lie about fifty miles away from the port. Great Bernera is an island that has notable archaeological remains consisting of standing stones, and the Iron Age roundhouse Dun Baravat in Loch Bravat. At the southeast corner of Harris is a lovely little harbor still used by a few fishing boats, and best known for St. Clements Church, an impressive example of church architecture in the Hebrides. The sea is always dramatic at the Butt of Lewis, as the waters of The Atlantic meet The Minch. Nearby is the Port of Ness, a small scenic fishing port. The Arnol Black House is a Scottish Heritage site where both ‘black houses’ and a ‘white house’ have been preserved as a small museum. Black houses were the traditional home for hundreds of years, where families lived in one space with a peat fire in the middle of the floor, while livestock were kept in another space. Carloway is best known for the Carloway Broch, a once fortified impressive round stone structure. The world-famous standing stones of Callanish are just a few miles away from your lodge, where you will photograph in the twilight, as well as by day.
Overnights Outer Hebrides (B, L each day)
October 21 Lewis/Harris – Glasgow – Home
Depart on a flight (suggested time to be announced) from Stornoway (SYY) to Glasgow and connect with flights home. Strabo cannot be responsible for flight delays, therefore depending on timing of your return flight home, an optional overnight at airport hotel may be necessary. (B) PLEASE NOTE: Your flights will be booked multi-city: Home/GLA; SYY/Home (likely connecting through Glasgow)
Note: This itinerary has been carefully constructed to assure participants the best Scotland has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, itinerary, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.
Estimated Land cost: $4695, based upon minimum of 6 paying passengers, maximum of 11, in shared accommodations. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 4 or 5 paying passengers.
Single room supplement: $795, Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate single travelers who request single accommodations, as well as single travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single roomis requested, we are unable to find a suitable roommate, or you are in a single for another reason, you will need to pay the single supplement.
*Note: Trip pricing is based on current exchange rate between the British Pound to US dollar, should these rates change significantly, there may need to be an adjustment in the trip price.
The land cost includes:
• Land transportation: All group ground transportation in Scotland & Ireland. A driver/guide will escort you.
• Accommodations as listed in itinerary, based on two people sharing a room.
• Meals as indicated in itinerary, (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner).
• Miscellaneous fees and service charges: All porterage fees and tips for meals that are included in the itinerary; service charges, hotel taxes, and park entrance fees.
• Predeparture information: You will receive information on all aspects of the tour, including packing recommendations, plus readings on the history, and culture of Scotland.
The land cost does not include:
International air fare; extension airfare, transportation and transfers for those not traveling with the group; air tax; foreign airport taxes; excess baggage charges; passport fees; meals not listed in the itinerary; personal medical and travel insurance; any activities not specified in the tour itinerary, or those listed as optional; all items of a personal nature such as laundry, telephone charges, beverages; film and processing, medical expenses, and room service; optional tips to guides and service personnel.
Upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary.
Strabo Tours can assist you with International Airfare, please note on trip application if you would like assistance.
Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds
A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.
If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:
• 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
• 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
• 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.
Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.
Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas. We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).
Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.
There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the pamphlet that will be sent to you, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance.
Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.
Fitness and Health
The trip can be strenuous, anyone who is reasonably fit and in good physical condition should be able to participate. Rest stops and photo stops are planned through out each day. This trip will involve several long walks with some climbing involved; the only requirement is a good pair of walking shoes. A couple days will involve hiking a few miles over rough terrain. Those not wishing to hike on any given day may opt to spend it near the lodge (there’s lots to photograph).
If you have any questions about your ability to participate in this trip, please contact 607-756-8676 for more information. You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.