Discover Santorini

Tour Intro

Santorini, Greece is known as the home of one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world. Discover the famous submerged caldera, the volcano’s crater, which is situated today in the middle of a thirty-two square mile basin of water. The accommodations are superbly located with fantastic views of the caldera and the colorful buildings of Fira, yet far enough away from the cruise ship action. Around the basin, hanging on cliffs of 150 to 300 meters in height, one can admire some of the most beautiful traditional villages of the Cyclades. The lively colors of the white Cycladic houses and blue painted windows contrast stunningly against the black volcanic rocks rising from sea. This scenery inspires artists and visitors alike. A few of the villages are named Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia, all of which entail many steps on each of the daily outings. The island name comes from ‘Santa Irini’ and it is officially called Thera.

Join Brenda & Jed in Santorini—exploring the iconic photographic locations of this picturesque island. Photograph the rich architectural colors, distinct blue domes, whitewashed buildings, brightly colored flowers, and warm friendly faces, against the blue Mediterranean sky. The emphasis of the trip is on photography, yet this is much more, one that non-photographic travelers can enjoy just as well. Days will be filled with unique photographic opportunities, in that there are so many wonderful hidden places to explore.
 

Tour Highlights

• Photo instruction as needed by your tour leaders Brenda Tharp & Jed Manwaring
• Accommodations in the picturesque village of Firostefani
• Six full days exploring the Isle of Santorini
• Quaint whitewashed buildings and blue windows of the Cycladic houses
• Early morning and late light photography walk

Tour Itinerary

September 30: Travel Day today or prior for overnight in Athens
Church at Sunset

Photo By: Dan Anderson

Photo Location: Santorini

There are overnight flights from the U.S. to Athens, Greece, where you will then connect to the Santorini Airport (Thira – JTR). Participants can overnight in Athens prior to taking flight to Santorini, and/or upon return from the isle. We can recommend the Sofitel Athens Airport Hotel, which is with in walking distance. 

October 1: Athens - Santorini

Photo By: Jacque Boehm Steedle

Photo Location: Santorini, Greece

Arrive anytime today to Santorini from Athens, a transfer from the port or the Thira Airport will await you, taking you to the hotel. Participants will check in and relax on their own. We will have a brief introductory meeting this evening upon everyone’s arrival (time to be announced). (D)

October 2-7: Santorini

Photo By: Dan Anderson

Photo Location: Fiorestefani Santorini

We will have six full days to explore the nearby village of Firostefani, and other villages on the magical island of Santorini. Transportation will be on foot in the hill towns of Santorini, and coach service to the villages. Brenda will organize early morning photography walks in the vicinity of the hotel, for those that wish to photograph prior to breakfast. We will then walk to town or travel to surrounding villages for a full day of shooting. Lunch will be enjoyed at various photographic locations, returning to the hotel with time to work on your images, and capture the last light of the day. Please note the tour entails plenty of walking, with many steps in the hill towns. Dinners will be on your own at local restaurants, with a farewell dinner provided.
Santorini is the last island to the South of the Cyclades Archipelago. Centuries ago a volcanic eruption followed by a devastating explosion sculptured the rugged cliffs and brought about the unique spectacle of Santorini and the Caldera basin. The villages of Santorini Greece, where the traditional architecture can be seen are: Fira, Oia, Imerovigli, Pyrgos, Emporio, and others. It has been said that the sunsets in Santorini are the best in the world; from the Caldera breathtaking views of the volcano and neighboring islands, from the east, miles of dark sandy or pebbled beaches, everywhere one sees blue domed churches, stunning whitewashed buildings, and remnants of days gone by.
Fira, the capital of Santorini, is perched on the edge of an impressive cliff, offering a spectacular panoramic view of the volcano. Stepped streets with sun-bathed verandas allow visitors to relax and enjoy the spectacular views at sunset, capturing the iconic whitewashed buildings perched on the dramatic cliffs. Imerovigli (the name means watchtower) is set on the highest point of the caldera’s rim. A trail descending from the church of Ayios Georgios crosses the isthmus and encircles Skaros, then finally reaching the small chapel of Theoskepasti, with a memorable caldera view.

At the tip of the northern horn of the island sits Ia (Oia), Santorini’s second largest and most picturesque town. The cubical white houses stand out against the natural color layers of rock, earth, and solid volcanic ash that rise from the sea. In 1900, there were approximately nine thousand inhabitants, now a mere 500 permanent residents, and more than 100 boats. Many of the mariners use the endless flight of stairs from the kastro to descend down to the water and the small port of Ammoudi, where the pebble beach is home to the island’s nicest fish tavernas.
Traveling South of Firostefani, we will visit the lovely Emporio and Pyrgos. Though today Pyrgos has only 500 inhabitants, it was once the capital of the island. It boasts of medieval houses, stacked on top of one another and back to back for protection against pirates. There is a beautiful panoramic view from the ruined Venetian castle, which can be reached by climbing the picturesque streets, which follow the shape of the hill. Overnight HOTEL IRA. (B & L each day, D= Farewell Dinner)
 

October 8: Santorini - Athens - Home

Photo By: Kathy Adams Clark

Photo Location: Santorini, Greece

You will be transferred to the airport or port today, for your return to Athens, or choose to explore various islands. (B)

Note: This itinerary has been carefully constructed to assure participants the best Santorini 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.
 

Photo Leader

Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring
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Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring

You have the advantage of having two photo intructors on this trip with the expertise of Jed Manwaring and Brenda Tharp, and the tour size still remains at 12 participants. Brenda is a professional photographer, speaker and educator with a life-long wanderlust for exploring the world and photographing it. The travel bug bit when she was young, reading the pages of National Geographic and Life magazines. Today, she loves to escort people to a variety of wonder-filled places to share in the adventure of the place and to help in the making of memorable images. Brenda believes that in the process of exploring and photographing the world around you, wherever you are, you gain so much more than just photographs - you bring back the experiences from those places that remain with you forever. She advocates photographing with a sense of purpose, keeping your eyes and your soul open to what's going on around you. Brenda's sensitive approach to photographing people has her often trying to blend in with the 'background' to capture special moments of daily life. Even her portraits are approached with sensitivity and respect for the person and the culture. Brenda has an untiring desire to help participants with their photography. She challenges you to see in new ways. Topics of discussion on each trip are tailored to the groups' needs, yet typically include: how to photograph people/strangers, paying attention to the light, using elements of design in a scene to help create more impact, creating visual depth, and storytelling with your images. Additional discussions often include processing and workflow, which Brenda often covers while on the bus on longer drives, or in the hotel lobby. There or in the field, she is always available for technical or visual help, offering tips and suggestions to help you to refine their own vision of the place.

Jed Manwaring specializes in travel and outdoor photography. His photographs have appeared in a variety of magazines including Alaska Airlines, International Wildlife Conservation, Navigator, Outdoor Photographer, Outside, PC Photo, Sierra, Sunset, Via, and Wilderness Society magazines. His images have also been used in books, calendars and cards, most recently in Golden Gate National Parks: A Photographic Journey and Guardians of the Gate. He has worked in a variety of challenging situations, including running the Colorado River in a dory, sea kayaking in Costa Rica, llama trekking, and exploring in Italy, Mexico, Hawaii, and throughout the west. Jed’s passion for photography and teaching make him an amazing instructor and leader. You can view Jed's photo tours at www.brendatharp.com.

Welcome back to you! Chris and I just returned from our own extension to Venice you planned for us.  Wonderful!!!
Attached is my evaluation of the tour with Brenda and Jed!
Loved every minute…! Many thanks to everyone who took part in the planning…and to Brenda and Jed for the expert  execution of the plan!

The tour was perfect, I would highly recommend it. Both Brenda and Jed were knowledgeable about each location, and knew the very best places for photo shoots. They were not rigid, in fact, they were flexible and were able to 'read' the interests of the participants very well and make any changes to our schedule to fit the desires of the individual wishes. So well done.... so difficult to do. I would travel anywhere with Brenda & Jed.
 

Gretchen Taylor

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $300 if 6-7 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Testimonials

What was the highlight of your trip? Brenda - she was great. Efficient, knowledgeable, friendly, continually involved with all of us.

R. Pool

Brenda Tharp Immediately made my short list of future photography mentors.  She has proven to be so much more than just a professional photographer.  Watching her begin and end each day making sure each of us was personally and photographically content, showed a side of this professional woman that most individuals are not priveleged to see.  

S. DONER

Additional Notes

Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring, both accomplished professional photographers, will share ideas and tips for creating dynamic travel photographs while on this photo program. Through a visual presentation, early in the journey, they will provide tips on capturing a sense of place, photographing architecture, landscapes, and capturing a sense of place. Both bring untiring energy and a passion for photography to their trips, and love to share in the adventure of travel and photography. They believe that in the process of exploring and photographing the world around you, you gain so much more than just photographs – you bring back the experiences that remain with you forever.

“We focus on creative photography on our tours. We welcome all skill levels, yet having a good foundation of the basics of photography will help you be more prepared for making successful nature images. We enjoy helping participants expand their skills and are there to help you make the best pictures you can on the trip, whatever that takes.

Topics of discussion on each trip are tailored to the groups' needs, yet typically include: how to photograph dynamic landscapes, using elements of design in a scene to help create more impact, creating visual depth, and storytelling with your images. Additional discussions on technique and processing are often covered during the evening at the hotel or over dinner.

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

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.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

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.

Insurance

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 enclosed pamphlet, 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.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

Accommodations

On this sunlit island, one of the most beautiful in the world, the hotel is in the picturesque village of Firostefani. Situated in a quiet area, perched high up on the edge of the caldera, the lovely hotel offers a spectacular panoramic view of the volcanic islands, the far horizon and the deep blue sea. The hotel location is convenient, just a few minute walk from the island’s capital Fira, but away from the busy town center. The name Ira comes from 'Hera', a goddess of Greek Mythology and wife of Zeus. You will be transferred to the hotel from the Thira (JTR) airport or port. There are various room types available, all rooms have one queen bed, see costs under general information section. The hotel now offers spa facilities.

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