Portugal Photo Tour

Tour Intro

PORTUGAL!!! The most beautiful, interesting and important areas of the country have been selected to visit and photograph. As travel photographers we tackle many challenges from people photography, landscape, waterscape, architecture, still life, and night photography, all blending together to tell a story. You will be inspired with what you will learn. You will return home with an acquired skill in photography as well as outstanding images to tell your own story.
This is a land of castles, wine, ships, farming, and of warm, friendly people. Rolling hills, vineyards, orchards, stone walls, castles on hilltops, a tradition of song and the home of "port" wine—this is Portugal.

The itinerary takes us through the extraordinarily diverse countryside of Portugal. Your photography opportunities will abound. You will visit a fantastic range of interesting attractions from magnificent valleys to medieval castles, and graceful olive groves, enjoy the flavorful cuisine and excellent wines and cheeses of each region. The local guide, Keron Psillas, is also a photography instructor. She provides access and personal relationships through out the tour. This adds just the right compliment to the visual excitement that Portugal offers.

Cultural gems are everywhere. They include Unesco World Heritage Sites, and of course, the lively pulse of Portugal’s delightful capital, Lisbon, tops off the tour.
Although we work with an itinerary, it is subject to change when a new photo opportunity or wonderful weather and lighting conditions present themselves. Our accommodations have been chosen for being centrally located, allowing us easy access to the local color and the captivating charm of Portugal.

Tour Highlights

• Ten nights and eleven days in this forgotten corner of Europe.
• Brenda Tharp will provide photo instruction each day, while your local guide will share the culture, history, and is also a professional photographer, getting you to the right place at the right time.
• Charming and luxurious lodging in perfectly situated Pousadas and Hotels.
• An insider’s view of Portugal from the cities to the UNESCO sites, Knights of Templar, and quaint century-old villages.
• Photograph gorgeous Lusitano horses in the Ribatejo with their owners and trainers.
• Enjoy colorful and cosmopolitan Lisbon and Porto.
• Private transportation with short distances between stays.
• Sumptuous meals with the option of the best Portuguese wines.

Tour Itinerary

September 18: Home
Church

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Portugal

There are overnight flights from the U.S./Canada to Lisbon, Portugal (LIS).

September 19-20: Lisbon
Trolley

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Portugal

Arrive this morning or early afternoon, you will be transferred upon arrival to your accommodations. Gather (time to be announced) for a meet and greet and then off for a walk around Lisbon to get your bearings. Enjoy your welcome dinner together while listening to the dramatic and melodic FADO in your local guide’s favorite little taverna.

The next day put on your walking shoes, you will explore several of Lisbon’s neighborhoods. Start up high above the Alfama and work your way down through the winding streets and alleys. There is color, streetlife, architecture, trolleys, and a discovery around every corner. Explore the Bairro Alto and Baixa neighborhoods with your local guide, followed by a lunch break. Afterwards drive to Belem and the Jeronimos Monastery. Take some time to enjoy the sunset along the water or from one of Lisbon’s many ‘Miradouros’. Overnight Lisbon (D; B)

September 21-24: Ourem
Lusitano Horse Classical Dress

Photo By: Keron Psillas

Photo Location: Portugal

After breakfast board your private bus and head north into the Ribatejo Province. Photograph Keron’s beloved Lusitano horses and have lunch in a local restaurant. Later, visit the sacred site of Fatima and then arrive about sunset to your 14th Century Castle on the hill at Ourem. Enjoy your evenings here at a lovely Pousada, from which you will explore Medieval Portugal.

The next day the ancient Abbey of Batahla will be your first stop, then off to another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Alcobaca. You’ll be up early to see if there is fog in the valley. From our vantage point high atop our ‘mountain’, the landscapes in the morning are stunning.

Enjoy another two full days here in this beautiful region exploring with your local guide and photo leaders. Overnight Ourem (B each day)

September 25-26: Porto
Porto Port Wine

Photo By: Keron Psillas

Photo Location: Portugal

Tomar is the third of your UNESCO sites in the center of Portugal and one that never disappoints. The history of the Knights Templar is offered in its full glory. This is the best-preserved site for the ancient order in all of Europe. After your visit, head north to Porto, arriving in time for sunset along the Douro in your Palace on the river.

Porto can be vibrant and cosmopolitan on one street with Old Portugal on the next street over. Visit the monuments, and have lots of time to wander as well. The pedestrian bridge provides a birds-eye view, and the train station is a feast for the eye with all the azulejos (distinctive blue tiles). The seaside offers color, local fisherman, and families along the piers. Then, it’s off to a very special dinner and private tour of the most important Port Cellar in Portugal. To top off your day, there will be some night shooting overlooking the entire city of Porto. Overnight Porto (B; B, D)

September 27-28: Cascais - Sintra
Boat

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Portugal

Though it will be very difficult to leave our riverside Palace, head south today to discover another side of Portugal. Stop in Obidos on your way, a delightful walled village from the 12th Century. Next stop will be Sintra with its fairytale castles and mysterious hidden spots. The Convento dos Capuchos, the Pena Palace, and the Regaleira are the highlights. Afterward gather for your final dinner together in the Old Kitchen at the National Palace. It’s a stunning spot with fabulous food, the perfect ending to your Portugal adventure.

The next morning photograph the interiors, the gardens, and the Falcons of the National Palace. This evening take in the charming seaside town of Cascais, after discovering a bit of coastline and Guincho beach. It’s world famous for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Enjoy dinner later at Keron’s favorite spot on the water. Overnight Sintra or Cascais (B, D; B)

September 29: Lisbon - Home

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Portugal

Departure for home, all transfers to the Lisbon Airport (about 20 minutes away) are included. (B)

Photo Leader

Brenda Tharp
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Brenda Tharp

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.

I really enjoyed Brenda's style of talking as we were on the bus. Very informative without being too formal. Lots of chances to learn as we took photos as well - in early morning or in evening. Got some great tips from Jed as I was photographing on various occasions. Very responsive to our questions with NO judgement about our skill levels. I have told many people that this was the best or one of the two best trips I have ever been on. The leaders great, group jelled fabulously and for me, traveling with all photographers was amazing.

 

Nancy Hauserman

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 10 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $600 if 8-9 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

I really enjoyed Brenda's style of talking as we were on the bus. Very informative without being too formal. Lots of chances to learn as we took photos as well - in early morning or in evening. Got some great tips from Jed as I was photographing on various occasions. Very responsive to our questions with NO judgement about our skill levels. I have told many people that this was the best or one of the two best trips I have ever been on. The leaders great, group jelled fabulously and for me, traveling with all photographers was amazing.

 

Nancy Hauserman

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 privileged to see.

alvig

Additional Notes

Brenda Tharp is your photography instructor and experienced tour leader.

Brenda Tharp, will share ideas and tips for creating dynamic travel photographs while on this photo program. Prior to your tour departure she will email you a visual presentation, providing tips on capturing a sense of place, photographing people, capturing candid moments, working with available light, and how to simplify your pictures to give them more impact. Brenda brings untiring energy and a passion for photography to her trips. She loves to share in the adventure of travel and photography. She believes in the process of exploring and photographing the world around you, you end up gaining so much more than just photographs – you bring back the experiences that remain with you forever.

“We focus on making expressive photographs 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.

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.

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