Scotland - Highlands, Isle of Skye, and Outer Hebrides

Tour Intro

Ron Rosenstock is thrilled to return to Scotland and take you to the wild landscape of the Highlands, and the Western Isles. He invites you to join him on this amazing journey. The number of participants is limited to ten, so sign up early before the trip is full. This itinerary features the Isle of Skye, and Lewis &  Harris in the Outer Hebrides. Each day will be at a relaxed pace, allowing enough time to photograph the diverse landscape as well as taking in the local history, people, and culture.

After immersing ourselves in the Highlands, you travel to the Isle of Skye and on to the Outer Hebrides, which lays claim to some of the finest and most varied scenery. At the meeting point of three sea lochs on the west coast of the Scottish mainland is the very photogenic Eilean Donan Castle where we will stop to photograph. On Skye you will photograph the spectacular Quiraing range, basalt uprising that is the dominant feature of the Trotternish Peninsula. A trip across the peninsula will take us to the tiny village of Uig, where you will overnight and begin early the next day, taking a ferry to the Outer Hebrides.

We will be based at Breascleate on the west coast of Lewis, midway between Callanish and Carloway. Callanish has become an icon of the archaeology of Scotland, inspiring many artists, poets, and photographers. The pale and sometimes ghostly stones have an extraordinary affinity with their landscape. Both to the north and south we will encounter many beautiful and exciting photo opportunities.

Harris and Lewis are not separate islands, despite usually being talked of as if they are. Harris is the southern third of the largest and most northerly of the Western Isles, most of which forms Lewis. Some say the distinction between the two dates back to a split in the MacLeod clan which dominated the Western Isles for centuries. Others simply point to the range of high mountains that impeded land access between Lewis and Harris, turning them into virtually separate islands. There are numerous sandy beaches and little coves, extensive moorland interspersed with lochs, and many historical sites throughout this sparsely populated area.

Tour Highlights

• The lochs, moors, and mountains of the Highlands.
• Photograph and explore the diverse landscape of the Isle of Skye.
• Explore the standing stones at Callanish on Lewis. And the beautiful white sandy beaches of Harris.
• Maximum of ten participants.
• Professional photography leader Ron Rosenstock.

Tour Itinerary

October 10: U.S.

Photo By: Lance Keimig

Photo Location: Isle of Skye, Scotland

Depart from the U.S. today on an overnight flight* to Glasgow International Airport. Your arrival time on May 18 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 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
Glencoe Scotland River

Photo By: Ron Rosenstock

Photo Location: Scotland

Your guide and driver, will meet you at the Glasgow Airport and depart for Glencoe. Our 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 brochs (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 still a special place and a place apart, enjoyed not only for their unspoiled environment, but also for their particular sense of the intertwining of past and present. Overnight Clachaig Inn.

You will have another day to immerse yourselves in the highlands of Scotland, with Glencoe being an excellent base from which to explore the region. 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. There are fine views from beside the road at various points, and even better views can be gained with some relatively short walks. The Devils Staircase is a short uphill stretch of The West Highland Way, and offering 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. On the shore there is a small harbor originally used by the slate industry; a fine walk along the shoreline provides spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Overnight Clachaig Inn (L; B, L).

October 14-16: Isles of Skye
Isle of Skye

Photo By: Ron Rosenstock

Photo Location: Scotland

Your guides will take into consideration the interests of the group, and weather conditions to determine the most opportune photo stops along the drive to Skye.

The Trotternish Peninsula, which consists predominantly of a long basalt outcrop, giving rise to the dramatic cliff and mountain scenery roundabout. Driving around the “North End” of Trotternish, we will make a number of varied 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 Uig Hotel (B, L)

October 17-20: Outer Hebrides - Harris - Lewis
Callanish Stones

Photo By: Ron Rosenstock

Photo Location: Scotland

Leave Skye today, taking the Outer Hebrides ferry to the small port of Tarbert on Harris, then driving fifty miles to our accommodations. The Outer Hebrides are at the northwest edge of Europe, comprised of a one hundred fifty mile long chain of islands. Harris divides neatly into three areas, and has a different character to the much larger Lewis.

Great Bernera is an island that has been linked to the mainland by bridge since 1953. There are notable archaeological remains on the island consisting of standing stones, and the Iron Age roundhouse Dun Baravat in Loch Bravat. At the southeast corner of Harris is the little township of Rodel.  There is a lovely little harbor still used by a few fishing boats, and best known is the St. Clements Church, which is looked after by the Scottish Heritage and is the most impressive example of church architecture in the Hebrides.

One day heading north from our base, we may visit The Butt of Lewis, which is the northernmost point of the island. The sea is always dramatic here, as the waters of The Atlantic meet The Minch. In contrast, the Port of Ness, nearby, is 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. White houses were in use well into the second half of the twentieth century, while previously black houses were the traditional home for hundreds of years. Everybody lived in one space with a peat fire in the middle of the floor, while livestock were kept at one end of the house.

Carloway is a large village by Lewis standards, best known for the remains Carloway Broch, a once fortified impressive round stone structure. Heading south from our base at Breascleate, the world famous standing stones of Callanish are just a few miles away. In fact, there are three standing stone remains at Callanish. The main one is a particularly impressive, well-preserved ancient site, set in spectacular surroundings. We will certainly photograph here in the twilight, as well as by day. Stornoway, on the east coast, is the island’s capital and lifeline to busy harbor life. Overnights Loch Roag Guesthouse (B, L each day)

October 21: Lewis/Harris - Glasgow - Home
Sellebost Beach, Harris Scotland

Photo By: Ron Rosenstock

Photo Location: Scotland

Depart on a morning flight 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, and 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.

Photo Leader

Ron Rosenstock
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Ron Rosenstock

Ron started leading photo tours in 1967. In those years he has led hundreds of tours to many destinations worldwide. Ron has retired from Clark University after teaching photography there for thirty years. He has published three books of his exquisite black and white photographs: The Light of Ireland, Hymn to the Earth, Chiostro (Cloister),and his new color book Journeys. Ron’s work has been featured in over one hundred exhibitions, both in the U.S. and abroad, and his photographs are to be found in the permanent collections of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Mass., The Polaroid Collection in Cambridge, Mass., and the International Center of Photography in New York City.

Ron is happy to share his vision and insights to all who travel with him. Although he now only photographs with a digital camera, his philosophy of teaching hasn't changed since the early large format film days. He firmly believes that the photograph comes from within, not from without. Meaning you can't buy creativity, however, you have to learn to recognize that creative spirit within. Ron teaches exercises that will help that creative spirit come to the surface. These may consist of: 1) Entry ways to seeing, 2) photographing in the NOW, 3) practical aspects of printing, exhibiting and getting your work out there. During the photo tour he will teach and use a digital projector several evenings. Most people who travel with Ron have a basic understanding of how the camera works, and others who know everything about the camera. He doesn't focus on technical knowledge, rather places the emphasis on a more zen approach. Ron believes it isn't necessary to know all the latest digital technique, but it is necessary to know yourself.

Please feel free to view Ron's website and e-mail regarding any questions.

 

Why do you LOVE nature photography?   by Ron Rosenstock

Let me use some of the same words, Nature photography is LOVE!  Since the very beginning of our species starting to walk upright, we have been recreating nature in various art forms, from cave paintings to digital photography. Technology has changed, but what is most important, hasn’t. The worlds greatest artists have received their inspiration from nature. We are as much a part of nature as nature is a part of us.  For those of us that take the time to smell the flowers, it’s so much more.  Poets but their feelings into words, painters paint and we photograph.  Each image we make is showing us on a deeper level, who we really are. “Listen, my heart, to the whispering of the world.  That is how it makes love to you”  Tagore.

Icebergs remind of Buddhist sand mandalas. Fleeting moments of incredible inspiration.  As our planet warms, there are more and more tremendous icebergs floating by the coast of Greenland, and on to warmer waters only to become part of the ocean once again.

In my humble opinion this was a well run trip that delivered just what it promised.  The pacing worked perfectly for me.  I liked stopping at lots of different locales.  We seldom stayed anywhere that was too short or too long for me.  Can’t think of anything that would have improved the trip for me. I give the trip and Ron Rosenstock a 10 out of 10.
 

E. Clark

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 6 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 if 4-5 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

Your talk on photography and the spirituality of photography was a great revelation for me as I have always felt this way about it myself. Your talk was the affirmation I had been searching for. It was great beyond words to be participating with a group of Artists who were as passionate as I about photography and image making.

M. McLaughlin

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

Accommodations are at quaint inns or lodges, all rooms having private bathrooms. Breakfasts will be taken at the lodges, while lunches will usually be picnics in the field or pub lunches, with dinners at local restaurants, those meals included are listed in itinerary. The food is both delicious and wholesome. Transportation will be in a comfortable mini-bus.

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.

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