Scotland Photo Tour: Outer Hebrides, Isle of Skye and The Highlands

Tour Intro

Live It, Love It, Shoot It

The Strabo Photo Tour Collection is proud to announce a special tour to Scotland, led by accomplished photographer and instructor Nancy Ori.

Travel to Scotland and photograph the wild landscape of the Highlands, and the Western Isles. Nancy invites you to join her 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 Glencoe in the Highlands, Isle of Skye, 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.

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. 

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.
• Photograph the historic standing stones in the Outer Hebrides of Lewis and Harris.
• Maximum of ten participants.
• Professional photography leader Nancy Ori.

Tour Itinerary

September 19: Home

Photo By: Tom & Pat Cory

Photo Location: Quiraing Isle of Skye Scotland

Depart from the U.S. today on an overnight flight* to Glasgow (GLA) International Airport, where you will then connect on a flight to Stornoway (SYY), Outer Hebrides. Your arrival time on September 20 should be early enough so you can connect with an 11AM flight GLA/SYY. If any questions or concerns, please contact our office. If you want to fly to Glasgow a day early, the Holiday Inn is walking distance.

*PLEASE NOTE: Your return flight will be from Glasgow/home.
 

September 20-23: Outer Hebrides
Callanish Stones - Outer Hebrides

Photo By: Ron Rosenstock

Photo Location: Scotland

It is suggested everyone be on the same Logan Air flight leaving Glasgow at 11AM and arriving Stornoway at noon. 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 Outer Hebrides (B, L each day)
 

September 24-26: Isle of Skye

Photo By: Tom & Pat Cory

Photo Location: Isle of Sky 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 Isle of Skye (B, L each day)

September 27-28: Glencoe

Photo By: Tom & Pat Cory

Photo Location: Highland Cow, Scotland

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. You will take part in a distillery visit outside Glencoe, or perhaps when enroute back to Glasgow.

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 Glencoe (B, L two days).
 

September 29: Glencoe - Glasgow

Before reaching Glasgow this evening there will be several photo stops along the way. There is a lovely castle in the Stirling district, Doune is a popular filming location and has been featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Game of Thrones and Outlander. Overnight GLA Airport Hotel. (B, L)

September 30: Glasgow - Home
Highland Games

Photo By: Jacque Steedle

Photo Location: Scotland

You can depart at anytime today, walking back to the airport in time for your flight.

PLEASE NOTE: Your flights will be booked multi-city: Home/SYY; GLA/Home, or you could book round trip Glasgow, then a one way flight with Logan Air GLA/SYY.

Photo Leader

Nancy Ori
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Nancy Ori

To view a slide show of Nancy's images from her photo programs to Cuba, click here:  Cuba travel program with Nancy Ori      It's a perfect of example of the wonderful opportunities you will explore with her.

Nancy Ori, photography instructor and experienced tour leader
Nancy J. Ori is respected internationally for over 30 years as an industrial photographer and video producer and enjoys teaching photography and painting workshops throughout the United States and Europe. Nancy was affiliated for many years with the Ansel Adams Workshop in California and is now on the faculty in New Jersey of numerous art centers and museums. In 1990, she established The NJ Heritage Workshops for Photography and Painting, which she holds each spring in Cape May. And in 1995 she founded and directs the New Jersey Photography Forum, a group of professional and serious amateur photographers that meet regularly to discuss their work and exhibit within the state. The group is now 18 years old and is the largest group of exhibiting fine art photographers in New Jersey.

Photographing in the West Coast tradition of her long-time mentor, Ansel Adams, Nancy expresses her own interpretation of the landscape and architecture. Her photographs reveal a love of light, shadow and form in natural and man-made settings. They are powerful documentations of the land expressing its vulnerability and endurance.

Nancy's teaching style is casual and supportive but with great passion. One of her students sums it up nicely: "The workshop was wonderful, and hard and fulfilling and really fun! As usual, you were brilliant, prepared, encouraging, insightful and organized. Thanks again for your passion, and for all the fun and knowledge my annual "photography camp" puts in my life."  Carol

Ori’s work has been widely published and exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States and Europe. View Nancy’s website www.nancyoriphotography.com. for detailed information or call her at 908-790-8820.

It’s always enlightening and enjoyable listening to you and discussing things. The vast majority of time, after attending a workshop (which I rarely do anymore), l leave feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. However, there is something about your approach that, following time spent w/you, I go away encouraged and motivated. It’s a bonus to get applicable business contact info, and some written reference material, but it’s the feeling of, “hmmm, I can do this...”, that makes all the difference. And for that, I thank -you. Glenn, freelance photographer

Glenn

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 6 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 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

I’ve thought a lot about the trip and felt that your instruction was excellent and your patience with our questions and our technical inadequacies was remarkable. I thought everyone else would be much more accomplished than I am and was delighted that I could keep up and learn so many new things. Your teaching style matches my learning style – focused and to the point. I also learned so much from my fellow students who graciously shared their knowledge and experience.
The scheduling and pacing of the trip were excellent even though by the evening I was too exhausted to participate in the frivolity. However, I didn’t feel left out because you did not use that time for instruction. It was a great workshop for content, organization and student support.

Ruth

Nancy, that was a great trip. The work that you put into it was very apparent from the variety of experiences we had and the number of people we met. My favorite parts were spending the whole week based in one place and getting a sense of what life is like for the people who live there. Another plus, in my opinion, was the amount of time spent and the subjects covered in lessons. As a "point and shooter", I  felt that what was being taught was interesting and relevant, even though I did not have the capability of implementing some of the suggestions. 

Iris L.

Your instructions regarding exposure settings, use of flash outdoors, control of flash intensity were invaluable. I have a new-found appreciation for variations in natural light as well, while there is much to learn, these tidbits have renewed my interest and passion for photography. It is a wonder and a pleasure to take photos that capture what I saw, and wanted, with minimal adjustments. Also, you were wonderful in taking the time to critique my old photos. While others had given me their thoughts yours were the most insightful, directive and helpful.  

Edgar

Additional Notes

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 always welcome tour companions who are not photographers. There are interesting aspects of Scottish life waiting to be explored in every location.

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. Transportation will be in a comfortable mini-bus.

Food & Drink

Breakfasts will be taken at the lodges, while lunches will usually be picnics in the field or pub lunches, with dinners at local restaurants. The food is both delicious and wholesome.

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