Scotland’s Highlands Photo Tour Including The Isles of Skye and Mull

Tour Intro

Join us on a journey into a land of hauntingly beautiful landscapes. Windswept hills, forests, moors, bogs, streams, rivers, lochs, and the rugged sea coast all add up to an amazing amount of places to explore and photograph Scotland’s wild Highlands. Explore the Isle of Mull and Isle of Skye, incorporating the Quirang range and the Old Man of Storr formation, the Cuillin Hills, the rugged seascapes around Iona, and scenes along the many lochs and rivers. Shaggy-faced Highland cows will watch us curiously as we travel past their pastures, backed by rolling hills of moorland, while sea birds soar around the rugged cliffs and dive into the Sound. A visit to Fingal’s cave and seabird colonies are planned (weather permitting). Photograph the landscape, and the towns of Oban and Tobermory, capturing the picturesque life of Scotland.

Brenda Tharp is thrilled to be taking you to the wild landscape of the Highlands and the Isles of Skye and Mull. 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.

Tour Highlights

  • The lochs, moors, and mountains of the Highlands.
  • Photograph and explore the diverse landscape of the Isle of Skye.
  • Exploring the quaint seaside fishing villages of Mull.
  • Customized boat trip to the Isle of Staffa, and the smaller isles in search of Puffins.
  • Accommodations on the harbor in Kyleakin and countryside setting on Isle of Mull.
  • 10 Maximum number of participants.
  • Professional photography leader Brenda Tharp.

Tour Itinerary

October 8: Home
Portrait of a Highland Cow

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Scotland

Depart from the U.S. today on an overnight flight to Glasgow International Airport (GLA). Your arrival time on October 9 will need to be around 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.

October 9: Glasgow – Glencoe
Landscape Isle of Mull

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Scotland

Your local guide and driver, will meet you at the Glasgow Airport (time to be announced) and you will be on your way to the Highlands with photographic stops along the way. Accommodations for the next three evenings will be in the heart of Glencoe, surrounded by mountains. Overnight Glencoe. (L)

October 10-11: Glencoe
Highlands

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Scotland

You will have two additional days 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. The walk follows a small wooded valley with the banks of the burn full of wild flowers. A couple of miles away are three varied walks in the Glencoe Lochans area. Each walk which takes an hour or so, gives attractive views to Loch Leven, the Pap of Glencoe, and is through attractive grounds landscaped in the nineteenth century with woodland and lochs.

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. Our various drives will offer numerous stopping points to admire and photograph the Three Sisters mountain peaks, Valley of the waterfalls and cascades, sometimes in fine woodland, other times in open moorland. 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, leaving the main road opposite Buachaille Etive Mor, 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. Overnights Glencoe (B & L each day)

October 12-14: Isle of Skye
Rocky Coast Sound of Mull

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Scotland

Photograph the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle on the way to the Isle of Skye today. A warm welcome awaits us at a quaint harbor side hotel in Kyleakin where we will have image reviews. There are views from the hotel of the harbor and Castle Moil - an ancient MacKinnon stronghold - with its own Viking history and ‘saucy’ Norse traditions. Explore the Sligachan Valley with waterfalls, Fairy Pools, and views of the Black Cuillin Mountains, both offering dramatic landscapes. One day we will head North on this lovely Isle to 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. At Duntulm we will spend some time on the beach where we will find some fascinating rock pools and other subjects.

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. You can hike up to its base, and into The Sanctuary. The fantastic views have extraordinary photographic potential of the rocky landscape. Given time we can explore Lealt Falls and some of the amazing views across the Sound of Raasay. Overnights Isle of Skye (B & L each day)

October 15-18: Inner Hebrides - Isle of Mull
Tobermory Waterfront & Trapa

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Scotland

From Skye we will have a gentle day travelling to the Isle of Mull, by way of two short ferry journeys across the Sound of Sleat and the Sound of Mull, and a forty-mile drive across the spectacular Ardnamurchan Peninsula. This being the most westerly tip of mainland UK, the Mallaig lighthouse is featured as one of your many photographic opportunities as we arrive from Skye. Tioram Castle, set on a rocky headland near Acharacle, will present another opportunity.

Landing on the Isle of Mull at Tobermory, the island’s main town, which sits at the back of a pretty bay and the multi-colored stone houses and old pier present a lovely setting. From Tobermory there will be a short drive to the hotel, our base on the island for four evenings. At the south end of Mull, we will visit Iona Abbey on the beautiful Isle of Iona with its white sand beaches, and given proper weather conditions travel out to the Island of Staffa for the extraordinary Fingals Cave and other basalt rock formations, as well as the puffins and seabirds that breed there and on nearby islands. Your guide has arranged a private boat trip, giving the group extended time at a leisurely pace to photograph. The north of the island is different again with glorious views to the Western Isles, fine golden sands at Calgary, deep glens, rocky fortresses and plenty of surprises for photography.

Take advantage of some early morning and late night photography of the surrounding landscape. Organized walks with Brenda, or simply wander on your own as time permits. Overnights Isle of Mull (B & L each day)

October 19: Glasgow
Ice Cream Story, Tobermory

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Scotland

Leaving early this morning, we travel again via ferry to Oban, on the mainland. Oban is one of the main towns of the west coast and we will stop a while to admire and photograph, before our final three-hour drive south to Glasgow. Overnight Glasgow Airport Hotel (B & L)

October 20: Home
Kegs & Window, Ft. William

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Scotland

The hotel is easy walking distance to the airport, therefore your flight can be at anytime today.

Photo Leader

Brenda Tharp
read more
Brenda Tharp

Brenda is a professional photographer, speaker and educator with a life-long wanderlust for exploring the world and photographing it. Her photographs have appeared on the pages of Sierra Club, Audubon, National Geographic Books, Michelin Travel Guides, Nature Conservancy, and many more. She is the sole author/photographer of two books, her most recent Expressive Nature Photography, and she co-authored Extraordinary Everyday Photography with Jed Manwaring. Her fine art images are in private collections across the country.

For years and continuing today, she has escorted 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, 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 love for the natural world is evident in her dramatic landscapes and wildlife images. Her cultural images portray a sense of place, and her portraits are approached with sensitivity and respect for the person and the culture. Brenda challenges you to see in new ways.

Topics of discussion on each trip are tailored to the groups' needs, yet typically include: creating dynamic landscapes/scenes, paying attention to gesture and moment with both wildlife and people, working effectively with the light you have, using elements of design to create strong compositions, creating visual depth, and storytelling with your images. Additional discussions often include processing and workflow. She is always available for technical or visual help, offering tips and suggestions to help you to refine their own vision of the place.

Note from Instructor: “I believe that you workshops and tours are a great way to work on improving your artistic vision and your technical skills, while being inspired by a great destination, not to mention the fun of sharing the adventure with like-minded photographers. I am available to lend advice and review images any time on the journey.”

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 6 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $400 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.

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. Typical lodging in these area’s are traditional, clean and more than comfortable for photography groups. 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. Transportation will be in a comfortable mini-bus with ample room for your luggage and gear.

Food & Drink

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

loading icon