Spain: Andalusia Photo Tour with Barcelona Extension

Tour Intro

Sponsored by Houston Audubon Society.

Fall under Spain’s magical spell: Andalusia (Spanish Andalucia) is outside the major cities and is considered somewhat “off the beaten path”. It is undoubtedly the most exotic and stunning region in all of Spain. The beauty of it’s remarkable architecture and breathtaking landscape will entrance you, while the diversity and warmth of it’s culture will captivate you. 

If this rugged landscape could speak, it would testify to untold battles and conquests by both Moors and later Christian forces. These remarkable people left behind some of the finest architectural examples of their refined culture. Many regard Granada and the fabulous high Sierra Nevada as the hub of this astonishing region. The first view of the Sierra Nevada; a majestic hunched, spine of rock glistening with its mantle of snow in very early spring is a memory that abides forever. Directly behind the great hulk of the Sierra Nevada lie the fertile hills and valleys of Las Alpujarras. Travel to Ronda, and photograph the white-town route, there is also Zahara, Arcos de la Frontera and the plains of Jerez. Seville, being the centerpiece of romantic Spain. You are certain to feel, and encouraged to capture the flamenco spirit in your heart as well as through your lens. Cordoba, a photographer's delight, has enough subjects and light conditions to fill albums. Venture to Andalusia with Kathy Adams Clark on this amazing journey.

Tour Highlights

• Fall under the spell of Andalusia, Spain, followed by an optional extension to Barcelona.
• Photograph the impressive architecture of Granada’s Alhambra, Seville’s Alcazar, Cordoba’s Mosque, and more.
• Ronda, and the enchanting ‘white-town route’, villages strung together, draped along hillsides under their castles.
• Photograph the beautiful patios, flowers, gardens, Roman and Moorish monuments, and bullrings.
• Stay in the heart of each location, taking early morning and dusk photo walks with Kathy Adams Clark.

Tour Itinerary

October 1: U.S.

There are overnight flights from the U.S./Canada to Seville, Spain (SVQ). Please Note: If you are taking part in the extension your airline ticket will need to be issued Multi-City, Home-SVQ/BCN-Home. If you are not taking part in extension your ticket can be issued round trip SVQ.

October 2-4: Seville

Group transfer time to the hotel will be announced. Seville boasts of taverns and markets, baroque and gothic churches as well as Renaissance palaces and monasteries. You will have a brief walking tour of Seville from your hotel, prior to or on the way to dinner. Enjoy your evening photographing along narrow, winding medieval lanes through the city, past tapas bars, clubs, and other sites.

The next day highlights of Seville include: street markets, Macarena Gate and Walls, The Cathedral of Seville, Alcazar, and the famouse bullring. You may wish to return and climb the spire in the late afternoon for the best views. Wander the narrow streets in the Old Jewish Quarter and the Barrio de Santa Cruz. The last full day in Seville, venture outside the old town area to the Plaza de Espana, and photograph the beautiful archticture from the 1929 Expo. Overnight Las Casas de los Mercaderes (D; B; B)

October 5: Arcos de la Frontera

Join Kathy on a morning photo walk before breakfast. After breakfast at the hotel, we'll venture down the road towards Arcos. As you approach Arcos there are marvelous photo ops to capture the setting of the village. After checking in to the hotel, wander with Kathy through the winding streets of the old town and the Plaza de Espana. Overnight Hotel el Convento (B, L)

October 6-7: Ronda

After a morning photo shoot with Kathy, enjoy breakfast at the hotel before continuing east, connecting with the ‘white-town route’, which is made up of white villages strung together, draped along hillsides under their castles.

Ronda sits on a plateau of a large rock outcropping above the El Tajo gorge. Because of the cliffs, Ronda was one of the last Moorish cities to fall during the Reconquest of Spain by the Catholic monarchs. It certainly takes the prize for picturesque views. You can easily explore its central sights on foot, however, if you choose to take the foot trails up and down the cliffs you will need to be in good physical condition. You will photograph the highlights as well as the off the beaten path neighborhoods. Ronda is steeped in history with the bullring, the Puente Nuevo -18th century bridge, Plaza de la Ciudad and Santa Maria la Mayor Church, take an optional hike up the former mosque tower for a different view.

Kathy will determine a destination for a morning photography walk. There are several optional excursions to ruined Moorish mills, or spectacular waterfall views, and Puente Nuevo. During a mid-day break you may choose to soak in the ancient baths, taking the trail from the Casa del Rey Moro – lavishly furnished mansion with terraced gardens and a flight of 365 stairs cut into the living rock and leading to the river and the Moorish baths. Meet again this evening with Kathy for sunset photography. Overnight Hotel San Gabriel (B; B, L)

October 8-9: Granada

The City of Granada is located at the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains at the confluences of two rivers. The backdrop of mountains creates a beautiful setting for this historical city that embraces an artístic grandeur of Moorish palaces and Christian Renaissance treasures. A taste of the city’s appeal is found in Washington Irving’s Tales of the Alhambra, a useful book to read prior to departure.

Kathy will organize a photography walk late this afternoon to the Mirador de San Nicolas for your first view of the Alhambra, at sunset. The following day enjoy a tour of the interior of the Alhambra with your local Granada city guide. Then enjoy late afternoon photography with Kathy amidst the gardens and this spectacular architecture. Late this afternoon and evening will be another photo shoot with Kathy in the Realejo or El Albaicin neigborhoods located at the foot of the Alhambra. They will take you into hidden streets full of history and charm, sharing with you some of the most stunning views and memories of the city. Hotel el Ladron de Agua (B; B, L)

October 10-11: Cordoba

Continuing on, Cordoba is a photographer's delight, a Roman bridge still crosses the river. Tomorrow will bring a full day photographing this magical city. At one time Cordoba had a population of one million, Muslims, Christians, and Jews líving in harmony. We aim to make this a visual tour of Cordoba, with insights on its art, monuments, attractions, culture and everything that makes it a special, different kind of city. Kathy will organize an early morning photography walk amidst the maze of narrow streets. One of the architectural marvels is the Mosque (Mezquita), a vast square of what seems like endless red-and-white striped arches. You will go inside the the famous Cordoba Mosque, Vianna Palace and the synagogue. Photograph the beautiful gardens along the Street of Flowers, with flowing potted plants, hanging along side the white washed homes. Overnight Casas de la Juderia (B; B, D)

October 12: Home or on to Barcelona Extension

Photo By: Karen Gordon Schulman

Photo Location: Barcelona Spain

Return to Seville today, transfer time to be announced to connect with flights home. (B)

Tour Extension

October 12-15: Barcelona Extension
Photo By: Karen Gordon Schulman
Photo Location: Barcelona Spain

Extension Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 8 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $200 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.

Extension Itinerary

October 12-15: Barcelona

Photo By: Karen Gordon Schulman

Photo Location: Spain

Those going on to Barcelona with Kathy will take the high speed train this morning from Cordoba to Barcelona (duration 4 hours 45 minutes). You will be transferred upon your arrival to the hotel for check in. Gather again in the lobby for in an introductory walk and welcome dinner with your Barcelona guide. This walk will include La Boqueria Market and picturesque cafes and La Rambla, a tree-lined pedestrian boulevard packed with buskers, living statues, mimes, and itinerant salespeople selling everything from lottery tickets to jewelry. The noisy bird market on the second block of La Rambla is worth a stop. We hope to capture the golden light from Port Vell, at the foot of La Rambla. Overnight Hotel Serhs Rivoli Ramblas (D)

October 13-14: Barcelona

Photo By: Karen Gordon Schulman

Photo Location: Barcelona Spain

Kathy will organize an early morning photo shoot, returning to the hotel for breakfast. After breakfast each day we will meet with the local guide as we venture into the streets. Be sure to have comfortable walking shoes, as we will use public transportation, where possible, to explore the sights and sounds of the city. Casa Batllo, with Gaudí’s renowned facade in stunning organic forms, fantastic chimneys and rooftop, has been said to symbolize the legend of St. George killing the dragon.

Güell Park, designed by Antonio Gaudí, is the most famous park in Barcelona. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it has been subject to all types of praise and criticism, including comments such as "outrageous modernism", "surrealistic island", and "nightmare expressionist park". First conceived as a private estate, it became a public park in 1922. Both the main entrance to the park and the stairway leading to the Hundred Columns Room are structures where Gaudí clearly let his imagination run free.

A tour of Barcelona would not be complete without a visit to La Sagrada Familia, Europe’s most unconventional church. The life's work of Barcelona's favorite son, Antoni Gaudí, the magnificent spires of the unfinished cathedral imprint themselves boldly against the sky. They are encrusted with a tangle of sculptures that seem to breathe life into the stone. 

The last full day in Barcelona Kathy will organize a morning photography walk, as well as at dusk. The afternoon will be free to enjoy revisiting previous photo locations at different light or optional activities such as: The Picasso Museum is housed in five adjoining medieval palaces, displaying various works by the famous artist. If you wish to learn more about the artist, optional audio guides are available as you enter the museum. Although the tour included Casa Batllo (chosen because you are allowed to wander on your own vs. La Pedrera) you may choose an optional visit to learn more about Gaudi at the colorful, La Pedrera. It was built between 1905 and 1910 as a combined apartment and office block. Formerly called the Casa Milà, it is better known now as La Pedrera (the quarry) because of its uneven grey stone facade that ripples around a street corner, elaborate wrought-iron balconies further emphasize, creating a wave effect. Visitors can tour an actual apartment as it was lived in, and go up to the roof, where giant multi-colored chimneypots jut up like medieval knights. Palau de la Musica Catalana, in all it’s color and glory, or various art museums, or simply photograph the wonderful harbor. Overnight Hotel Barcelona Center.  (B, L; B)

October 15: Barcelona - Home

Photo By: Karen Gordon Schulman

Photo Location: Barcelona Spain

There will be a group transfer time (to be announced) to the BCN airport for flights home. (B)

Photo Leader

Kathy Adams Clark
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Kathy Adams Clark

Kathy Adams Clark is a professional nature photographer and owner of a stock agency representing thirteen photographers. Her work has been published in a variety of national and regional publications including National Geographic Books, The New York Times, and Sierra. Kathy teaches over fifty photography workshops and classes each year. Her work may be viewed weekly in the Houston Chronicle's “Wonders of Nature” column, written by her husband, Gary.

Kathy enjoys traveling with people new to photography as well as with folks with advanced skills. She has an ability to explain complicated photographic terms in easy-to-understand language. She likes to teach those hungry for new information but also understands that photography can be a solitary task. Each person traveling with Kathy is treated as an individual, but the group always has fun.

Kathy is an accomplished naturalist as well as a photographer, skilled in 35mm film and digital cameras. She is very passionate about nature, birdlife, and wildlife. Gary Clark who is an acclaimed naturalist guide in his own right will co-lead some trips each year with her.

A lifelong naturalist, Gary Clark has studied birds, mammals, and butterflies in North, Central, and South America and in East Africa.  He is an award winning professional writer whose column “Nature” appears weekly in the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express News.  He has authored feature articles in state and national magazines and has written six books that include photographs from his wife, Kathy.  He frequently conducts birding workshops and leads birding tours.  He is founder of the Piney Woods Wildlife Society of Texas, former president of the Houston Audubon Society, and former vice-president of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory.  Gary is a full professor at Lone Star College.

Because of both Kathy & Gary's love of nature, and the work they do, Strabo Tours is proud to make a donation to the Houston Audubon Society for each trip they take part in.

This was the trip of a lifetime for me. I was challenging myself to learn all sorts of new things, photography, a new culture, and was immersed in it. It surpassed my expectations and I met so many beautiful souls along the way. Kathy was fantastic, I give her a 10++!!!

D. Whitney

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 10 paying participants. There is a small group surcharge of $500 if 6-9 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 am pulling together some amazing prints to show to friends this Saturday at a breakfast get-togther about our trip. I just want to comment on how your guidance from the start about what lenses to bring, your comments about camera settings the first few days in the boats, and your leadership every step of the way led to my bringing home just awesome photos. I know I took them, but you had a hand in this and I continue to learn from you. Thank you and bravo!!

HS

HS

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. On several occasions, we will venture out to photograph the city at night This is primarily a photo tour,with time to enjoy the famous architecture and arts.

 

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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