Tour Date: June, 2017
What’s Not Included
Tour Price: $6,700 ***INCLUDES RT AIRFARE from USA gateway city
Registration Deadline: May 1, 2017
Single supplement $750
- Any Passport and Visa arrangements
- Early check-in, late check-out surcharge
- Additional drinks and other personal expenses (alcoholic drinks, laundry, phone calls etc.)
- Any services not specifically mentioned in the tour program
- Tips for guides or baggage handlers
- Airport Taxes
Day 1 — Edinburgh, Scotland
Arrive in Edinburgh and transfer to our hotel. After time to relax, meet for our first photo shoot: an afternoon walk along the Royal Mile. As we wind our way from Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Park, frame sharp church spires, cobbled alleyways, and the warmly lit windows of age-old pubs. A short hike brings us up the knoll of Arthur’s Seat, where we’ll capture the cityscape from an outstanding vantage point. Tonight, gather for an orientation and a welcome dinner at the Jury’s Inn Hotel, Edinburgh.
Day 2 — The Trossachs /Oban
Head west after breakfast, stopping for a walk around the ‘bonnie banks’ of Loch Lomond. The charming village of Luss lies at the heart of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park—Scotland’s first national park, established in 2002. After lunch, continue to the port town of Oban, the gateway to the wild islands that stretch along Scotland’s west coast. Walk the lively harbour for some afternoon shots of ‘the little bay’ before we enjoy a hike to McCaig’s Tower overlooking Oban. Overnight at the Queens Hotel, Oban
Day 3 — Kerrera: The Green Isle
Directly across from Oban lies the isle of Kerrera. Here, we’ll set off on an intriguing hike through history that's full of great photographic opportunities. Pass Horseshoe Bay, where King Alexander II of Scotland died in 1249 while preparing to drive the Norwegian army out of western Scotland. Shoot different perspectives of Gylen Castle, perched dramatically on the cliff’s edge. Built as a stronghold of the MacDougall clan in 1582, the castle was besieged and burned in 1647. Head up into the hills to photograph the Island of Mull in the distance. Return to Oban by ferry this afternoon and back to the Queens Hotel, Oban
Day 4 — Isles of Mull, Iona, and Staffa
Board the morning ferry to the Island of Mull, the second largest of the Inner Hebrides. Cross to the west coast and take a boat to the uninhabited isle of Staffa to visit Fingal’s Cave. Spend time capturing images of the wild geology and geometry of the cave and its sea-splashed hexagonal basalt shafts. If desired, we can end the day on Iona, a tiny island off the tip of Mull that has drawn pilgrims since St. Columba established a monastery here in the sixth century. In the late afternoon light, take a photo hike past pristine beaches, an ancient nunnery, and a stunning medieval abbey. We then retire to The Western Isles Hotel, Tobermory.
Day 5 — Glen Coe and Glen Nevis and to Isle of Skye
Wake to photograph the colourful houses of the Tobermory harbour front. We board the morning ferry back to the mainland and travel north tracing the eastern shores of Loch Linnhe into a mystical landscape of sweeping slopes and rocky peaks, stopping for photo shoots along the way. Pass the western end of Glen Coe, scene of a historic massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692, before continuing to Fort William. Hike beneath the hulking summit of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the United Kingdom. Later this afternoon, follow the “road to the isles” and get your first images of the Isle of Skye as we cross to its shores. Photograph opportunities at iconic Eilean Donan Castle. We then head to the Tingle Creek Hotel, Kyle.
Day 6 — Northern Skye
The spectacular landscapes of northern Skye rise in soft, grassy slopes that drop off in sheer cliffs, and rock formations that spike and curl. The setting is perfect for a lesson in landscape photography. Set off on foot into this magical place, rich with legend and intrigue. Hike beneath the Quiraing and the Old Man of Storr, photographing different angles of these unusual rock formations as we learn a fascinating story of geologic turmoil. Later, take in the panoramic views of the Outer Hebrides from the Croft Museum and the small crofting village of Uig. Photograph opportunities at the Fairy Glen. We then head back to the Tingle Creek Hotel, Kyle.
Day 7 — The Highlands
After breakfast, start our journey back to Edinburgh via dramatic Glenshiel and the ‘Five Sisters of Kintail’. The viewpoint at Mam Ratagan on the Old Military road is particularly stunning. Capture the history as we travel through Invermoriston and take some time out when we visit Fort Augustus on the shores of Loch Ness, stopping for photo shoots along the way. This afternoon enjoy the journey through to the Victorian town of Pitlochry on the banks of the River Tummel where old fashioned shops fronts and interesting Victorian architecture wait to be discovered. Overnight at the Pinetrees Hotel, Pitlochry.
Day 8 — Stirling
Capture the historic village of Dunkeld ‘Fort of the Caledonians’ in the morning light before we cross into the Lowlands to the city of Stirling. Photograph opportunities at Old Stirling Bridge, Stirling Castle - Mary Queen of Scots was crowned at the castle in 1543, and The National Wallace Monument - built to commemorate one of Scotland’s greatest heroes, William Wallace. Later we take a look at the largest Equine sculptures in the world, the famous Kelpies near Falkirk, before heading back to Edinburgh for transfers to the airport for you flights back home and our final goodbyes. Final night in Edinburgh - Jury’s Inn Hotel, Edinburgh.
Day 9 — Edinburgh
Free time until flights home. Final night in Edinburgh.
Transfer to your chosen locations e.g. hotel, airport, train station or other location in the city.
This trip is: Moderate to Strenuous
Easy = less than 2 miles walking/day and little climbing; Moderate = up to 5 miles walking per day with some climbing; Strenuous = more than 5 miles/day of walking and several climbing/hills/rough terrain expected. You should know your health and ability to carry your gear in hot, cold, humid, and dry conditions and be able to walk 5 miles or more per day and make climbs in elevation of up to 1000 feet in gain and be OK climbing many steps or steep terrain.
GUESTS SHOULD PACK LIGHT. YOU MAY BE EXPECTED TO CARRY, ROLL, SCHLEP, AND/OR OTHERWISE TRANSPORT YOUR OWN BAGS AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL PLACES ON THIS TRIP. LAUNDRY SERVICES ARE ALWAYS AVAILABLE. M&M RULE OF THUMB IS ONE BAG FOR CAMERA GEAR AND ONE 20-22"" ROLLER FOR YOUR CLOTHES AND TOILETRIES. INVEST IN A TRAVEL TRIPOD - BENRO (http://www.benrousa.com/products/travel-angel-ii/) HAS MANY OPTIONS AVAILABLE. MEDICAL DEVICES SUCH AS CPAP MACHINES ARE EXCLUDED FROM THIS RECOMMENDATION. PACKING LIGHT WILL MAKE YOUR TRIP MUCH MORE ENJOYABLE.