5-day Scotland and Isle of Skye Landscape Photography Tour

Scotland vacation package with top hotels. Explore and photograph Highlands, lochs and coastlines in the company of a professional photographer and a geologist.

Highlights

  • Discover some of the Scottish Highlands’ most photogenic locations and get photography tips tailored to your skill level – whether you’re shooting with a digital, analogue or smartphone camera – on this small group tour with award-winning professional photographer Alex Hare.
  • Learn to ‘read’ the incredible landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye as you delve into their deep-time origins and gripping human stories.
  • Hear extra insights from local experts and guides about the landscapes you photograph, as you explore hidden lochs and towering peaks.
  • Stay in top-quality accommodation, including a loch-side 4-star Gold restaurant with rooms at Port Appin, a 4-star former hunting lodge on Skye and a splendid Georgian mansion in the Highlands.
  • Experience a true taste of Scotland, as you dine on delicious meals cooked with the best local ingredients.
  • Visit the famous Talisker Whisky Distillery on Skye.

Overview

Build your photography skills and your understanding of dramatic landscapes on this five-day, four-night landscape photography tour of Scotland.

As part of a small group, you’ll see the most spectacular and famous sights of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye, immerse yourself in their history, and capture some striking photographs to treasure.

Starting in Edinburgh and travelling up to the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye, you’ll experience the region’s traditions, history, scenery and geology in the company of a local expert and a professional landscape photographer. Highlights of your Scotland photography tour include boat trips to secluded lochs, walks in sweeping glens with beautiful and atmospheric views, and bespoke technical and creative tips from our photography expert, Alex Hare, an award-winning landscape photographer.

This tour is suitable for photographers of all levels. Alex will show you how to take remarkable photos whether you’re travelling with a digital, analogue or smartphone camera. You can choose to join early morning trips to catch the sunrise at spectacular locations, and enjoy late evening outings for the area’s renowned sunsets.

As you explore, a local guide will layer Alex’s expertise with fascinating stories rooted in the geographical, geological and human history of Scotland.

Between outings, you’ll enjoy the comforts of three Good Hotel Guide-recommended hotels, all with excellent a la carte dinners, scenic locations and a warm welcome after a day’s touring.

  • Activity Level: Moderate, with a range of walks and hikes across the Scottish landscape between 1 and 3 miles long, with a slightly longer hike on Day 3 (view activity level definitions). This photo tour also includes boarding a boat via a ramped pier and will occasionally involve going off the beaten track to find the best photography locations.
  • Transport: Getting there: First-class rail travel between Edinburgh and Glasgow on Day 1; first-class rail from Inverness to Edinburgh on Day 5. Getting around: Luxury minibus; taxi; passenger boat.
  • Accommodation: one night stay at The Pierhouse Hotel, Port Appin, a welcoming restaurant with rooms with excellent views and a menu rich in local seafood options. Two nights at Cuillin Hills Hotel, Portree, on Skye, with one of the best views of the island’s landscape and mountains. Final night at Coul House Hotel, Strathpeffer, a welcoming 18th-century Georgian mansion. A la carte dinner is included at the hotels on each night of the trip.
  • Weather: The Isle of Skye’s weather is generally cool to warm throughout spring, summer and autumn, but there can often be a risk of rain. Skye has changeable weather and is known as the Misty Isle, but we find that this often enhances its craggy landscape – and therefore your photography – and won’t affect our itinerary.

Tour Map

Day 1 - Edinburgh to Port Appin: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

The Pierhouse Hotel Aerial Photo

Meet up with the tour group and your guide then journey into the Highlands by first-class train and luxury minibus, stopping to photograph Loch Lomond on the way.

In Edinburgh, you’ll meet up with your Tour and Photography Guides at Waverley station, catch the morning train to Glasgow, then hit the open road on your Scottish tour. You’ll visit a historic Scottish castle along the way, before making the first photography stop in Balloch.

As a gateway town to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, Balloch is the ideal setting off point to capture incredible views of the area, including iconic Loch Lomond and the surrounding mountains.

Rounding off your first day in the Scottish Highlands, you’ll receive a warm welcome and a group dinner at The Pierhouse Hotel in Port Appin, where you can enjoy the view of Loch Linnhe on your doorstep. (Photo Credit: The Pierhouse Hotel)

  • Check into The Pierhouse Hotel, Port Appin, for one night
  • A la carte group dinner

Day 2: Glencoe & Glen Roy: Conflict in the Mountains

Glencoe Mountains

Visit the area of the infamous Glencoe Massacre and practice your photography skills on majestic mountains and landscapes.

Following a delicious breakfast while admiring the morning view at The Pierhouse, you’ll head to Glencoe to immerse yourself in the history of the area. This morning’s photography session focuses on the area’s towering mountains and sweeping vistas.

This leg of your photo tour includes the story of the Glencoe Massacre, a notorious event in Scottish history, which adds a certain poignancy to the area’s rugged beauty.

Your Scottish photography tour continues as you take in magnificent mountains such as the Three Sisters of Glencoe, and Buachaille Etive Mòr, an iconic sight of the Scottish Highlands.

You’ll also head further north to explore Glen Roy and find out about Charles Darwin’s attempts to explain the glen’s unusual ‘parallel roads’.

Continue to Mallaig to catch the ferry over to the Isle of Skye. A warm welcome at Cuillins Hill Hotel, a four star hotel overlooking the harbour town of Portree and the distant Cuillin Mountains

  • Check in at Cuillins Hill Hotel, Portree, for two nights
  • A la carte group dinner

Day 3: Western Skye: Talisker Bay and Loch Coruisk

Loch Coruisk

Discover hidden lochs and picturesque points along Skye’s western coast and finish the day with sunset photography by the sea.

If you’ve spent the past day admiring the Cuillin Mountains from a distance, you’re in luck as today we’ll head right into the heart of the mountains for a Skye photography session at a secluded loch!

Travelling down to Elgol, you’ll catch a boat across the sea to Loch Coruisk, a scenic loch surrounded on three sides by the equally impressive and dramatic Cuillin Mountains. After time photographing the area and gaining insights into the geology and formation of the mountains, you’ll boat back for a light lunch.

Next up is Talisker Bay, a secluded cove with plenty of photo opportunities, including a sea stack on one side of the bay and a waterfall on the other. The area also holds one of Skye’s two whisky distilleries; we’ll tour the island’s oldest, Talisker.

  • Overnight in Cuillin Hills Hotel
  • A la carte group dinner

Day 4: Northern Skye: Landscapes, Landslips and Lava Flows

Skye’s Trotternish Peninsula

Explore Skye’s Trotternish Peninsula, finding and photographing its most famous landmarks.

If you thought Skye didn’t have any more to offer, we’ve saved the best until last. Today is dedicated to the north of the island, the Trotternish Peninsula.

This part of the island is home to several of Skye’s most recognisable landmarks.

Next, you’ll see the Quiraing (pronounced ‘Kwirrang’), another famous Skye sight. This slow-motion landslip has a history stretching back to the opening of the Atlantic Ocean, and its incredible landscape of hills and jagged peaks has inspired photographers for as long as landscape photography has existed – and now you!

A more mysterious location: the Fairy Glen. This unusual clearing-and-tower on Trotternish is a must-see on any self-respecting photo tour!

You'll finish the day at Eilean Donan Castle, a postcard perfect castle, before your cross the road bridge, and head to your final hotel. A warm welcome waits you at Coul House Hotel in Strathpeffer, a family-run Georgian mansion that’s an ideal base for your last night in the Highlands.

  • Check into Coul House Hotel, Strathpeffer, for one night
  • A la carte group dinner

Day 5: Homeward bound

Edinburgh Skyline 

Time to head home. Catch a taxi to Inverness Station, then travel first class back to Waverley station, Edinburgh.

Savour breakfast at Coul House Hotel, then get a taxi transfer to Inverness to board the mid-morning train back to Edinburgh. Share stories and your best pictures with your fellow passengers on the way.

Note: This provisional itinerary is subject to change.

Single Supplement

There is a charge of GBP £525 / USD $656 for solo travellers.

Rail Ticket

For an extra charge of GBP £350/ USD $435 per person, we can arrange first-class return rail tickets between London and Edinburgh.

Activity Level and Transport

The activity level is rated as MODERATE, requiring an average level of fitness (). The tour will involve walking in generally easy terrain and requires good walking boots and a moderate level of fitness. (Please note, some paths may be uneven and loose underfoot.) Hikes are 1–3 miles long, with a slightly longer hike around the Quiraing on Day 3. This tour also involves climbing into and out of a boat from a ramped pier to reach Loch Coruisk, and the occasional journey off the beaten track to find the best photography locations.

Transport will be by small luxury coach, boat, taxi and first-class rail.

Rain is always possible, so you should bring warm and waterproof clothing, insect repellent is also recommended.

If walking is an issue, alternative arrangements can be made during the scheduled longer walks, so please let GeoCultura know in advance. To enjoy the full experience, a good level of fitness is required – please call us to discuss this if you have any concerns.

The Tour Includes/Excludes

The Tour Includes:

  • The services of your tour host who will be with the group throughout the tour.
  • Professional photography who will lead the group for every daily excursions.
  • All transportation between locations by rail, luxury minibus and passenger boats.
  • All accommodation costs for four nights.
  • All breakfasts and a la carte dinners.
  • All service charges and gratuities in hotels and restaurants.
  • A pre-tour ‘kit list’ from Alex, with suggestions tailored to your skill level and camera choice.

The Tour Excludes:

  • Extra or optional activities not described in the tour.
  • Lunches each day.
  • Personal expenditures, any alcoholic drinks with meals, and extras at hotels such as laundry bills.
  • Transportation to and from Edinburgh Waverley railway station at the start and end of the tour.
  • Passport and visa fees.
  • Travel insurance, including adequate cover for your cameras and photographic equipment.

Alternative Activities

Our tour leaders are happy to provide suggestions for alternative activities for guests who prefer not to participate in certain parts of the tour walks or visits, or in group dinners.

Accommodation

Night 1: The Pierhouse Hotel, Port Appin

Wood Burner at the Pierhouse Hotel

The former home of Port Appin’s Pier Master, The Pierhouse Hotel is ‘a lovely hotel with stylish bedrooms and a varied menu, long on fish’. Breakfasts and dinners are accompanied by exquisite views of Loch Linnhe and the distant mountains. Good Hotel Guide (46th edition). (Photo Credit: The Pierhouse Hotel)

 

Nights 2 & 3: Cuillin Hills Hotel, Portree


Breakfast at Cuillin Hills Hotel

With ‘possibly the best location in Portree’, Cuillin Hills Hotel sits at a vantage point in the north of the town, providing exceptional views of Loch Portree, the Sound of Raasay and the distant Cuillin mountains. Good Hotel Guide (46th edition) (Photo Credit: Cuillin Hills Hotel)

 

Night 4: Coul House Hotel, Strathpeffer


Coul House Hotel

A ‘stunning Georgian building with wonderful grounds’, this 1820s mansion has been run as a hotel by ‘lovely, friendly’ hosts Susannah and Stuart Macpherson since 2003. Good Hotel Guide (46th edition)

Note: If required for reasons beyond our control, GeoCultura reserves the right to substitute alternative accommodations of equal or higher quality.

Deposit and Payment Terms

Deposit: A deposit of 10% of the tour price is due upon registration for a tour.

Final payment: Full payment is due 60 days before a tour begins, or upon registration if within the 60-day window.

Cancellation by participant: A participant may cancel a registration after securing a confirmed place on a tour for any reason. The following refund terms will apply:

  • Greater than 60 days before tour begins: Any monies paid plus half of the deposit will be refunded
  • 30 to 59 days before tour begins: 35% of tour price will be refunded
  • 15 to 29 days before tour begins: 25% of tour price will be refunded
  • Within 14 days of tour or during the tour: No monies will be refunded

Cancellation by GeoCultura: GeoCultura reserves the right to cancel any tour due to low enrolment, inability to run the tour or concerns about the safety, health or welfare of participants. If a tour is cancelled before it begins, all monies paid will be refunded (including any deposit).

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions page for additional details.

Alex Hare

 Alex Hare

Alex Hare is an award-winning professional travel, landscape and tourism photographer based in Kent, southeast England. He is also an experienced photo tour guide, well equipped to help you build your photography skills and confidence with any smartphone or camera during our photography tour.

Whatever your level of experience, Alex is here to help you. He’s particularly passionate about helping new or inexperienced photographers master their smartphone or camera to make the most of the kit they have. He also has plenty of technical, creative and post-production tips to help advanced photographers enhance their existing skills.

Alex has taught hundreds of adult learners, from beginners through to advanced, on the various workshops he has run over the years. He studied photography as part of his own Undergraduate degree, and has formal teaching experience from teaching photography students at his local university.

Alongside Kent, Alex’s other favourite places to photograph are the picturesque Lake District and, of course, the Scottish Highlands, the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye!

As a self-confessed outdoors-type and a practiced landscape photographer, Alex is committed to protecting the natural environment, and puts 5% of profits towards environment-supporting charities and carbon offset initiatives.

Upcoming tours
18 - 22 Sep 2024
Prices from GBP £2,999.00
( )
PRIVATE TOUR OPTIONS

T028 Tour Map