Scotland and the Isle of Skye Landscapes and Photography Tour
Explore and photograph the incredible mountains, lochs and coastlines of the Isle of Skye and the Scottish Highlands. As part of a small group accompanied by a professional landscape photographer and expert guide, you’ll hone your photography skills.
- 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 hotel at Port Appin, a 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 and visit a famous whisky distillery.
Day 1 - Edinburgh to Port Appin: Loch Lomond and the Trossachs
Meet up with the tour group and your guides 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 hearty 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 two nights
- Group dinner
Day 2: Glencoe & Glen Roy: Conflict in the 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’.
- Overnight at The Pierhouse Hotel
- Group dinner
Day 3: Port Appin to Skye: Sights of the Misty Isle
Make your way to the Isle of Skye via an iconic castle and a picturesque bridge, as well as some hidden gems.
After your last breakfast at The Pierhouse Hotel, it’s time to travel to the Isle of Skye. You’ll take in expansive loch views and stop off at Eilean Donan, a postcard-perfect castle, before you cross the road bridge onto Scotland’s ‘Misty Isle’.
Along the way, there will be time to get off the beaten track, with plenty of opportunities to capture the magic of the area on your camera.
You’ll round the day off by checking into the Cuillin Hills Hotel, a warm and welcoming four-star hotel looking over the harbour town of Portree and the distant Cuillin Mountains.
- Check into Cuillin Hills Hotel, Portree for the next three nights
- Group dinner
Day 4: Western Skye: Neist Point, Talisker Bay and 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.
The final stop on Skye’s western coast is Neist Point. It feels like this place was made for sunset photography! Stretching out into the sea, the point’s geological curiosities, fantastic seascape with an unusual basalt ‘pavement’ and a lighthouse are fodder for the perfect photo composition.
- Overnight in Cuillin Hills Hotel
- Group dinner
Day 5: Northern Skye: Landscapes, Landslips and Lava Flows
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. You’ll start with the Old Man of Storr, an iconic set of rock pinnacles located a short drive from Portree. After an optional sunrise photography session, you’ll head further up the coast, which is dotted with picturesque waterfalls and more fascinating rock formations.
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!
You’ll finish the day with a more mysterious location: the Fairy Glen. This unusual clearing-and-tower on Trotternish is a must-see on any self-respecting photo tour!
- Return to Cuillin Hills Hotel in the evening
- Group dinner
Day 6: Portree to Inverness: The Ross and Cromarty Road
Bid farewell to Skye and head through the Scottish hills, past lochs and glens before cruising across Loch Ness.
After a final breakfast at Cuillin Hills Hotel, you’ll head off to your final stay on this photo tour journey, via a most spectacular stretch of road.
Bordered by a number of scenic lochs and craggy hills, the road to Inverness is a landscape photographer’s dream – and it’s all the more inviting thanks to the warm welcome that waits at the other end. Coul House Hotel in Strathpeffer is a family-run Georgian mansion that’s an ideal base for your last night in the Highlands.
You’ll finish your Scotland tour off in style with a cruise across the fabled waters of Loch Ness. A landing at Urquhart Castle offers more outstanding sunset shots of historic Scotland and its natural beauty.
- Check into Coul House Hotel, Strathpeffer, for one night
- Group dinner
Day 7: Homeward bound
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 as locations and accommodations release more information regarding access for 2024.Activity Level and Transport
The activity level is rated as MODERATE, requiring an average level of fitness (see our definitions here). 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 5. 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, as Scotland’s infamous midges might be about (usually May to September)!
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:
- The services of your tour host who will be with the group throughout the tour, staying at the same hotels
- Local experts who will accompany the group and give talks on selected days
- All transportation costs when travelling from Edinburgh on the first day and when returning, all transport between locations, and passenger boat trips
- All accommodation costs for six nights
- All breakfasts, six a la carte dinners, four snack lunches and one restaurant lunch
- 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
- Extra or optional activities not described in the tour
- Lunches on Day 1 and Day 7; please arrange your own food for travel on the train
- 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
Eilean Donan Castle image credit: Alex Hare Photography
This business has confirmed that they have implemented, and will ensure ongoing compliance with, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels protocols. The Safe Travels stamp is based on self-assessment and it is not a certification.
From £4150 per adult
September — October
From £4150 Per Adult
Prices are subject to change depending on season
Tour company information
GeoCultura offers cultural tours to ‘must-see’ destinations with spectacular landscapes. Our tour leaders are experts with knowledge and a passion for the geology, science, heritage and history of each area. Our small groups use the best hotels in stunning places, to enjoy good food and company. Our new, unique tour of the Scottish Highlands, takes you on a billion year journey through amazing geological landscapes and cultural histories; bringing to life the birth of the landscape, the controversies, the battles, the heritage, and the secrets of what makes Highland malt whisky so special.
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