Phone: (607) 756-8676
Our Experience, Your Discoveries
We want to show you the world, and to have you truly inspired by it - exploring its breathtaking diversity. Our enthusiasm is stronger than ever to reach out and expand your horizons.
We hope you accept this invitation and join us on one of our journeys so that our experience becomes one of your many discoveries.
The Highlands, Isle of Skye and Orkney
Participants on this tour will explore the diverse landscape of the Isle of Skye, the largest of the Hebrides, and Orkney. Each day will be at a relaxed pace, allowing time to take in the local history, people and culture. You will hike across the spectacular Quiraing range, basalt uprising that is the dominant feature of the Trotternish Peninsula. A trip across the peninsula will take you to the tiny village of Uig, and beyond to the Fairy Glen, a magical forest of Hazel trees situated amidst strange and wondrous hills and valleys. Spend a day in the Cuillins - Skye's most dramatic mountains. Skye has something for everyone: sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, majestic mountains, quiet forests, and ever-changing skies that never fail to reward. If it rains, there is plenty to see and do in Portree, the largest town on Skye. You may also visit An Tuireann center for contemporary crafts and visual arts or browse the many shops, cafes, and pubs in town.
At the meeting point of three sea lochs on the west coast of the Scottish mainland is the very photogenic Eilean Donan Castle where you will stop on the way to Orkney. On Orkney explore the amazing megalithic sites, including Maes Howe, a 5000-year-old chambered tomb with 1000-year-old Viking graffiti, and the preserved prehistoric village known as Skara Brae, exposed by a storm in the nineteenth century. It never gets fully dark on Orkney in high summer, which means you may have hours of amazing twilight to view the amazing Ring of Brodgar, a massive stone circle that was built over 5000 years ago. You will also visit the Viking Cathedral in the village of Kirkwall, and the picturesque town of Stromness. One day on Orkney will be dedicated to a visit to Hoy, another of the Orkney Islands, where you can will hike across the northern end of the island to see the Old Man of Hoy, a 450 foot high sea stack.
Day 1: U.S. - Scotland
Depart from the U.S. today on an overnight flight to Glasgow International Airport.
Day 2: Glasgow – Glencoe
Sam Gardener, your guide and driver, will meet you at the Glasgow Airport, then driving to Glencoe. Our accommodations are set in the heart of Glencoe, surrounded by mountains.
Day 3: Glencoe
You will have a full day to immerse yourselves in the highlands of Scotland, with Glencoe being an excellent base from which to explore the region. In the Highlands, the past is all around. Ancient cairns and stone settings, the later brochs (defensive round towers), then the Picts with their mysterious carved symbol stones have all left their faint traces on the landscape. Though the old clan ways have vanished, the Highlands are still a special place and a place apart, enjoyed not only for their unspoiled environment, but also for their particular sense of the intertwining of past and present. (B)
Days 4 - 8: Orkney
Leaving Glencoe today, heading north to reach the little ferry port of Scrabster for the evening ferry to Stromness on Mainland Orkney. Traveling through the east coast of the Highlands, you will witness the dramatic landscape, finally, in Caithness, crossing part of the Flow Country - a huge expanse of peat moorland with far reaching views. There will be time for some photo stops en route. You then cross the Pentland Firth in a modern and comfortable ferry, the “Hamnavoe”. The crossing takes an hour and a half, and you pass one of Orkney’s best-known sights – The Old Man of Hoy, a fantastic sea stack just off the west coast of Hoy.
Orkney is a group of islands just off the north coast of Scotland, and is in sharp contrast to the Isle of Skye. It is a fertile soft landscape, rich in farming, with abundant and diverse bird life, and exceedingly rich in archaeological history. Orkney also has an important recent history with the almost enclosed waters of Scapa Flow, which played an important part in both world wars. Most of your time will be spent on Orkney Mainland, exploring its many megalithic sites, rolling landscapes, and jutted coastline. Some of these sights may include: the Skara Brae stone village; the fascinating tomb at Maes Howe - older than the Pyramids with Viking graffiti you will not find in Egypt; the Broch of Gurness; the standing stones of Stenness; the stone village of Barnhouse; and, of course, the Ring of Brodgar, an impressive stone circle on the shore of Loch Stenness. One day will be dedicated to hiking on the island of Hoy. Yet another option is to spend a few hours following the artist's studio trail, visiting local artists. One night, you will go to a ceilidh, to hear traditional Scottish music at Kirbuster, a 16th century farm that is now preserved as a museum. (B, D)
Day 9: Orkney - Skye
Traveling to the Isle of Skye today, you will depart after an early breakfast. Your guide will take into consideration the interests of the group, ferry schedule, and weather conditions to determine the most opportune stops, on Orkney or on the mainland, as you drive to Skye. Much of the Isle of Skye is in the form of a number of peninsulas, each with its own particular characteristics. On Skye you will stay in the idyllic Village of Kyleakin, which is just over the bridge from the mainland. Kyleakin is a peaceful harbor village, overlooked and indeed protected by the impressive twin peaks of Beinn na Caillich and Sgurr na Coinnich, some 2,400 ft above sea level. A warm welcome awaits us at a quaint harbor side hotel, where you’ll have views of the harbor and Castle Moil - an ancient MacKinnon stronghold - with its own Viking history and ‘saucy’ Norse traditions. Not far from Kyleakin are the Black Cuillin Mountains, the sparkling waters of Loch Sligachan, the Sleat Peninsula, and the quaint villages of Wester Ross. (B)
Days 10 - 13: Skye
You 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, you’ll make a number of varied stops along the way. At Kilmaluag you can walk up onto the cliffs for some spectacular views to the Outer Hebrides and to the mainland of Torridon. Further on you reach The Museum of Island Life at Kilmuir, which is a fascinating folk museum, housed in six Black Houses, giving a vivid impression of a previous life on Skye. Driving on you pass open crofting townships before reaching the picturesque village and bay of Uig. This is the ferry terminal for the Outer Isles.
A hike to the strange and dramatic rock formations of the Quiraing is a highlight, reaching the Needle, a solitary rock, and scramble up to the Table – a most surprising antidote to all the wondrous rocks all around. Finish the walk at the Flodigarry Hotel, a comfortable country house hotel where you can sample Skye beer, a wee dram, or enjoy a Highland tea – a welcome reward for the accomplishments of the day. Given time you can visit the Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the MacLeod’s, and is one of Skye’s most popular attractions.
Spend a day exploring the Sleat peninsula, known as the Garden of Skye. The landscape is very different on Sleat; the vegetation is very lush with wide valleys and marshy fields. A quiet loop road will take you through the tiny hamlet of Ord, with a secret garden and beautiful sandy beach, and Tokavaig with the remains of Dunsgaith castle.
The last day on Skye will, appropriately, be spent concentrating on one of Skye’s best-known sights. The Old Man of Storr is a pinnacle of rock, 160 feet high, visible from much of the east coast of Skye. It is surrounded by other incredible rocks, and you can walk up to its base, and into The Sanctuary, from where you can enjoy the fantastic views of the rocky landscape. (B)
Day 14: Skye - Home
Depart on late afternoon flights home from Glasgow International Airport. (B)
Accommodations are a mixture of family, twin and single rooms, some with private bathrooms, and all with in-room sinks. Single rooms and rooms with private bath may be available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Breakfasts will be taken at the lodges, while lunches will usually be picnics in the field or pub lunches, with dinners at local restaurants or at the lodge on Orkney. The food is both delicious and wholesome.
Participants should be in good physical condition as there will be hiking over rough terrain. There is no serious climbing involved, but there are several rigorous walks that require participants to be in good physical condition. Alternatives are available for those who prefer not to hike.
Tour land cost: $2,995 US Dollars based upon minimum of 2 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.
Single room supplement: Please contact us for more details about the single room supplement. 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.
Note: The land costs on international tours is based upon current exchange rates. Although the rate has been relatively stable, should it change, there may need to be an adjustment in the land cost.
Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds
A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic programs) 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.
Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
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 listed as optional, or those 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, film or processing, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.
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.
Fitness and Health
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.
Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.
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
This itinerary has been carefully constructed to assure participants the best this destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. Above is a summary of 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.