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GeoCultura LTD—a travel company that explores how history has been shaped by landscapes and geology—is releasing a new tour, The Isles of Scilly in 2024 for curious travelers. This exclusive, small-group tour invites travelers to explore these picturesque islands set 28 miles to the west of England’s southwesternmost city, Cornwall, birthplace of the mythical King Arthur.

With activities ranging from boat excursions, guided walks, cycling, birdwatching, vineyard tours and star gazing, there is something for clients at all experience levels. Stargazing is a popular activity at the community observatory on St. Martin’s Island, as the destination is officially known for having the UK’s darkest skies and hence its brightest stars.

Adventures on the “Off-Islands” of Scilly

Tresco Abbey Garden, established in the 19th century around the ruins of a Benedictine Abbey.

Accompanied by a local guide, guests will explore two to three of the four inhabited “off-islands,” including Tresco, with its famous subtropical gardens. Weather permitting, there is also an option to visit an uninhabited island to see seabirds and evidence of historical settlements. In addition, local guides and guest speakers will help travelers make the most of this island by showing guests which wildlife to watch out for and helping them to discover the history behind some of the most striking landmarks and coastal landscapes.

Island life runs at a slower pace than on the mainland, and GeoCultura’s itinerary reflects this. The weather also plays a part, so the itineraries will adapt to suit the weather and tides, taking into account the special requests of the group. Whatever the conditions, there will always be plenty to catch the traveler’s attention.

Accommodations on St. Mary’s Island will be provided during the 3- to 5-night trip at the historic Star Castle Hotel. This venue is an example of an Elizabethan fort, which was built in 1593, is steeped in history, and was converted to a hotel in 1933.

The Andromeda Galaxy, pictured from St Martin’s Island. Photo taken by Island postmaster Bruce Frank.

Other experiences on this journey include a pre-dinner talk on maritime adventures and famous shipwrecks from one of Britain’s leading shipwreck experts. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the hotel’s Dungeon Bar and a nightly dinner at the award-winning restaurant in the former Officers’ Mess. Guests can savor the hotel’s freshly caught fish and award-winning appetizers.

The Isles of Scilly can only be reached by small plane from airports in Cornwall and Devon, by helicopter from Penzance Heliport, or by ferry from Penzance Harbour. While on the island guests will get around on foot and on small passenger boats for travel between the islands. To enjoy the full experience, a good level of fitness is required but the GeoCultura team is happy to discuss and advise travelers. The Islands enjoy a mild climate, so for a quieter visit, April or October tour dates are recommended.

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