Guide Profile: Cathy Harlow

Monday, 5th February 2018

Destination Specialist

iceland cathy harlow on iceberg

Our guide, Cathy Harlow has worked with Discover the World for over 30 years, leading our Orcas and Auroras and Hiking in East Greenland holidays. Not only is Cathy a superstar in our eyes, but she was also Highly Commended in the Wanderlust World Guide Awards in 2013 and 2014. Cathy will be leading our new Into the Blue whale-watching holiday this June – exclusive to Discover the World!

So tell us about your experience?

I trained as a guide in Iceland way back in 1986 and I then began working for Discover the World in 1988 – over 30 years ago! In 1994, I spent time in Australia and trained as a guide in the tropical rainforest and Great Barrier Reef, branching out into guiding wildlife tours in Dominica, The Bahamas, Madagascar, Florida and Sri Lanka.

As a guide, you need to have a range of skills and be knowledgeable on many subjects; you just never know what questions you’ll get asked! My passion for orcas began while guiding on whale-watching boats for three winters in northern Norway. However, I’m also into birds, plants, geology and the history and culture of the areas I guide in.

Do you have a favourite destination or area to guide holidays in?

Being fluent in Icelandic, I am most at home and know Iceland like the back of my hand. There’s also so much about East Greenland that inspires me. However, I like to focus on the ‘now’ and I get enthusiastic about wherever I’m guiding at the time.

Why do you think people should consider going on an escorted holiday if they haven’t travelled in a group before?

A guided trip keeps you motivated to make the most of your holiday, particularly on short breaks. There is a huge variety of amazing experience alongside meeting like-minded people.

Finally, describe yourself in three words

I am positive, passionate and patient (the three P’s!)

“Having been in business since the sixties I am well able to recognise a gem and you surely have the finest in your industry; yes of course – Cathy Harlow. Simply a pleasure to be in her company while she imparted such deep and interesting Icelandic knowledge.”
Mr Bakewell, Iceland escorted holiday

iceland grundarfjordur orca watching ch

Feeling inspired?

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Suggested Holidays

Orcas and Aurora

from £1076
excluding flights
4 nights Mar
Combine the excitement of seeing orca and the northern lights on this guided short break.
  • Wildlife
  • Winter Break
  • Northern Lights
  • Escorted
  • Short Breaks
  • Whale Watching

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Orcas, Aurora and Icebergs

from £1714
excluding flights
7 nights Mar
On this small group tour, experience a wealth of Iceland's spectacular natural wonders.
  • Wildlife
  • Winter Break
  • Northern Lights
  • Escorted
  • Whale Watching
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Hiking in East Greenland

from £2716
excluding flights
9 nights Jun, Aug
Stride out amidst mountains and ice-filled fjords on this escorted walking tour.
  • Escorted
  • Walking and Trekking
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Into the Blue – Whale Watching in Iceland

from £3181
excluding flights
8 nights Jun
A 9-day small-group holiday, Into the Blue is led by award-winning guide, Cathy Harlow, combines spectacular landscapes with three whale watching hot spots under the midnight sun.
  • Wildlife
  • Escorted
  • Whale Watching
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