Guided butterfly, botanical & birdwatching holidays
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Cyprus in Autumn

 

Dates & Prices

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Dates: 20 – 27 November 2017 Guaranteed departure!

Price: £1,195

Single Room Supplement: £100

Deposit: £150 per person


Price Includes: All meals, accommodation with private facilities, ground transport, services of the guides, printed & bound holiday report & a donation to Butterfly Conservation

Not Included: Flights, travel insurance, entry to archaeological areas, drinks and any other personal items

Conservation Donation: 10% of profits donated to Butterfly Conservation

Leader: Yiannis Christofides

Group Size: Minimum of 4 and a maximum of 12 guests plus 1-2 leaders.

Grade: Gentle pace. Ideally suited to photography

Holiday Highlights


  • A chance to enjoy some late sunshine and wildlife
  • Led by Yiannis Christofides – Cyprus resident and expert on the islands flora
  • Enjoy a show of autumn flowering bulbs such as the relatively common Narcissus serotinus, the strange Euphorbia dimorphocaulon, and the endemics Crocus veneris, Taraxacum aphrogenes and Cyclamen cyprium
  • Plenty of other wildlife of interest to be seen, including resident Tree Frogs at the hotel, Finch’s  Wheatear, several butterflies on the wing still and Troodos and Snake-eyed Lizards 
  • Paphos archaeological area, a World Heritage Site with fine mosaics
  • Relaxed pace suitable for photography & full enjoyment of the area for its scenery and wildlife
  • Contribute to Butterfly Conservation

Escape the November blues and enjoy a relaxing week of Indian summer on the island of Cyprus instead!

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Holiday Guide

Dr Yiannis Christofides is a botanist living in the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus. Having obtained a degree in Chemistry from the University of London he returned to his mountain village where he took up botany. This led to a new book on the Orchids of Cyprus, with colour photos to aid identification. Several new plants were recorded for Cyprus and new locations were found for old ones. He was invited to be one of the authors of the Red Data Book of the Flora of Cyprus.

His interests include Orchids round the Mediterranean, the Floras of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey and also the flora of European Mountains. He takes a keen interest in other life-forms such as Butterflies and other Insects, Reptiles, Dragonflies and even Lichens. He likes to share his knowledge with members of his groups and his infectious enthusiasm makes him one of our most popular leaders. Yiannis is also knowledgeable about the geology and history of areas he visits.


We’re delighted to offer a trip to Cyprus in the autumn this year, for flora and other wildlife of interest. Enjoy a relaxing week on the island, staying at 2 different hotels, in the company of Yiannis Christofides, our resident expert who is happy to call Cyprus home!

An Indian Summer is the usual course of events in Cyprus, stretching long into autumn. The coming of the autumn rains marks the renewal in nature, bringing respite and relief into the parched landscape.  Many bulbs then burst into flowering, taking the chance to attract the pollinators looking for flowers to visit. We expect to see a number of autumn-flowering bulbs, from the relatively common Narcissus serotinus, the strange Euphorbia dimorphocaulon,  and the endemics Crocus veneris, Taraxacum aphrogenes and Cyclamen cyprium, whilst enjoying our beautiful location in the Akamas peninsula.  We shall enjoy breakfast on the terrace overlooking the beach, whilst the the sea  is still warm for swimming for those that wish to do so.

Cyprus is also on the major migration route from Europe to Africa and birds make landfall here before continuing their journey south. A number of species will be here to stay, amongst them  Finch’s  Wheatear and we shall go looking for it. Other wildlife such as lizards and butterflies should also be active and we should see Troodos and Snake-eyed Lizards. Tree frogs are usual residents of the hotel garden, to be seen basking on the shrubs.

The order of the day is for gentle walks to observe and photograph all that we can find, including the butterflies, dragonflies and other insects that are still around.

We’ll stay at two different hotels in Paphos and Latchi, eating out in Paphos and staying in at Latchi. The holiday is suitable for botanists and for those with a general interest in wildlife. All walks will be at a gentle pace and driving is very minimal as we strive to maximise the time spent out in the field enjoying the many natural, cultural and archaeological delights that Cyprus has to offer!

    

Day 1: Arrival. Depending on time we may have a short stop (Geroskipou church). Overnight in Paphos

Day 2: Paphos archaeological area. Our first visit will be to see the fine mosaics at this World Heritage Site.

We will also look for  Muscari parviflorum and Narcissus serotinus. Spiny-footed lizards should be darting amongst the shrubs  on the beach. The area is also good for small passage migrant birds or those spending the winter here. In the afternoon we shall go in search of Finch’s Wheatear, our resident winter visitor at a nearby location. Crocus veneris is also to be seen here. Depending on time we shall visit Mandria beach to look for other small birds. Overnight in Paphos.

Day 3: Transfer to Latchi, visiting  the Pegeia forest on the way, one of the best preserved lowland Juniper and  Pine forest with many typical plants of this habitat. We will look for Colchicum pusillum, Spiranthes spiralis, and Euphorbia dimorphocaulon.

Then on to to the village of Kritou Terra where we search the terraces for  Ranunculus bullatus, Crocus veneris, Muscari parviflorum and Cyclamen cyprium. Overnight in Latchi.

Day 4: Walk from the Hotel to the start of the coastal walk from the Baths of Aphrodite. We will visit the Botanical Garden and then walk along the cliff with wonderful views down to the sea.

General introduction to the Cyprus plants and habitats at the botanical garden. We shall see the special endemic Bosea cypria here and many of the garigue plants of the Cistus and Lamiaceae family. The first Narcissus tazetta should be flowering on the slopes.

Starred agamas and Troodos lizards should be sunning themselves on the carob trees on the way. If warm Painted ladies and Red Admirals will be on the wing. We will also examine the local geology with special reference to the geological history of Cyprus and its relationship with the Cyprus Flora.

Day 5: A different habitat today as we head for the foothills of the Troodos mountains and the Paphos forest observing the geology as we go. We shall see the special habitat consisting of Pinus brutia, Arbutus andrachne and the endemic Quercus alnifolia.

Day 6: We shall spend the day in the fields above the hotel, were we hope to see Narcissus tazetta in flower. Then we shall examine the special habitats of the rock pools and have an early return to the hotel.

Day 7: The Smygies forest is only a short bus ride from our hotel and there we shall see plants typical of this habitat, including the endemics Alyssum akamasicum and Centaurea veneris,  confined to the serpentine rocks of the area. Depending on the autumn rains  the special endemic Hyacinthella millingenii might have started to produce the first flowers. Lunch at local taverna with some typical cypriot dishes. We will walk back to our hotel.

Day 8: Departure. Transfer to airport for homeward flights.

    

New holiday – testimonials will appear next year

New holiday – report will follow later

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