Dates & Prices


Dates: 31 May – 7 June 2020

Price: £1,375

Single Room Supplement: £none

Deposit: £150 per person

Price Includes: All meals, accommodation with private facilities, ground transport, services of the guides, photographic holiday report & a donation to Birdwing

Not Included: Flights, travel insurance, drinks and any other personal items

Conservation Donation: 10% of profits donated to Ponies Help Children

Leader: Matt Doogue

Group Size: Minimum of 4 and a maximum of 7 guests plus 2 leaders.

Grade: Very slow and easy, deliberately designed for photography

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy a whole week of macro photography with expert Matt Doogue
  • Explore a wildlife rich part of north Greece and discover a treasure trove of macro subjects
  • Highlights include butterflies, Praying Mantis, dragonflies, beetles, spiders & much more!
  • Orchids and other flowers too, which make attractive alternative macro subjects, or can produce beautiful backdrops to insect shots
  • Habitats include mountain meadows, forests, lakes, rivers & alpine pastures
  • Relaxed pace perfect for photography
  • Do a much photography as you wish or watch and record the wildlife any other way you wish
  • Contribute to local conservation by supporting BirdWING

Enjoy a fantastic week in Greece with a focus on photography, led by our master of macro Matt Doogue!


Holiday Guide

Matt Doogue has always been fascinated with wildlife, especially invertebrates and he discovered that you could get great close up pictures using a macro lens on your DSLR, so taught himself how to get those incredible images he was so used to seeing on the internet and in magazines.

Matt is now a specialist in Macro, showcasing the beauty that can be found beneath our feet and has had worked featured with National Geographic, BBC Earth, Interviewed live with BBC Springwatch, Canon and published with the UK’s leading photography and wildlife magazines. Matt, also a keen conservationist, set up a group called ‘A planet fit for nature‘ to try and educate and inspire future conservationists and naturalists.

Some of Matt’s work can be found on his Facebook page.

If you love to see the natural world close up, in all its amazing technicolour detail this is the ideal holiday for you! The tranquil and verdant Lake Kerkini and surrounding mountains are the perfect place – full of butterflies, bugs and beautiful flowers for a feast of macro photography!

The area we’ll visit is rich in diverse habitats within a relatively small area, making it a prime location for finding biodiversity. The habitats we’ll explore include Lake Kerkini and associated wetlands, flowery hillsides, alpine pastures and emerald green mountains covered in forests of beech, hornbeam, oak, black pine and oriental plane. In turn this diversity supports an equally rich flora and fauna, thus a wide range of different and exciting macro opportunities! There can be dragonflies and tree frogs close to the water, orchids and other flowers in the hillside meadows, along with a beautiful palette of colourful butterflies. And everywhere we go there is the chance to find other fascinating insects and other invertebrates, like praying mantids, longhorn beetles, katylids, spiders and much more.

Our home for the week is a very welcoming, family-run hotel, close to Lake Kerkini. It provides the perfect base for our week of relaxing and fun photography in the wide open spaces and verdant mountains that surround the beautiful Lake Kerkini that we’ll call home.

The holiday has been designed to maximise the opportunities for macro photography by staying in one wildlife rich place for the week, where we can spend as much time as possible outside with our cameras.

Matt will be on hand to advise on how to capture intimate and interesting portraits of butterflies, spiders,  insects and other invertebrates in their natural habitats. The kind of techniques that will be covered include: basics of macro photography; working with natural light and tools to help optimise it; working with off-camera flash; composing your macro shots and digital workflow with Photoshop (you will need to bring your own laptop with software if you want help and advice on digital workflows).

Our daily schedule is kept flexible as we’ll want to take account and full advantage of the local conditions, which can be changeable. In general we’ll try and split the day into three sections:

Early morning

The time when many of our smaller macro subjects like dragonflies and butterflies will still be sleeping or waking up and not warm and fully active, making them easier to photograph. They may also be covered in attractive dewdrops and lit by gorgeous early morning sunlight, helping to bring extra life and beauty to your photographs.

We may also have moths to photography from overnight traps on some of the days, which we can either photograph in the mornings or evenings, before releasing them back into the wild.

Late morning and afternoon

The sun will be higher and the temperatures too, so it is a good time to photograph some of the more stationary subjects such as orchids and other wild flowers. Many insects and other invertebrates will be active now and although may prove challenging at times to photograph, being more visible can help to find more subjects and opportunities too.

Late afternoon and evening

Another good time to begin to look for butterflies as they seek out places to roost for the night. The light can also be wonderful for these types of shots, or just for photographing flowers on their own.

We may also choose to go out late on one or more occasion, to trap moths and either photograph them then or keep them safe until the morning when we can set up a shooting session for them.

The potential species to photograph are endless and there is always a new discovery to be made on such a trip, but here is a selection of subjects we have a good chance to encounter… (check out the gallery for some example photos)

Little Tiger Blue butterfly, Nettle Tree butterfly, Marbled Fritillary, Spotted Fritillary, Yellow-banded Skipper, Purple-shot Copper, Black-veined White, Cardinal, Praying Mantis Empusa pennata, European tree frog, Tortoises, Beautiful Demoiselle, Broad Scarlet, Thread-winged Lacewing, Longhorn Beetle Agapanthia kirbyi, Predatory Bush Cricket Saga pedo – largest grasshopper (and insect) in Europe!, Violet carpenter bee, Lizard Orchid, Woodcock Orchid, Humming-bird Hawk-moth and colourful Spurge Hawk-moth caterpillars.

Questions and answers

What will I need to bring?

A camera – DSLR, compact or bridge. A macro lens if you have one – don’t worry if you haven’t as we can get creative with telephotos, zooms & wide angles too! External flash (if you have it). Memory cards & batteries – make sure your spare batteries are fully charged! A tripod/monopod (only if you wish to use one, we try to promote hand held technique).

What do I need to know?

It would be useful to come to the workshop with a basic understanding of your camera. For example, knowing how to control shutter speed and aperture can be very important in achieving technically good macro shots so being familiar with these settings is a good start. But please don’t worry if you don’t feel you do understand these settings or any others, we will be able to help you learn throughout the day.

How will the holiday be run?

The daily workshops will cover techniques and approach for different subjects, as well as lens and accessory choice, use of flash, and camera settings. You’ll spend your time in the field taking photos, with Matt on hand to offer guidance throughout the day. At the end of the holiday you will have received a good introduction into close-up and macro photography and found out about the possibilities for taking your own macro photography further by the use of the techniques learnt and the equipment options available to you.

Are there any age restrictions?

No. Children and adults of all ages are welcome. We do ask that children (anyone under 18) are accompanied by a parent or guardian though.


Please note: The following itinerary is subject to changes in terms of running order or content, depending on local weather and other factors. We will use our experience and local knowledge to maximise the wildlife you will see and be able to photograph.

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to our hotel in a small village close to Lake Kerkini. Afternoon excursion to sites at the northern end of the lake for our first taste of the areas habitats and wildlife we’ll be photographing.

Day 2: Mandraki harbour and environs + the eastern embankment area of Lake Kerkini.

Day 3: Western side of the lake and surroundings.

Day 4: Lailias Mountain, various habitats and altitudes.

Day 5: Mount Belles at the northern end of Lake Kerkini. Exploration of habitats at various altitudes.

Days 6 & 7: Magical macro mystery tour! We’ll take you to several secret locations we’ve discovered over the years. A chance to explore the countryside and find many macro photography subjects!

Day 8: Transfer to Thessaloniki airport for homeward flights.

Caroline, June 2018…I learned so much on my first Greenwings Wildlife Holiday! Macro specialist Matt was inspiring, encouraging and patient. He knew just where to look to find the best creatures and offered composition, technical and entomological insights in a way that made it all feel accessible. I appreciated his enthusiasm and consideration for the photography subjects. The trip was well worth the journey from the Pacific Northwest!

Maclolm, June 2018… Very good range of habitats with a wide variety of insects and arachnids. Knowledgeable and helpful guides, coupled with, in my experience, above average accommodation and food. The boat trip was an added bonus for those interested in birds and your subsequent help with identifications was much appreciated. Overall great value!

New holiday – report will follow later