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Guided butterfly, botanical & birdwatching holidays
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The Flowers of Crete

The Flowers of Crete

£1,245.00

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Pay a deposit of £150.00 per item

Description

Our home for the week on Crete is on the outskirts of Chania, the most beautiful city in Crete and for some in the whole of Greece.

Chania has a natural, privileged, well-protected beauty. Sleepless guardians to the south stand the gigantic White Mountains in all their indestructible, panoramic glory. To the north stretches the multi-coloured immensity of the Sea of Crete, embraced by its gorgeous, long-armed capes. And all around lies its land, scarlet and green-haired, sown with wild silver gorges. A land that seems to be made flesh, so spirited and alive that you hesitate to tread on it.” (Manolis Skouloudis)

The setting provides a perfect base for what will be a relaxing holiday filled with a feast of flowers for which the island is famous for, along with an interesting range of other wildlife. The Chania prefecture is the greenest part of the island, thanks to all the rainfall provided by the White Mountains. These limestone guardians of the landscape  dominate the region and we’ll be ideally located for exploring some of the best sites in the area, without having to venture too far, perfect for those that wish to maximise the time they can enjoy being amidst the nature they’ve come to see.

Upon our arrival it won’t be long before we’re amongst the rich tapestry of plants which cloth the mountainous scenery, which include between 30-40 species of orchid, various Tulips, Anemones, Fritillaries, Campanulas, Cyclamens and many more! During the week there will be many special and endemic plant species to enjoy, such as the impressive Cretan Arum, the rare and bright red coloured Tulipa doerfleri, the endemic Tulipa cretica & Crocus sieberi, soft pink Tulipa saxatilis, delightful Iris cretensis and what is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful flowers on Crete, the White Peony Paeonia clusii.

Orchids will be one of our main target groups and we’ll enjoy a wealth of species, including endemics such as Orchis prisca & Orchis sitiaca. Other highlights include Ophrys heldreichii, the colourful Rainbow Ophrys Ophrys iricolor, the Cretan Bee orchid Ophrys Cretica and several forms of Ophyrs fusca such as the subspecies creberrima along with creticola and cressa.

We’ll also take breaks from looking down at the flora and spend some time observing the varied bird species on the island. These can include Griffon Vulture, Bearded Vulture, Golden Eagle, Peregrine, Buzzard, Cetti`s Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Blue Rock Thrush, Fan-tailed Warbler, Crested Lark and Italian Sparrow. In higher ground and at the gorges and plateaus we may also find Alpine & Red-billed Chough, Woodlark, Cirl Bunting and Black-eared Wheatear. On and close to water we’ll look out for Little Bittern, Little Crake, Purple Heron, Squacco Heron, Night Heron, Egrets and more. There will also butterflies to hold our interest, including the endemic Cretan Festoon Allancastria cretica.

Amongst the magnificent grandeur of the White Mountains we’ll also zoom in on small treasures such as the Snow or Cretan Crocus Crocus sieberi and mats of the bright blue Anchusa caespitose. The Imbros and Aradena Gorges also provide dramatic landscapes, where we’ll walk in wonder of our surroundings, whilst finding plenty of flowers of interest, such as Paeonia clusii. On the high Omalos plateau we’ll look for the Lammergeiers that inhabit the area and try to see the Cretan Wild Goats too. Here we’ll also be dazzled by the swathes of Tulips, Anemones and Orchids.

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Telephone: 01473 254658 (Mon - Sat 9am - 6pm)

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