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Flowers of the Pontic Alps

Flowers of the Pontic Alps


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A fantastic botanical tour in northern Turkey! Join our expert guide Yiannis Christofides and local botanist Yasemin Konuralp in the Pontic Alps for its beautiful scenery and exceptional flora!

New for 2017 a fantastic botanical tour in northern Turkey! Join our expert guide Yiannis Christofides and local botanist Yasemin Konuralp in the Pontic Alps for its beautiful scenery and exceptional flora!

The Pontic Alps  are  a mountain range in northern Turkey, extending along the Black Sea from west to east for approximately 1,000 km.  They are really an extension of the Caucasus with similar flora and fauna. The area has been  home to Greeks, Armenians, Georgians, Laz and Ottomans, occupied by Persians,  Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans and this reflected in the historical remains and culture of the region.

A range of different habitats will be explored, from the northern facing slopes which are  humid and wet to the  dry, Mediterranean steppe and semi-desert areas  that  prevail in the west and south.

We shall visit a number of alpine and iconic high passes, at altitudes of up to 2800 meters, to explore the exceptionally rich   alpine meadows with many endemic species of Campanulas.

The forests hold a number of Rhododendron species, such as the richly scented R. luteum, growing with Liliums, endemic to this part of the world. We expect to see tall yellow Pedicularis, richly coloured Melampyrum arvense blend with blue Aquilegia olympica and spikes of Campanula and Digitalis.

Rocky outcrops are interesting areas with speciality plants such as the many species of Sedum, including the spectacular S. pilosum and S. sempervivoides.

Many species of  beautiful Geraniums are to be seen here, such as Geranium psilostemon, G. cinereum and G. ibericum. The area is the world centre of diversity of Campanulas and we shall encounter many beautiful species during out travels. Other plants to be enjoyed include the eastern species of Traunsteinera sphaerica,Primulas,  Gentians and Digitalis.

Meadows lower down are home to the bright red Lathyrus rotundifolius, the Persian everlasting pea,  Morina persica, and pink Phlomis tuberosa, the giant Cephalaria gigantea, bright pink Silene armeria, Papaver lateritum and Papaver orientale.

Ortolan buntings, Rock Sparrows, Rosefinch, Red-fronted Serin, Snow Finch, Little Ringed Plover, Water Pipit, Ring Ouzel, Alpine Chough, Red-billed Chough, Radde’s Accentor, Horned Lark,  Quail, Rock Dove, Common Cuckoo, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Olivaceous Warbler, Nuthatch, Red-backed Shrike,  Bee-eater, Black-eared Wheatear Lammergeier, Black (Cinereous) Vulture,  are on our list of birds to be seen.

The area is also very rich in butterflies and we expect to see a considerable number of species during the week, including Marbled White, Apollo, Spotted and Heath Fritillary, Lesser Lattice Brown,  Blues, Fiery Copper,  Ringlets and Graylings.

Accompanying us will be  Yasemin Konuralp, who has over 20 years experience in guiding tours in Turkey. During that time she has built up considerable knowledge about the endemic wildflowers of the country. Her knowledge and impressive portfolio of photos has culminated into a Wildflowers of Turkey field guide, published in 2013.

We hope to welcome you on what promises to be a truly memorable tour!




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