Guided butterfly, botanical & birdwatching holidays
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Gotland: The Pearl of the Baltic

Gotland: The Pearl of the Baltic


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We are delighted to offer a chance to visit this beautiful and fascinating Swedish isle, famous for its profusion of orchids. 

Gotland is steeped in a rich cultural history, evidence of which is in every turn as you explore this tranquil island.  Ruins of Viking Forts, Gothic Churches & medieval villages decorate the landscape, all against a floristic backdrop of ancient meadows, woodlands and fens that hold rare & exquisite gems such as the gorgeous Lady’s Slipper Orchid Cypripedium calceolus.

For us, the trip will take in the rich treasure-trove of natural history. Gotland is an isolated limestone island that has formed a rich and unique flora & fauna. It is home to 37 of Sweden’s 40 orchid species including the endemic Spitzel’s Orchid. It is also perfectly positioned in the middle of the Baltic to attract migrating birds, with a wealth of habitats to support a wide variety of breeding birds. We will also be enjoying the butterflies and can look forward to a very pleasant array of species, such as Woodland Brown, Large & Mazarine Blue, Marsh, Marbled and Glanville Fritillaries. We may also be treated to sightings of the beautiful Apollo and that will certainly be a species to keep our eye out for whilst wandering among the flower rich meadows!

We will be taking things easy to fully immerse ourselves in this rich landscape and permit ourselves the time to really take in the rich flora and fauna. To help us relax we’ll base ourselves at one hotel, just an hours drive from the airport in Visby, for the duration of the holiday.  Set in quiet countryside our hotel was once the site of a Viking farm. Nowadays its 19th Century manor house has been expanded into a hotel complex and a golf course. Rooms are all en suite and comfortable and have an interesting history of their own, since they were once Olympian accommodation for competitors at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics. The whole block of rooms was relocated to Gotland and our hotel the following year.

Although wildlife will be our primary focus, we mustn’t forget to take in the amazing scenery, which gives this island a picturesque & timeless atmosphere, perhaps this is why the Swedish think this is such a magical isle.

Note: all images on this page courtesy of Terry Underhill & Ian Bennalick (unless stated otherwise).


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