Dates & Prices

BOOK HOLIDAY

Dates: 21st – 28th May 2023

Price: £1,295 Places available

Single Room Supplement: £125

Deposit: £150 per person


Price Includes: All meals, accommodation, all ground transport including transfers, services of guides, holiday report

Not Included: Flights, travel insurance, entry to archaeological sites, drinks & any other personal items

Conservation Donation: 10% of profits donated to a wildlife project or charity

Leader: Dr Yiannis Christofides

Group Size: Minimum of 3 and a maximum of 7 guests plus 1 leader

Grade: Gentle paced walks in a variety of terrains

Holiday Highlights


  • New exploratory trip to the mountains of the Northern Peloponnese
  • Led by Yiannis Christofides – botanist, naturalist, guide & author of The Flora of Cyprus
  • Very small group
  • Slow pace with little travelling
  • Look for a variety of endemic plants of the northern Peloponnese
  • Orchids such as Cephalanthera longifolia, Orchis pallens, Dactylorhiza sambucina
  • Rare Asian species found only here
  • Superb Greek food!

Holiday Guides

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.  Several new plants were recorded for Cyprus and new locations were found for old ones. He has since published a new book in 2018, The Illustrated 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. He currently leads on our Cyprus, Lesvos, Crete, Rhodes, Peloponnese, Turkey, and Italian Dolomites trips.

A new spring visit to the Northern Peloponnese peninsula in Greece for a wonderful array of flowers and wildlife!

We continue our exploration of the Peloponnese in spring by visiting some of the mountains of the Northern Peloponnese. This area is dominated by as a series of high mountains with an interesting flora, hosting endemic species and some asiatic species which have their foothold on these mountains. We shall explore the mountains of  Kyllini (Ziria),  Saittas, Klokkos and Chelmos.

The Peloponnese, Pelops island, father of Atreus. king of Mycenae, founder of the Atreidae dynasty, whose battles to conquer Troy inspired Homers Illiad, is Greece’s southernmost mainland peninsula. From high mountains in the north and extensive phrygana in the south it is a land of varied landscape and habitats.

The phrygana is habitat for a rich variety of orchids and bulbs, and indeed one of the best places to see autumn flowering Crocuses and Cyclamen. In spring the same places are a riot of colour covered in yellow-flowered Crown daisies, red Poppies and white sheets of Anthemis chiawith, plus a great variety of orchids and bulbous plants.

    

Day 1. Arrival at Athens airport and transfer to our hotel in Kastania (Guesthouse Kastania or Xenia. A late afternoon walk, depending on time.

Day 2/3. Explore Mount Kyllini. Mount Kyllini at high altitudes is covered by  Abies cephalonica  followed by Pinus nigra subsp. pallasiana. The medium altitudinal levels (600-800m) are characterized by remnant deciduous forest stands with Quercus pubescens and great areas of cultivated land. Species occurring on the summits of Mount Kyllini include Verbascum cylleneum, Galium cyllenium, Erodium chrysanthum, Globularia stygia, Valeriana olenaea, Scrophularia myriophylla, Cynoglossum graecum, and Allium frigidum. Ovenight Kastania.

Day 4. Explore mount Saittas. We shall look for Minuartia attica, Orchids such as Cephalanthera longifolia, Adonis cyllenea, Biebersteinia orphanidea, Fritillaria mutabilis, Ranunculus brutius, Ranunculus psilostachys, R. sprunerianus, Viola mercurii and  Prunus prostrata.

Overnight Kastania

Day 5. Transfer to Kalavryta. Explore on the way. Overnight Kalavryta.

Day 6/7 Explore Chelmos.  A rich flora occupies the higher slopes.  We expect to see several species of orchids such as Orchid pallens, Orchis pinetorum, Orchis spitzelii, Dactylorhiza sambucina. Other plants include Aubrieta deltoidea, Tulipa australis, Geranium macrostylum, Rindera graeca, Solenanthus stamineus, Viola macedonica, Viola chelmea, Pterocephalus perrenis, Globularia stygia, Saxifraga adscendens, Astragalus angustifolius, A. depressus.  Greek Mazarine Blue, Southern Festoon, Grecian Copper and Gruner’s Orange-tip should be on the wing. There is the possibility of seeing a number of bunting species such as Ortolan, rock and Cirl.

Depending on departure time stay in Kalavryta or transfer to nearer Athens for the last day.

Day 8. Departure from Athens airport

Please note: the above itinerary is subject to changes in terms of the daily running order and content. We take the local weather conditions into account, along with how the flowering season is progressing and make appropriate adjustments in order to provide you with the best daily excursions possible.

New holiday so testimonials to follow later

New holiday so reports will appear later