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Guided butterfly, botanical & birdwatching holidays
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The Italian Dolomites

 

Dates & Prices

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Dates: June – July 2018 Available on request

Price: £1,195

Single Room Supplement: £100

Deposit: £150 per person


Price Includes: All meal, accommodation with private facilities and air-con, ground transport, services of guides & a printed and bound holiday report

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

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

Leader: Yiannis Christofides

Group Size & Travel: Minimum of 4 and a maximum of 12 guests plus 1-2 leaders.

Grade: Mountain terrain but generally easy walking at a gentle pace.

Holiday Highlights


  • Follow in the footsteps of Reginald Farrer, plant explorer & collector & author of The Dolomites: King Laurin’s Garden
  • One centre base with gentle walks to explore the magnificent 18 mountain peaks of this World Heritage Site landscape
  • Welcoming family run hotel with excellent food
  • Lady’s Slipper and other orchids
  • Incredible flower meadows with Lilium bulbiferum, Soldanella, Primula, Pulsatilla, Ranunculus, Anemones and other early alpines
  • Campanula and Gentiana generas well represented
  • Enjoy butterflies such as False Heath Fritillary, Titania’s Fritillary, Alpine Heath, Apollo, Amanda’s Blue, Arran Brown etc
  • Visit traditional wood craft shops
  • Learn from our expert botanist Yiannis Christofides

Explore one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes found anywhere in the world for its rich Alpine flora!

BOOK HOLIDAY NOW

Explore one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes found anywhere in the world for its rich Alpine flora!

dolomites-map

The Dolomites are a distinctive and beautiful area that takes its name from the crystalline magnesium limestone rocks that make up the peaks that tower vertically above the valleys. The shape of these mountains is unique, having risen out of the sea around 250 million years ago. Ice and wind modelled the rocks creating the steep walls, towering spires and pinnacles typical of these mountains which have always been a source of wonder and a favourite destination of rock climbers. The crevices hold a distinctive flora of magnesium loving plants.

The holiday is based in the Val di Fassa, in the village of Campitello. Valle di Fassa lies in the north-east part of Trentino on the borders of the province of Bolzano and Belluno. The river Avisio flows through the valley and it is surrounded by the most spectacular and famous Dolomite peaks, such as the Sella Group, Sassolungo, and the Catinaccio with the Torri del Vajolet and the Marmolada. The Val di Fassa is one of the places of the area where Ladin, the oldest language in the Alpine region is still spoken. At our very hospitable hotel we shall sample the local and Italian cuisine.

From our base in pretty Campitello we shall explore the valleys of the area on day-long but easy walks and to visit a number of different habitats. Extensive meadows surround the village and we shall see many beautiful and colourful plants such as Lilium bulbiferum and a number of interesting orchids including Orchis ustulata (Burnt orchid), Nigritella nigra (Black vanilla orchid) and Traunsteinera globosa (Round-headed orchid). A host of butterflies such as Apollo, Mazarine Blue, Heaths, Alpine Ringlets and Fritillaries will be on the wing and we will spend some time enjoying these as well.

We shall explore the woodland above and below the village for a different set of plants, including Cypripedium calceolus, (Lady’s slipper orchid), Corallorhiza trifida (Coralroot orchid), many species of Pyrolla (Wintergreens) and Polygala chamaebuxus.

 Taking the cable car up to Col Rodella and to Ciampac we shall explore the higher alpine areas where we shall see some snow melt plants such as Soldanella alpina, Androsace vitaliana, Gentiana verna, G. acaulis and Pulsatilla vernalis. Saxifrages such as S. paniculata, S. aizoides and S. aspera are to be found draped over rocks. We also hope to see the first flowers of Potentilla nitida, Geum reptans, Paederota bonarota, Leontopodium alpinum, Edelweiss, and if the season is not late Eritrichium nanum, the King of the Alps.

Our guide, Yiannis, has several years of experience leading tours in the Dolomites. As one of our most popular and talented guides you can be sure of a fantastic, relaxing and flower rich holiday!

Day 1: Arrival at Marco Polo airport in Venice and transfer to our hotel in Campitello.

Day 2: Our first walk takes through flower-filled meadows to the nearby village of Canazei. We shall see some of the colourful flowers that make up the meadows such as Phyteuma (Rampions), Rhinanthus (Yellow rattle), Salvia pratensis, Pedicularis (Lousewort), Aster alpinus, Myosotis many others. On the return journey we walk along the forested track that runs along the river so many of riverside and woodland plants such as Trollius europaeus, Viola biflora, Aquilegia atrata and Geranium sylvaticum.

Day 3: We take the road to via Pian, an ancient hamlet where we observe the traditional architecture. Val Duron is a valley surrounded by meadows and woods and traversed by the stream Rio Duron. The road was anciently used by merchants and shepherds from Alpe di Siusi, Castelrotto and Tires to reach the Val di Fassa. We hope to see a number of woodland orchids such as Neottia nidus-avis and Corallorhiza trifida. From there we make our way to the Val Duron for more flower meadows. We hope to see Phyteuma sieberi, Saponaria ocymoides, Campanula glomerata,We return the same way.

Day 4: A short walk across the river to take the lift to Col Rodella and to walk part of the Friedrich August Way, named after the Bavarian King and mountaineer, through some of the richest high altitude flower meadows, to see the first snow-melt flowers such as Crocus vernus, Gentiana acaulis, Pulsatilla alpestris, Pulsatilla vernalis, Androsace vitaliana, Primula farinosa, P. halleri, P. minima, Soldanella alpina, Soldanella pusilla, Anemone baldensis, Ranunculus hybridus, Ranunculus sequieri, Biscutella laevigata, Preitzelago alpina and Loiseleuria procumbens.

Day 5: Val de Vaiolet. We take a minibus to Pera, from where we make our way to the Val di Vailolet. Our path initially takes us through woodland where we will look for orchids including Cypripedium calceolus, Ophrys insectifera, Neottia nidus-avis and Platanthera. We soon come into a wide valley and the finest displays of meadow flowers. We will then follow the stream that comes down the valley, looking for Polygala alpestris, Polygala chamaebuxus, Pinguicula alpina, Papaver rhaeticum and Vaccinium vitis-idaea.

Day 6: A short drive to Alba di Canazei from where we take the cable car to Ciampac for more high level plants.

Day 7: Investigate the meadows near Campitello for Lilium bulbiferum, orchids in particular Gymnadenia, Orchis ustulata and Traunsteinera globosa. The meadows should be full of butterflies such as the beautiful Mazarine Blue (Polyommatus semiargus), Wall, Fritillaries, Skippers, and other insects such as the Scorpion flies and day-flying moths. An early return with time to visit one of the famous woodworking shops for which is the valley is famous for.

Day 8: Transfer back to Marco Polo airport in Venice for departure.

Margaret…Campitello was a perfect location, so enjoyed not travelling each day and even then only short distances. The hotel was excellent, friendly, comfortable and very good meals. The week was fantastic. Yiannis was a superb guide, extremely knowledgeable, very tolerant and fun.

I was thrilled to get the holiday report, it certainly brought back the most wonderful memories of a fantastic holiday. Not only a written report but so many superb photos too.  I was especially thrilled to see the one of the Arran Brown as I took an almost identical photo and wasn’t sure what it was. In Yiannis we could not have wished for a better leader. He was brilliant, so knowledgeable and fun, it was a real pleasure to be with him and I do hope our paths cross one day soon!

Una…Thank you so much for the Dolomites trip report, its the best tour report I have seen, wonderful to have so many photos!

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