Dates & Prices

BOOK HOLIDAY

Dates: 9 – 18 Apr 2020 (TBC)

Price: £1,295

Single Room Supplement: £none

Deposit: £150 per person


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

Not Included: Flights, travel insurance, 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 4 and a maximum of 12 guests plus 1-2 leaders

Grade: Gentle paced walks in a variety of terrains

Holiday Highlights


  • Led by Yiannis Christofides – botanist, naturalist, guide & author of The Flora of Cyprus
  • Discover the wonderful and historic sites of Mycenae, Mystras, Mani
  • Spring orchids & Peloponnese endemic flowers
  • Explore Mount Menalo for early bulbs and early alpines
  • A wide variety of perennials such as Cistus, Helianthemum, Salvia, Anchusa, Onosma,Alkanna methanaea, Crepis rubra, Linum pubescens.
  • Early bulbs such as Cyclamen peloponnesiacum, Muscarispecies, Anemone pavonina
  • Enjoy early butterflies such as Scarce Swallowtail, Clouded Yellow, Black-veined White, Glanville fritillary, Spotted fritillary Mallow Skipper, Inky Skipper, Powdered Brimstone & Southern Swallowtail
  • Birds such as Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Nuthatch, Black-eared Wheatear, Woodchat shrike, Short-toed Eagle
  • Visit the amazing caves of Diros
  • 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, French Pyrenees, Alps and Italian Dolomites trips.

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

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 a great variety of orchids and bulbous plants.

We shall explore Mycenae, centre of the Greek Bronze age civilization, with its massive Cyclopean masonry and the famous Lion Gate, and also the magical tomb of Atreus. On the itinerary is also Mystras, the last outpost of the Byzantine empire and the church where the last Paleologos was crowned emperor before his fatal journey to Constantinople in 1453.

Of the three southern peninsulas of the Peloponnese Mani is perhaps the most iconic with its fortified towers set in a dramatic landscape.

We expect to see Ophrys argolica, the argolid ophrys, Ophrys ferrum-equinum, Ophrysbombyliflora, Ophrys mammosa, Ophrys spruneri, Orchis lactea, Ophrys aesculapi, Serapiassp, Anacamptis papilionacea and many more.

    

Day 1:Arrival at Athens airport and transfer to our hotel near Mycenae. Overnight in Mycenae.

Day 2: We continue our journey southwards and  transfer to our next base in Mystras via Mount Menalo. We will go right to the top to look for snow-melt plants. Depending on the season we expect to see Crocus olivieri, Crocus sieberi,Ornithogalum exscapum, Scilla bifolia, Gagea amplyopetalaand Gagea peduncularisand Corydalis solida. Other plants to be seen here includeAnemone blanda, Saponaria calabrica, Matthiola flexuosa, Draba lasiocarpa, Iberis pruitii, Malcolmia chia and Aethionema saxatile. We shall look for Fritillaria graeca.   Overnight in Mystras.

Day 3:Explore the abandoned city of Mystras, where Rock Nuthatches can be seen nesting among the ruins. A wonderful wildlife site, with many plants such asOnosma frutescens, Onosma graeca,Silene goulimyi, Silene gigantea, Hypericum empetrifolium, Campanula topaliana, Stachys candica,  Euphorbia characias,  Muscari commutatum, Muscari botryoidesand Phlomis fruticosagrow in abundance over the site.  We then visit the nearby Parori gorge to look forCyclamen peloponnesiacumand Orchis pauciflora. Then drive to our next base in Gythio.

Day 4: We head due west for Areopolis and the amazing caves of Diros. Overnight in Gythio.

Day 5: We explore the lower reaches of the Parnon mountains to look for any number of  Asperula species, Dianthus and many other perennial plants.

Day 6: A day exploring the Mani peninsula. Orchards should be full of Papaver rhoeas, Anthemis chia, Silene colorata and Ferula communis.  Euphorbia species should be at their best now and we should see Euphorbia dendroides, Euphorbia rigida, Euphorbia acanthothamnos and Euphorbia characias. An orchid rich area, we expect to see Ophrys argolica, Ophrys ferrumequinum, Ophrys aesculapi, Ophrys tenthrediniferaTeucrium brevifoliumCistusspecies, Asphodeline luteaare are other plants expected to be seen. Overnight in Gythio.

Day 7: Start on the return journey to Athens by driving back to our first base near Mycenae. Explore the ancient acropolis of Mycenae and the tomb of Atreus. Onosma species grow on the ancient walls with Verbascum undulatum. Overnight near Mycenae.

Day 8: Return to Athens airport for departure.

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