Dates & Prices


Dates: 7th – 14th June 2021 Confirmed departure!

Price: £1,395 Almost full

Single Room Supplement: £none

Deposit: £150 per person

Price Includes: All meals, accommodation, ground transport, services of guides & holiday report

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

Conservation Donation: 10% of profits will be used to support wildlife conservation through Butterfly Conservation and BirdWING

Leader(s): Jon Dunn & David Moore

Group Size: Minimum of 4 and a maximum of 12 guests plus 1-3 leaders.

Grade: Gentle pace and generally short walks in a mix of terrains

Holiday Highlights

  • 80+ butterfly species and a similar number of birds are very possible
  • Special target butterflies include  – Nettle-tree butterfly, Camberwell Beauty, Purple-shot Copper, Eastern Baton Blue, Marbled Fritillary, Freyer’s Purple Emperor & Balkan Marbled White
  • Enjoy being serenaded by Golden Orioles and Nightingales, whilst watching birds such as Dalmatian Pelican, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Lesser Grey Shrike, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Golden Eagle, Lesser spotted Eagle, Black Kite & Short-toed Eagle
  • Beautiful lake and mountain setting & gorgeous Greek climate
  • Leisurely pace, ideally suited to photography and full enjoyment of the wildlife and scenery
  • Contribute to Butterfly Conservation & BirdWING (Birdwatching in Northern Greece)

Join us to explore the meadows, mountains, lakes and forests of north Greece, for a feast of feathered delights and scale-winged wonders!


Jon Dunn
Your Guides

Jon Dunn is a natural history writer, photographer and experienced wildlife tour leader based in the Shetland Isles, but with strong links in mainland Europe and North America that see him travelling widely in search of memorable wildlife encounters.

An accomplished all-round naturalist and Fellow of the Linnean Society of London, Jon is the author of the critically acclaimed botanical bestseller “Orchid Summer” (Bloomsbury, 2018), and is also the author of the “Britain’s Sea Mammals” field-guide, and co-author of the “Britain’s Mammals” field-guide, both for Princeton University Press. Jon writes weekly “Rarity Round-Ups” for Rare Bird Alert. His writing and photography feature in many popular wildlife magazines, including BBC WildlifeBirdwatching, and British Wildlife, and he is the wildlife columnist for regional airline Loganair.

David Moore has been visiting and studying the Alps for several years and as such his knowledge of the area and its butterflies is superb. David knows France very well and he also speaks fluent French, a handy bonus! David is a key member of our butterfly tour guiding team and aside from France he currently leads butterfly tours in Spain, Italy, Greece and Morocco.

David is very active on the butterfly scene in general and is on the team of the popular UK Butterflies online community, where he coordinates the identification service element of the site.


Our base for the week will be Lake Kerkini National Park, a wildlife rich area in north-east Greece, near to the Bulgarian border. It is a magical place and an early morning by the shore, watching pelicans, egrets and herons whilst being serenaded by Nightingale, Golden Oriole and Turtle Dove as the sun rises is a wonderful experience.

We will stay in a hotel overlooking Lake Kerkini and with the dramatic Mount Belles behind it. The lake is a site of international importance and famous for its rich birdlife and other wildlife. We’ll explore both the immediate surroundings of the lake and further afield. For butterflies in particular we’ll head up into the surrounding mountains, such as Mount Orvilos, Mount Menikio and Mount Belles, on the border of south western Bulgaria and northernmost Greece. We should be able to enjoy at least 75 butterfly species and perhaps 100, making for a great weeks butterflying!

Approximately 130 species have been recorded in the area. The highlights include Nettle-tree Butterfly, Pearly Heath, Idas Blue, Amanda’s Blue, Yellow-banded Skipper, Marbled Skipper, Clouded Apollo, Eastern Festoon, Black-veined White, Eastern Bath White, Powdered Brimstone, Blue-spot Hairstreak, Eastern Baton Blue, Ilex Hairstreak, Little Tiger Blue, Meleager’s Blue, Osiris Blue, Purple-shot Copper, Sooty Copper, Large Copper, Cardinal, Marbled Fritillary, Niobe Fritillary, Large Tortoiseshell, Balkan Marbled White, Lattice Brown and Woodland Ringlet.

Perhaps even more exciting than the number of species is the number of individuals of a species that it is possible to see. There can be dozens of Nettle-tree butterflies seen together at damp mud patches and similar numbers of Ilex Hairstreak make quite a sight as they flit amongst the Ilex scrub.

As the area is so rich in bird life we also team up with Birdwing (Birdwatching in Northern Greece) for this holiday. As a wildlife charity their mission is to raise awareness of birds in Greece and to raise money for the conservation and restoration of bird habitat in the region. These aims match our own and so some of the proceeds from this tour will be donated to Birdwing to help fund their conservation work.

The birds that we can see (out of the 300+ species recorded in the area) during the holiday are just as exciting. On the lake itself there are Dalmatian Pelicans, White Pelican, Pygmy Coromorants, Herons, Egrets, White Storks, Glossy Ibis and more! As we explore the lake surrounding and further afield we’ll also be on the look out for Golden Oriole, European Bee-eater, Roller, Blue Rock Thrush, Red-backed Shrike, Scops Owl, Eagle Owl, Whiskered Tern, Black Tern, Penduline Tit, Black-eared Wheatear, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Hoopoe, Grey-headed Woodpecker Black-headed Bunting and Hawfinch – to name just a few of the avian delights to see!

Despite the large number of butterflies and birds to see we will not be rushing to build as large a list as possible. Our emphasis, as it is on all our holidays, is to take things leisurely and spend a reasonable amount at time at locations. We believe this is the best way of enjoying the wildlife. So we will keep driving to a minimum and spend as much time as possible outside, on easy paced walks. For those that wish to bring cameras, there will be ample time and opportunity for photography and to capture those special moments – of which we are sure there will be many!


Day 1: Arrival in Thessaloniki and transfer to hotel.

Day 2: Mandraki and other sites on the north and eastern sides of Lake Kerkini

Day 3: Mavrovouni Hills and other sites on the southern and western sides of the lake

Day 4: Mount Orvilos, east of the lake and close to the Bulgarian border

Day 5: Ano Poroia and Mt. Belles. Mountain walks above Lake Kerkini

Day 6: Mt. Vrodou and Lailias ski resort. Beech and Pine forested mountain & ski slope above the Serres plain

Day 7: Relaxing boat trip on Lake Kerkini for a dazzling display of birds

Day 8: Transfer to Thessaloniki.

Ros H, 2018…Julian and Jon made an excellent pairing. Julian’s knowledge of the area and relationship with Niko at the hotel plus John’s boundless enthusiasm and energy. Both were very knowledgeable about the butterflies and birds, and other insects and flowers. And both were very helpful and good company.  It was a great holiday! I didn’t know what to expect as I hadn’t even heard of you before I found your website, but I was really impressed!

Jim B, 2018…The 2018 trip to Northern Greece offered an excellent variety of species, both butterflies and birds, across a range of habitats. We visited a number of locations which we would never have found without the previous experience of our guides. Their fieldcraft and identification skills were invaluable!

Helen B, 2017…A wonderful holiday with expert guides who were very encouraging. I’ll be booking again very soon! Highlights were Patrick and the other guides, all good company, experts, excellent personalities for the range of things that arise on such a tour. Seeing so many new (for me) and wondrous aspects of nature.

Anne W, 2017…I really enjoyed my holiday. Patrick and the others were excellent leaders, so knowledgeable and good at sharing their knowledge. I enjoyed the company of the group, was acquainted with 3 people already, Ann, Bob and Mike, it’s a small world as they say. Everyone in the group was friendly, a wide range of expertise and it seemed to work well. I certainly hope to go on another Greenwings holiday next year!

Louise & Robert…This was our first venture into wildlife holidays and we will certainly be back to holiday with Greenwings again! The group size was perfect, the guides knowledgeable, patient & thoughtful and the rural setting provided us with stunning scenery, sincere Greek people and excellent habitat locations. We saw an excellent range of butterflies and birds as well as the bonus of beautiful wild flowers, and varied insects, moths and reptiles.

Butterflies and Birds of North Greece Holiday Report 2019

Butterflies and Birds of North Greece Holiday Report 2016

Butterflies and Birds of North Greece Holiday Report 2015

Butterflies and Birds of North Greece 2014 holiday report

Butterflies & Birds of North Greece 2013 holiday report