Dates & Prices
Dates: 12 – 20 April 2024
1,475 £1,375 Limited time offer
Single Room Supplement: £150
Deposit: £150 per person
Price Includes: Accommodation, all meals, ground transport, services of guides & holiday report
Not Included: International travel, travel insurance, drinks & other personal items
Conservation Donation: Butterfly Conservation
Leader(s): Dr Simon Spencer & Peter Eeles
Group Size: Minimum 4 & maximum 12 guests + 2 leaders
Grade: Generally easy walking at a gentle pace.
- A unique two centre tour designed to see an exciting range of localised and rare butterflies
- Butterfly highlights may include Spring Ringlet, Spanish Greenish Black Tip, Iberian Sooty Copper, Provence Orange Tip, Panoptes Blue, Provence Hairstreak & Spanish Fritillary
- Relaxed pace with two centres; one in the beautiful Moorish town of Albarracin in central Spain and the other further north, a delightful hotel in the foothill of the Pyrenees
- Led by two of the finest butterfly enthusiasts in Europe
- Plenty of other spring flora & fauna to enjoy
- Contribute to conservation with Butterfly Conservation
A super spring tour in Northern & Central Spain looking for a host of special butterflies!
An exclusive & expertly led spring tour in Spain for a host of special butterflies!
We are delighted to return to Spain in 2024 for our two-centre springtime tour, which promises to deliver an exciting range of butterflies, many of which are endemic to the Iberian Peninsula, or are scarce outside the Spanish mainland.
Butterflies can fly early in Spain, but some years they are on the wing earlier than others. The ideal scenario is to arrive during a warm sunny period after rain. Unlike our summer tours to this area, daytime temperatures are cooler and are broadly between 18 and 25c, and the landscape is far lusher and more verdant than it is when we visit during July and August.
Our journey together begins by meeting at Barcelona airport. From there we will head east, to Los Monegros, a large dry region of Northern Spain, where the borders of Zaragoza, Huesca and Lleida meet. The main target species for this part of the trip is the endemic Spanish Greenish Black-tip Euchloe bazae ssp iberae. This subspecies is only known from this region, inhabiting dry, stony hillsides. It will be a special focus of our visit.
Naturally, we will enjoy more butterflies besides. We will also be seeking out the Sooty Orange Tip Zegris eupheme and several other spring Pierids including Provence Orange Tip Anthocharis euphenoides and Portuguese Dappled White. The Stunning Provence Hairstreak Tomares ballus should also be flying & we will hope to show that to our guests too.
For the second part of the tour will be based at a small & friendly, family run hotel in the historic Moorish fortified town of Albarracin, from which we will explore the Montes Universales. Greenwings were the pioneers of butterfly tours to this lesser known part of Spain and have been making annual visits since Simon Spencer set up our first tour in 2018.
One of our main butterfly targets here will be the Spring Ringlet Erebia epistygne, which is both a rare and rather beautiful Erebia, known only from here in Spain and a few small areas in Southern France.
Another beautiful butterfly we can expect to see is the Iberian Sooty Copper Lycaena bleusei, which is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. The interest doesn’t of course end there, there are plenty of other desirable species to look for, such as Panoptes Blue Pseudophilotes panoptes, Black-eyed Blue Glaucopsyche melanops, and Chequered Blue Scolitantides orion. Large Tortoiseshell Nymphalis polychloros, , Iberian Scarce Swallowtail Iphiclides feisthamelii, Spanish Festoon Zerynthia rumina and Camberwell Beauty Nymphalis antiopa all fly early so are possible, but we could also start to get later species like Western Marbled White Melanargia occitanica and de Prunner’s ringlet Erebia triaria, if it is an early year. And being where we are it’s appropriate to add Queen of Spain Fritillary Issoria lathonia to our list. Other Fritillary species on the palette should be Provençal Fritillary Melitaea deione, Knapweed Fritillary Melitaea phoebe, and a few others.
This unique 9 day and linear arc-shaped route has been designed to reduce travelling time, but it also provides our guests with the opportunity to extend their stay at either end of the tour and to explore the cities of Barcelona or Valencia, or indeed, both.
Regular flights connecting with the UK are available serving both cities, but it is also a good holiday choice for those wishing to reduce their air travel, and take an alternative mode of transport, such as the train.
This holiday promises to be a perfect opportunity to visit Spain at a wonderful time of year and for a special suite of butterfly species, guided by two of the finest and well respected Lepidopterists around.
Day 1: Arrive Barcelona airport and travel to Los Monegros
Day 2: Near Candasnos
Day 3: Around Caspe
Day 4: Travel to Albarracin with a brief stop en route
Day 5: Monterde de Albarracin and local barranco, Noguera in the afternoon
Day 6: Moscardon & Frias de Albarracin for Spring Ringlet,
Day 7: El Vallecillo & Ojos de Cabriel etc
Day 8: Calomarde and beyond
Day 9: Travel to Valencia with stop en route
will follow later