Dates & Prices

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Dates: 16th – 23rd June 2023 Confirmed departure

Price: £1,395 Almost full

Single Room Supplement: £195

Deposit: £150 per person


Price Includes: All meals, accommodation, ground transport, services of guides, holiday report & donation to Butterfly Conservation

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

Conservation Donation: Butterfly Conservation.

Leader: Peter Eeles & Ben Greenaway

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

Grade: Gentle paced and generally easy

Holiday Highlights


  • Enjoy 80-100+ butterfly species from the areas known checklist of approximately 230 species
  • Star species we’ll look for include Southern Swallowtail, Scarce Fritillary, Cynthia’s Fritillary, Titania’s Fritillary, Italian Festoon, Small Apollo, Alpine Blue, Piedmont Ringlet, Camberwell beauty, Poplar Admiral & many more!
  • A relaxed pace one centre tour, based at a very comfortable hotel with a swimming pool to cool off in after a day in the field!
  • Led by experienced butterfly enthusiast & author Peter Eeles and knowledgable butterfly guide Ben Greenaway
  • Great tour to develop your photography skills & portfolio as butterflies can be easily found on foot from the hotel early mornings or evenings
  • We are working in collaboration with the National Park authorities to survey the area and contribute new records
  • Tour supports Butterfly Conservation

An exclusive butterfly holiday in the Italian Alps!

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Join us on an exclusive butterfly holiday in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy, to explore the Parco Naturale delle Alpi Marittime (Natural Park of the Maritime Alps), also known as the Park of Kings!

True to the meaning of its name (foot of the mountain), Piedmont is a land of mountains. It is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, with the highest peaks (24 over 3,000m) and largest glaciers in Italy.

The Natural Park is twinned with the Parc National du Mercantour, which extends along the French side along a common border of over 35 kilometres.

Italy itself is an incredibly rich country for butterflies with about 260 species! We should find around 100 species or more (100 seen in 2019 and 115 seen upon our return in 2022), including some local specialities and rarities such as Scarce Fritillary and Southern Swallowtail.

A small selection of other highlights includes Apollo, Clouded Apollo, Black-veined White, Cleopatra, Mountain Clouded Yellow, Scarce Fritillary, Cynthia’s Fritillary, Titania’s Fritillary, Queen of Spain Fritillary, High Brown Fritillary, Grison’s Fritillary, Scarce Copper, Purple-edged Copper, Purple-shot Copper, Alcon Blue, Large Blue, Mazarine Blue, Geranium Argus, Silvery Argus and Almond-eyed Ringlet.

Our trip is timed to enjoy a good diversity of species which are beautifully fresh and emerging every day during our stay. For example, in 2022 we had the pleasure of seeing literally hundreds of Apollos, Large Blues, several Copper & Fritillary species. All of which were in fine condition & perfect for photography.

Depending on the season and emergence times we may also be fortunate to find Italian Festoon, Scarce Large Blue, Alpine Blue, Small Apollo, Poplar Admiral, Large Tortoiseshell & Camberwell Beauty.

Our base for the week is a family run hotel in Bagni di Vinadio, a small village lying at 1,300m above sea level in Valle Stura, located 10 km from Vinadio, known for its fortifications and mines of Savoia-Ruà. The area is one of the most uncontaminated places in the entire Maritime Alps.

The hotel sits right next to the Thermae, famous and in use since Roman times for the therapeutic properties of the waters found there. The hotel is also equipped with a swimming pool with sun terrace, a large children’s playground, and bowling green.

The Maritime Alps Park is home to chamois, ibex, wild boar, deer, marmots and mouflon. Once the king’s favourite prey, today the chamois has become the symbol of the Park. There are also some impressive birds to look up for during our tour, including Bearded Vulture and Golden Eagle. Due to the nature of our tour though we’re perhaps more likely to have our eyes lower down and so will no doubt enjoy seeing some of the areas impressive total of approximately 2,000 plants.

Aside from the wonderful location, butterflies and other wildlife, what makes this holiday special is the team we’ve assembled to lead it. They are Peter Eeles, who is a highly knowledgeable and experienced butterfly enthusiast. He is also the author of the highly acclaimed book Life Cycles of British and Irish Butterflies, first published in 2019. And Peter is joined by a rising star in the European butterfly world & excellent leader of tours, Ben Greenaway.

This is a very popular tour – we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment!

          

Day 1 Arrival in Nice & transfer to our hotel in Bagni di Vinadio

Day 2 – 7: Exploration of the area

Day 8: Transfer to Nice airport for departure