Dates & Prices

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Dates: 18 – 25 April 2020 Guaranteed departure!

Price: £1,195 Just 2 places left

Single Room Supplement: £100

Deposit: £150 per person


Price Includes: Accommodation, all meals, ground transport, services of guides & holiday report

Not Included: International flights, travel insurance, entry to archaeological areas, drinks & other personal items

Conservation Donation: 10% of profits donated to Butterfly Conservation

Leader(s): Dr Yiannis Christofides

Group Size & Travel: Minimum 4 & maximum 7 guests + 1 leader.

Grade: Generally easy walking at a very gentle pace

Holiday Highlights


  • A unique tour focusing on the orchids and spring flowers of Sicily
  • Slow paced one centre tour
  • Led by botanist, author & very popular guide Dr Yiannis Christofides
  • Many orchids, including several Sicilian endemics such as  Ophrys biancae and Ophrys lunulata
  • Early butterflies, birds and reptiles will also be observed

Join our popular guide Dr Yiannis Christofides in Sicily for a unique tour focusing on the island’s orchids & other spring flowers!

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Holiday Guide

Dr 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. In 2018 Yiannis published his own up to date 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 also takes a keen interest in other life-forms such as butterflies and other Insects, reptiles, dragonflies and even lichens. Yiannis is also knowledgeable about the geology and history of areas he visits. He likes to share his knowledge with members of his groups and his infectious enthusiasm makes him one of our most popular leaders.

Join our popular guide Dr Yiannis Christofides for a brand new orchid focused tour in Sicily!

Sicily is the largest Mediterranean island. It has a Mediterranean flora rich in orchids, a number of which are endemic. A range of mountains, notably the active volcano Etna reach a height of 3,329 metres, further adding to the botanical diversity. We shall spend our time in the south-eastern corner of Sicily, visiting the nature reserves there, exploring the countryside for flowers, plants, butterflies and other wildlife.

We expect to see typical Mediterranean plants shrubs such as Olea europaea, Pistacia lentiscus, Erica multiflora, herbs such as Anthyllis vulneraria,  Borago officinalis,  Euphorbia characias, Ajuga chamaepitys, bulbs such as Anemone hortensisGynandriris sisyrinchium, Muscari comosum, Iris pseudopumila, Hermodactylus tuberosus and drifts of annuals such as  Silene colorata, Lotus purpureus and Lathyrus clymenum carpeting whole areas.

But the highlight of the week will be the many orchids, including several Sicilian endemics such as  Ophrys biancae and  Ophrys lunulata.  A dozen or  more bewildering Ophrys are on the list including the beautiful  Ophrys oxyrhynchos, Ophrys lacaitae, Ophrys speculum and Ophrys calliantha. Several species of Orchis, Anacamptis, Neotinea and Serapias will also be in flower.

We will see a number of  early butterfly species such as Green-underside Blues, Little and Holly Blues, Green Hairstreak, Cleopatra, Clouded Yellow and Southern Festoon.

Birds such as Sardinian warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Blackcap, Hoopoe, Woodlark and Stonechat  should be everywhere. Sicilian and Italian Wall Lizards and Moorish Gecko are the common reptile species here to see.

We shall visit one of the coastal reserves for the typical salt-marsh plants, as well as to see Greater Flamingo and a variety of water birds.

We shall also take in any archaeological remains with our area. We will visit the Necropoli di Pantalica, dating  from the 13th to the 7th centuries BC, with and amazing 5,000 tombs excavated into the rock faces.

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to our hotel.

Day 2: We shall explore the orchid-rich areas near our hotel.

Day 3: Explore Monte Lauro for the special Ophrys laurensis and Ophrys numida.

Day 4: Explore the Naturale Pantalica reserve for  Ophrys lunulata, Ophrys biancae, Ophrys calliantha, Ophrys lacaitea, Ophrys obaesa, Ophrys lupercalis, Ophrys explanata, Ophrys sabulosa, Ophrys oxyrrynchos, Neotia commutata and Serapias orientalis.

Day 5: Visit the Vendicari Nature Reserve to see Greater Flamingos and wading birds plus the specialised flora of the salt-marsh.

Day 6: Walk in Valle dell’Anapo, an archeological and nature gem nestled deep a canyon, where the steams form waterfalls and small lakes. Look for Ophrys lupercalis, Ophrys lunulata and Ophrys biancae.

Day 7: Further exploring in the south.

Days 8: Departure.

New holiday so testimonials will follow later

New holiday so reports will follow later