Dates & Prices
Dates: 30th June – 6th July 2022 (TBC)
Price: £1,395 Places available
Single Room Supplement: £175
Deposit: £150 per person
Price Includes: All meal, accommodation with private facilities, ground transport, services of guides & holiday report
Not Included: Flights, travel insurance, drinks and any other personal items.
Conservation Donation: Butterfly Conservation
Leader: Dr Yiannis Christofides & Dr Martin Warren
Group Size & Travel: Minimum of 4 and a maximum of 12 guests plus 1-2 leaders.
Grade: Mountain terrain but generally easy walking at a gentle pace.
- Follow in the footsteps of Reginald Farrer, plant explorer & collector & author of The Dolomites: King Laurin’s Garden
- One centre base with gentle walks from our hotel or using local transport to explore the magnificent mountain peaks of this World Heritage Site landscape
- Welcoming family run hotel with excellent food
- Incredible flower meadows with Lilium bulbiferum, Black Vanilla and Round-headed Orchids
- Campanula and Gentiana generas well represented
- Enjoy butterflies such as False Heath, Titania’s, Shepherd’s Fritillaries, Alpine Heath, Apollo, Amanda’s Blue, Chalkhill blue, Arran Brown and others.
- Led by a knowledgable & experienced team: botanist Dr Yiannis Christofides & Lepidopterist Dr Martin Warren
Explore one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes found anywhere in the world for its rich Alpine flora and colourful palette of butterflies!
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.
Martin Warren is one of Europe’s leading butterfly ecologists, having studied butterflies for over 40 years. Following a research career at London and Cambridge, Martin became a butterfly specialist with the Nature Conservancy Council before joining Butterfly Conservation as their first Conservation Officer in 1993. Later, as Chief Executive, he helped the charity grow to become the largest insect NGO in the world with over 75 staff and 30,000 members.
Martin has published over 300 scientific papers and reports, and is co-author of several books, including the Red Data Book of European butterflies and the Climatic Risk Atlas of European butterflies. In 2004, he helped found Butterfly Conservation Europe which now has over 40 partner organisations in 35 countries across Europe. In 2007 Martin won the Marsh Award for Insect Conservation from the Royal Entomological Society and has been voted in the top 10 British conservationists by BBC Wildlife Magazine. He has a wealth of knowledge about European butterflies which he is keen to use to inspire people to enjoy and conserve these amazing insects.
Join Martin Warren & Yiannis Christofides for a leisurely (mainly walking) week in one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes found anywhere in the world for its rich Alpine flora and colourful palette of butterflies!
The Dolomites are a distinctive and beautiful area that takes its name from the crystalline magnesium limestone rocks that make up the peaks that tower vertically above the valleys. The shape of these mountains is unique having risen out of the sea around 250 million years ago. Ice and wind modelled the rocks creating the steep walls, towering spires and pinnacles typical of these mountains which have always been a source of wonder and a favourite destination of rock climbers. The crevices hold a distinctive flora of magnesium loving plants.
The holiday is based in the Val di Fassa, in the village of Campitello. Valle di Fassa lies in the north-east part of Trentino on the borders of the province of Bolzano and Belluno. The river Avisio flows through the valley and it is surrounded by the most spectacular and famous Dolomite peaks, such as the Sella Group, Sassolungo, and the Catinaccio with the Torri del Vajolet and the Marmolada. The Val di Fassa is one of the places of the area where Ladin, the oldest language in the Alpine region is still spoken. At our very hospitable hotel we shall sample the local and Italian cuisine.
This year the holiday will be in July to see the later-flowering plants and also to see more of the butterflies such as the beautiful and iconic Apollo, Mazarine Blue, Alpine Heath and Alpine Ringlets. Heath and Titania’s Fritillaries should be on the wing too.
From our base in pretty Campitello we shall explore the valleys of the area on day-long but easy walks and to visit a number of different habitats. Extensive meadows surround the village and we shall see many beautiful and colourful plants such as Lilium bulbiferum and a number of interesting orchids including Orchis ustulata (Burnt orchid), Nigritella nigra (Black vanilla orchid) and Traunsteinera globosa (Round-headed orchid).
Taking the cable car up to Col Rodella and to Ciampac we shall explore the higher alpine areas where we shall see Potentilla nitida, Leontopodium alpinun, Paederota bonarota and Eritrichium nanum, the King of the Alps.
Day 1: Arrival at airport in Venice and transfer to our hotel in Campitello.
Day 2: Our first walk takes through flower-filled meadows to the nearby village of Canazei. We shall see some of the colourful flowers that make up the meadows such as Phyteuma (Rampions), Rhinanthus (Yellow rattle), Salvia pratensis, Pedicularis (Lousewort), Aster alpinus, Myosotis many others. On the return journey we walk along the forested track that runs along the river so many of riverside and woodland plants such as Trollius europaeus, Viola biflora, Aquilegia atrata and Geranium sylvaticum. Apollo butterflies can be found on a slope just outside the village.
Day 3: We take the road to via Pian, an ancient hamlet where we observe the traditional architecture. Val Duron is a valley surrounded by meadows and woods and traversed by the stream Rio Duron. The road was anciently used by merchants and shepherds from Alpe di Siusi, Castelrotto and Tires to reach the Val di Fassa. We hope to see a number of woodland orchids such as Neottia nidus-avis and Corallorhiza trifida. From there we make our way to the Val Duron for more flower meadows. We hope to see Phyteuma sieberi, Saponaria ocymoides & Campanula glomerata. Butterflies should include Chalkhill Blue & Dark Green Fritillary. We return the same way.
Day 4: A short walk across the river to take the lift to Col Rodella and to walk part of the Friedrich August Way, named after the Bavarian King and mountaineer, through some of the richest high altitude flower meadows, to see Edelweiss, Loiseleuria procumbens, Potentilla nitida, Papaver rhaeticum and Paederota bonarota.
Day 5: We will either return to Col Rodella to explore more of the Friedrich August Way, or we will head for Pera to go up to the alpine areas of Col de Valvacin. We will look for Erytrichium nanum and then return to the cable lift area from which we either take the cable down or walk down from the mountain exploring the hillside down to Val de Sen Nicolo. Plants for today include Centaurea pectinata, Campanula barbata, Anthericum liliago (St Bernard’s lily), Geranium phaeum, Knautia dipsacifolia, Helianthemum oleandicum and Arctostaphylos uva-ursi.
Day 6: A short drive to Alba di Canazei from where we take the cable car to Ciampac for more high level plants, including Erytrichium nanum, the King of the Alps.
Day 7: Investigate the meadows near Campitello for Lilium bulbiferum, orchids in particular Gymnadenia, Orchis ustulata and Traunsteinera globosa. The meadows should be full of butterflies such as the beautiful Mazarine Blue, Wall, Fritillaries, Skippers, and other insects such as the Scorpion flies and day-flying moths.
Day 8: Transfer back to airport in Venice for departure.
Margaret…Campitello was a perfect location, so enjoyed not travelling each day and even then only short distances. The hotel was excellent, friendly, comfortable and very good meals. The week was fantastic. Yiannis was a superb guide, extremely knowledgeable, very tolerant and fun.
I was thrilled to get the holiday report, it certainly brought back the most wonderful memories of a fantastic holiday. Not only a written report but so many superb photos too. I was especially thrilled to see the one of the Arran Brown as I took an almost identical photo and wasn’t sure what it was. In Yiannis we could not have wished for a better leader. He was brilliant, so knowledgeable and fun, it was a real pleasure to be with him and I do hope our paths cross one day soon!
Una…Thank you so much for the Dolomites trip report, its the best tour report I have seen, wonderful to have so many photos!