Dates & Prices

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Dates: 20 – 27 Mar 2021

Price: £1,495 Places available

Single Room Supplement: £none

Deposit: £150 per person


Price Includes: All meals, accommodation, all ground transport including transfers, services of guides & charitable donation

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

Conservation Donation: 10% of profits donated to a wildlife project or charity

Leader: Sarah Cuttle & Jon Dunn

Group Size: Minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 guests plus 2 leaders

Grade: Gentle paced workshops & excursions in a variety of natural terrains

Holiday Highlights


  • Led by professional garden & plant photographer Sarah Cuttle – regular contributor to BBC Gardeners World, Associate Photographer with RGB Kew & photographer for RHS shows.
  • Sarah will be joined by experienced tour guide Jon Dunn –  author of the highly acclaimed Orchid Summer, botanist, naturalist & photographer
  • A unique opportunity to combine garden & plant photography with the natural habitats, landscapes and beautiful surroundings of a Greek island
  • Learn and develop photography techniques during a relaxing week of daily excursions  
  • Orchids will be our main focus & there are a good number of interesting and beautiful species to be found in flower at this time
  • Approximately 1,500 plant species known to occur on Rhodes, including special plants such as an endemic Peony & Fritillary

Enjoy a week of photography on a beautiful Greek island just as spring bursts into life!


Of all the spring wildflowers, none have quite the allure, beauty and mystique boasted by the orchids of Europe. Of all the places in which to photograph them, few can approach the Greek island of Rhodes for a warm welcome, stunning surroundings and, of course, sheer numbers and variety of orchids. With acclaimed professional plant photographer Sarah Cuttle and Jon Dunn, author of botanical bestseller Orchid Summer, as your guides it’s the perfect setting for an orchid photography holiday!

Rhodes in mid-March is bursting into life after a mild winter. With a week at our disposal, we’ll explore the island’s varied habitats, spending full days in montane and lowland locations, in lush meadows, dry garrigue, and shady olive groves, both inland and near the blue waters of the eastern Mediterranean. A range of habitats in such a compact island as Rhodes means we can expect to find a good variety of colourful and dramatic orchids for some exciting photographic opportunities!

Some of these will be within walking distance of the welcoming, family-run, small hotel at which we will base ourselves for the week, set on the outskirts of a small village in the heart of the island. Our central location means that nowhere on the island is beyond striking distance within a day, and allows us to offer a varied daily program.

We’ll keep the daily schedule flexible as we’ll want to take account and full advantage of the local conditions, which can be changeable at this time of year – the good news being that if one side of the island has rain, we can usually find dry conditions elsewhere!

Our timing means we should find fine late examples of some of the earlier-flowering orchids and early examples of some of the later-flowering species – and, of course, a good range of species that will be in their absolute prime. This holiday is not, however, about building a big list – it is, instead, about enjoying a gentle-paced introduction to orchid photography, and coming away with images our guests will cherish and techniques that will stand them in good stead nearer to home.

Sarah and Jon will be on hand throughout to offer practical advice on how to capture intimate and interesting portraits of orchids in their natural habitats, combining the eyes and sensibilities of a pair of professional plant and wildlife photographers for your exclusive benefit – we’re delighted to say that nobody else is offering a photography holiday with such a unique perspective.

The kind of techniques that will be covered include the basics of plant photography; working with natural light, and tools to help optimise it; working with off-camera supplementary lighting; and composing your shots and digital workflow with Photoshop (you will need to bring your own laptop with software if you want help and advice on digital workflows).

Potential species include:

Giant Orchid Himantoglossum robertianum; King Ferdinand’s Orchid Ophrys regis-ferdinandii, Mirror Orchid Ophrys speculum and Sawfly Orchid Ophrys tenthredinifera – plus a wide variety of further Ophrys bee orchid species, including O.lucis, O.dodekanensis, O.sitiaca and O.omegaifera; Dense-flowered Orchid Neotinea maculata; Anatolian Orchid Orchis anatolica; and doubtless some surprises too!

We will undoubtedly encounter a great many other spring wildflowers and, while this photography holiday has an unashamed orchid focus, we certainly won’t ignore opportunities for composing other striking wildflower images.

Rhodes, the capital of the Dodecanese group of islands in Greece, is situated just off the western coast of Turkey. Therefore, it is blessed with an interesting mixture of east Mediterranean and Asian flora and fauna. Although the island is a popular destination for sun and beach loving tourists, there is much natural beauty to discover, if one takes the time! The island is blessed with 1,500 recorded plant species, including well over 50 species of Orchid – an impressive list for an island only 80km long and 30km at its widest point.

Our base for the week will be a family run hotel in a traditional village, nestled at the foot of the island’s highest mountain. From here we’ll embark on daily adventures around the island, followed by relaxing evening meals at our hotel or in traditional tavernas.

We look forward to welcoming you to join what we are sure will be a very popular tour!

    

Please note: the itinerary is subject to changes in terms of the daily running order and content. We take the local weather conditions into account, along with how the flowering season is progressing and make appropriate adjustments in order to provide you with the best daily excursions possible.

Day 1: On arrival at Rhodes Airport you will be met by your guides, who will accompany you throughout the trip. From the airport we head south (journey time approximately 45 minutes) down the western side of the island, towards our base for the week. We will be staying at a family run hotel nestled at the base of Mount Attaviros, one of the islands three mountains in a traditional Rhodian village.

Depending on time we may make one or two stops on our journey to view our first orchids, or to look at any other wildlife of interest. Once checked in we will have our first lunch together, including an introductory talk by the guides, followed by our first excursion in the general vicinity of the hotel.

Days 2 – 7: Daily excursions and workshops

Day 8: Day of departure. We say our farewells to our hosts at the hotel and head to the airport in the morning after breakfast, with the possibility of a stop or two on the way, depending on our schedule.

Sarah Cuttle is a professional garden and plant photographer, her career spanning 18 years has taken her across the UK, Europe and the Americas, working with world class magazines and publishers.  She is a regular contributor to Gardeners’ World magazine, where she works throughout the gardening year with the presenters and production team from the BBC series.

Sarah is one of a handful of photographers who is lucky enough to work with the RHS for the coverage of their Annual shows.  She also enjoys the title of Associate Photographer for the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. During her travels she has had the privilege of meeting some brilliant and passionate plant specialists, garden designers and garden owners. She also frequently works with other magazine titles such as RHS The Garden, The English Garden, Gardens Illustrated, House & Garden and Country Living.

Sarah’s fascination with wildflowers really took hold back in 2005, when she collaborated on the illustrated compendium; ‘Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland’. She became fascinated by their hardiness, tenacity and the enviable way they could so easily adapt to their environment. A project spanning two years, many days were spent working with botanists, seeking out a wide range of British native flora in their natural environment, frequently in challenging weather conditions. Part of the fun was finding ways to photograph a particular plant to really show its character and beauty.

Sarah recently relocated from London to the North Kent coast, where she has made the ‘Garden of England’ her home. Any spare time is taken up with long-distance cycling, or the ongoing battle to grow vegetables on her allotment.

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.

New tour so reviews will follow later