Guided butterfly, botanical & birdwatching holidays
Give us a call - (01473) 254658

Butterflies of Corfu

Butterflies of Corfu


Please choose to pay a deposit or the full amount, select the number of places required and click ‘Add To Cart’.

4 in stock

Pay a deposit of £150.00 per item


Join us for a new & unique conservation focused tour on the Greek island of Corfu!


Corfu is an island located in the Ionian Sea and even by Mediterranean standards it’s small, spanning just 39 miles by 17 miles at its longest and widest points. At its closest it sits just 2.7Km off the coast of the Albanian mainland, just above where Albania shares its border with Greece. Made famous by Gerald Durrell’s autobiographical account of his time on the island as a child, Corfu has long been considered a natural gem in the Ionian archipelago, and the Old Town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Indeed, Lee Durrell, Gerald’s widow, lives on Corfu now and has kindly agreed to let us visit her garden on this trip.

Founded in 2019, Corfu Butterfly Conservation has listed 75+ species of butterfly on the island with 59 species recorded during the month of May making this the very best time to visit Corfu to see butterflies. This very high number of species is in part due to a changeover in the species assemblage. We have timed this tour to coincide with this alteration in the butterfly communities to allow you to witness the departure of the spring butterflies, along with the arrival of the summer species. Two of the key species we’ll seek this week are the Southern Swallowtail and Eastern Orange Tip.

There is a reason why the Southern Swallowtail is the emblem of Corfu Butterfly Conservation; the species is iconic. Of the four species in the Papilionidae family found on Corfu, many consider the Southern Swallowtail the most enthralling. We will spend some time searching for this stunning butterfly in both lowland and upland locations.

The Eastern Orange Tip meanwhile is an enigmatic butterfly, limited in its distribution to the north-eastern slopes of Corfu’s uplands, by the distribution of its larval foodplant, Woad – Isatis tinctoria. The Flora Ionica, which covers the thirteen major islands in the Ionian archipelago, describes the distribution of Woad as being limited solely to Corfu and so we believe that the Eastern Orange Tip is unlikely to occur on any other Ionian Island. The occurrence of Woad on Corfu has been known about for two centuries but it is unclear if this plant is indigenous and therefore the origins of the butterfly also remain uncertain. We shall spend time seeking out these pale yellow beauties to help Corfu Butterfly Conservation further their mapping of the species’ distribution on the island.

One of the reasons why Corfu has so many different butterfly species, despite its diminutive size is because there are areas that are elevated. This additional altitude, up to 906 metres in the case of Mount Pantokrator, increases the prospects for greater environmental variation which creates additional habitats. Over the last 60 years there has been a major shift in the Corfiot economy from one that was based in an agrarian lifestyle to that which is now based on tourism. This adjustment has led to major changes in land use and grazing is one practice that has been greatly reduced. Corfu Butterfly Conservation has anecdotal evidence that the distribution of species like the Mazarine Blue Cyaniris semiargus has been reduced by this alteration. During the week we will explore habitats which are representative of the older landscapes, as depicted by the artist and poet Edward Lear, to discover what butterflies can be found in these habitats now.

While here, we will also take part in a Big Butterfly Race, a fun event racing around the island with a local enthusiast and teams of up to 6 (we may split into two teams for this!) competing to see as many species as possible in a day.





There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “Butterflies of Corfu”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest News

Contact Us

Telephone from inside UK: 01473 254658  (Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm)

Telephone from outside UK: 0044 1473 254658  (Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm)