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, including some local specialities and rarities such as Scarce Fritillary and Southern Swallowtail. A small selection of other highlights includes Poplar Admiral, Titania’s Fritillary, Italian Festoon, Small Apollo, Apollo, Alpine Blue, Scarce Large Blue, Camberwell Beauty, Cynthia’s Fritillary and Piedmont Ringlet.
We will base ourselves at two centres, Demonte and Entracque. Our first is a hotel in Demonte, located in the Stura di Demonte Valley. Demonte means ‘on the mountain’ and is very apt for this charming village nestled at just under 800m above sea level and with a number of high peaks surrounding it. After 3 pleasant nights in Demonte we will relocate to a small family run hotel in Entracque for the remaining 4 nights. Entracque is a small town in the Valle Gesso and lies at approximately 900m above sea level.
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 Martin Warren, the previous Chief Executive of BC and now Head of Development for BC Europe. And David Moore, who has rapidly become one of our most popular and skilled butterfly holiday guides.
This promises to be a very popular tour – we recommend booking early to avoid disappointment!