A Botanical tour of Southwestern Turkey: Up to 29 species of Crocus plus many Fritillarias and other bulbs
A staggering twenty-eight species of Crocus are on the agenda for this tour alongside many other early flowering bulbs. Recent discoveries form a major component of this Crocus extravaganza, in no small part due to the explorations of your two Turkish leaders who have explored this rich region for several years bringing a number of new and often distinctive and beautiful species to light.
Yasemin has one named after her - newly described Crocus yaseminiae. We’ll also encounter Crocus bowlesianus whose white to soft lilac tepals are intensively veined or feathered outside, Crocus brickelii, named after Christopher Brickell, and the stunning pure ice-blue Crocus baytopiorum named after the Turkish Botanical Professor Turhan Baytop.
Close to Akseki we’ll seek Crocus roseoviolaceus, one of the most strikingly coloured species in the region as well as Crocus chrysanthus and Crocus biflorus subspecies isauricus. The high pastures of Gembos Yayla have an extra special show of egg-yolk yellow Crocus gembosii and purple-striped blue Crocus mavii. They've hybridised extensively resulting in a kaleidoscopic array of colours with all intermediate forms on show. Close to Antalya we’ll find Crocus oreogenus, tiny Crocus minutus, and another new Crocus discovered so recently it doesn’t yet have a name. Here also are Crocus antalyensis subsp. antalyensis and Crocus ziyeretensis. The lovely and rare Iris pamphylica and almost equally attractive Iris stenophylla are both on the agenda. Tiny Crocus minutus and creamy Crocus sarichinarensis decorate Tahtalı Mountain where we’ll see the newly described Fritillaria asumaniae, Iris unguicularis, Tulipa orphanidae, and orchids such as Ophrys heterochila, Ophrys argolica subspecies lucis and the elegant Ophrys climacis. The parallel ranges of the Ak Dagi and the Beydaglari either side of the fertile Elmali basin are home to very many lovely Crocuses. Crocus beydaglarensis is named for these mountains, but others grow here too including Crocus akdagensis blooming in open pine forests and Crocus salurdagensis on high mountain steppes. Crocus xanthosus with its striking deep yellow-orange throat is named for the old Lycian capital Xanthos which is not far away. Crocus fleschieri is a most striking species with a brilliant reddish style whilst Crocus katrancensis decorates montane steppes with its uniformly soft bluish lilac goblets. Deep in the shady Cedar of Lebanon Forests in the mountains above Fethiye we’ll find the gorgeous, large, and very rare, lilac-blue to deep violet-blue Crocus calanthus. White to pale lilac-blue Crocus lyciotauricus is another we’ll see and we’re sure to enjoy the newly-discovered elegant Crocus heilbronniorum populating rocky scrub where Cylcamens mix with abundant yellow Crocus danfordiae. There will be plenty of other spring bulbs on show with stands of Galanthus elwesii blooming under Oriental Planes and the blue stars of Scilla bifolia everywhere. Two special bulbs we’ll encounter on Baba Dağı are Fritillaria forbesii and Scilla forbesii. Alongside paths are Orchis sezikana, blue Chionodoxa forbesii, pink Anthemis rosea, Corydalis pashei, Cyclamen alpinum, and the highly scented Muscari muscarimi.
Though Crocuses will take the plaudits for greatest variety the number of Fritillaria species will see is also impressive with some fine species such as the elegantly striped bells of Fritillaria kittaniae, delicate Fritillaria pinardii, both Fritillaria carica and Fritillaria serpenticola, and widespread Fritillaria elwesii. There’s even a triumvirate of stunning little irises in Iris stenophylla, Iris pamphylica, and Iris masia.
Crocuses. Also other Bulbs, particularly Fritillarias, and Spring Flowers.
Yasemin Konuralp, and local leader
Very easy, no more than three or four miles a day, usually much less, and always at a relaxed pace, ideally suited to photographers. Some slopes are steep and you’ll be near snow quite often!
Included in the Price
All flights. All accommodation, transport and meals in Turkey. Tips. Services of your leaders. Please note: items of a personal nature including insurance and the Turkish visa, are not included.
The maximum group size is 15.
All of the hotels on this tour are either three-star or in most cases four-star hotels and all have rooms with en suite facilities. We start with two nights at the Hotel Villa Turka, a beautifully restored and tastefully decorated mansion in the heart of Alanya’s sprawling castle. Next is the Ormana Active in the scenic mountain village of Ormana. This is a nice little hotel with fine rooms and an excellent restaurant. After two nights here we move to a quiet location in the old town in the centre of Antalya where we’ve two nights at the Hadrianus Boutique hotel. Next are two nights at the lovely Hotel Hideaway in a quiet part of old Kaş. The hotel’s terrace has marvellous views of Kaş’s beautiful coastline. We’ve two nights at the lovely Çameli Taş Konakları in the mountains to the northeast of Fethiye before moving to the orchard valleys between the great mountains of Ak Dağı and the Beydağları where we’ve three nights at the Tuba Hotel. The Tuba is a large business-style hotel with spacious light and comfortable rooms. We finish with a night back in Antalya.
UK return flights are from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Edinburgh*, Birmingham* or Manchester* via Istanbul to Antalya. Indirect routes from other regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement
Variable but mostly clear and sunny with daytime temperatures at lower elevations between 12°C and 25°C, however you’ll find it much cooler at higher altitudes where it may get close to freezing early or late in the day. Rain is likely at some point and is occasionally prolonged and is likely to fall as snow at higher altitudes.
How to Book
Contact us to check there is availability for the number of places you require. Download a booking form or contact us and we will send one to you. Complete and send to us. You will receive confirmation of your place and then a detailed information pack will be dispatched to you about twelve weeks before departure. Flower and bird checklists are available.