Tours that take the strain out of enjoying Europe’s flora and fauna! Based in just a couple of good quality hotels, with direct flights, and these at kind times of day! And most importantly field trips will be kept to a maximum of six or so hours giving you plenty of time to relax before and after. Direct flights are available from some regional airports.
It would be difficult to find a flowerier place in the entire Mediterranean than the Datça Peninsula. In April and May it erupts into spectacular bloom with multi-hued Cistus bushes, blue Lithodora, splashes of pink Convolvulus, and architectural Giant Fennels. Orchids are everywhere, bee orchids include Ophrys candica, Ophrys minoa, Ophrys episcopalis and Ophrys ferrum-equinum subspecies mandalyana, whilst Serapia cordigera showers pinewoods with deep brick blooms sometimes wholly or partly lime-green. The limestone spine of the peninsula is wild and rugged, still the haunt of Bears, Wolves and Caracal, though in the realms of what we are likely to see, Ibex, Wild Boar and Stone Marten. We’ll visit Pammukkale, the aquamarine travertine terraces cascade down a mountainside complete with the ruins of ancient Hieropolis. Nearby the impressive Honaz Dağı has clumps of yellow Iris suaveolens and Moltkia aurea, Cretzschmarr’s Buntings and Short-toed Eagles.
Kaş possesses a wonderful range of flora and fauna all set in superb landscapes. Our hotel nestles amongst flower-filled hillsides on Kaş’s picturesque peninsula in Southwestern Turkey. Swallowtails and the brilliant Loew’s Blue visit aromatic blooms as we admire Komper’s Orchid and bee orchids such as Ophrys reinholdii and Ophrys lyciensis. Bee-eaters, Hoopoes and Rollers migrate past Andriake’s wetland which is full of birds, and a boat trip will see us enjoying underwater archaeology, Green and Loggerhead Turtles, and snorkelling amongst colourful fish. Inland are cool Cedar Forests home to Tulipa armena, Paeonias, Krüper’s Nuthatches and Eastern Festoons. Small green lakes dot summer pastures where we’ll find Omphalodes luciliae, Muscari bourgaei, Fritillarias pinardii and whitallii, abundant Merenderas and Scillas as well as False Apollos, Red-fronted Serins and Cretzschmarr’s Buntings.
Within a few kilometres of Dalyan are reedbeds, lakes, beaches, maquis, globally important Liquidambar forests and mountains. Not surprising then that Dalyan is so rich in wildlife. Iris xanthospuria dominates the bushed meadows that are a migrant bird heaven with an unimaginable variety of warblers, flycatchers, Wryneck, and lots of Shrikes – Woodchat, Red-backed and Masked. White-breasted Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Hoopoes add plenty of colour. We’ll watch Loggerhead Turtles offshore, Nile River Turtles in Dalyan itself, and we’ll wander the wonderful ruined city of Kaunos. High on Sandros Mountain Colchicums, Crocuses and Gageas bloom by an alpine lake where we can see Black Woodpecker and Krüper’s Nuthatch, lower down we’ll find White-backed and Middle-spotted Woodpeckers in woods full of Spurred Helleborines and Violet Limodores.
Flowers, Birds and Butterflies. Pammukkale. Also Archaeological Sites, Reptiles, and Rural Turkey.
Very gentle, just two or three miles a day, and always at a slow pace, ideally suited to photography.
Included in the Price
All flights. All transport, accommodation and meals in Turkey. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, the Turkish Enry Visa, and items of a personal nature, including insurance, are not included.
One leader for a group of up to 8, two leaders up to the maximum group size of 15.
We start with two nights at the Melrose House Hotel in Pammukkale, close by the famed travertine terraces. The rest of the week (5 nights) will be at the lovely Eski Datça Hotel situated in quiet Eski (Old) Datça. This small family-run hotel has very comfortable rooms and a well-stocked bar and serves very good traditional Turkish food. All rooms have en suite facilities.
In the second week we have two nights at the 3-star Hotel Tuba in Elmali, in the centre of a valley famed as one the biggest and most productive orchards in Turkey. The rest of the holiday (5 nights) will be at the lovely Olea Nova Hotel beautifully situated on the Peninsula just outside Kaş. The Hotel has comfortable rooms overlooking the bay and across to the island of Meis. There is a swimming pool and walks up and down the Peninsula’s lanes can be very productive for wildlife. Kaş’s narrow streets are lined with tempting little shops, cafes, bars and restaurants as the town rises up from its picturesque harbour. All rooms have en suite facilities.
In the third week we have 3 nights at the beautifully situated Kaunos Hotel in Köyceğiz on the shores of the lake of the same name. Balconied rooms have marvellous vies out over the lakes, mountains and marshes that must be one of the most beautiful vistas in Turkey. Then we’ve 4 nights at the excellent Dalyan Resort by the river in Dalyan. Like most of Dalyan the hotel is single storey. The well-equipped rooms are very comfortable and are spread through the grounds. The restaurant produces great fare, and there’s a good-sized swimming pool and even a hamam or Turkish bath and sauna. The centre of Dalyan is a ten-minute stroll, and an excellent place for a bit of Turkish carpet shopping! All rooms have en suite facilities.
UK direct return flights to Dalaman are available from many UK regional airports*.
*These routes may incur a supplement but most don’t.
Usually settled, sunny and warm, however even in May the odd day with showers and cooler weather is possible, and the last couple of days up in Pammukkale will be cooler at least at night.
It is possible to join this tour for the first, middle, or last week, or first or last fortnight. See the Datça and Kaş and Dalyan tour pages for further details.
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.