A MOUNTAIN IN THE SEA
Wildlife Tour with Greentours to Corsica for Spring Flowers, especially Orchids and Bulbs, also Birds and endemic Butterflies
Scenically attractive Corsica has long held an interest to naturalists, there are many elegantly penned articles from a bygone era with prose redolent of aromatic maquis and dramatic gorges. Brick pink granitic cliffs sweep down to the sea draped with delicate blue-flowered Convolvulus sicula whilst limestone intrusions on the coast are home to pretty Erodium corsicum. Here too is endemic Morisia monanthos and orchids. There’s fine yellow Orchis pauciflora and bee orchids such as Ophrys morissi, Ophrys marmorata and Ophrys lutea corsica. Corsican Dappled White and the Corsican Swallowtail are on the wing as we stop by roadsides dotted with Green-winged and Pink Butterfly Orchids.
Marmora’s Warblers scold from maquis where Cytinus hypocistus’s yellow flowers glow from crimson bracts amongst Cistuses, and in meadows there are displays of Serapias hardly matched elsewhere in the Mediterranean with large-flowered Serapias cordigera joined by Serapias neglecta and Serapias lingua, as well as plenty of gorgeous Orchis longicornu. Groups of Corsican Finches will be seen by damp areas where Orchis ovalis and Ophrys annae flower and Small Red-eyed Damselfly and Island Bluetail fly. The rare Tyrrhenian Tree Frog is found in such spots along with the unusual Kerry Lily and several broomrapes, including Orobanche rigens and Orobanche sanguinea, both beautiful richly-coloured species. Narcissus tazetta decorates rocky crevices almost to the high tide line on the Pointe de la Parata. Shorelines have much Medicago marina, purple-streaked Silene succulenta and colorata-like Silene sericea. Moving inland we’ll find Brimeura fastigata and Pancratium illyricum, which unlike its more widespread European cousin flowers far up into the mountains. Cyclamen repandum blooms at all altitudes, and, as we go up through Anemomes, then Sweet Chestnut woods full of beautiful forms of Corydalis pumila, we’ll reach pretty lilac Crocus corsicus, the outside of the flowers etched with deep purple lines. Fabulous mounds of Saxifraga cervicornis adorn shaded rocks close to our hotel in the Gorges du Restonica. Helleborus argutifolius flowers amid fresh green birch woods where we can find intense purple Romulea requienii. Endemic Corsican Nuthatch is found in these woods.
Flowers. Also Butterflies, Birds and Odonata.
Paul Cardy, A third Greentours Leader will accompany a group of more than 12.
Relaxed and easy. Up to two or three miles a day and always at a slow pace, perfectly suited to photographers.
Included in the Price
All flights. Transport, accommodation and all meals in Corsica. Services of the leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature including travel insurance, are not included.
The minimum group size is 5 and the maximum is 15. Only one leader will accompany a group of 6 or less.
We start with a night in L’Hôtel La Pinède a little along the coast towards Parata from Ajaccio. The hotel is in a lovely spot with pleasant gardens and is right by the sea. The rooms are large and comfortable. Next we’ve four nights in the central mountains in the magnificent scenery of the Gorges du Restonica. Our hotel, the very comfortable Dominique-Colonna, is set in a well-wooded stretch of the gorge and right by the rushing river, a very lovely setting indeed. We finish the holiday with two nights at the Hôtel U Libecciu, beautifully situated amongst oaks and Strawberry Trees at the head of the Gulf of Figari. The hotel is a stylish modern place with large and airy rooms. All rooms on this holiday have en suite WCs and showers/baths.
UK return flights are from London Heathrow/Gatwick/Luton to Ajaccio via Nice, returning from Bonifacio, also via Nice. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Variable but mostly clear and sunny with daytime temperatures between 12°C and 25°C. Rain is likely at some point and is occasionally prolonged.
Why not combine this holiday with the Sardinia tour. Your leader will transport you between the two… London to London the cost of the two tours is £3625. Calgliari to Bonifacio £3370. Single supplement for both tours £415.
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, bird, butterfly and odonata checklists are available.