THE LYCIAN COAST
Mediterranean Spring Wildlife & Botanical Tour - Birds & Flowers of Southwest Turkey with Greentours
Just an hour west of Antalya lies a beautiful national park, even by Turkish standards. It protects an area where the high and rugged limestone peaks, reaching almost eight thousand feet on Tahtalı Dağı, descend to the Mediterranean.
Orchid-rich Calabrian Pine forests descend to a deep blue sea. The combination of limestone valleys, high easy to reach mountains, open forests and amazingly, still some unspoilt coastal beach and forest, make this a happy hunting for any naturalist whether fauna or flora be your main interest. We can expect to see over forty species of orchid on this tour including rare Ophrys lycia and the extraordinary Ophrys regis-ferdinandii. We’ll find Mediterranean Chameleons and Spur-thighed Tortoises, Persian Squirrels and a great mix of birds including Krüper’s Nuthatches and Yellow-vented Bulbuls. Migration is in full swing and Golden Orioles, Hoopoes and flocks of colourful wagtails, are passing through. We’ll visit some entrancing ancient sites such as Phaselis and the extraordinary Chimaera. Reached through a fairy-glen, the flames burn as they have done for thousands of years since, as legend has it, Bellerophon and his winged horse Pegasus imprisoned the fire-breathing Chimaera in the rocks!
Stunning cascades of orange and yellow Lathyrus belinensis decorate roadsides, and Monkey and Anatolian Orchids are joined by local Ophrys climacis in fern-laden rockeries. Danford’s Lizards bask in the sun and early season butterflies such as Gruner’s Orange-tip, False Apollo, Turkish Vernal Copper and Eastern Festoons flutter about sunny glades. Tall Fritillaria acmopetala blooms with Ophrys including heterochila, ferrum-equinum and cinereophila. Springs of limpid water emerge amid the ruins of Limyra, the sinuous channels the haunt of demoiselles and kingfishers. Alongside mountain roads are Orchis sezikana, yellow Fritillaria carica, blue Chionodoxa forbesii, pink Anthemis rosea, Corydalis pashei, both Crocus danfordiae and rare and lovely Crocus baytopiorum, Cyclamen alpinum, and the highly scented white Muscari muscarimi. Smyrna Kingfisher’s loud calls can be heard from our finely positioned hotel in Dalyan. Little Bitterns and Squacco Herons will be passing in numbers. Metre-long Nile River Turtles frequent a quiet bay close to some hot mud springs where dragonflies are common. We’ll find Ophrys argolica and Ophrys umbilicata as we walk past fabulous Lycian Rock Tombs on the track to the ancient ruined town of Kaunos.
Spring Flowers, particularly Orchids. Also Birds, Reptiles and Turkey’s superb Rural and Mountain Landscapes.
Yasmin Konuralp, Altay Ozhan.
Very easy. Always at a relaxed pace and never more than two or three miles in any one day, ideally suited to flower photographers.
Included in the Price
All flights. All transport, meals and accommodation in Turkey. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, the Turkish entry Visa (currently £10), tips, and items of a personal nature including travel insurance, are not included.
The minimum is 5 and the maximum is 15. Only one leader will accompany a group of 8 or less.
We start the tour with three nights in the excellent Hotel Asur by the river in Dalyan. Next are three 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 have two nights at the comfortable Finike 2000 hotel quietly positioned above the town’s small marina. We finish with three nights at the lovely Olympos Mountain Lodge, surrounded by flower-rich terraces. The rooms are large with fine furnishings and each has a living area fronted by large glass windows to enjoy the magnificent views down to the sea. All rooms on this holiday have en suite facilities.
UK flights are from London Heathrow or Manchester* via Istanbul to Dalaman, returning from Antalya via Istanbul to London Heathrow/Manchester. Indirect routes from other 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.
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 and butterfly checklists are available.