Flowers and Birds of Sao Miguel, Azores. Endemic Flora, Cetaceans and Wines!
Almost at the midpoint in the Atlantic between Europe and North America, the Azorian Archipelago isolation ensures an enthralling visit to any naturalist.
The nearer shore in Europe provides much of the common ancestry but distance and time has ensured that new island species have evolved. The Azores Bullfinch is the most well-known avian example but amongst the plant life there are many… Azorina vidallii, Ammi seubertianum, Pericallis malvifolia, Spergularia azorica, Tolpis succulenta, and the rare maroon-flowered Lotus azoricus. The massive volcanic crater of Sete Cidades contains twin lakes that attract an eclectic assortment of migrating ducks, herons and egrets, and around the lagoas we’ll find the big endemics – Angelica lignescens and Rumex azoricus, and we’ll see two special orchids too, Platanthera pollostantha and Platanthera micrantha. A large part of the original habitats of the Azores still remain, particularly in the mountainous areas – the laurel forests are superb and we’ll explore too the fabulous peat bogs of the Graminhais plateau. The Australasian tree-fern Dicksonia antarctica is naturalised here, growing alongside its native counterpart Culcita macrocarpa, the Woolly Tree Fern. Lurking in the green-fringed boggy ponds is the tiny Citrine Forktail. Amazingly all of these tiny (barely an inch long) damselflies on the Azores are now known to be female and they reproduce by parthenogenesis! A wonderful range of ferns including the Killarney fern is found amid the Laurel forests of Fogo, a volcano with an astonishingly beautiful crater lake. The Azores are justly famed for their marine wildlife too and we’ll have two Pelagic trips to explore this rich natural heritage. Sperm Whales are resident and we’ll see groups of Common and Bottle-nosed Dolphins. The distinctive Risso’s Dolphin is as common here as anywhere and we’ll probably encounter some migratory species, notably Stripped Dolphins, and hopefully once or more of Fin, Minke and Blue Whales. Cory’s Shearwaters are plentiful, whilst Bulwer’s Petrel, Little and Great Shearwater are possibilities. We’ll also visit Caloura’s colony of Common and Roseate Terns, and an evening visit to Ribeira Quente will allow us to listen to the amazing sounds of Cory's Shearwater coming back from the sea to their nests.
In addition to first class flora and fauna in beautiful landscapes, this tour offers the opportunity of sample very tasteful wines and local cooking, and the locally grown tea is rather special too!
Endemic Flora. Also Birds and Cetaceans. Just a little culture too…
Generally easy, no more than three or four miles in a day.
Included in the Price
All flights. All accommodation, transport and meals in the Azores. Services of your leaders. Please note: items of a personal nature, including insurance and tips, are not included.
One leaders will accompany a group of up to 6, two leaders up the maximum of 12.
Located in the centre of Ponta Delgada, the Hotel Alcides is an easy walk to the historic city centre as well as the island’s botanical garden. A buffet breakfast includes various regional products, and the world-famous “O Alcides” restaurant in the hotel serves both fresh meat and fresh local fish and seafood. After four nights here we move to Furnas for a three night stay. The Furnas Lake Villas are really something quite unusual. They may not be the prettiest from the outside (square might be another word!) but inside they are full of modern comfort and the setting is quite wonderful with wooded slopes all around. All rooms on this tour have en suite facilities.
UK flights are direct from London Stansted to São Miguel on the Azores. Indirect routes from other regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Even though it is summer, the weather can be very varied in the Norwegian mountains with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 25°C. Though the weather is often sunny we can also expect some rain and windy weather is also likely.
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.