WILDLIFE AT LEISURE
Tours that take the strain out of enjoying Europe's flora and fauna! Based in a single good quality hotel, with direct flights in both directions, and these at kind times of day. For this tour flights are available from many UK airports to Faro – ask us for details. Field trips will be kept to a maximum of six or so hours giving you plenty of time to relax both before and after.
Nestling in the limestone massif of the Algarve is the old village of Alte and here our hotel is beautifully situated on a hilltop with lovely views over the valley and distant sea. The sparsely populated hills are full of natural wonders, and we’ll spend some of the tour just walking out from the hotel or driving a few minutes from it. Azure-winged Magpies, Hoopoes and Sardinian Warblers are the typical local birds, whilst late season butterflies include Long-tailed and Lang’s Short-tailed Blues. Serene cork and holm oak forest are home to Dartford Warblers and Rock Buntings.
Flax-leaved Daphne, Sea Squill, the autumn crocus Colchicum lusitanicum, and Autumn Lady’s Tresses are found along the clifftops near Sagres. Cory’s and Balearic Shearwaters pass by off the headland and there’s Red-billed Choughs and Peregrines along the cliffs, Golden Plover and Stone Curlews on the landward side of the path. This is a renowned spot for migrating raptors and impressive concentrations can be seen, among them Booted, Short-toed and Bonelli’s Eagles, harriers and storks, and three species of vulture. We’ll visit some of Portugal’s most renowned wetlands such as those at Castro Marim, Quinta do Lago (Ria Formosa Natural Park) and the wonderful Salgados Lagoon where we can enjoy a fine range of birds including Osprey, Greater Flamingo, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Little Bittern, Red-crested Pochard, Purple Gallinule, Audouin’s Gull and Caspian Tern. It is not all about birds at these wetlands though with the promise of swathes of Autumn Squill as well as Narcissus serotinus, whilst hiding in the Mastic Trees we might find the amazing European Chameleon or under them the colourful Horseshoe Whip Snake.
Small flocks of Black-bellied Sandgrouse course over the dry plains of the Alentejo, at this season dotted with the pink stars of Merendera filifolia. Both Little Bustards and Great Bustards are on the agenda whilst Iberian Grey Shrikes seem to have taken up every available perch. Red Kites are abundant and we’ll find the lovely Black-winged Kite too. The Algarve is a rich hunting ground for the naturalist and Autumn is a great time to see a wonderful variety of birds as well as a decent range of autumn flowers, butterflies, dragonflies and reptiles.
Birds. There is a limited variety of Flowers, Butterflies and Dragonflies but some good species.
No more than two or three miles in any one day, and always at a slow pace, ideally suited to photography.
Included in the Price
All flights. All transport, accommodation and meals in Portugal. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature, including insurance, are not included.
One leader for a group of up to 6, two leaders up to the maximum group size of 12.
The entire holiday will be at Alte Hotel, in Alte. The setting is quite wonderful with lush gardens surrounded by limestone hills with wonderful Mediterranean scrub and orchards with fig, almond and carob trees. The rooms are comfortable though nothing fancy, they do however have en suite WCs/showers. The restaurant serves excellent local food and oranges.
UK direct return flights to Faro are available from many UK regional airports*.
*These routes may incur a supplement but most don’t.
Often settled, sunny and warm, though Atlantic depressions can bring rain and cooler weather, and this can sometimes be 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.