Wildlife at Leisure
Wildlife Tour to Sweden's Baltic Isle Gotland for Flowers, especially Orchids, and Birds, Butterflies, Churches and Viking Sites
Tours that take the strain out of enjoying Europe’s flora and fauna! Tours under this banner will be based in a single good quality hotel, and will have 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 (there’s also a short internal flight on the Gotland tour) are available from some regional airports.
A beguiling patchwork of old meadows, woodlands, fens and meres marked at regular intervals by the tall spires of Gothic churches gives Gotland's countryside a reassuringly permanent feel. Limestone pavement hosts profuse shows of Bloody Cranesbill amongst which fly Apollo butterflies. Cranes call from boggy woodlands decorated with prolific stands of elegant Lady's-slipper Orchid. Gotland is famous for its Orchids. There's abundant stately Military Orchids and many species of Marsh Orchid, Fly Orchids with ten flowers a spike, tiny Lesser Twayblades, rare Spitzel's Orchid and diminutive Coralroot Orchid. Birdseye Primrose and German Asphodel fringe lakes over which hunt Harriers, Hobbies and White-tailed Eagles. On fantastic Stora Karlso we'll find ourselves right in the heart of a twelve-thousand pair breeding colony of Guillemots and Razorbills and off Gotland's peaceful headlands nest Barnacle Geese, Ruff and Avocets. Northern Chequered Skipper and Woodland Browns frequent woodland rides where lurk intriguing Viking Stone Boats. Picture Stones carved with runes are everywhere and so too are Viking forts - well-preserved examples of the former we'll also see in Visby's Museum. Visby is Gotland's capital and was once one of Europe's most important medieval cities. The results of a golden age of trade under the Hanseatic League can still be seen today in a colourfully painted town centre dating from this period. Gotland's peaceful orchid-filled countryside and its evident links to its past make the island a fascinating and entrancing destination.
Flowers, especially Orchids. Birds and Butterflies. Also Churches and Viking Sites.
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. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature including travel insurance, are not included.
The minimum is 4 and the maximum is 12. Only one leader will accompany a group of 6 or less.
Set in peaceful countryside, Suderbys Herrgǻrd is set well back from the main road in an old farmyard, and has recently developed part of the hotel complex into a golf course. The manor house forms the centre-piece and there are a couple of the typically huge Gotland barns which have been converted into conference rooms. We’ll be staying in the hotel rooms which are much more modern in origin – in fact they were imported en block from the Lillehammer Winter Olympics. So you’ll be occupying a room that will have been home to an Olympic competitor! The rooms are en suite and comfortable though they are quite small. The hotel complex is surrounded by farmland and some woodland and the grounds themselves have some fine old trees and a small orchard. Just across the road is a small patch of rough Gotland grassland with several orchids in it!
UK return flights are from London Heathrow or Manchester* to Visby, via Stockholm. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* may be available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Usually warm and sunny, with some rain likely, 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. This will contain up-to-date health information.
Flower, bird and butterfly checklists are available.