Dragon Trees and Blue Chaffinches
The wonderful climate of the Canary Islands is legendary, but what of the wildlife and scenery? Unique, exotic, and unusual are just some of the adjectives one might use, but what is certain is that there is a quite wonderful variety whether you enjoy flowers, birds, geology or photography.
Luxuriant Laurel forests cloak picturesque valleys harbouring rare endemic orchids, fabulous green ferneries, Laurel and Bolle’s Pigeons, and butterflies in the shape of Canary Blue, Geranium Bronze and the Monarch. Cliffs drop precipitously to the sea where coves of black lava sand contrast sharply with the deep blue sea. We’ll visit the rare and beautiful Himantoglossum metlesicsianum found only on these islands and also a colony of Orchis canariensis. Towering high above are the stupendous moonscapes of Teide, Tenerife’s huge volcano, rising from its vast caldera and dominating the whole island. Many plants and several species of birds are found nowhere else on the planet, including such oddities as Blue Chaffinch, the red sap yielding Dragon Trees, shrubs that are in fact Sow-thistles and pretty Foxglove-like Isoplexis, and Viper’s Buglosses with flower spikes several metres long! The marine environment is rich too. Ferries offer good views of Shearwaters and Dolphins, Turtles and Pilot Whales.
Explorer and naturalist Alexander von Humbolt described the striking green-cloaked coastal valleys along the northern coast of Tenerife as one of the loveliest spots on earth. We’ll start the tour with four days in this little Garden of Eden before moving to the tranquil and unspoilt island of Gomera where the marvellous Garajonay National Park will keep us enthralled with its extensive natural Laurel forests and array of beautiful flowers and butterflies. Our last two days see us exploring the southern slopes of magnificent Teide.
Dates and Prices
19th February - 28th February 2025 (10 days)
* doesn't apply if you're willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged
Please note; dates and prices are provisional and will be confirmed by August 2024
Flowers and Birds. Also Scenery and Butterflies.
The minimum is 4 and the maximum is 15. One leader for a group of up to 6, two leaders up to 12.
All flights. All transport, meals and accommodation on the Canary Islands. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature including travel insurance, are not included.
Flower, bird, mammal and butterfly checklists are available.
We start with four nights in the northeast of Tenerife in the lovely El Patio. The finely renovated rooms maintain the charm of a 16th century ‘plantation’ whilst providing modern comfort. The ‘patio’ is full of palms and trees! Next we move to the island of Gomera where we’ve three nights at the Jardin Tecina. This is large resort though the rooms are in tasteful apartments set amid extensive gardens. The Jardin Tecina is situated on the dry side of the island so it gets plenty of sunshine! We finish with two nights at the Hotel Spa Villalba, delightfully situated in pinewoods on the southern slope of Mount Teide. Typically Canarian in architecture, the Villalba comes complete with heated pool, sauna and Turkish bath. Both Tenerife hotels have swimming pools and all rooms on this tour have en-suite facilities.
We will be ambling no more than two or three miles a day, and always at a slow pace. Though often on well-constructed footpaths and tracks, we’ll encounter some rougher and/or steeper ground. The pace will always be slow, ideally suited to photographers.
UK return flights to Tenerife South are available from a number of UK Airports. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Very pleasant with mostly warm sunny days with the temperatures in the low to mid twenties. In the mountains it can be cooler and the Laurel Forests often experience some cloud, mist or rain during the middle or latter part of the day.
Contact us to check if there is availability for the number of places you require. Click on the ‘Book this Tour’ button on this page to be taken to the online booking form or contact us and we will send one to you which you can complete and send back 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.