Kazakhstan's Wild West
Tours that take the strain out of enjoying Europe’s flora and fauna! Based in a couple of good quality hotels, and with flights (via Istanbul) available from Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Dublin, Heathrow, Gatwick and many European Airports. Field trips will be kept to a maximum of six or so hours, giving you plenty of time to relax both before and after.
Anatolia’s incredible ancient heritage and Turkey’s vibrant modern culture will offer contrasting poles on which to hang a tapestry of brilliant flowers, varied birds, and throughout, sublime landscapes.
The marly steppe that erodes from Cappadocia’s weird and wonderful landforms hosts all manner of colourful flowers, purple Gladioli, deep blue Bellevalias, chunky Arnebia densiflora and vibrant blue and pink Moltkia. Rollers, Bee-eaters, Black-headed Buntings and Hoopoes are the common birds here. We’ll spend plenty of time exploring Cappadocia’s famed landscapes and archaeological sites, enjoying the scenery, culture and wildlife in equal measure. We’ll visit the fabulous Bağlıdere Valley, the Outdoor Museum, the Underground City, and one day, as the sun lowers in the sky, we’ll bask in the glow of the Red Valley. Under the shadow of the still snow-capped pinnacles of the Aladağ, the highest of the Taurean ranges, we’ll find massed blue Scilla sibirica taurica and photograph the tubby yellow bells of Fritillaria aurea here in a wonderful mix of colours and shapes as they hybridise freely with Fritillaria pinardii. Radde’s Accentors and Snowfinches are both very common and Ibex may be spotted on the high crags. Strange red-flowered Biebersteiniana orphanidis blooms with Corydalis taurica and erdelii, apricot and plum Iris sari and lovely Muscari azureum.
The slopes of Erciyes volcano are dotted with pink Colchicum szovitsii and golden Crocus sieheanus and yet another Iris, purple-lined yellow Iris schachtii. The Sultan Marshes have flocks of Glossy Ibis, Little Bitterns, abundant herons and egrets, Spur-winged Plovers, Ferruginous Ducks, Black Storks, and all manner of wildfowl and waders. We’ll glide serenely along channels where water lilies and water crowfoot bloom, dragonflies buzz everywhere, and the constant whirring and chattering of Bearded Tits, Great Reed, Savi’s and Moustached Warblers are all about us – a wonderful experience!
Dates and Prices
2nd May - 9th May 2025 (8 days)
* doesn't apply if you're willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged
Flowers and Birds. Also Superb Landscapes and Archaeological Sites.
The minimum is 5 and the maximum is 15. Only one leader will accompany a group of 8 or less.
All flights. All accommodation, transport and meals in Turkey. Services of the leaders. Please note: Drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature such as travel insurance, are not included. No visa is now required for UK nationals.
Flower, bird and butterfly checklists are available.
We start with five nights at the excellent Goreme Inn Hotel. Set close to the centre of Göreme, the rooms are beautifully made and have the usual modern amenities. We finish with two nights in the imposingly-named Mirada del Lago Hotel, a modern ski hotel on the flanks of Mount Erciyes. All rooms on this tour have en-suite facilities.
No more than two or three miles in any one day, usually much less, and always at a relaxed pace ideally suited to photographers.
UK flights are from London Heathrow, Edinburgh, Birmingham or Manchester via Istanbul to Kayseri return. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Generally warm and sunny. Showers and more prolonged rain are possible and it can be quite cool on the higher passes.
How about a dawn balloon trip drifting over Cappadocia’s amazing landscapes just as the sun rises? Mike Green, a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, is your pilot on the one and a half hour trip. There’s a maximum of twelve clients in the compartments giving you plenty of space and of course champagne (and superb flora!) when you land. See www.butterflyballoons.com for more details. The cost is approx £245 per person.
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.