& The Southern Pindhos MountainsEurope
Nestling at the foot of a high cliff on the slopes of Mount Parnassos, Delphi looks out over sea of olives in the Itea Valley to the Gulf of Corinth and the Peloponnese beyond. It is a sublime location for one of the finest classical sites in Greece.
Rock Nuthatches are busy probing crevices in the ruins, whilst Cirl Buntings, Sombre Tits and Rüppell’s Warblers are all inured to people, having just experienced the summer rush! So it’s a great place to get close to these birds as Delphi enters its autumn quietude. Splashes of bright yellow Sternbergia lutea light up the slopes around the great Kastalia Spring. White-banded Graylings and Pygmy Skippers fly up as we photograph the dark-anthered pink goblets of Colchicum cupanii, abundant here. Autumnal maquis is a colourful sight, the open ground between the red, tawny and gold bushes dotted with the white stars of Crocus hadriaticus subspecies parnassicus, whilst Crocus cancellatus subspecies maaziaricus is a delicate shade of blue set-off by vibrant orange styles. Tortoises will be keeping a wary eye out for the Golden Eagles above as we photograph deep pink tessellated Colchicum bivonae. Lanner Falcon flies above barren-looking slopes by the ski resort where Alpine Accentor, Shore Lark and Snowfinch search for titbits amongst strange little Sternbergia colchiciflora.
Parnassos’s sister mountains, Vardousia and huge Giona, dominate a fantastically wild and beautiful region, their skirts rumpled by ridges cloaked in Greek Fir and Chestnut, and cut by tremendous gorges. Cyclamens produce fine shows under woods home to White-backed and Black Woodpeckers. White spires of Ungernia are altogether more obvious than diminutive Autumn Ladies Tresses, but are not so strident as the magnificent pink clumps of Epilobium fleisheri. The endemic Crocus robertianus blooms vigorously in these Southern Pindhos mountains and we’ll also seek Merendera attica and Colchicum parnassicum. Higher up, as Griffon Vultures soar high in the blue skies and Rock Partridges shout from rocky promontories we’ll find the rather worryingly-named Colchicum confusum.
Dates and Prices
13th October - 20th October 2024 (8 days)
* doesn't apply if you're willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged
Autumn Bulbs. Also Birds, Historical Sites and Landscapes.
One leader for a group of up to 6, two leaders up to 12.
All flights. All transport and meals in Greece. Services of your leaders. Please note: Drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature such as travel insurance, are not included.
Flower, butterfly and bird checklists are available.
For the first four nights of the holiday we’ll stay at the lovely Nefeles Guesthouse, a kilometre out of Arachova on the road to Delphi. The colourfully decorated rooms are well-equipped with modern comforts and each has a balcony with views of Mount Parnassos and the Plistos Valley. The Emotions Country Resort in the picturesque village of Voutiro, near Karpenisi, the self-styled ‘Switzerland of Greece’, is our base for the next two nights. Rooms are very comfortable, the food excellent, and views… well, very Swiss! We finish our holiday at the Coco-mat Hotel in Kifisia, close to Parnitha National Park, and within easy reach of the airport. All rooms on this tour have en-suite facilities.
Very easy. No more than a couple of miles in any one day, and always at a relaxed pace, ideally suited to photographers.
UK return flights are direct from Heathrow, Edinburgh* or Manchester* to Athens. Add-ons are available from various UK airports*. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.
*These routes may incur a supplement.
Warm and sunny with blue skies for the most part, although some rain and cloud can be hoped for, not least by the flowers!
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.