Galanthus of the Black Sea

A Tour for the Alpine Garden Society

Asia Europe Middle East Alpine Garden Society

The far northeastern corner of Turkey and the adjacent parts of Georgia have a unique biome, the Euxine province. In essence a kind of temperate rainforest, this has resulted in a distinctive flora that includes a large number of species found nowhere else in the world.

Our trip concentrates on the very earliest spring bulbs, particularly Galanthus species. There are a number of species of snowdrop that are found only here. On the Georgian side we’ll find Galanthus krasnovi with pale yellow Paeonia witmanniana and pink Paeonia caucasicaall mixed with Scillas and CorydalisGalanthus shaoricus flowers in rich woodlands around Shaori Lake alongside Helleborus abchasicus and Erythronium sibiricum. On the Turkish side the Oriental Beech forest are a delight, at this season they’ll just have the very first hints of green appearing, the silver trunks set against the orange leaf-litter where clumps of Galanthus rizehensis bloom. Primula megaseifolia and Cyclamens shower mossy banks with their blooms. Higher we’ll explore mixed woodlands of fir and spruce, hornbeam and wingnut. Here we’ll find Iris lazica and among rocks flowers Galanthus woronowii. We’ll look for Crocus aerius and there are some lovely forms of Crocus biflorus too. We’ll no doubt get involved in the debate between Galanthus alpinus and Galanthus koenenianus!

Galanthus krasnovi, Chalaati, Georgia © Ian Green

Dates and Prices

7th March - 15th March 2024 (9 days)

London - London £2,715
Trabzon - Batumi £2,405
Single Supplement* £235
Deposit £300

* doesn't apply if you're willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged

or ask us a question.

Tour Summary

Day 1
To Trabzon, Turkey
Day 2
Sumela & Karadere
Day 3
Anzer Valley
Day 4
Ikizdere & Mençuna Waterfall
Day 5
Into Georgia and Adjara. Chalaati
Days 6 & 7
Shaori Lake & Racha
Day 8
Kutaisi, Gelati
Day 9
Batumi Botanic Garden. Depart Batumi

Tour information


Flowers – especially Galanthus and other spring bulbs. Mountain Landscapes and a little Culture.


Andy Byfield , Kurt Vickery

Group Size

Minimum group size is 4 and the maximum is 15.

Included in the Price

All flights. Accommodation, transport and meals in Georgia and in Turkey. Services of your leaders. Please note; items of a personal nature including insurance, drinks and tips are not included.
Flower and bird checklists are available.


We start in the 3-star Hotel Horon in Trabzon, quietly situated just off the main square and tea garden. Next are two nights in the lovely Ridos Thermal Hotel & Spa surrounded by woodlands and flowery streamside meadows. Our last night on the Turkish side is at the modern Paluri Hotel in Arhavi overlooking the Black Sea close by the Georgian border. Moving over to the Georgian side the first and fourth nights will be in The Hotel Oasis along the coastal stretch between Batumi and Kobuleti. A modern hotel with large rooms, it is handily placed for the forests and gorges of Adjara. In between we’ve two nights at lovely family-run Hotel Gallery in the beautiful Riona Valley north of Shaori. All rooms on this tour have en suite facilities.


Usually quite easy with three or four miles a day the norm, a little more on some days, though always at a relaxed pace, ideally suited to photographers. There are some steep slopes and the ground can be rocky and uneven.


UK return flights are from London Heathrow/Manchester*/Edinburgh*/Birmingham* to Trabzon via Istanbul, returning from Batumi via Istanbul. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* are available.

*These routes may incur a supplement.


Variable. Lowland areas can be reasonably warm though humid, but as soon as we gain any altitude it cools down quickly and can be very cold with snow above a thousand metres. We can expect to have rainfall for a time on a number of days, though this is one of the better times of year for sun in this region.

How to Book

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.