Tours that take the strain out of enjoying Europe’s flora and fauna! Based in a single good quality hotel, with direct flights in both directions, and these at kind times of day. For this tour flights are available from many UK airports to Malaga – ask us for details. Field trips will be kept to a maximum of six or so hours, giving you plenty of time to relax both before and after.
Nestling in the limestone massif of the Algarve is the old village of Alte and here our hotel is beautifully situated on a hilltop with lovely views over the valley and distant sea. The sparsely populated hills are full of natural wonders, and we’ll spend some of the tour just walking out from the hotel or driving a few minutes from it. The magnificent blooms of Cistus albidus will be at their best, among carpets of orchids and paper-white narcissus. Sardinian Warblers scold and Nightingales warble as Cleopatras and Scarce Swallowtails fly past Peonies, Barbary Nuts, Wild Tulips and Wild Gladiolus. The little green orchid, Gennaria diphylla emerges from the glorious swathes of Red Hottentot Fig that cloak coastal cliffs near Sagres. Mirror Orchids and Silene littorea abound on the dunes of Salgados lagoon. Lavenders and Gladiolus decorate the rocky defile of the Pulo do Lobo, home to Ophrys lupercalis, Bumblebee Ophrys and others. In warm and sunny glades, Spanish Marbled White and Spanish Festoon are already on the wing. A rich selection of orchids including Orchis italica, Serapias stricitiflora, Serapias cordigera, Ophrys picta and Ophrys fusca bloom in the serene cork and holm oak forest of the Algarve as well as beautiful Linaria algarviana and Hyacinthoides vicentina. Portuguese Dappled Whites and the brilliantly-attired Spanish Festoon fly above lovely Orchis champagneuxi whilst the largely abandoned almond, olive, carob and fig terraces at Barrocal are a haven for fantastic flowers. Here we’ll find that other Mirror Orchid, Ophrys vernixia, as well as fabulous displays of Narcissus papyraceus.
There’s also Fritillaria lusitanica, Bellevalia hackeri and Ophrys dyris. The Alentejo’s plains host Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Little Bustards and we hope to see the fantastic displays of Great Bustards too. Azure-winged Magpies, Black-winged Kites, Woodchat Shrikes, Lesser Kestrels and Spectacled Warblers are among the many fine birds, and we can picnic among riverside meadows alight with golden Hoop Petticoat Daffodils.
Dates and Prices
20th March - 27th March 2024 (8 days)
* doesn't apply if you're willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged
Flowers, Birds and Butterflies.
One leader for a group of up to 6, two leaders up to the maximum group size of 12.
All flights. All transport, accommodation and meals in Portugal. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, tips, and items of a personal nature, including insurance, are not included.
Flower, bird and butterfly checklists are available.
The entire holiday will be at Alte Hotel, in Alte. The setting is quite wonderful with lush gardens surrounded by limestone hills with wonderful Mediterranean scrub and orchards with fig, almond and carob trees. The rooms are comfortable though nothing fancy, they do however have en-suite WCs/showers. The restaurant serves excellent local food and oranges.
No more than two or three miles in any one day, and always at a slow pace, ideally suited to photography.
UK direct return flights to Faro are available from many UK regional airports*.
*These routes may incur a supplement but most don’t.
Often settled, sunny and warm, though Atlantic depressions regularly bring rain and cooler weather, and this can sometimes be prolonged.
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.