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Birds and Butterflies

This tour combines a visit to two neighboruing countries, Macedonia and Greece, both boasting a great range of habitats and unspoiled wildlife.

Macedonia is a tiny country and the most southern republic of the former Yugoslavia.   It is situated amidst mountains, and with river valleys, grazed steppes and agricultural fields it offers impressive diversity of habitats, practically unknows to the Western Europeans.  Its varied landscapes and position at the crossroads of the Balkans combine with traditional land practices, create the right ingredients for the high diversity and abundant of wildlife.  The picteresque landscapes is probably sufficient on its own to attract the visitors, but the country is outstanding for birds, reptiles and flora.  Above all though, it is becoming one of Europe’s best destinations for butterflies, with over 200 species recorded to date.  Our tour, therefore, is timed to combine good birdwatching with the butterfly season.  Most characteristic Macedonian birds include species such as Bee-eater, Black-headed Bunting and Woodchat Shrike, but the country is also excellent for raptors such as  Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, Imperial Eagle, Levant Sparrowhawk,  Lesser Kestrel and Long-legged Buzzard.  As for butterflies, we should see such delights as the Eastern Festoon, Krueper´s Small White, Yellow-banded Skipper, Freyer´s Fritillary and Iolas Blue amongst many others.  The flora is also extraoridinary, because with over 3500 plant species recorded in the country, 114 are endemic.

Greece will offer a slightly different experince.  Here, we will explore Lake Kerkini, the most important wetland in the country.  Although it is an artificial lake, it hosts thousands of breeding and migratory birds and its importance has gradually been increasing over the years with new species beginning to breed.  The wetland Kerkini is the largest national park in Greece and is currently a RAMSAR (wetland of international importance) and NATURA 2000 site.  The lake and the surrounding wetlands are bordered by the Belles Mountains to the north, Marvovouni Mountains to the south and the western side of the lake is sheltered by the much lower Kroutsia Mountains.  

The setting is superb and the diversity of habitats boasts an impressive list of eastern Mediterranean specialities. The shallow waters attract many herons, egrets, spoonbills and cormorants. Both pelicans,  Dalmatian and White, occur in good numbers in spring.   Impressive mountains and their foothills are excellent for many shrikes, buntings, warblers and tits (e.g. Sombre Tit, Masked Shrike and Olive-tree Warbler).  The rocky areas are ideal for Blue Rock Thrush and Rock Nuthatch. Raptors are well represented by species such as Booted, Short-toed, Lesser Spotted, Golden and White-tailed Eagles, Levant Sparrowhawk, Long-legged Buzzard and Black Kite.  The lake and the adjacent habitats host also several interesting dragonflies and butterflies such as Nettle-tree Butterdly or Tufted Marbled Skipper.

Indeed, a great mixture of habitats combined with beautiful scenery, great diversity of flora and fauna, fine weather and good local cuisine will all ensure that you will have a memorable and relaxing holiday.

Detailed Itinerary Booking Info

Tour Details

Next 2021

To be confirmed

Single Supplement

Group Size

Outline Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival to Thessaloniki and transfer to Macedonia 

Days 2-3
Vitachevo Plateau/Vardar & Raec river valleys

Day 4
Transfer to Greece

Days 5-7
Lake Kerkini

Day 8
Departure from Thessaloniki 

The Price Includes

  • all accommodation on a shared basis
  • all meals
  • all excursions and transfers by vehicle and boats
  • park and tour guides’ fees

The Price Does Not Include

  • all items of a personal nature
  • flight cancellation, baggage and medical insurance
  • alcoholic drinks
  • scheduled return flight from Britain to Thessaloniki.  A group booking, however, will be made, but you will deal with a travel agent directly.  Alternatively, you can make your own arrangements

Please Note

  • all passengers must cover themselves against flight cancellation, luggage loss and medical costs for the duration of their trip
  • a deposit of £100 is requested with a booking  form.  The final payment is required by 1 March