Offering a rich culture and an inherent natural beauty, the Peloponnese bursts into life in spring, its landscapes awash with colourful wild flowers. Explore areas steeped in myth and legend with botanist Dr Alan Harrington seeking out some of the over 2,300 species of flora, 350 of which are found nowhere else in the world, amongst the historical sites and lush scenery.
The stunning Peloponnese, the southernmost region of mainland Greece, comprises high mountains to an altitude of 2500m and lowlands that include some of the hottest and driest parts of Europe as well as important wetlands. Joined to the mainland by a narrow isthmus until the building of the Corinth Canal, this historic connection allowed plant migration from all over Greece. However, its relative isolation along with natural mountain barriers has enabled it to evolve a unique and rich flora that has resulted in more than 2300 species, of which 350 are found nowhere else.
The region offers a timeless rich culture and an inherent natural beauty that is at its very best in spring when the landscape is reborn with a dazzlingly display of new plant life. Ancient and fascinating, this area offers a spectacular natural landscape of towering mountains, verdant rolling hills and rugged coastlines that settle around a dramatic ancient history.
Our tour is two-centre which provides the opportunity to explore a variety of habitats and include a little bit of history too. We start our tour in the attractive town of Nafplio, the first Capital of the Modern Greek state and one of the prettiest towns in the Peloponnese with a beautiful setting and an understated elegance. We spend 3 nights here exploring the flora of this historic region before heading across the hills to the seaside town of Gythio where our second accommodation, the Pantheon Hotel, is located. This second location, under the shadow of the magnificent Taygetos Mountains, provides the opportunity to explore both the Mani region of the Peloponnese and the historic Byzantine town of Monemvasia.
During our stay we expect to find a huge variety of flora including cyclamen, stachys, campanula, asphodels, phlomis, anemones, cotinus, ferula, euphorbia, limonium, muscari as well as a diversity of orchids – tongue, bee, giant, provence and naked man.
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