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Flower Tours

7 nights from £1195

Flowers and Wildlife of Menorca

The most easterly of the Balearic Islands, Menorca is made up of two very different geological areas. Tramontana in the north and Migjorn in the south are separated by a fracture line that runs from the harbour town of Mahón. The Northern region is ancient; its rocks are fractured and folded, and are made up of mainly palaeozoic conglomerates, sandstones and clays. The South side is much newer, dating from the Miocene period, and is made up of mainly limestone. It forms an almost horizontal platform carved out with numerous gullies (Barrancos) which outflow into beautiful coves.

Menorca is rich in wild flowers with over 1400 species of plants recorded. On the island the orchid family is represented by around 30 species, most of which flower in late March to early May. 25 different species of butterfly have also been recorded. In the spring many bird species can also be seen as the island lies on their migration route with a good number of passage migrants resting on the island as they travel enroute to more temperate climes. The Menorcan habitat is unique, hardly surprising then that the birdlife here is unique and abundant. Winters here are wet – so shallow wetlands dot the island – perfect habitats for wading birds and birds of prey.

The island is circumvented by the Cami des Cavalls, (‘The Horse Road’), first built for defensive purposes by the British, but recently renovated and marked so one can walk, ride or bike the perimeter of the whole island in 20 stages.

Our tour is designed with the focus on the wonderful spring nature of the island but, at the same time, offers some insight into the historical highlights too.

Our Guide - Javier Méndez
Your guide for this tour is a professional ornithologist and naturalist. Javier is a co-founder of Menorca Ornithologist Society and a member of Menorca Research Institute. He was born and bred in Menorca and knows the island intimately. He has been a keen birdwatcher and nature lover all his life and he has done many studies about Menorcan birds population and wildlife. Javier speaks good English and has a natural and infectious enthusiasm for birds and the unique wildlife of Menorca. He has been guiding groups of birdwatchers, walkers and nature enthusiasts on the island since 2001. Javier also has an excellent knowledge of the Menorcan wild flowers having also led many botanical tours.


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7 nights from £1195

Gardens of Madeira

The lush, volcanic Portuguese island of Madeira lies 400 miles off the coast of Africa and is 36 miles by 14 miles of outstanding natural beauty. Its warm, temperate climate makes it a verdant, sub-tropical paradise that is a delight to visit at any time of year. This wonderful new tour explores the island’s gardens and a little of its history from our base in the island’s capital Funchal. Much of the island has been designated a conservation area and it displays a wealth of superb flowers and vegetation with orchids, bougainvillaea, lilies, hydrangeas, magnolias, jacarandas and azaleas blooming effortlessly throughout the year.


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Spring Flowers of Crete

You'll love this tour if you like:

  • Botanising - Crete has 1700 species of wild plants
  • Orchids - there are 60 species in Crete
  • Beautiful scenery - you will spend most of your time out enjoying it
  • History - you will visit fascinating ancient sites
  • Sunshine - escape the April showers

Crete in spring is a feast for the senses, an exhilarating time of new life and re-birth, marked in mythology by Persephone's return from the underworld. Colour and scent abound and none more so than amidst the stunning natural landscape of this wonderful island.

Our tour offers the flower enthusiast the opportunity to see something of the remarkable 1700 wild plants found on this island, (much larger than Britain which has around 1500). Even more exciting is that one tenth of these are found no-where else in the world! Among the many bulbs, herbs, shrubs and trees we expect to see during our tour are asphodel, anemones, cyclamen, tulips, poppies, mullein, chrysanthemum, sage, Cretan ebony and the slightly disturbing and profoundly smelly Dragon Arum. One of the highlights of this unique flora is the 60 or so different orchids found on the island, the majority of which flower at this time of year.

This wonderful variety of flora is not spread evenly over the island so our itinerary has been planned to ensure we encounter a range of habitats that contribute to the spectacular natural beauty of the island; coastal sites, agricultural plains, rolling hills and mountain passes as well as archaeological sites and the famous gorges – a Cretan speciality - where a specialised flora clothe the walls.

Other aspects of what has been described as a ‘continent in miniature’ can also be experienced during our tour; ancient Byzantine churches, traditional village life, relics from the island's long and troubled history and an abundant wildlife, all contribute to give you a special insight into this unique island.


Need pre-or post- trip accommodation or somewhere to park your car at the airport? Click here

 

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Springtime In Holland

This lovely new tour places particular emphasis on its flowers and gardens at the time of year when they look their best. From sensational Keukenhof with its six million bulbs to botanic gardens in Leiden and Amsterdam and the charm of the Kinderdijk windmills, this tour is a scenic and historic delight.

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Wild Flowers and Orchids of Mirabello

This new botanical tour focuses on the east side of Crete, and in particular the beautiful region of Mirabello, which offers a very different terrain from west Crete, where our well-established ‘Spring flowers of Crete’ takes place. The landscape here is wild and rocky, rich in orchids and rare endemic species, and equally providing the glorious colours of spring, which we will discover with our guide, Julia Jones, who is passionate about promoting the conservation of Crete’s wild flowers.

Guide Info
Julia Jones is a British writer, artist and broadcaster who made her home on the island of Crete some 12 years ago.  She is a passionate advocate for the rare orchids and endemic species, some of which are threatened with extinction. In 2016, she was honoured by having an endemic species, Bellevalia Juliana, named for her.


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8 nights from £1175

Wild Flowers of Epirus

You'll love this tour if you like:

  • Spectacular nature
  • Stunning scenery
  • The great outdoors
  • History and tradition
  • The wondrous colours of Spring

The little known region of Epirus, situated on Greece's north west mainland, is home to the traditional Zagoria Villages and the Northern Pindos National Park, where more than 1800 plant species flourish, many endemic, in a vast temperate ecosystem. 

This region is spectacular and unlike any other part of Greece that we have encountered!  It is located, as the crow flies, almost directly opposite the Ionian island of Corfu. Visiting the area for the first time in June 2013 we were delighted to find a remarkably timeless and traditional region with a wonderfully vibrant and impressive nature! The main focus of our tour is the region of the Zagoria Villages, which consists of 46 traditional villages, some of which have been declared national historical monuments. The National Park is not just a nature reserve, it is a cultural monument to the mountain villages and their traditional lifestyle. It is an area with an extraordinary natural beauty, a vast temperate ecosystem, a distinctive architecture and an ancient way of life that will captivate the imagination of any visitor. 

Because of the altitude of this region, Spring comes much later than the southern regions of Greece, which means the best time to visit this region is between late May and late June. 

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Wild Flowers of Mount Parnassus

This new tour explores the stunning region of Mount Parnassus, well-known for the infamous site of Delphi but also for its magnificent natural landscape! At 2457 metres, Mount Parnassus is spectacularly snow covered throughout the winter, enticing both winter sports enthusiasts and Greek weekenders but, as the snow melts and spring comes to the mountains, it equally welcomes a wonderful spring flora! Our base is Arachova, an attractive village built in the shadow of Parnassus, that enjoys stunning views across the scenically breath-taking 'Delphi Valley' all the way to the sea and the gulf of Corinth. Our days will be focussed around the Parnassus National Park but, depending on where the best flora can be found, we may also visit the region of Mount Oiti, another National park and known as the ‘mountain of flowers’ and Mount Giona, another spectacular region that is reputed to home to 60 endemic species.


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Wild Flowers of the Peloponnese

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.

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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5 nights from £599

Zundert Flower Parade

The pretty town of Zundert comes alive each year to celebrate the oldest flower parade in Europe featuring huge, elaborate and impressive sculptures made by around twenty competing hamlets while music and street theatre add to the carnival atmosphere. The impressive creations, often mounted on lorries, use only dahlias and each of twenty hamlets cultivates its own blooms and creates a float with skills which are handed down from generation to generation. 

Enjoy the show and take this wonderful opportunity to enjoy full day tours to picturesque Bruges, ancient Antwerp and historic Ghent.

Travel Editions recommends a luggage delivery service called thebaggageman, where your suitcase can be picked up from your home before departure and delivered straight to your hotel; therefore removing the worry about carrying your cases onto and off the trains. Please click here for more information and we have arranged a 10% discount exclusive to Travel Editions clients off the thebaggageman service. Tel: 01844 264890

 


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