• Depending on flight schedules, we will fly from London to either Heraklion or Chania, and then drive to our hotel near Chania, at the western end of the island, arriving in the evening.
    • Accommodation: Kalyves village (Chania area), 5-nights on full board basis.
    • We’ll spend the first day exploring the area around Chania and along the coast. One of the best areas near the hotel is Agia Reservoir, with the Akrotiri Peninsula just to the east. On one day we’ll head high into the mountains to the Omalos plateau and on another we turn south to the Minoan Cemetery at Armeni.
    • Most of our trips to Crete are timed to coincide with the Greek orthodox Easter, and will normally have a chance to go to the spectacular midnight mass at a church nearby.
    • We make an early start to drive to Heraklion today to give ourselves time for a visit to the historic Minoan site of Knossos.
    • Accommodation: Analipsi, Heronissos (near Heraklion), 2-nights on full board basis.
    • We have time for a last look at the salt marshes in the morning and hope to visit a griffon vulture colony before returning to Heraklion or Chania airport for our flight back to London.

All prices are per person and include:

  • Services of the naturalist leader
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Accommodation
  • All meals
  • Guided activities
  • 2nd leader subject to minimum numbers

Accommodation

We spend five nights in a hotel on the coast near Chania, and two nights at a hotel just east of Heraklion. Both are good quality hotels, with all rooms en suite.

Meals

All main meals are included.

Birds

Although the number of birds is never great, Crete is off the main migration routes, the range of species can be diverse and the wetlands along the coast near Chania can yield water birds on passage, including wood sandpiper and the rarer marsh sandpiper, crakes, especially little crake, and herons. Land migrants could include hoopoe and wryneck. Large raptors are likely when we travel into the mountains.

  • Eleonora’s falcon
  • Squacco
  • Lammergeier
  • Alpine swift

Flora

Crete’s geology and isolation from the mainland has given rise to a unique and diverse flora. No less than a tenth of its plants, over 180 species, are endemic to the island – the greatest proportion of endemic plants on any island in Europe. The island boasts an amazing variety of orchids.

  • Cretan cyclamen
  • Cretan tulips
  • Cretan bee orchid
  • Bory’s orchid

Scenery

The largest of the Greek Islands, Crete is a truly rugged land, with a chain of mountains, rising to nearly 2,500 metres, offering a snow-capped backdrop to our tour.  The west of Crete is probably the wildest and most spectacular part of the island.

Flights

Price includes return scheduled flights London – Heraklion – London.

Ground transport

Ground transportation is by minibus, with driver.

  1. April 2015
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