- Fly from London to Lyon from where we drive to Chichilianne, with Mont Aiguille as a lovely backdrop.
- Accommodation: Chichilianne, 3-nights on full board basis.
- Over the next couple of days we will explore a range of habitats from high level Alpine meadows, stuffed full of a wide variety of blooming plants right down to valley beech woods where tiny coralroot orchids grow in competition with large and showy lady’s slipper orchids which sometimes grow in large clumps.
- The flora is superb with alpine meadows full of white, yellow, blue and pink blossoms. Greater yellow rattle is absolutely widespread and at times the meadows are coloured by this semi-parasitic plant which is becoming increasingly rare in the UK. Various species of cranesbill, saxifrage and narcissus are perhaps the first plants to be noticed when strolling through these meadows, but then the vivid deep blues of trumpet or spring gentian or the pinks of red clover catch the eye.
- Today we take a two hour drive to La Chapelle-en-Vercors, close to the pinewoods of the Reserve Naturelle des Haut Plateaux.
- Wild orchids are abundant throughout the area, with huge numbers growing on many of the roadside verges. We could see thirty or more species depending on the timing of the season and our picnic spots are often chosen with flowers or spectacular views in mind.
- During the day we search for the special plants and insects of the region. We may also glimpse birds as varied as wallcreepers and dippers, goldcrests and Griffon vultures; the latter being part of a re-introduction scheme.
- Accommodation: La Chapelle-en-Vercors, 4-nights on full board basis.
We drive back to Lyon for our return flight to London.
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
The itinerary includes seven nights accommodation in two hotels, three nights in Chichilianne and four nights in La Chapelle-en-Vercors. Both hotels are 2-star and all rooms are en suite.
Meals are included.
On our tour we see a variety of bird species, including the griffon vulture – recently reintroduced into the area.
- Alpine chough
- Griffon vulture
Our tour through such a florally rich area will bring us into contact with a broad range of butterfly species.
- Common swallowtail
- Scarce swallowtail
- Clouded Apollo
- Painted lady
We capture a superb range of flora in varied habitats and may see up to 30 species of orchid and abundant wild flowers, including trumpet or spring gentian, red clover and mountain thrift.
- Coralroot orchid
- Lady’s slipper orchid
- Spitzel’s orchid
- Greater yellow rattle
This is an area of stunning scenery: deep gorges cut by rivers over millions of years are topped by a plateau rising over 2,300 metres. Scenic and accessible, this is dramatic limestone mountain terrain, with a range of habitats from alpine meadows to valley beech woods.
Despite the frequent mention of ‘alpine,’ this is a gently paced tour with the minibus taking you to the higher sites.
Our tour concentrates on flower, landscape and, if opportunities arise, insect photography. You will need to bring a SLR camera (digital or film) with lenses and a tripod – plus anything else you may need – together with storage for digital images or film.
Each photographer will no doubt have their own requirements and these will be accommodated as much as possible. However, if clients are short of ideas, professional photographer Mike Read will make suggestions based on knowledge gained over more than 10 visits to this scenically stunning and flower rich area.
Price includes return scheduled flights London – Lyon – London
Ground transportation is by minibus, with driver.