A 8-days macro photography holiday focused on butterflies, other insects and flowers in the mountains of Bulgaria.
Butterflies and Macro Photography
Sunday 11th - Sunday 18th June 2017
Bulgaria in summer offers excellent macro photography opportunities due to its rich biodiversity and variety of habitats. Our main targets will be the butterflies, but the summer season and the various sites we shall visit will provide numerous other insects - dragonflies and damselflies, grasshoppers, spiders, beetles etc, as well as flowers and orchids. We will have early starts and late evenings in order to take advantage of the best light and it is also the time when butterflies and other insects are normally motionless. Early afternoons we may have siestas to rest, avoiding the harsh midday sun.
Our tour will start with a two night stay in a small village east of Sofia, where we will explore the areas around for fritillaries, the first blues, gliders and emperors. After which, we will be based in Koprivshtitsa for the next two nights, a nice traditional village. One of the very few in Bulgaria designated as architectural reserve, situated in the heart of Sredna Gora mountain (Middle Forest). These days we will explore the immediate surroundings, having only short transfers. At the end we will move to the beautiful Dobrostan ridge in the Western Rhodope mountain, where we will stay for three nights, exploring the butterfly rich surroundings. We will also have a moth trap with us which will allow us to photograph a good number of moths, additional to the many butterflies we will get.
Day 1 Arrival at Sofia airport and transfer to the village of Mirkovo, about an hour drive, for a two nights stay. If time permits, we will have an afternoon session along a small river, not far from the hotel, where we can find Map Butterfly, Spotted, Niobe, Twin-spot and Marbled fritillaries.
Day 2 Day in the area, looking for fritillaries, hairstreaks, Freyer's Purple Emperor, Southern White Admiral, Yellow-banded Skipper, Lattice Brown, Large, Sooty, Lesser Fiery and Purple- shot coppers and many more.
Days 3 and 4 Short transfer will bring us to our next base, the picturesque village of Koprivshtitsa, where we will stay again for two nights. Both days will be spent in local meadows, having only short transfers. Here we will find Chequerred, Large, Alcon and other blues, Russian Heath, Black-veined White, White Admiral, many fritillaries and skippers, as well as dragonflies and damselflies.
Days 5 to 7 We will have morning session, followed by a transfer to our last base for the holiday - the beautiful Dobrostan plateau, in the Western Rhodope mountains. Here we will stay for three nights in a lovely hotel, situated in a tiny village, providing excellent panoramic views. In the afternoon, as well as the following two days we will explore the meadows around, looking for Apollo, Balkan and Scarce coppers, Niobe, High Brown, Dark Green, Twin-spot and other fritillaries, Great Sooty Satyr, many blues, hairstreaks and skippers. Here we will also find many orchids.
Day 8 Option for another early session, time permitting, followed by a three hours transfer to the airport for your flight back home.
High Brown Fritillary by Val Walker.
Short-tailed Blues by Val Walker.
Appolo is widespread in the mountans for Bulgaria.
Photo Dobromir Domuschiev.
Balkan Copper by Dobromir Domuschiev.
Chequered Blues by Val Walker.
Eastern Bath White by Dobromir Domuschiev.
Knapweed Fritillary by Val Walker.
Large Copper by Val Walker.
Large Grizzled Skipper by Dobromir Domuschiev.
Lesser Spotted Fritillary is a common species in Bulgaria.
Photo by Dobromir Domuschiev.
The Nettle-tree Butterfly - an amazingly wierd creature.
Photo Dobromir Domuschiev.
Niobe Fritillary by Dobromir Domuschiev.
The Poplar Admiral is one of the difficult photography subjects.
Photo by Mike Walker.
The stunningly beautiful Purple Emperor. You can never get enough
pictures of this amazing butterfly. Photo by Dobromir Domuschiev.
Wild flowers meadow - a typical habitat of the Apollo.
Photo by Val Walker.
Photo and video gallery
"Thank you so much for another wonderful week! My special thanks for making it possible to end on a high note too. There are certain things you never forget and apollo corner will always be one. "