Thirteen days holiday in Bulgaria and Greece in search of rare and early butterflies.

Early Butterflies

Monday 23rd April - Saturday 5th May 2018

This tour is focused on the early spring butterflies of Bulgaria and Greece. It is not possible to see most of these species on the later summer tours and that is the reason why we have developed this special tour which enables us to see them. Besides being early, most of the species also have a limited distribution, so they are rare and very local. Within the tour we will visit various habitats which will allow us to find most of the species specific to the area - Southern Swallowtail, both festoons, Iolas Blue, Powdered Brimstone, Cleopatra, Gruner's Orange Tip, Eastern Greenish Black Tip, Grass Jewel and Dalmatian Ringlet. Of course we will also record a good number of early flowers and many birds.


ITINERARY

Day 1     Arrival at Sofia airport at midday and a transfer to Kerkini Lake in Greece where we will stay  for the first two nights. The transfer is about three and a half hours but we will have a few stops on the way to break the journey. Accommodation and dinner.

Day 2     Today  we will  explore the lake's surroundings  and  Belasitsa  mountain  foothills for Southern Comma, Southern and  Eastern festoons,  Lattice  Brown, Nettle-tree  Butterfly, Yellow-legged Tortoiseshell, Powdered Brimstone, Yellow-banded Skipper and Eastern Dappled White.

 
Day 3     We will drive  further  south and our next base will be in Siatista, where we will stay for three nights. On the way we will have several stops where we expect to find Gruner's Orange Tip, Chequered Blue, Eastern Baton Blue and Dalmatian Ringlet.

Days 4 and 5     Both days we will explore the area for Grass Jewel, Grunner's Orange Tip, Eastern Greenish Black Tip, Dalmatian Ringlet, Bavius Blue, Powdered Brimstone, Lesser Fiery Copper and Inky Skipper.

Day 6     Drive to Pindos mountain, where we will be based near Konitsa, for 3 nights stay. Upon arrival we will explore the surroundings.

Days 7 and 8     Both days we will explore Pindos mountain for Southern Swallowtail, Eastern Festoon, Mountain Small White, Eastern Orange-Tip, Blue Argus, Iolas Blue, Freyer's Purple Emperor, Pygmy and Mediterranean Skippers.

Day 9     Drive to Olympus for a one night stay. Here we will look for Cleopatra, Grass Jewel and Powdered Brimstone.

Days  10 to 12     Drive to Bulgaria for a three nights stay near Kresna gorge. Few stops on the way for Grunner's Orange Tip, Southern Comma and Lattice Brown. Both days we will explore the area, including Kresna Gorge and Rupite locality. Here we expect to see Balkan Green-veined White, Kruper's  Small White, Small Bath White, both Eastern and Southern festoons, Southern Comma, Little Tiger Blue, White-banded  Grayling, as well as some of the coppers and blues that have already emerged plus Scarce Swallowtail and Swallowtail.

Day 13     Drive to Sofia for our flight back home, with several stops on the way if time  permits. Departure.




TOUR MAP