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Crete: Birds, Flowers & Minoans

10 Apr — 17 Apr 2018 | Tour Director: Kevin Hand

ACE Aquileia tour: Basilica of Aquileia

ix

Tour Director

Andrew Wilson portrait

Kevin Hand , MSc, MCIEEM

conservationist, ornithologist and environmental consultant

full biography and other tours

Itinerary

Day

1

Depart Gatwick 1710 on Easyjet, arriving Heraklion 1310. Transfer to Aghios Nikolaos for five nights at Hotel Miramare.

Day

2

Morning lecture followed by coastal town of Elounda (waders, migrant pipits, larks in former salt-pans) and peninsula of Spinalonga (sunken city of Olous) for cliff walk (wild gladioli, endemic orchids, birds of prey) followed by boat trip to Venetian island fortress of Spinalonga.

Day

3

Minoan Palace of Malia (marsh shore with short turf covered in Cretan camomile and catch fly). Free afternoon (superb beach). 
Day 4 Lassithi Plateau (large, fertile mountain plateau with panoramic views) for orchids, upland plants, fruit groves with optional visit to Dhiktean Cave (birthplace of Zeus).

Day

4

Lassithi Plateau (large, fertile mountain plateau with panoramic views) for orchids, upland plants, fruit groves with optional visit to Dhiktean Cave (birthplace of Zeus).

Day

5

Morning: ruins of Gournia (unusual Minoan town), rocky coastline in search of Cretan ebony. Afternoon: gigantic gorge mouth at Monastiraki (chough, alpine swift).

Day

6

Minoan palace at Knossos, Selinari Gorge (chapel, monastery and vulture colony), Rethimnon, Agia Lake (waders and migrant water-birds) then transfer for two nights at Neos Omalos Hotel in mountains of western Crete.

Day

7

Across Omalos plateau to Samaria Gorge, exploring little- known paths, searching for mountain plants (endemic Cretan tulip, aubretia, yellow star-of-Bethlehem, centuries-old cypresses), with possible sightings of bearded vulture and agrimi (wild goat).

Day

8

Depart Chania 1435, arriving Gatwick 1635.

Tour Dates

10 Apr — 17 Apr 2018

Days

8

Cost

£1995

Tour Code

CRET-18

Gallery

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Cost includes:

return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, dinner with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.

Not included: 

travel insurance, single room supplement £145.

 
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