• Uncover a little visited European gem, where snow-capped mountains plunge into bright blue seas, charming villages nestle amongst the forested landscape, and coastal lagoons teem with birdlife
• Search for the rare Dalmatian pelican during a boat trip on Great Prespa Lake
• Look out for wetland birdlife and migrating waders on the ‘Albanian Riviera’.
conservationist, ornithologist and environmental consultant
Depart London Gatwick Airport 0810 on British Airways, arriving Tirana 1210. Transfer to Pogradec for overnight at Hotel Perla.
Morning visits to Lake Ohrid and Lin (ruined Paleo-Christian church with beautiful views and floor mosaics). Afternoon: Drilon National Park followed by mountain village of Voskopojë for visit to St Nicholas’s Church (wonderful frescoes). Three nights at Hotel Pashuta, Voskopojë.
Walks in the woodland around Voskopojë (Scots pine, silver fir, Valonia oak, possible sightings of red-rumped swallow and dipper). Some free time with option to do a longer walk.
Whole day excursion to Lake Prespa for local walks and boat trip to Maligrad Island, where we hope to see rare Dalmatian pelicans, pygmy cormorant and Alpine swift. Visit to 14th century Eastern Orthodox Church of St Mary.
Transfer via Elbasan (Hammam, Kings Mosque, Naziresha Mosque and old castle walls) to coastal town of Vlorë for two nights at Hotel Partner.
Orikum Lagoon and saltpans: reedbeds, wetland birdlife. Llogara National Park: pine forests with trees shaped by the wind, breath-taking views, habitat for abundant wildlife including migrating birds of prey such as short-toed eagle and booted eagle.
Narta Lagoon: salt pans with wide variety of avifauna including black-necked grebe, Mediterranean gull, ferruginous duck and flamingos. Afternoon at Divjaka-Karavasta National Park: lagoons, sand dunes, pine forest, possible colony of Dalmatian pelicans, possible golden jackal. Overnight stay at Hotel Divijaka, Krujë.
Transfer to Tirana for 1300 departure, arriving Gatwick 1510.
2 Oct — 9 Oct 2020
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Our tour will include gentle local walks of up to five miles. Participants should be comfortable walking over rugged terrain, and access to some sites will involve bumpy journeys. A good level of fitness is required for this tour.
Cost of £1995 includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, full board (some packed lunches) with wine, water & coffee with dinner, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement £130.
Own flight reduction: £220.