Alentejo & Algarve: Landscapes & Wildlife
1 Apr — 8 Apr 2019 | Tour Directors: Harriet Allen, Peter Exley
• Discover the wildlife and landscapes of the Alentejo and Algarve regions of Portugal, experiencing spring flowers in bloom and a wealth of birdlife
• Explore flower-strewn cliff tops, mountain peaks, savanna-like holm and cork oak woodlands and coastal estuaries
• Look out for the rich variety of plant and bird species, including cistus, mirror orchids, azure-winged magpies and great bustards
Harriet Allen, MA, MSc, PhD
geographer and Fellow and Director of Studies at Girton College, Cambridge
Peter Exley, BSc
conservationist and ornithologist who works for the RSPB
Depart Gatwick 1420 on British Airways, arriving Faro 1710. Transfer to Burgau for four nights at Hotel Praia do Burgau.
Cliff top nature walk to the Boca do Rio estuary (gentle walk of approx. 5 miles with regular breaks) with introduction to the coastal flowers of the region (cistus, lavender, phlomis and possibly irises and orchids).
Whole day excursion to Sagres Peninsula: Sagres Fortress (location of Henry the Navigator’s 15th century School of Navigation, where we will explore the history and natural history) and Cape St Vincent lighthouse (the most south-westerly point in Europe).
Whole day excursion inland to Serra de Monchique (the highest part of the Algarve, with stunning views, heathers and tree heath).
Morning excursion to discover birds of the Alvor estuary and wetlands. Afternoon: Novacortiça Cork Factory (visit TBC). Transfer to Mértola and check in to Hotel Museu for three nights.
Morning: Vale Gonçalinho Environmental Education Centre and reserve (preserving the traditional working landscape of the Alentejo’s treeless plains). Afternoon: abandoned Sao Domingos copper and pyrites mine (savanna-like holm and cork oak woodland known as montado).
Morning: Guadiana Valley walk. Free afternoon in Mértola.
Transfer to Faro via Ria Formosa coastal wetlands (part of the Ludo Trail, with chance to see flamingo and spoonbills). Depart Faro 1800, arriving Gatwick 2050.
1 Apr — 8 Apr 2019
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Cost includes: return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, six lunches (most packed), dinner with wine, water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.
Not included: travel insurance, single room supplement £200.