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Crete: Birds, Flowers & Minoans

14 Apr — 21 Apr 2020 | 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 London Gatwick 0710 on Easyjet, arriving Heraklion 1310. Transfer to Agios 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). Afternoon visit to the famous Minoan Palace at Knossos.

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

Selinari Gorge (chapel, monastery and vulture colony), Rethymnon, 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

14 Apr — 21 Apr 2020

Days

8

Cost

£1995

Tour Code

CRET-20

Gallery

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Testimonial

"This is my eighth tour with Kevin - so he must be doing something right! He is extremely knowledgeable and delightfully enthusiastic, while at the same time making everyone feel included, whatever their level of knowledge."


FITNESS/

PRACTICALITIES

This tour requires a good level of fitness as it involves a significant amount of walking, including over uneven, rough and steep terrain. In some instances, participants can take alternative routes if they do not wish to join the main group walks. Our itinerary also includes a short boat trip so participants must feel comfortable travelling by boat.

FLIGHTS

For customers who wish to make their own travel arrangements, ACE are pleased to be able to offer a flight reduction of:

£225.00

Cost of £1995 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 £155.

 
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