• Absorb captivating views across the Cretan landscape from the beautiful Lassithi Plateau
• Explore the Minoan palace at Knossos in addition to the remains at Gournia and Malia
• Look out for waders, migrant pipits and larks in the coastal town of Elounda, followed by a nearby cliff walk where wild gladioli and endemic orchids grow above the sea
conservationist, ornithologist and environmental consultant
Depart London Gatwick 0710 on Easyjet, arriving Heraklion 1310. Transfer to Agios Nikolaos for five nights at Hotel Miramare.
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.
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.
Lassithi Plateau (large, fertile mountain plateau with panoramic views) for orchids, upland plants, fruit groves with optional visit to Dhiktean Cave (birthplace of Zeus).
Morning: ruins of Gournia (unusual Minoan town), rocky coastline in search of Cretan ebony. Afternoon: gigantic gorge mouth at Monastiraki (chough, Alpine swift).
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.
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).
Depart Chania 1435, arriving Gatwick 1635.
14 Apr — 21 Apr 2020
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"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."
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.
For customers who wish to make their own travel arrangements, ACE are pleased to be able to offer a flight reduction of:
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.