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Overview
Itinerary
Tour Director
Practical Information


  • Wander the meadows and forests of one of Europe’s most stunning regions, nestled between Germany, Liechtenstein and Switzerland

  • Look out for a rich variety of birdlife, from snowfinch and alpine chough to red crested pochard and golden oriole

  • Delve into the wetlands around Lake Constance and enjoy a relaxing boat trip

"Kevin is very attentive, making sure everyone gets the most out of the tour... his passion for all things ecological is infectious."

ACE customer on a previous tour with Kevin Hand

Perched on the far western tip of Austria, nudging against the borders of Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein, the state of Vorarlberg is a cultural visitor’s paradise. Alpine meadows cluster around dramatic mountain peaks; modern architecture mingles with medieval cityscapes; and stretches of tranquil forest still play host to a variety of traditional crafts and customs, not to mention a captivating array of wildlife.

 

Based in the charming medieval town of Feldkirch, this brand new tour will go in search of some of the most rewarding outlooks and natural environments the region has to offer. We will seek out a variety of birdlife, flowers, mammals and insects as well as cultural highlights, exploring the ways in which this predominantly mountainous landscape has harboured human life throughout its history.

 

A particular highlight will be an excursion to the area around Lake Constance and the Rhine delta. Walking through the serene wetlands overlooking the lake, we may catch sight of red crested pochard, golden oriole, black kite, flycatchers, orchids and the rare yellow-bellied toad. We will also take a boat trip on the lake from Friedrichshafen to Bregenz.

 

The flower-filled alpine meadows near Warth will be teeming with gentians and mountain butterflies during our visit, not to mention birdlife including nutcracker, water pipit and alpine chough. A wander through the beautiful nature reserve of Bangs-Matschels on the border of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, meanwhile, will introduce us to a remarkable variety of meadow flora and rare butterflies including the dryad. Surrounded by awe-inspiring scenery, we will gaze at snowy alpine peaks reflected in the blue mirror of the Lünersee (Moon Lake), and the Kanisfluh massif, voted one of the most beautiful mountains in the Austrian Alps.

 

This region is particularly well known for its local produce, and we hope to include opportunities to sample the gastronomy of the region, from its cheese to its wines. Austria’s past, meanwhile, will come alive at the ancient convent of St Peter’s in Bludenz. Founded in 1286, the site has borne witness to stormy waves of human history, from the plague and peasant revolts to the Nazi occupation, and it was restored and revived as a Catholic community in 1997.

 

We will stay throughout the tour at the Best Western Plus Central Hotel Leonhard. This comfortable four-star establishment is situated in a quiet area in the medieval town of Feldkirch. A fascinating centre in itself, Feldkirch has witnessed visits from James Joyce and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who attended school here for a year), and boasts historical sites including Schattenburg Castle, where we hope to enjoy a private tour. 

 

This tour will be led by Kevin Hand, MSc, MCIEEM. A conservationist and environmental consultant, Kevin has a special interest in birds, mammals and ecotourism. He has led many projects linking nature and communities, including a Darwin Initiative on the taiga forests in Siberia and a programme to identify sustainable use of forest resources in the Ecuadorian Amazon. He was a Director of the Tree Council and ran National Tree Week in the UK for 13 years. In 2017 Kevin was appointed President of the Cambridge Natural History Society.

Days
8
Cost
£2595
Tour Code
WIAA-22
Places are limited.
Please contact the office
for more details.


Included: Return airfare, accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room, breakfast, two lunches, six dinners with water & coffee, excursions & admissions, gratuities.


Not Included: Travel insurance, double room for single use supplement £250.

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