Spring Balkan Birdwatching Tour
Our Spring Balkan Birdwatching Tour is one of the most recent additions to our birding calendar. Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Albania and Greece – each a sovereign state with its own identity, way of managing natural habitats and protecting its impressive biodiversity. At the same time, these countries are sharing an akin way of life and quite a similar world outlook. This is the result of millennia of intercountry cultural and social influences. Nowadays, these 4 Balkan states enjoy relative economic stability and prosperity, while at the same time, they have rich of birds wilderness areas and many pristine natural wonders.
Each day on this special trip led by an expert guide, you will explore and admire a different part of this enchanting and unspoiled region of Europe. You will visit old-growth forests, craggy mountains, marshes, floodplains, river valleys and deltas, scrublands and a variety of other habitats. During the entire tour, apart from the fantastic birdwatching, we will enjoy the amazing views, visit historic cities, benefit from the famous hospitality of the Balkan peoples, and taste authentic food specialities and local drinks.
- Duration11 days / 10 nights
- What is includedaccommodation in 3-star hotels or guesthouses with en-suite facilities, breakfasts and dinner on the last day, ground transportation throughout the tour with a modern minibus with A/C; expert English-speaking guide; VAT and all local taxes.
- What is not includedflight tickets, insurance, other meals beside breakfasts and dinner on the last day, transfers from or to other airports; personal expenses; gratuities; tour extensions.
- Best period04-14. May 2024
Day 1. Sofia Airport – Rila Monastery Nature Park (ca. 2 hours driving; 130 km/81 miles)
Day 2. NP Rila Monastery – Kresna Gorge – Melnik Pyramids (ca. 2.5 hours of driving; 150 km/92 miles)
Around noon, we will leave the cool and shady forests of NP Rila Monastery and in less than an hour's drive, we will be at the scenic Kresna Gorge – a migration bottleneck site. There, the feeling that we are somewhere in the Mediterranean is distinctly eminent. We will have short birding walks in the area, which is special not only by its breath-taking sights of Pirin Mountains and impressive avian diversity, but it is also a biodiversity hotspot and we will enjoy observing different plants (including wild orchids), amphibians, and reptiles. Later, we will continue further south to visit Rupite – an awe-inspiring crater of a long inactive volcano. A 30-minute transfer from there is the smallest town in Bulgaria – Melnik. There we will be accommodated in a 3-star hotel for 2 nights. Some of the target species we will aim to observe are Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Snake-Eagle, European Honey-buzzard, Booted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk, Sardinian Warbler, Eastern Orphean Warbler, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Western Rock Nuthatch, Eastern Black-eared Wheatear, Masked Shrike, Sombre Tit, Olive-tree Warbler, Icterine Warbler, Blue Rock-Thrush, Rock Sparrow and many more.
Day 3. Melnik – Kerkini Lake – Melnik (ca. 2 hours driving; 130 km/81 miles)
Day 4. Melnik – Demir Kapija – Shtip – Ohrid (ca. 7 hours of driving; 440 km/275 miles)
Day 5. Ohrid
Day 6. Ohrid – Divjaka-Karavasta National Park (ca. 4 hours of driving; 180 km/112 miles)
Day 7. Divjaka-Karavasta NP – Narta Lagoon– Gjirokaster (ca. 4 hours of driving; 220 km/137 miles)
Day 8. Gjirokaster – Vikos-Aoös National Park (ca. 1.5 hours of driving; 80 km/56 miles)
Day 9. Vikos-Aoös National Park – Axios (Vardar) Delta (ca. 4 hours of driving; 300 km/186 miles)
Day 10. Axios Delta NP, Greece – Sofia City, Bulgaria (ca. 4 hours of driving; 300 km/186 miles)
Day 11. Sofia City – Sofia Airport (ca. 20 minutes of driving)
- 1750 euros per person in a twin/double room
- Single room supplement 350 euros
The price includes
- English-speaking birdwatching guide throughout the entire trip;
- English speaking local guide for the walking tour in Ohrid;
- Accommodation: highly rated 3-star hotels or guesthouses with en-suite double rooms on a bed & breakfast basis;
- Scoping tube
- Transportation: ground transport is included in the basic price. We will be travelling in one of the vehicles from Traventuria's fleet;
- VAT and all local taxes.
The price excludes
- Flight tickets;
- Other meals besides breakfast;
- Transfers from or to other airports (Sofia, Thessaloniki or Plovdiv);
- Personal expenses;
- Tour extensions;
Recommended equipment and clothing
- Binocular, Bird Guide Book, Notebook, Scope (recommended), Camera with different lenses or compact camera (recommended);
- Warm clothes for the mountain areas, light clothes for low-land areas, hat, sun and insect guardian cosmetic, sun guarding hat, comphortable shoes (boots) for outdoor walking.