Lesvos, Greece

Eastern Mediterranean specialities and migrants

Destination
Focus
2022 Dates
  • 23 Apr - 30 Apr 2022
Duration8 Days
2022 Price
Price TBC
Max Group Size12

Lesvos is a classic destination, one of those 'must do' places reaching a wonderful peak when we visit during spring migration. We find the speciality birds including Kruper’s Nuthatch, Cretzschmar’s Bunting and Cinereous Bunting, show you summer visitors newly arrived such as Subalpine, Orphean and Ruppell’s Warbler, and enjoy the wonderful migration all around this beautiful island.

Expect around 150 - 160 species including many of the most sought-after birds of Europe. Red-footed Falcon, Black and White Stork, Scops Owl, Glossy Ibis, Rock Nuthatch, Masked Shrike, Spotted and Little Crake, Great and Little Bittern, Red-rumped Swallow, Black-necked Grebe, Hoopoe, Short-toed Lark, Olivaceous Warbler, Squacco and Night Heron, Middle-spotted Woodpecker, Gull-billed, Whiskered, Black, White-winged and Caspian Tern, Bee-eater and around twenty wader species including Stone Curlew, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank and both Wood and Green Sandpiper. We return to the saltpans, rivers and rough fields frequently as one set of migrants replaces another. Montagu’s Harrier, Purple Heron and Ruddy Shelduck, Short-toed Eagle, Alpine Swift and Little Owl, there is great variety in every habitat.

Dry upland areas hold Isabelline and Black-eared Wheatear, Rock Sparrow, Booted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, and Blue Rock Thrush. In olive groves and woodlands Kruper’s Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper and Sombre Tit are found, and at the coast Cory’s and Balearic Shearwater. Rarities may include Pallid Harrier, Semi-collared Flycatcher, Spur-winged Plover and River Warbler, and delights of migration are always around. Imagine seven Golden Oriole in one tree, or Long-legged Buzzard circling a few yards above our heads, anything can happen! Later in the first week Olive-tree Warbler, Eleonora’s Falcon, Rufous Bush-Robin and Black-headed Bunting may begin to arrive, the whole experience is a whirlwind of new birds and brilliant views with easy access to most sites and very little walking.

With Heatherlea in Lesvos you won't be birding dawn till dusk on an 'intensive' itinerary, but our eye is definitely on the birding ball. We have good sites for all the key species, and also work the migration hotspots. We share info with any other birders we meet, and you can expect a relaxed attitude and a big bird list. Some days we take lunch in local tavernas where you can expect a selection from sardines, calamari, chicken, Greek salad (featuring feta, tomatoes, local greens and olive oil), lots of local beans, bread, wine and water – a real experience!

This holiday has returns in 2022 having previously been an especially popular tour, with some guests returning to Lesvos year after year - come and see why!

Enjoy your complimentary pre-flight overnight hotel before your holiday begins. Full details from our office!

Day 1: Sat 23 April
After a relaxing introduction to our holiday in our complimentary VIP Airport Lounge, we fly from Gatwick to Mytilene. If our flight schedule allows, we may do some birding en-route to our hotel Skala Kalloni II.

Day 2 - Day 7: Sun 24 - Fri 29 April
Six days full of brilliant birding! The fun begins right outside the hotel, where Black-winged Stilt, Glossy Ibis, Spotted Crake, Red-rumped Swallow, Black-necked Grebe, Hoopoe, Short-toed Lark and a variety of warblers including Olivaceous can be reasonably expected within a short walk, or even just standing by the hotel gate! Clouds of hirundines, darting wader flocks, the sudden emergence of birds in the Kalloni pool, this is a great start to the day. We are perfectly placed in the heart of the island and close to many of the key birding sites.

A short drive takes us to a quiet lake where Little Bittern, Spotted and Little Crake, and Squacco and Night Heron can be seen motionless in the morning light, and warblers and Middle-spotted Woodpecker begin their day in view of our scopes. A walk in a different direction brings wagtails, finches and pipits into view, and the East River and Kalloni Saltpan areas are alive with birds.

Seven tern species, including Gull-billed, Whiskered, Black, White-winged Black and Caspian are quite likely, Bee-eater and Red-footed Falcon can throng the telephone wires, and around twenty wader species should include Stone Curlew, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank and both Wood and Green Sandpiper. We will return to the saltpans, rivers and rough fields of the area throughout the holiday, as birds move through and one set of migrants replaces another. Montagu’s Harrier, Purple Heron and Ruddy Shelduck, Short-toed Eagle, Alpine Swift and Little Owl, there is great variety and a rewarding sighting in virtually every habitat. Some days we venture further, although nothing is very far away in Lesvos, and the drier upland areas hold Cinereous and Cretzschmar’s Bunting, Isabelline and Black-eared Wheatear, Rock Nuthatch and Rock Sparrow, Booted Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Blue Rock Thrush and Ruppell’s Warbler. On these days away from the lowlands around the hotel we make use of local tavernas, and you can expect a selection from sardines, calamari, chicken, Greek salad (featuring feta, tomatoes, local greens and olive oil), lots of local beans, bread, wine and water – a real experience!

Other venues include the olive groves and woodlands where Kruper’s Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Long-tailed Tit, and Sombre Tit are found, and the coast where Cory’s and Balearic Shearwater are worth a look. Rarities might include Semi-collared Flycatcher, Spur-winged Plover and River Warbler, and delights of migration are always around. Imagine seven Golden Oriole in one tree, or Long-legged Buzzard circling a few yards above our heads, anything can happen! Later in the week it is possible that Olive-tree Warbler , Eleonora’s Falcon, Rufous Bush-Robin and Black-headed Bunting will begin to arrive, and the whole experience is a whirlwind of new birds and brilliant sightings. A wonderful week’s birding.

Day 8: Say 30 April
We return to Mytilene Airport for our flight to London Gatwick.

Please note: all itineraries are given as a guide only. Actual holiday content may vary according to the judgement of your guide, and elements beyond our control (eg weather).

What's included in your holiday price:

  • return scheduled flight from London – Mytiline, airport taxes, baggage and hand luggage up to airline included limit.
  • airport transfers, ground transportation, accommodation and meals as specified.
  • the services of Heatherlea leaderst.
  • The Heatherlea Pre-Flight Service offers everything you need at the airport, including hotels, car parking, airport lounges, regional flights, and upgrades. Let Heatherlea take the strain! Pre-flight airport hotel and lounge included free of charge subject to terms and conditions. Read more....

What's not included in your holiday price:

  • travel to and from departure airport before and after holiday, in-flight meal, baggage above airline included limit
  • incidental tips, expenses of a personal nature including drinks and personal insurance.

More Holiday Information:

Accommodation: is in a comfortable hotel with all rooms en suite. We are perfectly placed for daily activity around Lesvos.
Food: typical of Lesvos/Greece, with extensive salads including feta cheese. Breakfasts consist of cold meat and cheese, bread, cereal, yoghurt, salad, juice, tea and coffee. Spain, consisting of a roll with jam and cheese. Lunches will be a mixture of taverna style lunches featuring traditional dishes, and picnic lunches purchased by your guide, and will include a variety of local produce plus soft drinks. Hot meals offer a choice each evening. Food is usually plentiful. Vegetarian and other diets are welcome.
Walking: The holiday is not strenuous. Walking can be described as generally very easy, on roads, paths and tracks. Most birding is done close to our vehicle, and even on the longest walks we are never far from the minibuses, should anyone wish to go back.
Weather: Typically, temperatures will range from 17-25ºC in the “heat” of the day. Sunshine should be plentiful, but wind, clouds, and rain are possible. Cold weather is unlikely but possible.
Insects: biting insects are not expected.
Group size: is restricted to 12 clients maximum.
Flights: are by scheduled airline, from London. We may be able to offer flight arrangements from another airport and/or or quote without flights so you can make your own arrangements. If you wish to add an extension either before or after your holiday, please contact us and we will be happy to arrange this for you.

Other birding and wildlife holidays in Greece

Why choose Heatherlea for your birding and wildlife holiday in Europe?

Our overseas holidays are planned with care to offer great birding and wildlife, led by capable Leaders who really look after you. Every holiday is run the 'Heatherlea Way', and we hope our Overseas Adventures remind you of the quality and care so many of you enjoy in Scotland. That means rewarding and exciting days in the field, and good quality accommodation and meals, with a real flavour of the country we are visiting. Heatherlea always seek to include the personal touches that make all the difference.

Heatherlea holidays are not ‘dawn to dusk’ expeditions. Our less-intensive approach is ideal for those who want to relax whilst experiencing the best wildlife watching, and wherever possible we organise early or late activity on an optional basis. We also take sensible breaks when in very hot places and regular comfort breaks on every holiday whenever possible. All itineraries are planned carefully around the best wildlife opportunities, and you won’t miss out on memorable wildlife, whilst enjoying relaxed, informal days that are great fun.

The really important part of any wildlife holiday is the experience for you, our valued customer. Heatherlea invest in many things to offer you the best possible service;

  • We have been organising birding and wildlife holidays for over 30 seasons, and have a highly experienced and capable office team. We also offer a telephone and email service outside normal office hours.
  • Heatherlea overseas holidays have a maximum of 12 clients per trip, putting the emphasis on personal service, and helping you get the best possible experience.
  • Our holidays often include things which others might invite you to pay yourself, for instance Departure Taxes and tips to hotels.
  • All elements of our holidays are sold under our own licence, ATOL 6113. Under ‘Flight-Plus’ legislation it is a legal requirement of any tour operator to hold an ATOL licence for the supply of any overseas holiday where a flight is involved, if that holiday includes either overseas accommodation and/or car hire. It can be a criminal offence for an operator to book flights as part of a package without an ATOL licence. Heatherlea also hold full Tour Operator Insurance for your added protection.
  • Heatherlea is your complete wildlife holiday provider. Our ‘Back Office’ team can organise all your pre-flight and other travel needs. Our specialists will help you book the right services, at the best price. Book holiday extensions through us, and your ATOL protection is extended further. We don’t charge extra for this service.
  • Heatherlea is a limited company, registered in Scotland, and registered to pay VAT (applies to all holidays within the European Union).

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The Mountview Hotel, Nethybridge,
PH25 3EB Scotland

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