Inspired by famous plant hunters of the past, we are organizing a botanical expedition to Greece in Spring 2023 to discover orchids and flowers growing in the wild. Places on this all-inclusive tour are limited to 12. If a botanical adventure is something you’ve always dreamed of doing, then this is the tour for you !
We travel from Athens to two completely different Greek Islands: Crete and Chios. Both are charming and full of botanical interest. The temperature during our tour will be pleasant and the sun will be shining over the shores and rocky outcrops that are our hunting grounds for spring orchids and wild flowers.
Your tour guide is a leading expert in his field and can recognize and name all different types of Orchid. He also knows exactly where they grow! The genera of wild orchids that we might find is impressive: Serapias, Orchis, Ophrys, Dactylrhiza, Barlia, Cephelanthera, Anacamptis and many others. All should be in flower during our visit. There is also an excellent chance you will see several species of each. Other spring flowers you will see during our expeditions are Ranunculus, Cyclamen, Cistus, Fritillaria, Iris, Allium, Ferula and many more. All will be growing in their natural habitat and flowering before the intensity of the sun increases and the land become arid.
DAY 1 – ATHENS / WELCOME DRINKS
- Make your own way to Athens airport and check-in to the Sofitel hotel conveniently located opposite Athens Airport itself. Meet your fellow plant hunters over a complimentary drink this evening.
DAY 2-6 – ATHENS – CHIOS / BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED
- After breakfast, we check-out of the hotel and depart Athens on a short 40 minute domestic flight to Chios island. On arrival we travel by minibus to our luxurious estate hotel for the next three nights. From this hotel we will make several expeditions to various places on the island to look for stunning spring flowers. It’s an adventure. We might find loads of wild tulips flowering in a remote valley. Or sensational orchids from the genus Ophrys; some of the most beautiful that you’ve ever seen. They grow everywhere on the island. Other spring flowers you will see during our expeditions are Ranunculus, Cyclamen, Cistus, Fritillaria, Iris, Allium, Ferula and many more. To read a short account of our tour to Chios earlier this year please read our blog entry.
- We won’t spend all our time on Chios hunting for Spring flowers. We’ll have plenty of time to visit some wonderful authentic villages and meet locals over lunch and dinner which are all included in the price of this tour. Mastic trees can be found all over the island and still provide an important source of income for residents of the island. Mastic is used in cooking as a prized ingredient as well as an important addition to medicines. Don’t forget to taste the amazing sweet oranges when you’re there: a special treat!
- We eat lunch and dinner together at local restaurants where the a freshly grilled ‘catch of the day’ with a glass of local wine is the norm! No buffet lunches here…!
- Evenings are spent at leisure.
DAYS 6-9 – CHIOS – ATHENS – CRETE / BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER INCLUDED
- We return to Athens by plane and take the next available flight to Crete (there are no direct flights from Chios to Athens). Crete is much larger than Chios and has a completely different character. Here is everything larger. Although Crete is a popular destination for sun seekers, we avoid contact with them choosing instead areas of the island popular with nature lovers. No beach resorts on this tour! Just a comfortable hotel surrounded by nature, a rocky coastline and the sea.
- On a daily basis we will travel to various locations around the island to find wild flowers. Some highland areas are literally covered in a wide variety of different species of orchids. In fact when we visited this year in Spring there were so many that it wasn’t possible to walk anywhere without crushing a few. We will come across fields full of brilliant flowers as well rocky outcrops where we might be surprised as to what we find. As we explore impressive valleys on foot we may see flowers that we saw earlier in Chios but the vegetation that we will come across is by-in-large completely different. We can also expect to see the beautiful giant fennel, Serrula, wild tulips and the amazing white Ranunculus asiaticus. To read a short account of our tour to Crete this year and a number of pictures, please read our blog entry.
- On our daily expeditions we’ll pass by many ancient historical sites and we’ll take time to stop off at some of the most important. As on Chios, we eat lunch and dinner together at local taverna where the a freshly grilled ‘catch of the day’ with a glass of local wine is the norm! We’ll also explore some of the many local villages that we pass through.
- Evenings are spent at leisure.
DAY 10 – CRETE – ATHENS / BREAKFAST INCLUDED
- After breakfast and check-out we travel to the airport and fly back to Athens where this plant hunting expedition ends.
For More Information
To register your interest for this tour and to be notified when pricing becomes available please send us your contact details.