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European Orchids and Wildflowers

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 3 - 9 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 15 people
Destination(s): Czech Republic   Slovakia   Austria  
Specialty Categories: Wild Flower Viewing   National Parks  
Season: May - June
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 800 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1450 Euro (EUR)

Tour itinerary:

Day 1: Morning transfer from Vienna to South Moravia in the Czech Republic. We visit the neo-gothic Lednice castle and spend the rest of the day in its wonderfull park with a colony of 500 night and 500 grey herons on an artificial islet in the centre of the park. Here grey-headed, Syrian and middle spotted woodpecker, collared flycatcher or red-crested pochard are easy to spot a few feet from the path. En route we will either visit Saker and Red-footed Falcon and Lesser Grey Shrike at the nest or stop in Devinska Kobyla nature reserve to find some of finest local plants in full flower, including the burnt orchid and O. Tridentata hybrid - O. x Dittrichiana. Overnight in the historic town of Mikulov(1 night) or 1 hour transfer to Uherske hradišt. In the evening we can look forward to enjoying fine Moravian wines and folk musician a local wine cellar.

Days 2 & 3: Next days we will spend it the beautifull and less known area of the White Carpathian Mountains – a UNESCO reserve in recognition of its immense richness of wildlife. Well known for its flowers and butterflies, it has become known in recent years for its birdlife as well. With its highest point at 970 meters, they styraddle the Czech-Slovakian border and are the westernmost outpost of the deep Carpathians. Most of the orchids of these mountains, including the spectacular Lady´s Slipper, are in flower in this season and we will try hard to divide our time carefully between birds and flowers so as not to miss black stork, hobby, goshawk, eagle and pygmy owl, corncrake, black and white-backed woodpecker, ring ouzel, nutcracker, red-breasted flycatcher, hawfinch or Ophrys holubyana, Scorzonera purpurea, military orchid, burnt orchid, purple milk-vetch, spiked rampion, variegated iris, spreading bellflower and many others. While walking through exceptional landscape with our local guide, we will be able to admire rich local flora. Overnight in a hotel in Uherske Hradiste.

Day 4: A two to three hour drive in the morning to Mala Fatra National Park where first we will explore a small canyon. On the meadows surrounding the entrance to the gorge there are two or three species of orchids. On our walk we may find false daisy (Bellidiastrum michelii), Cortusa matthioli, bear´s ear (Primula auricula), Lathyrus vernus, Soldanella hungarica, alpine butterwort (Pinguicula alpina), whorled Solomon´s seel (Polygonatum verticillatum) and Clusius´s gentian (Gentiana clusii) just few feet from the path.

Before noon we continue to the Terchova valley and have lunch in a traditional restaurant. If the lift to the alpine meadows is working we climb up and stay for an hour or two. Up there we may find the endemic of west Carpathians – Dianthus nitidus as well as mountain avens (Dryas octopetala), spring gentian (Gentiana verna) and the alpine coltsfoot (Homogyne alpina). If we can’t make it to the higher levels we will stay in the valley and explore flower-rich meadows at ease. Accommodation in small hotel in center of Mala Fatra Mountains.

Day 5: Velka Fatra is one of the largest Slovakian mountains. The longest valley is 28 kilometers long – a Landscape Protected Area with little habitation that we will be allowed to explore under a special permit. A local attraction is the elusive and fragile Cyclamen fatrense that will have just started to appear from the last year´s beech leaves. Along the road, we will try to find matted globularia (Globularia cordifolia), bird´s eye primrose (Primula farinosa), one-flowered wintergreen (Moneses uniflora), perrennial honesty (Lunaria rediviva), alpine clematis (Clematis alpina), round-headed orchid (Traunsteinera globosa), herb paris (Paris quadrifolia) and others. We also hope for some species of Saxifrage during the trip both in the mountains and in the southern hills. Accommodation in small hotel in center of Mala Fatra Mountains.

Day 6: Return back to the Czech Republic or transfer to Vienna airport. End of trip.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Transport by comfortable coach
- Accommodation based on sharing double rooms
- Half-board
- Service of guide, service of local experts
- All programs as per itinerary
- Fees in National parks.

Price Excludes:
- Air-fare, insurance
- Drinks, personal expenses
- Concerts, special excursions
- Accommodation in Prague, etc.