Tour Details

Dates:12th of Jul - 19th of Jul 2024
Availability:11
Group Size:Minimum 4, maximum 12
Grading:Moderate
PricesFull price: £1,495.00 / person Single room supplement: £175.00 / person Deposit: £150.00 / person
Price includes: Accommodation, all meals, ground transportation, services of your guides, and a holiday report
Not included: International travel, drinks and other personal items, holiday insurance

Tour Highlights

  • Amidst many butterfly species, some particular highlights, including Dusky Large Blue, Gavarnie Blue, Lefebvre's Ringlet and Piedmont Ringlet
  • Butterfly hunting in some of the most spectacular montane scenery in Europe
  • A donation will be made to the European Butterflies Group, supporting proactive research and conservation

Tour Description

We are delighted to offer you an exclusive opportunity to share a butterfly watching holiday in the wonderful setting of the Picos de Europa in northern Spain!

The Picos is at the core of the Cantabrian Mountain range, which stretches along the north coast of Spain for some 300 kilometres. It is one of the most beautiful and beguiling parts of the whole region.

Over 150 butterfly species reside among the spectacular and rugged range of limestone mountains. Our daily excursions from the attractive and unspoilt village in which we're based will take in a variety of habitats and scenery, including flower rich meadows fizzing with a range of fritillaries and other goodies, woodlands and sunlit glades, and then up into the mountains themselves for alpine treasures hidden among rocky pastures and pristine limestone pavement!

We should see a large number of different butterfly species, comfortably in excess of 100, including desirable targets such as Apollo, Gavarnie Blue, Dusky Large Blue, Chapman’s & Lefebvre’s Ringlet, False Ilex Hairstreak, Cardinal, Esper’s Marbled White and Lesser Marbled Fritillary.

The Picos are one of Europe's premier butterfly-watching locations, and this opportunity to spend time enjoying such a large range of species in such beautiful surroundings is one not to be missed.

Tour Leaders

Pau, from Gandia in Spain, has a lifelong interest in wildlife. He’s a professional ornithologist and wildlife guide, but finds time to work as a professor at the Universitat Politècnica de València, teaching Zoology and Wildlife Management.

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Paul’s been passionate about nature and the environment all his life. In his early teenage years, this began with birdlife, learning most UK bird songs, helping him to identify the last ever breeding Turtle Doves in his home county, Cheshire.

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Tour Location

Map

Tour Itinerary

  • DAY 1

Arrive at Santander, Santander to Boca de Huérgano.

Transfer to Hotel Tierra de la Reina in Boca de Huérgano. If time allows, a local walk for butterflies such as Provençal and Heath Fritillary, Chestnut and Pearly Heath among others.

  • DAY 2

Mountain pass near Uña (1625 m.a.s.l.).

Alpine meadows and small pools, with Dusky Large Blue and Purple-edged Copper as primary targets.

  • DAY 3

Valle de Valdeón.

Alpine mountain pass, then a wet meadow with butterflies such as Chapman’s Ringlet, Damon Blue, Black-veined White, Scarce Swallowtail, etc.

  • DAY 4

Cremenes and La Encina.

Mediterranean habitat near Cremenes. Butterflies will include Knapweed, Meadow, Glanville, Spotted, and Dark Green Fritillaries. Our final stop of the day will be in an area of abandoned terraces, featuring Small and Long-tailed Blue, Berger’s Clouded Yellow and Oberthur’s Grizzled Skipper.

  • DAY 5

Fuente De.

One of the particular highlights of the week is a trip up in the Fuente Dé cable car, taking us to 1800m in the Central Massif. Butterflies such as Gavarnie Blue, Lefebvre’s Ringlet, Piedmont Ringlet and Safflower Skipper are likely.

  • DAY 6

Las Salas, Lois and Crémenes.

Butterflies should include Turquoise Blue, Silver-studded Blue, Brown Argus, Chapman’s Ringlet, Amanda’s Blue and Mallow Skipper, among others.

  • DAY 7

Agroviejo and Crémenes.

The orchards of Agroviejo, looking for puddling butterflies such as Idas and Silver-studded Blue, and different species of skippers. In addition, we will look for White Admiral, Niobe Fritillary, graylings and Apollo.

  • DAY 8:

Boca de Huérgamo to Santander airport.

En route to the airport, we will stop in Palencia province to add some final butterflies such as Iberian Marbled White, Great Banded Grayling and Black-veined White.

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