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NHSN exclusive wildlife-watching holidays with Naturetrek

We are delighted to have once again partnered with Naturetrek to bring you, our members, a range of exclusive wildlife-watching holidays to some truly wonderful locations. For the first time we are offering three trips in a year, all at different times of the year. Details as follows:

Southern Cyprus: Wednesday 11th – Wednesday 18th March 2020, 8 days, £1395

This tour offers a week of birding and botanising on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, which is generally bathed in sunshine during the spring. During this two-centre holiday, we will spend three nights in the historic town of Paphos, before moving close to the beautiful Akamas Peninsula National Park on the western side of the island for the subsequent four nights. From each base we will head out each day on gentle natural history walks in search of migrant birds, flowers and a variety of other wildlife, breaking with a taverna lunch or a picnic in a scenic spot. Highlights may include Black Francolin, Chukar Partridge, Bonelli’s Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, migrating birds and the endemic Cyprus Warbler, plus some late orchids such as Fragrant orchids and Tongue orchids. At the end of each day, there will be time to relax back at the hotel or stroll along the beautiful beach below.

Southern Portugal: Sunday 19th – Thursday 23rd April 2020, 5 days, £995

This holiday is timed to get the best from this beautiful region’s rich flora and diverse range of breeding and migratory birds, from Cork Oak forests to the wide-open grass plains and parkland, we will encounter much of interest and wonder. Perched high above the Guadiana River, our base in the beautiful hilltop town of Mértola, offers fine opportunities to explore both the stunning flower-studded plains around Castro Verde — where we hope to see both Great and Little Bustards, Stone Curlew and numerous Montagu’s Harriers — and the rugged, seldom explored savannah country towards the Spanish border, where we might encounter Black-shouldered Kite, Black Vulture, Great Spotted Cuckoo and Black-bellied Sandgrouse. Ocellated Lizards, the largest European lizard, are common in this area, and the rivers are full of terrapins and water snakes. Mértola itself has a large colony of Lesser Kestrels and the sight of several dozen of these beautiful birds wheeling around in the evening sky above the castle and 14th-century Franciscan convent is something to be remembered.

Abruzzo in Autumn: Friday 11th to Friday 18th September 2020, 8 days, £1495

In mid-September, Abruzzo National Park is bursting with the fruitfulness of autumn, and our aim during this leisurely week-long holiday is to enjoy the area’s mammal and birdlife as it prepares for the coming winter as well as late-flowering plants. Setting out each day from our delightful family-run hotel base, we’ll select a scenic spot at which to break our daily walk with a delicious lunch made from local produce, and the opportunity to scan the mountain slopes around us for Red Deer, Chamois and Alpine Chough. In September the area’s Brown (‘Marsican’) Bears are fattening up on the seasonal glut of berries — in particular on Alpine Buckthorn berries — and we’ll look for these on an optional afternoon/evening excursion to Refugio l’orio followed by a candlelit supper. Traditional cuisine and aromatic local wines make this a thoroughly well-rounded Italian experience far from the tourist crowds!

For more information about any of these holidays or to book, please call the Naturetrek office on 01962 733051 or email