Lily Group Programme 2016-2017
RHS LILY GROUP TOUR TO GREECE 1 - 9 JULY 2017
Organised by Duncan Coombs. Email email@example.com
TOUR COST 1,810 Euros (based on two sharing, reduced from 1,900 Euros) 180 Euros (single supplement)
INCLUDES All accommodation in comfortable hotels • All meals and transport • Guiding
EXCLUDES International flights (BA currently less than £200 return) • Personal travel insurance Personal expenses • Drinks (alcohol or soft drinks at evening meal). Note, we have soft drinks, juice etc. for lunch.
Day 1 To Thessaloniki
After arriving in the afternoon at Thessalonik airport we will have dinner and a night at the comfortable Royal Hotel.
Day 2 Mount Vournos
A couple of hours or so to the north-west of Thessaloniki is Mount Vournos with thriving populations of Lilium carniolicum growing amid a wealth of other alpine flowers including Digitalis viridiflora, Dianthus deltoides, Viola doefleri and the globular heads of Campanula foliosa. The rest of the day will be spent exploring and enjoying the high mountain slopes. In the afternoon we'll desend and dsrive past the scenic Prespo Lakes to the village of Agios Germanos.
Day 3 To Papigo via Vikos Gorge
In the morning we will transfer to the Pindos Mountains, stopping to look at Morina persica and other interesting roadside plants. Nestled among the spectacular landscapes of Mount Timfi is the dramatic Vikos Gorge. A small population of Lilium chalcedonicum grows here in the woods too. And nearby areas have impressive spikes of Himantoglossum caprinum and other orchids. The night will be spent in the delightful Zagorian village of Papigo at the entrance to the gorge.
Day 4 Smolikas o/n Papigo
North-east of Papigo is Mount Smolikas, the best location to find Lilium carniolicum ssp. albanicum. To reach the lilies we will have to walk several kilometres and gain six hundred metres in altitude, they grow at 2400m, roads only reach until 1800m, but we will have all day to do this. Overnight in Papigo.
Day 5 Kipi & Aoos Lake o/n Metsovo
A strong population of Lilium candidum grows around Kipi, but we are unlikely to see them in good flower as their season is earlier. However, there may still be a few in flower so we will visit these as well as the impressive triple arch stone bridge. Driving on we will arrive at Aoos Lake, a deligthful flower-rich location. The rest of the afternoon will be spent travelling around the lake to see the abundant Dactylorhiza saccifera, Gymnadenis conopsea, Anthericum lilago, Pinguicula crystallina and handsome spikes of Digitalis grandiflora. The night will be spent in Metsovo at an excellent hotel with an attached winery.
Day 6 To Drama via Mount Vermion o/n Drama
A long transfer across northern Greece is necessary, but good fast roads make this easy enough and the journey will be broken with a visit to Mount Vermion to see Lilium chalcedonicum in the oakwoods there. Overnight is in the beautifully positioned village of Taxiarches.
Day 7 Megalo Lividi o/n Drama
Perhaps the most sought after lily of the tour is Lilium rhodopaeum and these grow in the lush, forest clad hills of Rhodope National Park and in inaccessible places. 4WD vehicles are necessary to cope with the bad roads, but the forests are a delight and hopefully we will get to see this beautiful species. Growing nearby are also small colonies of purple-pink Lilium martagon ssp cataniae. Overnight Taxiarches.
Day 8 Mount Falakron o/n Thessaloniki
Lilium martagon ssp cataniae also occurs on Mount Falakron, which is also host to some fine alpines with Hypericum olympicum, Anthyllis aurea and lots of Digitalis lanata. Depending on flight timings we will overnight in Taxiarches or return to Thessaloniki in the afternoon.
Day 9 Return flights or return to Mount Vournos
For anyone interested we can return for a night to Mount Vournos for the day where the large colony of Lilium martagon ssp cataniae should be in flower by now. Once again the roads are bad and we will need 4WD vehicles. o/n Thessaloniki.
Day 10 Return flights.