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Butterfly Holidays
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We are delighted that a growing number of wildlife tour companies offer specialised butterfly watching holidays in Europe. As the European Butterflies Group, we are obviously keen to encourage this and many of our members and others are interested to go on such trips. We now offer a regularly updated FREE advert on the European Butterflies Group website for each of the companies offering such butterfly tours in Europe.

Two types of trips are offered: fixed date departures - where the group size, itinerary, duration and dates are pre-arranged by the company - and tailor-made departures - where you decide these details to suit.

Such holidays are not only great fun, but encourage interest in butterflies, provide valuable identification training and also often produce some very interesting records. We encourage all tour companies undertaking such butterfly tours to submit their records to the appropriate National/Local Butterfly Recording scheme in each country. Some companies, notably Naturetrek and Greenwings, use these holidays to raise funds and then make a welcome donation to support Butterfly Conservation.

We are keen to make this listing as comprehensive as possible. Many companies offering butterfly holidays in Europe are included but we are aware that the list is not complete. Please contact me at European Butterflies Group if you offer such holidays and would like your advert to be considered.  We reserve the right to not advertise or withdraw any advertisements at our discretion.

Martin Davies

Disclaimer: Please note that the information shown below comprises advertisements by the travel companies concerned. Each of these companies is separately and solely responsible for delivering the travel services they offer. Butterfly Conservation and European Butterflies Group are not travel operators and can neither warrant nor endorse in any way the information, services or products listed here. The information is provided solely as a resource for European Butterflies Group members and others to use at their own discretion.

Click on the thumbnails below to view a handy reference guide as to
Who goes where 2019: Who goes when 2019:

Who goes where 2020: Who goes when 2020:

2019: Butterflies of the French Pyrenees (for European Butterflies Group members)

Fri 28th June – Fri 5th July 2019 - Tour led by Dudley Cheesman and Jude Lock, fully booked.

Jude Lock is the European Butterflies Group representative in France. She is particularly involved at a local level with recording schemes for the Butterfly Atlas of the Midi-Pyrenees and the Parc National des Pyrenees.

Jude also offers guided butterfly days throughout the summer months:
My local area in the central French Pyrenees is a paradise for butterflies with many rare and very localised species.  I am based in the historic village of Luz Saint Sauveur, which is also my home.
I hope that my local knowledge, information on wildlife hot spots and specialist butterfly information will greatly enhance your holiday.

The Pyrenees remain one of Europe’s last great unspoiled areas and are a paradise for nature lovers. There is an astounding richness of butterflies, flowers, and birds, with many exceptional local sites to enjoy, including the magnificent Cirque de Gavarnie (a World Heritage Site).  
My partner and myself run Borderline Holidays, we have been offering holidays in the French Pyrenees since 1987, when we moved to the village of Barèges.

Please contact me personally – I am always happy to answer your questions. lock.jude@gmail.com Tel: +33 562 926 895

Visit our website www.borderlinehols.com for details of accommodation options, and take a look at our butterfly and flower galleries.

Travel with the British-Bulgarian Society, organisers of special interest tours to Bulgaria for nearly 40 years, and their expert, enthusiastic and experienced leaders. B-BS has been running butterfly (and moth) tours annually since 2002.

Planned butterfly tours for 2019 (prices include flights):

    *   11th – 22th May. Spring butterflies & flowers tour. Price: £1,475.
 Southeast and south Bulgaria, including Strandzha & Eastern & Western Rhodopi Mountains.
    *   1st  – 12th June. Early butterflies & moths tour. Price: £1,475.
 Western Bulgaria, including Struma valley, Zemen Gorge & Stara Planina mountains. SOLD OUT
    *   14th – 24th June. Butterfly & dragonfly tour. Price: £1,475.
 Northeast Bulgaria, including Black Sea coast, Ludogorie and Eastern Stara Planina mountains.

We expect to see over 100 species of butterfly on all tours. In May target butterfly species include Southern and Eastern Festoons, Small Bath White, Krueper’s Small White, Grecian Copper, Little Tiger Blue and Blue Argus, along with a variety of rare and endemic plants of the Balkans. In early June target species include False Comma, Freyer’s Fritillary, White-banded Grayling, Persian, Spinose and Inky Skippers. In mid-June target butterfly species include Iolas Blue, Scarce Fritillary, Assmann’s Fritillary, Tesselated Skipper and a wide variety of dragonfly species. We will run moth traps on all three tours.

Full details can be found on the tours page on our website at: www.b-bs.org.uk. Tours are ATOL protected and IATA accredited.
B-BS can also provide and help plan a tour with an experienced leader for a private group according to your own specifications.

Greenwings are experts in organising butterfly & moth watching holidays. We pride ourselves on working with the best guides and local experts (including Tristan Lafranchis, Richard Lewington, Martin Warren, Patrick Barkham, Simon Spencer and Roger Gibbons) to ensure guests receive the finest information and enjoy a fulfilling holiday.

Some of our tours are designed for specific target species, rarities and endemics whereas others are more about surveying and enjoying an area and as large a variety of good habitat and butterflies as possible. It is not uncommon to encounter 100 -130+ butterfly species during one of our European trips, without the need to rush or travel too far.

We are conservationists at heart, so are corporate members of Butterfly Conservation and donate 10% of profits from Lepidoptera holidays to them. By joining a Greenwings holiday you are also helping support the conservation of butterflies, moths and their environments!

2019 Programme and Dates:
  • False Apollo & Spring Butterflies in Greece with Martin Warren (8th – 15th April)
  • Butterflies and Botany of the Eastern French Pyrenees (23rd – 30th May)
  • Butterflies & Birds of North Greece (8th – 15th June)
  • Norfolk Swallowtails with Patrick Barkham (14th – 17th June)
  • Butterflies of the Italian Alps with Simon Spencer & Martin Warren (15th – 22nd June)
  • La Brenne at Leisure (19th – 26th June)
  • Butterflies of Belarus (20th – 27th June)
  • Butterflies & Flowers of Bulgaria with Patrick Barkham (20th – 28th June)
  • Butterflies of Southern Greece with Richard Lewington (22nd – 29th June)
  • Butterflies of Armenia (dates to be confirmed shortly)
  • Butterflies of Slovenia (25th June – 2nd July)
  • Butterflies of the French Alps 'Mercantour National Park' (29th June – 6th July)
  • Butterflies & Flowers of the Dolomites (1st – 8th July)
  • Butterflies of Picos de Europa in Spain with Patrick Barkham (6th – 13th July)
  • Butterflies & Moths of the French Alps 'Mercantour' & 'Queyras' (6th – 13th July)
  • Butterflies & Botany of the Kaçkars in Turkey with Martin Warren (12th – 20th July)
  • Butterflies of Montes Universales in Spain (27th July – 2nd Aug)
Email:enquiries@greenwings.co.uk; Telephone: 01473 254658.
View all our holidays here

Limosa Holidays has 34 years of experience of organizing expert-led birdwatching and wildlife tours to more than 100 destinations worldwide.

Many of our tours to Europe give great opportunities for butterfly watching, but on the following 2019 and 2020 trips this will be a special feature:

  • Italy – Eastern Sicily in Spring. (22nd – 29th April 2019). FULL. Excellent birding and some wonderful early spring butterflies and orchids. 2020 dates: 23rd – 30th April 2020.
  • Corsica – the Scented Isle (12th – 19th May 2019). Great birding and some endemic butterflies.
  • Bulgaria - Rhodope Mountains & Black Sea (Sun 12th - Tue 21st May 2019). FULL. 50 species seen including good variety of eastern European species - Eastern Festoon, Eastern Baton Blue and Eastern Short-tailed Blue.(Sun 10th - Tue 19th May 2020).
  • Spain – Spanish Pyrenees (28th May – 4th June 2019). FULL. Based in Jaca, a truly spectacular setting for great birding and 75 species of butterfly.(2020 dates: 2nd - 9th June 2020).
  • Hungary – birds, butterflies and dragons (6th – 13th June 2019). 8-days birdwatching and natural history tour in Kiskunság National Park, one of Europe’s most important wild areas. (2020 dates: 4th – 11th June 2020).
  • Italy – Alps and Apennines – birds and butterflies (6th – 13th June 2019). A two-centre tour -Stelvio National Park combined with Lombardy and the Apennine foothills. (2020 dates: 4th – 11th June 2020).
  • Switzerland – Swiss Alps in summer (16th – 23rd June 2019). FULL. Few countries are as beautiful as Switzerland and on this tour in June 2018 we saw 90 species of butterfly! (2020 dates : 14th – 21st June 2020).
  • France – French Pyrenees in summer (19th – 26th June 2019). A birdwatching and butterflies tour, centred on the glorious Gavarnie Valley. (2020 dates: 17th – 24th June 2020).
  • Spain – Cantabrian Mountains (28th Aug – 4th Sept 2019). Wolves, Bears, Wildcats, Wallcreepers and autumn butterflies. (2020 dates: 2nd – 9th Sept 2020).

  • You can click here to visit our website, or here to email us or call us on 01692 580623. Note that some of our 2019 tours are already full. Check out our 2020 dates.

    Naturetrek   - Butterfly Holidays in support of Butterfly Conservation

    The following special selection of European butterfly tours, guided by expert butterfly enthusiasts, has been designed to allow you to enjoy and learn about butterflies in the company of fellow enthusiasts. As a top-category ‘Gold’ corporate sponsor of Butterfly Conservation, Naturetrek annually donates around £1,500 to the charity. As well as this, since 2002 the company has donated 10% of all income generated by an annual programme of Butterfly Tours that it runs in partnership with BC, bringing the total we have raised since 2002 to £207,074. Holidays will focus on butterflies and their habitats, moths (many of our tours feature moth-trapping at night) and to a lesser extent other natural history. All travel arrangements are made by Naturetrek.   

    Calendar of 2019 and 2020 European Butterfly Holidays (please note that some of our tours for 2019 are already full):

    • Butterflies of the Cévennes (15th – 22nd May 2019)
    • Butterflies of Croatia (3rd – 10th June 2019) + (10th – 17th June 2019) + (1st – 8th June 2020)
    • Butterflies of Hungary (11th – 18th June 2019) + (9th – 16th June 2020)
    • Butterflies of Southern Greece (15th – 22nd June 2019)
    • Butterflies and Moths of Andalucía (16th – 20th June 2019) + (15th – 19th June 2020)
    • Butterflies and Birds of Macedonia (18th – 25th June 2019)
    • Butterflies of Spain’s Picos de Europa (20th – 27th June 2019)
    • Armenia - Butterflies of the Caucasus (22nd – 29th June 2019) + (20th – 27th June 2020)
    • Sweden’s Butterflies (15th – 20th June 2019) + (22nd – 27th June 2020)
    • France – Butterflies of La Brenne (27th June – 2nd July 2019)
    • Butterflies of the Swiss Alps (30th June – 7th July 2019) + (28th June – 5th July 2020)
    • Butterflies and Moths of the Spanish Pyrenees (3rd – 10th July 2019)
    • France – Butterflies in Normandy (4th – 8th July 2019)
    • Butterflies of the French Pyrenees (5th – 12th July 2019) + (3rd – 10th July 2020)
    • Butterflies of the Italian Dolomites (10th– 17th July 2019)
    • France – Butterflies and Moths of the Vercors (17th – 24th July 2019)
    Call us now on 01962 733051 or visit: www.naturetrek.co.uk for a detailed Trip Itinerary for any of these tours.

    Neophron Tours offers a variety of birdwatching and other wildlife and natural history tours in Bulgaria, Greece and Romania, including butterfly and dragonfly tours, botanical tours, Brown Bear and Wolf viewing, wildlife photography tours and mountain hiking. Nature tours can always be combined with visiting landmarks and places of interest included in the UNESCO list of the world cultural and natural heritage sites.

    For 2019, we offer the following special tours focussed on butterflies:

  • 9-day wildlife holiday to Bulgaria’s south-western mountain ranges (Rila and Pirin National Parks, the Struma Valley and Slavyanka Mountain) in search of some the most desirable species of butterflies on the Balkan peninsula (best time: mid June to mid August). Please click here for more details http://neophrontours.bg/tour/butterfly-tour/

  • 13-day wildlife holiday combining a tour of Bulgaria’s south-western mountain ranges (Rila and Pirin National Parks and the Struma Valley) and the Western and Eastern Rhodope Mountains with a visit to Lake Kerkini in northern Greece (best time: mid May to mid August). Please click here for more details: http://neophrontours.bg/tour/mountain-birds-flowers-and-butterflies/
    Neophron Tours, P.O.Box 90, BG-9000 Varna, Bulgaria
    tel/fax +359 52 605 155 ; mobile +359 888 420 159
    Email: neophrontours@gmail.com; inquiries@neophron.com
    Web: www.neophrontours.bg

    Pandion Wild Tours is a Bulgarian company specialized in offering wildlife and nature holiday tours in Bulgaria and the Balkan Peninsula. Bulgaria is one of the richest for butterflies among all European countries outside the Mediterranean zone. With some 218 species recorded, you can expect a lot of rarities and plenty of interesting species.

    For the 2019 season, we are offering three butterfly watching holidays:

    BULGARIA (8th – 16th JUNE 2019)
    Key Species: White-banded Grayling, Freyer's Grayling, Eastern Rock Grayling
    Balkan Marbled White , Little Tiger Blue, Powdered Brimstone , Russian Heath, Balkan Heath, Oriental Marbled Skipper, Inky Skipper, Mountain Apollo, Balkan Fritillary, Ottoman Brassy Ringlet, Balkan Copper.

    BULGARIA (6th – 13th JULY 2019)
    Key Species: Balkan Copper, Grecian Copper, Freyer's Purple Emperor, Twin Spot Fritillary , Lesser Spotted Fritillary, Almond-eyed Ringlet, Black Ringlet, Lattice Brown,  Lesser Bath White, False Eros Blue, Ripart's Anomalous Blue, Eastern Large Heath.

    BULGARIA - Butterflies of North Black Sea Coast and Dobrudzha area (19th JULY – 28th JULY 2019)
    Key Species: Sandy Grizzled Skipper , Zephyr Blue, Nickerl’s Fritillary, Lesser Purple Emperor, Iolas Blue, Scarce Fritillary, Clouded Apollo, Yellow-banded Skipper,  Scarce Tortoiseshell,  Lesser Fiery Copper, Common Glider, Clouded Apollo,  Balkan Copper, Eastern Short-tailed Blue, Alcon Blue, Russian Heath, Freyer’s Purple Emperor, Freyer’s Fritillary, False Heath Fritillary, False Grayling.
    Contact us or visit our website for more details:  Petar Dilchev, Pandion Wild Tours, Blvd.Cherni Vrah 20A, Sofia, Bulgaria. Tel: +359 2 9630436     http://www.birdwatchingholidays.com/ ; http://www.pelican-birding-lodge.com/en/

    For more than 30 years The Travelling Naturalist has been taking small groups around the world in search of wildlife. We offer specialist birdwatching holidays, mammal watching holidays, whale and dolphin watching holidays, flora holidays, nature photography tours and in 2019 the following butterfly, dragonfly and moth watching tours:

    France – Butterflies, Dragonflies in Wild Dordogne
    15th – 22nd June 2019
    The Dordogne and Vezérè valleys in south-west France have been called ‘an Exotic England, steeped in prehistory’. This trip concentrates on the superb range of butterflies, birds and wildflowers to be found in this beautiful region. Accompanied by two leading experts David Simpson and Corine Oosterlee. Price from £1,695 including international flights.

    Sweden – Butterflies and Dragonflies
    24th – 30th June 2019
    Around 85 of Sweden’s 120 butterfly species can be seen in central Sweden, along with an internationally interesting combination of dragonflies and damselflies (though not all at the same time)!  8-day trip led by Daniel Green. Price from £2,095 including international flights.

    Poland – Butterflies and Moths of Southern Poland
    14th – 22nd July 2019
    This tour focusses on the rich diversity of butterflies, dragonflies and moths which thrive in the scenic mountainous region surrounding Krakow. We expect to see around 90 species of butterfly, including Large Blue, Violet Copper, Large Chequered Skipper, Large Tortoiseshell as well as the rare Apollo and the beautiful Pallas’s fritillary. 9-day trip led by Andrzej Petryna. Price from £1,595 including international flights.

    Bulgaria – Butterflies & Birds of Bulgaria
    20th – 28th June 2019
    The mountainous southwest and southeast of Bulgaria are filled with some of the richest variety of butterfly species found within Europe. Our tour provides a chance to search for exciting rarities and endemics that include Frivaldsky’s white-banded grayling and Higgin’s anomalous blue, as well as offering brilliant viewing of birds of prey. 9-day trip led by Stoyan Beshkov and Assen Ignatov. Price from £1,195 including international flights.

    Check out our website for further details of these and all our wider programme of tours
    www.thetravellingnaturalist.com or email us on sales@thetravellingnaturalist.com or phone us on 01305 267994.

    Since 1988 Wildlife Travel has organised natural history and wildlife holidays to support nature conservation. Our profits are donated to the Wildlife Trusts. Our holidays are aimed at those who enjoy wildlife at a relaxed pace, with comfortable travel, good company and expert leaders.

    From Mull and the Isles of Scilly to Ecuador, Costa Rica and Australia, the Alps to the Carpathians and the Danube Delta, travel with us to some of the finest wildlife destinations and support nature conservation along the way.

    Butterflies are among the attractions on many of our tours, which include a wide range of destinations in Europe.

    For more details of all our holidays, please visit our website: www.wildlife-travel.co.uk

    Wild Echo (formerly Spatia Wildlife) is a special interest wildlife tours and photography company based in Bulgaria but also offers tours in neighbouring Balkan countries, Turkey, the Caucasus, the Middle East and North Africa.

    For the 2019 season, we offer the following butterfly tours:
    •    Jordan’s Butterflies and Culture (26th March – 6th April)
    Unusual Middle East butterfly species in stunning landscapes.

    •    False Apollo (31st  March – 7th April).
    The very first spring butterflies in Northern Greece
    •    Early Butterflies - in Bulgaria and Greece (22nd April - 4th May).
    The early spring butterflies.

    •    The Butterflies of Morocco (8th - 20th  May).
    Wide range of habitats, from mountains to desert. Moroccan endemic species.

    •    The Butterflies and Beauty of Armenia (25th May – 7th June).
    A fascinating mixture of European and Near East butterfly species.

    •    Butterflies and Macro Photography (10th – 17th June)
    Butterflies, other insects and flowers in the mountains of Bulgaria.

    •    Scarce Butterflies - in Bulgaria (10th – 21st June)
    Some of the rarest butterflies in Bulgaria.

    •    Butterflies of the West Balkan (10th – 21st June)
    Beautiful Stara Planina Mountains along the border between Bulgaria and Serbia.

    •    Butterflies of Poland (24th June – 6th July).
    A unique mixture of Middle and Northern European butterfly species.

    •    Mountain Butterfly and Macro Photography (30th  June – 8th July)
    Tour exploring the meadows at Rila and Pirin - the highest mountains in Bulgaria.

    •    Butterflies of the Balkans - Bulgaria, Macedonia and Greece (10th – 24th July)
    Some of the prime butterfly habitats on the Balkan Peninsula.

    •    Butterflies of Turkey (9th – 23rd  July)
    Central, eastern Mediterranean and NE in search of local speciality butterflies.

    •    Jewels of Macedonia (1st  – 8th August)
    Looking for very local endemic butterflies.

    For further details, please visit our website: www.wildechotours.com
    Wild Echo, Pozitano street, bl. 76, entr. 2, ap. 44, Razsadnika, Sofia 1309, Bulgaria
    E-mail: info@wildechotours.com  Tel: +359 899 666167;

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