Alpine Garden Society

01386 554790
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This springtime journey takes us from the shores o
Crocus biflorus pulchricolor Boz Dagi rises behind Izmir, Smyrna of the ancients, the slopes a-shimmer from massed pink Moenchia mantica. Drifts of Anemone coronaria populate lower slopes, but along higher roads are delicate yellow Fritillaria caricaCorydalis wendelboi and golden Crocus chrysanthus. Hoopoes and Red-backed Shrikes mark our progress through some beguiling countryside en route to Bursa and we’ll stop to enjoy golden goblets of Crocus flavus, yellow and plum Iris attica, and amongst moss-covered boulders, a carpet of Galanthus gracilis. Black Woodpeckers call loudly amongst the Sweet Chestnut forests on Uludağ as we photograph a colony of Primula vulgaris sibthorpii, a fine pink form of primrose. We’ll see no less than three species of crocus including thousands of Crocus gargaricus andCrocus biflorus pulchricolor, the latter in a stunning array of colour forms from lavender to deep purple or even white. Abant has become a popular summer and winter resort in recent years but in spring the attractive countryside is quiet except for the abundant birdlife. Common in the woodlands are Krüper’s Nuthatches, Hawfinches and Firecrests and in open country we’ll see Rock Buntings, Shorelarks and Woodlarks. Under the trees are amazing carpets of Cyclamen coum, also the attractive blue borage Trachystemon orientale, Purple Toothwort, and the lovely snowdrop Galanthus plicatus byzantinus. Meadows are studded with Crocuses including rare Crocus abantensis whose pale blue blooms compete for memory card space with deep yellow Crocus olivieri and the dew laden lilac flowers of Corydalis caucasica. Marly hills are home to the lovely Muscari adilii, only recently discovered, and named for your guide’s father-in-law! In red clay soil flowersFritillaria fleischeriana though birdwatchers may struggle to attend to this dainty beauty as the waterside willows are crammed full of Herons and Cormorants, and Black Storks and White Storks spear anything unwary in the shallows.

Iris attica



Days = 8

28 Mar 2015 - 04 Apr 2015


London - London Price = £1985

Izmir - Istanbul = £1685

Deposit = £250

Single Supplement = £175*


* does not apply if you are willing to share and a room-mate can be arranged.

Fritillaria fleischeriana TOUR SUMMARY

Day 1

Arrive Izmir

Day 2

Boz Dağ

Day 3

To Bursa via Akcaterlık

Day 4


Days 5 – 7(am)

Abant Lake, Bolu, The Ahlatlık Pass, Göynük and Beypazarı

Day 7(pm)

To Istanbul

Day 8

Depart from Istanbul


Cyclamen coum colony INFORMATION


Spring Flowers, particularly Crocuses. Also Birds and Turkey’s Rural Landscapes.


Chris Gardner, Eylül Dizdarolu


Very easy. Always at a relaxed pace and never more than two or three miles in any one day, ideally suited to flower photographers.

Included in the Price

All flights. All transport, meals, tips and accommodation in Turkey. Services of your leaders. Please note: drinks, the Turkish entry Visa (currently £10), and items of a personal nature including insurance, are not included.

Group Size

The minimum is 5 and the maximum is 15. Only one leader will accompany a group of 8 or less.


We start with two nights at the welcoming and comfortable Hotel Lydia Sardis close by ancient Sardis and near the modern town of Sahlili. Next are two nights in Bursa at the elegant Hotel Kervansaray whose beautifully furnished rooms and thermal spa will allow you to fully relax after a day in the field. We’ll explore the Abant area from the Abant Palace Hotel, the name tells you all you need to know – it is in Abant, with great views over the lake, and it’s a bit of a palace! The rooms are modern and well-furnished and it is surrounded by lovely countryside. Our final night will be at the super-modern and very convenient ISG Airport Hotel just a hundred metres from the terminal at Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökcen Airport. All rooms on this holiday have en suite facilities. 


UK direct flights are from London Heathrow or Manchester* to Izmir, returning from Istanbul direct to London Heathrow or Manchester*. Other indirect routes from regional UK Airports* may be available. 
*These routes may incur a supplement.


Rather like the UK in April. When the sun is out it will feel warm enough, but it can be cloudy and rain will certainly occur and may be prolonged. It may even snow at higher altitudes.

How to Book

Contact us on 01298 83563 or, to check if there are places still available, and for any other queries. We can send you a booking form in the post, or you can download one. Fill in the form and post to us with a deposit. Full information sheets will be sent to you 10 weeks before departure.

Click on this link for a Full Tour Itinerary

Fiona Dunbar
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