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Autumn bulbs of Southwestern Turkey (Greentours)

From the lofty snow-capped summits of the Olimpos Mountains it is just a few miles down to beautiful rocky bays by the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. The many famous sites of antiquity scattered throughout these mountains does credit to Turkey’s claim to be the biggest open-air museum in the world.
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A magical display of flowers garlands the still glorious late autumn landscape in the unspoilt Taurus. Three species of Cyclamen cloak woodland floors and tawny mountain slopes are decorated by white, pink and yellow bulbs. What could be better than the purple-centred ivory flowers of rare Crocus mathewi, unless it is even rarer Crocus wattiorum, a wonder with purple-blue flowers enriched with scarlet stigmas and yellow and black stamens. Crocus pallasii subspecies dispathaceus is another exceptionally beautiful species and we’ll see this gem blooming with Crocus cancellatus subspecies pamphyllicus and delicate Crocus asumaniae. Bright purple-pink Colchicum baytopiorum is found at impregnable Termessos where small groups of Ibex gaze at us from high rocky fastnesses where we might see the Wallcreeper that visits each winter.

Magnificent Tahtali Mountain rises behind our second hotel and nearby under ancient gnarled plane trees we’ll encounter massed displays of the pretty snowdrop Galanthus peshmeni. Juniper dotted slopes host rare Colchicum sanguicolle and magnificent violet-blue Crocus speciosus. Set in crevices in almost white limestone are pockets of the fine pink stars of Colchicum stevenii, their narrow glossy green leaves help make a fine picture. The chequered blooms of Colchicum variegatum adorn slopes below the haunt of golden Sternbergia clusiana and the weird Biarum pyrami. Another ‘weirdy’, the even stranger Biarum davisii, is found in this area along with the tiny Sternbergias colchiciflora.

Ancient Phaselis, its ruins secondary to the near perfect setting of little bays and pinewoods, is bedecked in a carpet of Cyclamen graecum. Spidery Colchicum decaisnei, mauve Autumn Squill and the neat white spirals of Autumn Ladies Tresses bloom along a river valley that is a haven to migrant birds and late season butterflies including Two-tailed Pashas.

One can never guarantee anything with autumn bulbs though in truth there are always at least some in flower. Whether you’ll get to see spectacular shows as there are given the right autumn conditions, or whether you’ll see the species but not the numbers, is something only time will tell, however there’s always the guarantee of great scenery, wonderful food, and (mostly!) very good weather!

For more information and to book please visit the Greentours website by clicking this link.