where East meets West
People have lived here for millennia; through ancient Illyria, Thrace and Macedonia, the Romans and Bulgars, to the Christians and Muslims of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires.
All have left their tracks in the soil and the culture.
Today’s borders fall on mountains above 2,000m (6,500ft). These wild, isolated slopes create natural corridors, where bears and wolves roam, and pelicans and vulture soar.
Below the mountains and alpine meadows are forests of ancient juniper, oak and beech.
Then lakes, wetlands, islands and reed beds. Many see no more than a shepherd or two a day.
The Mediterranean and Central European climates also meet here and this unique mix of politics, geology, climate and today’s small human footprint melt together and provide a home to 200+ butterfly species, 300+ bird species and 1000s of plants and insects.
Discover somewhere new with us.
Secrets of ...
Albania, Lesvos, Prespa, Ohrid, Rhodope.
Some are known to a select group of nature lovers.
Some of these places aren’t known at all.
Our Secrets tours showcase the spectrum of their natural and cultural history, on relaxed, guided walks with a local ecologist and a supporting cast of friends: beekeepers and archaeologists, shepherds and teachers, orchid enthusiasts and winemakers.
It’s the conversations with the locals that form many of our visitors’ fondest memories, and that’s aided by small groups of 4 to 7 people; there’ll always be time to properly chat with each other and the guides, whether on walks or at mealtimes.
And whilst the professional and various local guides are not experts in every species fluttering past, the slow pace of walks will allow time for a deep look at every animal, plant or mineral that crosses our paths.
Each day is packed full of new species, questions and experiences, ready for friendly conversation over good food in the evenings.
Bulgaria, Cyprus, Kerkini.
Well-known birding destinations, slowed down.
Our Birds PLUS tours revolve around short, gentle walks, where we marvel in the scenery, a variety of bird habitat and then enjoy what happens to fly by.
Naturally, the local, expert guides know where the highlight birds are, so the walks are carefully chosen, but the idea is to allow us plenty of time to ENJOY the birds, plus any other plant or animal that crosses our track. Time to take it all in.
What's the 'plus'?
Our guides would like to show you something of their home too. Maybe a visit to an unknown tomb or citadel, or to meet some of the guides’ friends for lunch along the way. But it complements the birding rather than distracts from it; you'll see something more of the place, but they won't take you indoors or well out of the way.
Whether it's a new bird, seaside taverns or Roman mosaics, each day will bring plenty of new species and experiences, ready for friendly conversation over good food in the evenings.
Local people as storytellers.
Fishermen take us on boat trips, the shepherds show their pastures, and rangers their national parks.
It's the dialogue between visitors and local people that enables responsible tourism.
So wherever possible, we try to weave in as many of our local friends as possible.
In a bear's footprint
Bears and wolves are all around us in the Balkans. Join us in any season to hike the mountains and look for their tracks.
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History, Food & Drink
The region has a huge history;
full of monasteries, ancient ruins
and incredibly good food.
Hike the three Prespa Peaks
Three countries with three mountains.
Conquer them all, with some gentle walks
on days between.