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FRANCE

Southern France

Extension - The corsican endemics

PRICE :  XXXX $US for 8 people for the main itinerary Southern France.

                                                                      XXXX $US for 8 people for the extension The corsican endemics.

(see the price grid in our Detailed Informations page).

 

Tour duration : 11 days for the main itinerary Southern France.

                         4 days for the extension The corsican endemics.

Tour date : April - May 2018.

Group size : 4-12 people with a "Tour Leader".

Tour Leader : Mathieu SIOL.

Arrival : Marseille.

Departure : Toulouse for the main itinerary Southern France.

                    Bastia for the extension The corsican endemics.

Lodging : Hotels and lodges of "comfort" category. Hot water and electricity are available 24 hours a day.

Pace : Moderate.

Possible extension : France - The corsican endemics (TFB_FRANCE_001_SOUTHERN FRANCE).

Potential number of species : 200 - 250.

Photography :  Moderate opportunities.

Included : all transportation, internal flights, lodging in double rooms with private bathroom , all meals, multilingual tour leader, drinkable water.

Not included : International flight, travel insurance, visas, airport taxes, entrance fees for some sites, alcoholic beverages, tips, "single" occupation (for the price, please refer to the Detailed Informations page).

Southern France is mainly renowned for its magnificent Mediterranean beaches, its Roman ruins or the wonderful Provencal cuisine. But it is also a fundamental crossroads of European and world ornithology which houses some of the most famous ornithological sites in the Western Palaearctic.

The Camargue, one of the most renowned wetlands in the world, extends into the Rhone delta. The Alpilles, a limestone massif covered by Mediterranean garrigues, extend the Alpine arch. The ancient alluvial plain of the Durance, The Crau, is home to several species present only on this site in France. The Pyrenees, an immense mountain range that serves as the border between France and Spain. Or the Massif Central, this ancient mountain massif where dominated extinct volcanoes and high plateaux, glaciated and beaten by the winds.

Our itinerary will make you discover all these mythical sites of the European ornithology.

We also propose you a 4-day extension to discover "l'île de Beauté", Corsica along with its endemic species.

Main Itinerary - Southern France

Days 1-2. Our journey will begin in Marseille. After a short transfer to our base in Maussane les Alpilles in the heart of Provence, we will begin our tour by discovering two hots spots of French and European ornithology. We will walk the  limestone range of the Alpilles in search of the massive Eurasian Eagle Owl, the rare and localized Bonelli's Eagle and the delicate Mediterranean warblers. Then we will discover the rocky plain of Crau. This former alluvial basin of the Durance covered with pebbles shelters some of the species with the smallest distribution in France.

 

Days 3-4-5. These two days will be one of the highlights of this trip. The marshes of fresh water, the brackish marshes, the sandy steppes covered with "salicorne", the salt marshes or the reedbeds of the Camargue are waiting for us. We will try to observe the most emblematic species of this internationally renowned wetland nestled in the heart of the Rhone delta.

 

Day 6. After this Camargue stage, we will continue our journey towards the north and the south of the Massif Central. We will explore the cold and peeled immensities of Causse Méjean before plunging into the Cévennes forests along the Tarn river.

Day 7. During our journey towards the last Pyrenean stage of our tour, we will make a stopover in the tormented relief of the Corbières in search of some representative species of these ecosystems. We will also take advantage of it to create an introduction to Mediterranean orchids.

Days 8-9-10-11. Finally, we will reach the end point of our trip, the high Pyrenees. Around the grandiose circus of Gavarnie, we explore an altitudinal gradient from the immense forests of the enormous Black Woodpecker up to the high alpine passes and the Alpine meadows home of the  Northern Wheatear or the white-winged Snow Finch. Our supreme goal here will be the vulture "bonebreaker", the famous Lammergeïer.

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At the end of the main itinerary, so as to avoid an unnecessary waiting time for the extension to take place, day 11 of The Southern France trip actually corresponds to the day 1 of the extension The corsican endemics.

Extension - The corsican endemics

 

Days 1-2-3-4. We also offer a 4-days extension to discover Corsica and its endemic species. After a stop in the coastal ponds of Biguglia to observe the rare Audouin's Gull, we will sink into the mountainous heart of the island home of ​​the Corsican Finch, the Corsican Nuthatch or the Marmora's Warbler. We will also have a last chance to observe the rare Lammergeïer around Corte.