The south of France is acclaimed for its sunny Mediterranean beaches, ancient Roman ruins, fine Provencal cuisine, and internationally famous movie festival. But birders know of other reasons to visit this lovely area--the Camargue, a 210,000-acre national park situated in the very heart of the vast Rhone delta, and the Pyrenees, brooding mountains that form a towering wall between France and Spain.
Teeming with shorebirds, herons, and gulls, the Camargue is not only a major breeding area for Greater Flamingo but also a vital rest and refueling stop for millions of migrating birds. From our convenient base at a small, family-run hotel on the outskirts of Arles, we'll have plenty of time to explore this wonderful wetland; marshes and lagoons should yield Little and Great Crested grebes, Gray and Purple herons, Slender-billed and Mediterranean gulls, and a variety of shorebirds, and the cross section of landbirds should be equally diverse.
For the second part of the tour, we'll move west to the High Pyrenees. Here, with the picturesque village of Gedre as our base, we'll combine first-rate birding with a series of walks amid stunning mountain scenery, watching for the endangered Lammergeier, the stunning but elusive Wallcreeper, Short-toed Eagle, European Honey-Buzzard, Yellow-billed Chough, Alpine Accentor, Rock Bunting, and Citril Finch, among others. Come and see what awaits us this year!
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If you would like a longer birding holiday, some departures of this tour may be combined with: