Greece has been known for millennia as a center of culture and learning, with a fascinating human history that spans some 4000 years of civilization. And, fortunately for those looking to combine a bit of culture with their birding, the country's natural history is equally intriguing. The region's southeast corner dissolves into a riot of islands, mountains, and rugged coastlines, and as a result of this--and the country's perch at the edge of three biogeographical regions--Greece offers a surprisingly diverse and alluring suite of birds.

We'll visit sites ranging from the teeming mudflats of the Evros delta, which should hold a vast assemblage of shorebirds and herons, to the pine-scented slopes of the northeast's craggy mountains, where a magnificent array of raptors--including five species of eagle and three of vulture--are possible. The timing of our tour coincides with spring migration, which should add to our list a host of species heading for more northerly or westerly climes.

In addition to the excitement of birding, this tour offers the chance to sample some of the country's great wealth of historical sites. We'll start with a day in Athens, where the remarkable Acropolis and Parthenon will be among the highlights, and then visit the spectacular royal tombs at Vergina (once the seat of ancient Macedonia), the Sanctuary of Apollo and Temple of Athena at Delphi, and the Byzantine chapel of Osios Loukas (famous for its fabulous gilded mosaics).

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