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  • Photograph of Spur-winged Plover

    Spur-winged Plover by Michael McKee.

    GREECE

    Best Wildlife in Greece

    Mammals
    Natural Greece track Brown Bears in the Pindos Mountains where the chances of seeing them varies from 80% during the summer (May, June and July) to 30% in other months. Souslik is also present in Greece and there is a chance of Alpine Chamois.

    Birds

    Specialities
    Greater Flamingo, Dalmatian and Great White Pelicans, Pygmy Cormorant, Spur-winged Plover, Masked Shrike, Ruppell’s Warbler and Cretzschmar’s Bunting. Also a chance of Yelkouan (Levantine) Shearwater, (Eastern) Imperial and Lesser Spotted Eagles, Long-legged Buzzard, Levant Sparrowhawk and Rock Partridge, and an outside chance of Olive-tree Warbler.

    Others
    Black-necked (Eared) Grebe, Little Bittern, (Black-crowned) Night Heron, Purple and Squacco Herons, (Eurasian) Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, White and Black Storks, (Eurasian) Black, Egyptian and (Eurasian) Griffon Vultures, Short-toed and White-tailed Eagles, Lesser Kestrel, (Pied) Avocet, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Mediterranean and Slender-billed Gulls, Black, Gull-billed, Whiskered and White-winged Terns, Alpine and Pallid Swifts, Golden (European) Bee-eater, (European) Roller, Hoopoe, Black, Grey-headed and Syrian Woodpeckers, Lesser Grey, Red-backed and Woodchat Shrikes, (Eurasian) Golden Oriole, Alpine Chough, Calandra Lark, Red-rumped Swallow, (Eurasian) Crag Martin, (Eurasian) Penduline and Sombre Tits, Rock Nuthatch, Firecrest, (Eastern) Bonelli’s, Great Reed, (Eastern) Olivaceous, (Eastern) Orphean, Sardinian and Subalpine Warblers, (Eastern) Black-eared Wheatear, (Common) Nightingale, Blue and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes, (Black-headed) Yellow Wagtail, Black-headed and Rock Buntings, and Rock and Spanish Sparrows. Also a chance of Ruddy Shelduck, Ferruginous Duck, Booted and Golden Eagles, Red-footed Falcon, Great Spotted Cuckoo, (Eurasian) Eagle Owl, White-backed Woopecker, Nutcracker, Isabelline Wheatear, Collared Flycatcher, Alpine Accentor and Snow Finch.

    For the latest news on birds see Birdwing, a non-profit organisation from which all income goes directly towards projects to help birds in Greece and to encourage people to protect and appreciate the birds and other wildlife there.

    Invertebrates
    A superb diversity and abundance of butterflies, especially on and around Mount Chelmos and Mount Parnassos where it is possible to see over 50 species of butterfly in a day and a hundred in a week.

    Plants
    There are about 6000 plant species, around 15% of which are endemic and the rich flora includes many orchids.

    Best Sites for Wildlife in Greece

    Best Times for Wildlife in Greece

    Spring bird migration usually peaks during late April-early May; autumn migration the first half of September. Late June is the peak time for butterflies and mid-July for plants. November is usually a good time to look for Lesser White-fronted Goose.

    Recommended Books etc. for Greece

    Collins Bird Guide by L Svensson et al. Collins, 2010 (Second Edition).

    Birds of Europe by L Jonsson. Helm, 1999.

    Finding Birds in Northern Greece by D Gosney. Easybirder, 2015 (Book and/or DVD).

    Birdwatching in Northern Greece by S Mills. S Mills, 2011 (Second Edition), available from

  • Birdwatching in Northern Greece.

    Mammals of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East by S Aulagnier et al. Helm, 2009.

    Mammals of Britain and Europe by D McDonald and P Barrett. Collins, 2005.

    Collins Butterfly Guide by T Tolman and R Lewington. Collins, 2009 (Third Edition).

    Butterflies of Britain and Europe: A Photographic Guide by H Aarnio et al. A & C Black Publishers, 2009.


    Apps etc.

    Collins Bird Guide.

    Where to watch birds in Europe & Russia by N Wheatley. Helm, 2000.

    Don’t know which country/countries/regions to visit in Europe? Then it may be worth considering taking a look at this book, written by this website’s author. It is many years old of course but it still provides a starting point, an overview and a guiding light to the best birds and the best places to look for them in the region, and could save hours of searching for similar information on the internet. However, it is important to check more up-to-date sources for sites which have been opened up, sites and species which have been discovered, lodges that have been built etc. since the book was published.

    Trip Reports for Greece

    Many trip reports, some for Greece, are posted on the websites listed here. On some of these websites some reports are independent and some are posted by tour companies who organize tours to Greece. These tour companies and others also post their own reports on their websites, which are listed under 'Some Organized Tours to Greece' below.

    Local Guides and Tours in Greece

    The costs of organized tours partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ. If you are travelling independently, employing such local guides will greatly increase your chances of seeing the wildlife you wish to see.

    Accommodation in Greece

    Some Organized Tours to Greece

    There are many tour companies who organize tours to see mammals, birds, other wildlife and other natural wonders. The cost of these tours vary considerably according to such variables as the airlines used, the number of days the tours last, the number of sites visited, the number of people in the group (an important consideration if you wish to see such wildlife as rainforest mammals and birds), the number of tour leaders, the standard of accommodation and transport, and the percentage profit the company hopes to make. Generally, where the number of days tours last and the number of sites visited are similar, the cheapest tours are those that use the cheapest airlines, accommodation and local transport, that have the largest groups with the least number of leaders, and that make the least amount of profit. The most expensive tours tend to be those which are exceptionally long, use the most expensive accommodation (ridiculously lavish in some cases, even for single nights) and which make the most profit. Some tour costs partly reflect the quality of the tour leaders. Some leaders are certainly better than others and many companies claim their leaders are the best but even the best rely at least to some extent on the exceptional skills of the local guides they employ.

    While tour companies organize tours with set itineraries many also organize custom tours for individuals and private groups who instead of taking a tour with a set itinerary want to follow their own itinerary to suit their own personal tastes, whether it be mammals, birds, other wildlife, other natural wonders or even man-made attractions, or a mixture of them all. Many organized tours with set itineraries are also fast-paced and target as many species as possible, whether they are mammals, birds or other wildlife or everything, which usually leaves little time to enjoy the best sites and individual species, but on a custom tour those taking part can specify the pace and the sites and species they wish to concentrate on. Custom tours also suit people who like to travel with people they already know, rather than with a group of strangers, and people with partners with different interests. Individuals and small groups will almost certainly have to pay more than the price of an organized tour with a set itinerary but a large group of friends may be able to travel for less than the price quoted for a set tour.

    Tour companies who run organized tours or can arrange custom tours to Greece include the following.

    • Bird Holidays
    • Field Guides
    • Greentours
    • Naturetrek

    • Wise Birding Holidays
    • We are a small wildlife watching holiday company based in Devon (UK) specialising in birdwatching and mammal watching holidays across the world. What sets us apart from other wildlife watching companies is quite simple:
    • 1 – small group sizes: (average between 4 – 8 people)
    • 2 – a commitment to conservation: (donation after each tour)