Portugal at Leisure
Hills, Plains & Lagoons in Autumn
17 September to 24 September 2017
Principal Leader: Frank McClintock
Maximum of 13 clients (two leaders with more than seven clients).
2017 Cost: £1,899 single room supplement £200
To most tourists, a holiday in Portugal means a week or two spent in the southern Algarve with its rash of modern hotels, apartments and restaurants sprawling along the south coast. This tour reveals an altogether different side to the country. Our base for the week, located in the remote and unspoilt countryside that lies in the border zone between the provinces of the Algarve and Alentejo, is the guest lodge that is owned by Frank and run by his friendly staff. In fact, by hard endeavour spread over a period of 20 years, Frank has converted a few rundown buildings, situated on a scrub-covered slope, into a comfortable and homely lodge set in a lush terraced garden. The view out over the man-made lake is stunning so too the silence. The whole ambience of the place is warm and welcoming. The food is mainly local produce, homemade and simply delicious. Frank also keeps a modestly priced cellar of Portuguese wines. Added to all this, the garden has been planted with birds in mind. Here at least three species of warbler can be seen at this time of the year: Sardinian, Dartford and Blackcap.
Because we are able to cover a range of habitats from this one centre, our bird list will be equally varied from Great Bustard to Zitting Cisticola, from Black-winged Kite to Azure-winged Magpie. So if it is peace and quiet, comfort, fine scenery, a feeling of being off the beaten track and some colourful birding, then this is likely to be the tour for you. Its appeal is increased by the fact that the autumn migration will be under way and that there will be opportunities to see both the late departures south as well as the early migrants from the north. Thus we may have Montagu’s and Hen Harriers as well as Northern and Black–eared Wheatears and it is an ideal time to pin down those differences in the flesh.
This tour will generally be run at a relaxed pace with three full days away from the Quinta with a picnic lunch and three days spent locally with lunch at the lodge when there will be a chance to relax, explore the natural history of the area immediately behind the lodge or perhaps take a refreshing dip in the lake, which is quite warm at this time of year.
|Day 1 Fly to Faro and transfer
to Santa Clara
Days 2-7 Santa Clara
Day 8 Depart Faro