wild flowers and natural history of the Caucasus
Explore the spectacular landscapes and rich wildlife of the Caucasus biodiversity hotspot.
Nestled amid the Southern Caucasus, the small country of Armenia is characterised by its rugged mountainous landscape, still roamed by Persian Leopards and Syrian Brown Bears, and notable for its habitat diversity, encompassing alpine meadows, steppe grasslands, semi-desert, dense forests and more.
Our holiday takes us on an exploration of this fascinating country, in particular searching for its rich flora, which includes more than half of the species found in the entire Transcaucasian region. We start our visit among the magnificent basalt columns of Garni Gorge, before paying a visit to Ararat Valley and Armash, an Important Bird Area. We will search for plants around the Selim Pass, before heading to central Armenia to explore the woodlands, meadows and gorges of the Artanish Peninsula on the eastern shores of Lake Sevan.
Continuing north we will visit Makaravank and the eastern extremity of the Tsaghkunyats Mountains. Our final days will explore a range of altitude around Mount Aragats where as well as plants we hope to find interesting birds.
We can expect to find colourful alpines such as Pulsatilla albana, Primula algida and Colchicum raddianum, along with several of Armenia’s attractive irises and lillies, including Lilium armenum, Iris paradoxa and Iris furcata. With luck we may catch the last flowers of Tulipa julia.
Although our focus is on Armenia’s botanical diversity, there is an exciting range of birds, butterflies and other species to be uncovered. We will also have the opportunity to experience some of the area’s rich cultural heritage.