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TOURS-EASTERN-EUROPE
Natural Leaders in Western Palearctic


Slovakian Hills and Karstic slopes, 8 days

Springtime in the mountains!

Woodpeckers drumming loudly, evening hooting of sought-after owls, raptors abound and migration is underway!

With its original habitats, beautiful mountainous landscapes, short driving distances and good infrastructure Slovakia is an excellent birding destination.  

Our unique spring tour offers all European woodpeckers and several sought after Owl species in the unspoilt forests of Slovakia.

High Tatras of Slovakia

The High and Low Tatras offer beautiful mountain scenery and vast coniferous forests with all of Europe's woodpeckers, as well as owls, grouses and alpine species. This is the best area within Slovakia for perfect observation of several highlight species such as Pygmy, Tengmalm's and Eagle Owl.

Beside the common Raptor species we should see Golden and Lesser Spotted Eagle. It can be difficult sometime to spot  Hazel Grouse, but loud Nutcracker usually much easier.

At higher elevation forests and slopes we will look for Ring Ouzel, Common Crossbill, Firecrest, Crested Tit and with a little luck we can even find a Wallcreeper and other alpine species as well.

Beautiful valleys, dense woods and mountain lakes provide excellent scenery throughout the tour.

Slovak Karst

The region of the Slovak Karst with its limestone gorges, mature beech and mixed forests is home to an abundance of raptors, owls and woodpeckers.

The limestone hills with healthy woods offer a second chance for any possibly previously missed rare owl species such as UralPygmy and Tengmalm's Owl. Of course any of the woodland Woodpecker species, including Black, Three-toed and White-backed is possible here as well.

There are several attractive habitats we will visit in search of different species, including Imperial Eagle, Saker Falcon, Collared Flycatcher, Rock Bunting and possibly Rock Thrush as well.

If you interested in rare and unique butterflies such as Poplar Admiral or Hungarian Glider than you will like this area as well. We also know a local bat specialist, so if you would be interested we can organize a bat watching session as well. 

 

Fact File

  • - 8 days in Slovakia visiting national parks famous for rare birds and mammals
  • - optional tour in the alpine zone of the Tatras
  • - participation in catching bats
  • - start and finish in Kosice or Poprad
  • - using 2 accommodations located close to the sites

Highlights

  • - visiting famous National Parks such as Tatra and Slovensky Kras
  • - wide variety of birds, mammals, butterflies and habitats
  • - plenty of raptor species, all 10 woodpeckers of Europe
  • - many owls including Ural, Pygmy and Tengmalm's
  • - unique scenery of the High Tatras and the Slovakian Karst

Accommodation

4 nights in a lakeside hotel in the High Tatras
3 nights in the Slovakian Karst region

Price

Ask for the actual price.
Our price includes:
- all travel as noted in the itinerary;
- all accommodation based on shared rooms (most rooms are twin bedded), at most locations there are single rooms as well for extra charge (Please ask for a single room at the time of booking!);
- 3 meals per day, generally breakfast at the accommodation, packed lunch, dinner (consists of at least two courses);
- services of the leader(s);
- trip materials.
Not included:
- flights to and from Slovakia;
- optional programmes to places of interest and entrance fees involved;
- airport and other departure taxes, tips;
- food beyond generally 3 meals/day mentioned in the itineraries;
- excess baggage charges;
- telephone calls;
- alcoholic beverages;
- compulsory personal insurance.
If you have questions about the inclusion of any cost item, please contact us.
 

Activity level, Weather, Optional Programmes

  • Generally easy to moderate walks
  • Longer driving distances on the second and last day
  • Weather can be cold in the higher regions while generally favourable at lower elevations
Optional Programmes
- cable car to the higher region to look for alpine species
- certain periods it is possible to do Bear Watching
- participation in the capturing of bats at one of the best places for bats in Europe
     

      Itinerary

      •  slovak2
      • Day 1
      • After landing at the airport we travel north to the Tatras and during the journey we will be on the watch for typical mountain species and raptors including Ring Ouzel and Lesser Spotted Eagle.
      • Accommodation: a lakeside hotel with views of the High Tatras
      • Days 2-4
      • We spend 3 full days in the Low Tatras. With a local guide we will hike along forested mountain tracks in the Tatra National Park. We will search for Golden Eagle, Black, Grey-headed, Three-toed and White-backed Woodpeckers and there are a few places for Ural, Tengmalm's and Pygmy Owls as well. We hope to find Nutcracker, Hazel Grouse and Wallcreeper in a valley with a steep rock face. If the weather permits optionally we might take a cable car to the alpine zone to look for alpine species such as Water Pipit, Alpine Accentor and Marmot. We visit the reservoir close to our hotel, where Black-throated and Red-throated Diver, Red-necked and Black-necked Grebe, Whiskered, Black and White-winged Tern are all possible during migration along with more common ducks and waders. The bushes and trees in the garden of our hotel are also full of migrants.
      • Accommodation: a lakeside Hotel with views of the High Tatras
      • Days 5-7
      • We head south along the spectacular mountain range of the High Tatras to the fascinating rock formations of the Slovakian limestone karst region called Slovensky Kras. The Karst has wonderful limestone valleys with old beech woods that are home to Middle Spotted and White-backed Woodpeckers, Tengmalm’s Owl, Collared and Red-breasted Flycatchers. The jagged crags hold Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting, while Hoopoe can be seen almost anywhere. With our expert local guide, we will also search the region for Ural Owl, Eagle Owl, Pygmy Owl, Hazel Grouse plus other species of woodpeckers. Interesting butterflies abound in the area. As the Slovak Karst is one of the best spots for bats in Europe we might optionally catch and ring bats as well as Corncrakes while listening to the monotonous song of River Warbler.
      • Accommodation: a hotel near Medzev in forest surroundings
      • Day 8
      • We bird around the hotel looking for Hawfinch and Red-breasted Flycatcher and then drive to the airport to catch our flight back home, stopping en route for birdwatching.