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Natural Leaders in Western Palearctic

Slovenia and Croatia, 9 days

Slovenia offers breathtaking scenery with the high peaks of the Alps and vast evergreen and beech woods, while Croatia has one of the most beautiful coastlines of Europe with ragged limestone hills and thousands of scenic islands. These two countries combined offer an exciting Alpine and Mediterranean fauna and flora amidst the scenic landscape.



During our tour we visit the Julian Alps for Golden Eagle, Pygmy Owl, Three-toed and Grey-headed Woodpecker, Nutcracker and Common Crossbill. Seasonal Lake Cerknica and scenic Mount Nanos are excellent for birdwatching, providing home for Ferruginous Duck, Corn Crake, Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting among others. The Secovlje Saltpans on the Slovenian Coast offer an array of shorebirds.


We explore the island of Cres with its Griffon Vulture colony. We visit Paklenica National Park, home of Rock Partridge, Olive-tree Warbler, Sombre Tit and Western Rock Nuthatch. We discover Lake Vrana where Pygmy Cormorant, Spanish Sparrow and Black-headed Bunting are expected. Crna Mlaka Fishponds are excellent for herons, egrets, White-tailed Eagle and marsh terns.




Fact File

-4 days in Slovenia and 5 days in Croatia

-start and finish in Ljubljana or Maribor

-using 5 accommodations



- visit to the Julian Alps

- exploring Mount Caven and Paklenica, home to the enigmatic Rock Partridge

- 1 day on the island of Cres

- visit to famous Paklenica National Park

- birding in Alpine and Mediterranean habitats

- superb scenery, rare birds, butterflies and dragonflies



1 night in Bohinj, Slovenia

2 nights in Rakov Skocjan, Slovenia

2 nights in Lovran, Croatia

2 nights in Starigrad, Paklenica, Croatia

1 night in Karlovac

Departure Dates

April, May, June


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 Slovenia;

- 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

Generally easy to moderate walks

Some longer drives expected




Upon arrival to Maribor or Ljubljana you will be met by your English-speaking Ecotours guide. Then we drive into the Julian Alps to our hotel on the shore of scenic Lake Bohinj. Time permitting we look for woodpeckers and Pygmy Owl in the region.


We spend the morning around Bohinj searching for Golden Eagle, Grey-headed and Three-toed Woodpeckers, Nutcracker and Red-breasted Flycatcher. In the afternoon we visit Mount Nanos where we expect to see Rock Partridge, Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting.


Lake Cerknica, a seasonal lake is our first stop where we have good chances for resident Red-necked Grebe, Ferruginous Duck, Corn Crake and Barred Warbler. Later we drive south to explore mature beech forests around Kocevje for White-backed Woodpecker and Collared Flycatcher.


We drive to the Mediterranean Coast to visit Secovlje Saltpans for European Shag and a nice array of waders and larids. Later we cross the border into Croatia and head towards the coastal town of Lovran.


We take the ferry to the beautiful island of Cres to visit the Griffon Vulture rehabilitation centre in Beli. Walking on the paths of the nearby reserve we might find warblers, Griffon Vulture and Short-toed Eagle.


We drive further south along the coast, then have a short stop at the Gacka River that is home to Bee-eater, Hoopoe and Lesser Grey Shrike. In the afternoon we arrive to Paklenica National Park. Before dinner we visit an area excellent for Rock Partridge, Blue Rock Thrush, Sombre Tit, Rock Nuthatch and Mediterranean warblers.


We spend the morning in Paklenica visiting one of the gorges for Alpine Swift, Crag Martin, Black-eared Wheatear and any other species we might have missed the day before. In the afternoon we drive to Lake Vrana to look for Pygmy Cormorant, Woodchat Shrike, Spanish Sparrow and Black-headed Bunting.


We drive northeast to explore the Crna Mlaka Fishponds close to Zagreb where we might see Black Stork, Ferruginous Duck, White-tailed and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Black Woodpecker and Penduline Tit.


We drive back to Ljubljana or Maribor to take our flight back to the UK.