GREECE/BULGARIA PHOTO TOUR
This workshop focuses on photographing spectacular species in Greece and Bulgaria. It starts with photographing the beautiful Dalmatian Pelicans in breeding plumage on Lake Kerkini, Greece. Then we head to blinds in Bulgaria which attract Golden Eagles, Golden Jackals, Red Foxes, Ravens and sometimes Griffon Vultures and in previous year Eurasian Wolves. Also in this area are songbird blinds which attract Hawfinch, Woodpeckers, Tits and other songbirds. Then we head back to the Sofia area to photograph the tamest Spotted Nutcrackers in the world which are attracted to feeding stations there.
What to Expect – A lot of great bird and some great mammal photography opportunities. For this tour you would want both your longest bird photography lens and a zoom lens for subjects that are close to the blinds. For the pelicans a wide angle lens is also needed as we can get very close to them! It’s winter so it can be cold but it’s usually not extremely cold. Average temperatures will generally be in the 40’s. The lodges are warm and comfortable and the food is very nice. Activity level is fairly easy. Most of the birds are photographed from blinds or boats which are usually a short walk from the cars. Fly into and out of Sofia, Bulgaria.
Maximum participants – 6 photographers plus their companions.
Cost and Logistics
$5,750 per photographer, $4,950 per nonphotographer spouse/companion. Single supplement $600. The deposit to reserve your spot is $1,500. Cost includes all lodging, meals, transportation within Bulgaria and Greece, blind fees, guiding and instruction. It includes all activities within the itinerary. It does not include drinks, tips, airfare from your home to reach Europe or items of a personal nature such as laundry and phone calls. Balance is due 90 days before the tour starts. 2025 cost $5,750.
Jan 30th – Arrival to Sofia, Bulgaria, transfer to a nice hotel.
Jan 31st – After breakfast we have a three hour transfer to Lake Kerkini in Greece. In the afternoon we will have our first photography session with the amazing Dalmatian Pelicans there. We stay at Limneo Lodge, a charming hotel near the lake.
Feb 1st-2nd – We will have morning and afternoon boat trips to photograph the breeding plumage Dalmatian Pelicans. These birds are very habituated by the local fisherman, allowing for all sorts of images, wide angle, landscape with mountains in the backgrounds, portraits and flight shots. Other species we will photograph include Great White Pelicans and Great and Pygmy Cormorants. Some years there are large numbers of Greater Flamingos which make great subjects. Limneo Lodge
Feb 3rd – One more morning photographing the Pelicans on the lake followed by lunch and a 4 to 5 hour transfer to the Rodopi Mountain area of Eastern Bulgaria. On the way we will pass several wetlands that Greater Flamingos use, we will stop when there are good photo opportunities. We stay at a nice lodge with views in the countryside, Valley of the Wolf Lodge.
Feb 4th-7th – We will have four full days of photography from hides in this region of Bulgaria. The largest hide is heated and has toilets. At this hide Golden Eagles, Griffon Vultures, Golden Jackals, Ravens and Red Fox are all regular visitors. Sometimes the raptors interact with the mammals. Some winters they get Eurasian Wolves as well. There is also a songbird hide where Hawfinches, Woodpeckers, Tits and other small birds visit and another raptor hide as well as a hide for Golden Jackals. Valley of the Wolf Lodge.
Feb 8th – One more morning photographing in the blinds followed by lunch and a 3.5 hour transfer back to Sofia, Bulgaria. A nice hotel in Sofia.
Feb 9th – We will have a full day photographing Spotted Nutcrackers at a local feeding station. Spectacular images are possible here as there are often squabbles between and among the Nutcrackers. In the evening we will return to our hotel in Sofia.
Feb 10th – Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
February 10th – morning flight to Budapest Hungary, transfer to the Bibic Nature Lodge. Afternoon photography at the songbird blind.
February 11th to 14th – 4 full days of blind photography. Hundreds of White-tailed Eagles winter here and will be our main subjects. There are also numerous Common Buzzards, Caspian Gulls, Jackdaws and Magpies. We will also visit one of the largest roosts of Long-eared Owls in Europe. Saker Falcon and Long-legged Buzzard are possible. The blinds are heated and have toilets.
February 15th – one more morning of spectacular Eagle then we will head to a 4 star hotel near the Budapest airport.
February 16th – transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Cost: $2,950 with a 300 single supplement, $2,450 non photographer includes all lodging, meals, blind fees, transportation, drinking water Does not include flights, tips, beverages or items of a personal nature.
Jure is a well published photographer and birder from Slovenia, who has photographed widely in Europe and leads or co-leads all of our European based tours. He has constructed many of the hides we use in Slovenia. We will also be working with a local Bulgarian photographer who has photographed and guided in these areas extensively. The leaders will help make sure you get amazing images on this workshop.