Leader: Nick Bray and local guides.
Ground Price: £2770.00 - Terceira/Funchal
Single supplement: £200.00
Group size: Maximum of 8.
Included in cost: Access to private lounge in Stanstead Airport, 5 nights accommodation in Azores on 3 different islands , 5 nights accommodation in a private villa in Madeira, 4 internal/domestic flights, all meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 11, most drinks including wine & beer with evening meals, bottled water, 5 pelagics in total, ground transport throughout, night visit to Zino's Petrel colony, a full day's birding with local expert/naturalist, entrance fees to reserves, and services of leaders.
Not included: Any food or drinks purchased at cafes during the day, alcoholic drinks at any hotels we stay at, insurance, and items of a personal nature.
Accommodation: Our policy for these new trips we are attempting to operate post Covid-19 involve a series of measures to maintain current social distancing and hygiene requirements. Where possible (and this is most cases) we have decided to utilise large, private villas where we are the sole occupants and the bedrooms are en-suite. We will eat all breakfasts & dinners and most lunches at our villa and food will be freshly prepared every day by our cook, plus a picnic lunch will be provided if necessary.
Tour Code: This tour has recently been designed, arranged and posted on our website as current restrictions for international travel are (provisionally) about to be lifted - as of 11th June 2020. In the case of Portugal, and in particular the Azores and Madeira, the PM has mentioned the imminent 'air bridge' from the UK, meaning there will not be any quarantine restrictions on entry and exit. Considering both archipeligos have suffered zero fatalaties due to Covid-19 it seems perfectly reasonable to expect all services to run normally, including internal flights.
So this is a slightly different birding tour in light of current events. We have arranged as many aspects of this birding tour as possible to minimise risk and 'keep our distance' from the world around us, hence our use of private villas and bringing our own cook/housekeeper. We could have used cheaper hotels and mingle with the general population, but now is not the time to do this, however this does affect the overall cost and we would have preferred to keep the cost as low as possible. That being said, if you compare this tour to others it really isn't that much more expensive and our commitment to keeping our customers safe is the main priority.
And this is undoubtedly an ambitious tour in the current climate targetting some very rare seabirds and land-based endemics, whilst the overall species numbers are not high the quality of potential sightings is off the scale! We will experience 2 afternoon pelagics on consecutive days in the Azores, and 3 afternoon pelagics on consecutive days in Madeira lasting approx 7 hours each. The timings are roughly 3pm-dusk, so any morning excursions will be optional and there are no activities planned for the morning of Day 8 (the day of our second pelagic in Madeira) as eating regularly and having plenty of rest are fundamental conditions to spending a nice day out at sea! However, there is always the option of some easy birding around the villa if you don't want to rest.
The night-time Zino's Petrel excursion requires a 45 minutes ride up to Pico do Arieiro and then a 25 minutes walk at 1800 meters (5900 feet) to get close to the petrels’ breeding grounds. Add same times for the return and we will not be returning to the villa until around 01:00. Warm clothing will be required.
You will also need warm and waterproof clothes (trousers, jacket and shoes), hat and plenty of sunscreen for the pelagics, and a waterproof bag for cameras etc. And remember rough sea is the best for petrels!