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Located on a main migration route between Europe and Africa, Sardinia is the perfect place for an autumnal birdwatching break. The island has all the elements of quintessential Mediterranean beauty.

The second largest of the Mediterranean islands, with white sandy beaches, rolling plains, wetlands and dramatic, mountain ranges – Sardinia has an extraordinary variety of habitats, supporting an equally diverse and dynamic range of endemics, migrants, butterflies and wildlife. From the greater flamingos, herons, egrets, ducks and waders of the coastal lagoons, to the offshore cetaceans of the island of San Pietro with its breeding population of Eleonora’s falcon, Sardinia makes an enchanting and eclectic winter wildlife destination.

Typical itinerary

  1. Day 1: Fly to Cagliari

    Arriving midday, we then take a leisurely drive to Orgosolo with occasional stops en route for birding, and our first taste of what Sardinia has to offer.

    Overnight Orgosolo

  2. Day 2: Full day exploring Parco Nazionale del Gennargentu

    Here we search for birds such as Corsican citril finch and hawfinch and late-flying butterflies, plus other wildlife in this mountain region.  The vehicle takes the strain of getting us to the higher areas, and walks will be gently paced and fairly level, with the occasional slight slope.

    Overnight Orgosolo

  3. Day 3: Transfer to Cagliari for a 5-night stay

    We make stops near Lago Omodeo for species such as cirl and corn buntings and there may be some birds on the lake.  Another stop will be near Oristano for birds of coastal  lagoons including greater flamingo, herons, egrets, ducks and waders.  After this we complete the leisurely journey to our hotel in Capoterra, near Cagliari to relax (and take a dip in the pool...) before dinner.

    Overnight Cagliari

  4. Day 4: Birding around Monte Arcosu and surrounding areas

    This morning we will set off to search for birds, butterflies and other wildlife on the lower slopes of this 3000 foot high mountain.  Possibilities include migrant warblers such as Sardinian, garden and melodious as well as flycatchers and more.  There is also a possibility of seeing golden eagle or the endemic Sardinian sub-species of red deer.  There will be other local birding in the area where we hope to find shrikes, larks, pipits and perhaps golden oriole.  Again we will return to the hotel in plenty of time to relax before the evening meal.

    Overnight Cagliari

  5. Day 5: Portoscuso and the Island of San Pietro

    Today we might take a slightly early breakfast so that we can drive to Portoscuso to catch the ferry over to the island of San Pietro. The major reason for the visit is to spend time watching the superb and elegant Eleonora's falcons which will be breeding at this time of year.  There should be plenty of south-bound migrants to see as well as some possible shearwaters and cetaceans offshore.

    Overnight Cagliari

  6. Day 6: Coastal Marshes and ‘Salinas’ around Cagliari

    We visit a number of coastal marshes and 'salinas' close to Cagliari today, in order to view migrant waders that will be heading south from their Arctic breeding grounds.  We also hope to see many other species including wagtails and warblers.  In past trips our leaders have encountered over 20 species of wader in one day, including curlew sandpipers, ruffs, avocets, black-winged stilts, little stints and even a marsh sandpiper.

    Overnight Cagliari

  7. Day 7: Local marshes and rocky coastal regions around Cagliari

    We will continue to explore the local marshes and some rocky coastal areas to look for migrants in the Mediterranean scrub as well as possible shearwaters out over the sea.  Other marshes might be explored as well as any favourite spots we may have visited throughout the week.  Once again we will return to our hotel in plenty of time to relax before our final overnight stay.

    Overnight Cagliari

  8. Day 8: Depart

    If timing of the flight allows, we may have a little time for some local birding before catching our flight home to London from Cagliari Airport.

You should note: Accommodation is in good quality hotels with all rooms en suite.

Key info

  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 8 days from £2,095 pp
  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 8 days from £1,825 pp
  • Single supplement: From £190
  • Group size: 12
  • Departures:
  • Included in the price/package:
    • 7 nights accommodation
    • Most meals
    • All transfers
    • Incidental Tips
    • Services of the naturalist leader (second leader subject to minimum numbers)
  • Activities available:
    • Boat trip
    • Photography
    • Walking

Expert leaders

Mike Read

Photo of Mike Read

Mike is a man of many talents: an experienced tour leader, an author and, as he is probably best known, a superb wildlife photographer.

He has a number of books to his name including ‘The Barn Owl’, ‘Red Kite Country’ and ‘The New Forest National Park’. Mike’s friendly and easy-going style of leadership and his abilities as an all round naturalist add immensely to the tours he leads in Europe and elsewhere.

Liz Read

Photo of Liz Read

Liz has the patience of a saint – she must have to put up with the constant barrage of jokes from her husband and co-leader, Mike!

Her interest in natural history has grown since they have been together and she has acquired good skills at identifying Western European plants. Liz’s caring and thoughtful manner alongside Mike provide the perfect combination of leading skills for a holiday to Vercors, Crete or Corsica.

Featured location:

Sardinia

Rugged Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean. Although renowned for the white sandy beaches that attract tourism, the rocky cliffs of its coastline, the wild and mountainous interior and the south’s coastal lagoons offer varied habitats for wild flowers, insects and birds.

  • Where: Tyrrenian Sea
  • Ideal for viewing: greater flamingo, citril finch, Eleonora’s falcon, Sardinian warbler, golden eagle
  • Excellent for: Birdwatching