Prespa Lakes... well off the beaten track..!
Prespa Lakes are two stunning freshwater lakes, Mikri (small) and Megali (Big) Prespa, hidden in the Northwestern corner of Greece, and are the highest tectonic lakes in the Balkans at an elevation above sea level of 853m
Whilst Mikri Prespa, the smaller of the two lakes is completely within the borders of Greece, Megali Prespa is shared by Albania on the one side and FYROM on the other. The Lakes form part of the wider Prespa National Park and are separated by a 1 km thin spit of land extensively encompassed in reed beds.
The topography of the lake and surrounding country has created a wonderful haven for a huge variety of flora and fauna. Around 270 species of birds, including its most famous residents.. the Dalmatian Pelicans, inhabit the lakes and surrounding conifer covered mountain ranges as well as bears, wolves, boars, otters, polecats, wildcats, deer and chamoix.
Prespa Lakes have a massive variety of birds.. thanks in large part to the variety of habitat.. Mikri Prespa is largely surrounded by thick reed beds and wet meadows while Megali Prespa is banked by sharp cliff faces, rocky slopes and dense mixed forests which run down to pebbled and sandy beaches... from the largest breeding colony of Dalmatian Pelicans anywhere in the world numbering at approximately 1400 pairs to raptors of all shapes and sizes.. Short-toed Eagles, Golden Eagles and Levant Sparrowhawk. As well as the Dalmatians there is also a large breeding population of White (Rosy) Pelicans; Glossy Ibis now also breed here thanks to the conservation efforts of the Society for the Protection of Prespa (SPP) as well as being home to Europe's most southerly breeding population of Goosanders. Great White and Little Egrets also breed here in good numbers as well as Pygmy Cormorant and Night Herons. Little birds abound in all the lush bushes, reeds and forests surrounding the lakes including Bearded Reedling, Penduline Tit, Sombre Tit, Eurasian & Short-toed Treecreeper to name but a few.
In the lakes themselves, especially Mikri Prespa, thrive a healthy population of Eurasian Otters... surrounding the lakes, in the forests and mountains reside all manner of mammals from Brown Bears to Wolves to Chamoix and Deer to Wildcats and even the rare occasional Lynx.
INSECTS, LIZARDS & AMPHIBIANS
Literally thousands of insects inhabit this diverse habitat, including about 170 of Greece's 234 butterfly species... so if macro photography is your thing.. you will be in heaven..!
As for lizards.. every walk you'll go on will be accompanied by the little rustle of a leaf as a lizard skitters away to safety.. so be watchful and you will see many.. not to mention tortoises, snakes, salamanders, frogs and toads.!
Photography Tuition & Guidance
Trips to Prespa Lakes will mostly be in the form a photographic tour rather than a full blown photography workshop. Wildlife, bird and even landscape photography techniques can be covered as desired and requested by attendees.. tuition & guidance will of course be available to anyone who requests it and can cover many aspects of wildlife, bird and landscape photography... from help with your depth of field & ISO's to long-exposure landscape photography.
....if you fancy having your own BIG lens for the duration of your trip their are a couple of links on the "RESOURCES" tab in the menu above from where you can rent practically any lens of your choice... please note these are services I have used and can recommend.. I have no financial gain or interest in them.
Ideal camera equipment to help you gain the most of your week with us would be a standard digital SLR camera with a wide and a telephoto lens...
- DSLR Body
- wide angle lens
- mid telephoto - 70-200mm
- long telephoto lens - 300mm or 400mm
- macro lens anything from 100mm up... for photographing bugs and little creatures..
- 1.4x and/or 2x teleconverter
- laptop, portable external hard-drive to back-up and store your photos, card reader, european plug adaptors, battery chargers etc..
- monopod or tripod (as light but also as strong as possible... tripod recommended if you want to make some long exposures)
Whilst in Prespes we will stay in the lovely fishing village of Psarades in a traditional guesthouse with very comfortable rooms. Food in the local tavernas both in Psarades and the surrounding villages is wonderful and caters to all tastes and appetites.. if you're a vegetarian (or even if you're not) you'll be in paradise, as the area is famous for it's wide variety of beans from which they make the most delicious soups you've ever tasted.!
- all accommodations for the duration of your stay
- breakfasts, lunches & dinners (lunches will normally be of the "packed" variety so that we don't cut short trips into the lake or mountains by having to return to the hotel or village to eat)...;
- refreshments on excursions;
- transfers to and from Thessaloniki airport;
- organised excursions & day trips by boat or car (4x4)
- a 30"x20" photographic print of your favourite photo from the trip;
Flights should be booked to Thessaloniki Airport where you will be met and driven to the hotel... about an hour and fifteen minutes away... check out RyanAir or Aegean Airlines for flights direct to Thessaloniki.. or alternatively you can fly to Athens and connect to Thessaloniki.. booked separately internal flights with Olympic or Aegean are usually quite cheap from Athens to Thessaloniki and there are usually more than 5 flights a day to choose from..
- Insurance (recommended you have full health, medical, travel and equipment insurance);
- alcoholic drinks;
What's Not Included...
Every tour is tailored to meet the physical abilities of our guests and most excursions will not be strenuous at all.
upcoming wildlife & bird photography workshops, tours & holidays to Prespes Lakes
21/04/2018 - 28/04/2018
7 Day - photography trip to the magical and little visited Prespes Lakes in North-West Greece.. Bearded Tit, Penduline Tit, Otter, Short-toed Eagle, Goosander are all on our list for this trip as well as a few surprises.. which may even include Brown Bears..!