eco
TOURS-EASTERN-EUROPE
Natural Leaders in Western Palearctic


The Alps & Neusiedler See / Lake Fertő - Austria and Hungary


Austria and Hungary, 8 days


Our tour offers the unique combination of two totally different areas, the Austrian Alps and Neusiedler See/LakeFertő.

Austria

The mountains in the vicinity of Vienna are excellent for typical high-altitude alpine bird species such as Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse, Ptarmigan, Tengmalm's Owl, Alpine Accentor, Nutcracker, Alpine Chough, Snowfinch and Citril Finch, as well as for mammals like Chamois.

Hungary

The cross border Fertő-Hanság National Park shared between Austria and Hungary incorporates shallow Lake Fertő with its huge reedbeds, surrounding marshes, wet meadows and grasslands. These diverse habitats provide home to many sought-after species. Egrets and herons are found in good numbers, and Garganey, Red-crested Pochard and Ferruginous Duck breeds around the lake. Saker Falcon and Imperial Eagle have their westernmost breeding area here and the magnificent Great Bustard also survives.

   

Fact File

- 4 days in Austria visiting the Austrian Alps close to Vienna

- 4 days in Hungary around Lake Fertő

- start and finish in Vienna

- using 2 accommodations located close to the sites

Highlights

- 4 days in the Alps exploring alpine habitats

- 4 days in the Fertő-Hanság National Park in Hungary visiting wetlands and grasslands

- wide variety of birds and habitats

- plenty of raptors, woodpeckers and high-altitude bird species

Accommodation

4 nights in a small hotel located in a picturesque valley in Payerbach, Austria

3 nights in a small village hotel with excellent cuisine in Hegykő, Hungary

Departure Dates

May/June

Price

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 Vienna;

- 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.

Optional programmes

Cable car to the high alpine regions of the Austrian Alps

Itinerary

aust1

Days 1-4

After arriving to Vienna we meet the English speaking Ecotours guide and drive towards our hotel at the foot of the Austrian Alps. We explore Mt. Rax to search for Alpine Chough, Common Crossbill, Three-toed Woodpecker, Capercaillie, Nutcracker and Chamois. We walk along the Schwarza Stream where we expect to see Black and Grey-headed Woodpecker. We also approach Mt. Schneeberg where Ptarmigan, Snowfinch, Citril Finch and Alpine Accentor occurs.

Days 5-7

We travel to Hungary to the area of Lake Fertő. In the habitat reconstruction area we have good chances to see White-tailed Eagle, Garganey, Ferruginous Duck, Moustached Warbler and Spoonbill. We will also search for Saker Falcon and Imperial Eagle. Close to the border we might look for the magnificent Great Bustard. In the Hanság River Warbler, Pigmy Cormorant and three marsh terns are also possible.

Day 8

After a morning birding walk we travel to Vienna Airport. Depending on the flight schedule we can stop en route to search for Barred Warbler.

Owls, Woodpeckers and Bears – Bükk & High Tatras


Hills of Hungary and Slovakia, 9 days


Our unique spring tour offers all European woodpeckers, several sought after Owl species and the possibility to observe Brown Bear in the unspoilt forests of Slovakia.


High Tatras
 & Slovak Karst, Slovakia

The Tatra Mountains of Slovakia are perfect to observe several highlight species such as Pygmy, Tengmalm's and Eagle Owl, Hazel Grouse, Golden and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Nutcracker, Ring Ouzel, Common Crossbill, Crested Tit, with a little luck even Wallcreeper and other alpine species. The limestone karst region of the Slovak Karst offers an abundance of rare owl species in attractive habitats, as well as interesting butterfly and bat species.


Bükk National Park, Hungary

On the way towards the Bükk Hill we will stop to check out hunting areas of Imperial Eagles and Saker Falcon. both are strictly protected thus having strong populations in the lowland areas. The Bükk Hills is characterized by vast beech woods and open limestone meadows with all the different karst forms produced by erosion such as fissures, sinkholes, underground streams and caverns. It is a perfect area for birding, where raptors soar above the valleys and dense deciduous woodlands provide home for species such as owls, warblers, woodpeckers including Black, White-backed, Grey-headed, Middle Spotted & Syrian.

There is a very strong population of Ural Owls and we know a few places where we should look for them. There is a small chance for finding Eagle Owl as well. 


 

Fact File

  • 9 days in Slovakia and Hungary visiting national parks famous for rare birds and mammals
  • optional tour to the alpine zone of the Tatras, optional participation in catching bats
  • start and finish in Budapest
  • using 3 accommodations located close to the sites

Highlights

  • visiting famous National Parks such as High Tatras and Slovak Karst  plus Bukk Hills in 2 countries
  • wide variety of birds, mammals, butterflies and habitats
  • plenty of raptors, owls, all 10 woodpeckers of Europe
  • bear watching from comfortable and scenically located hides
  • unique scenery of the High Tatras and the Slovakian Karst, dense beech woods in Bukk Hills

Accommodation

  • 3 nights in a lakeside hotel in the High Tatras NP
  • 3 nights in the Slovakian Karst NP region
  • 2 nights in a small family run hotel in the Bukk NP, Hungary

Departure Dates

April-June

http://www.ecotours.hu/calendar

Price


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 Budapest;
  • 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 steep slopes in the Tatras
  • Longer driving distances on the third and last day
  • Weather can be cold in the higher regions while generally favourable at lower elevations

Optional programmes

  • cable car to the higher region to look for alpine species
  • second evening bear watching from the hide
  • participation in the capturing of bats at one of the best places for bats in Europe

Itinerary

slovak2

Days 1-3

After arriving at the Budapest Airport we head towards the High Tatra Mountains. It is a long journey which we will brake at suitable places to look for raptors and woodland species. Route and stops will dpend on your arrival time.

Two days will be spen in the forest to search several different Woodpecker species, including Three-toed and White-backed Woodpecker. We will also look for Pygmy and Tengmalm’s Owl, Nutcracker, Ring Ouzel and Common Crossbill.

As an optional extra, weather permitting, we can take a chairlift from the rocky Demanovska Valley to the scenic alpine zone, hoping to see Water Pipit and the tame Alpine Accentor.

Days 4-6

We will travel to and spend some days with visiting different parts of the Slovak Karst for Red-breasted and Collared Flycatcher, Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, White-backed Woodpecker and Eagle Owl; and also the nearby Szepes-Gömör Mountains for Pygmy and Tengmalm’s Owl, Hazel Grouse and Three-toed Woodpecker. These woods also hold a healthy population of woodpeckers and other forest birds.

Days 7-8

We travel towards Hungary birding en route, looking for Imperial Eagle and other raptors. 

In the Bukk Hills the surrounding of our accommodation is a good place to search for Middle-spotted and Syrian Woodpecker in the orchards of the village where WryneckHawfinch and Golden Oriole is also possible. We visit the entrance of a valley where several pairs of Rock Bunting breed in an abandoned quarry. We enter the old beech forests of the hill searching for Grey-headed, Black and the elusive White-backed Woodpecker. The wet mountain meadows hold Corncrake, River Warbler and the dry scrub is inhabited by Barred Warbler. From mid May several pairs of Red-breasted Flycatcher are found here, but Collared Flycatcher and Wood Warbler is singing from earlier on. We should spend some time to try to see Ural Owl  at an appropriate habitat, we always know some active nesting and feeding areas. Here in the Bukk Hills we often see Goshawk and Lesser Spotted Eagle too.

 Day 9

We travel back to Budapest to catch the flight back home, birding en route, stopping at a Saker Falcon hunting area, Rollers also should be around.

Hungarian Puszta & hills of Transylvanian Dracula’s country


Hungary and Romania, 12 days


Our tour offers a unique combination of first class birding at several interesting habitats, such as the lowland steppe of Kiskunság and Hortobágy National Parks in Hungary plus the hills and valleys of Transylvania and the mountains of the Eastern and Southern Carpathians in Romania.


The world-famous Kiskunság and Hortobágy Puszta preserves rare bird species such as Pygmy Cormorant, Squacco Heron, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Ferruginous Duck, Long-legged Buzzard, Red–footed Falcon, Great Bustard and Aquatic Warbler, to name just a few.


Romania should be high on the list of destinations for every birdwatcher. Transylvania is characterised by beautiful landscapes, scenic gorges and lakes, vast hay meadows and endless forests, where Golden Eagle, Capercaillie, Wallcreeper, Alpine Swift and Rock Thrush are found. It is dotted with nice villages, medieval towns and fortresses.


The Carpathian Mountains provide a good opportunity to discover exciting mountain species including Ural and Tengmalm's Owl, Ring Ouzel and Nutcracker. We also have a chance there to view rare mammals such as Chamois and Brown Bear

 


Fact File

  • 3 days in Hungary
  • 9 days in Romania
  • starting in Budapest and finishing in Bucharest
  • visiting the Kiskunság, Hortobágy, Transylvania, Eastern and Southern Carpathians
  • using 4 or 5 accommodations

Highlights

  • 3 days in the Kiskunság and Hortobágy National Parks
  • visit to the Turda Gorge in Transylvania
  • birding in the Harghita Mountains, Bikaz Gorge and Killer Lake in the Eastern Carpathians
  • visit to Saint Anne Lake and Mohos Marsh
  • 4 days in the Southern Carpathians
  • bear watching in the Bucegi Mountains
  • superb scenery, rare birds and mammals

Accommodation

  • 3 nights at the Hungarian Puszta, Hungary
  • 2 night in Torockó, Transylvania
  • 3 nights in Zetea, at the Harghita Mountains
  • 3 night in Southern Carpathians

Departure Dates

April-May

August-September

http://www.ecotours.hu/calendar

Price


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 Budapest;
  • 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

Optional programmes

Optional Bear and Wolf watching in the Carpathians

Optional visit of Dracula Castle at Bran

Itinerary

rom2

Days 1-3

We arrive at the Budapest Airport where our English speaking guide meets us. We check Imperial Eagle en route as we travel towards the famous Kiskunság and Hortobágy National Park, where we stay for 3 nights. We explore marshes, fishponds and vast steppes for Pygmy Cormorant, Glossy Ibis, Long-legged Buzzard, Saker, Red-footed Falcon, Great Bustard, Eurasian Roller, European Bee-eater, Little Owl and many more species.

Day 4

We continue our journey towards Romania and visit the scenic Turda Gorge looking for Golden Eagle, Alpine Swift, Dipper and Grey-headed Woodpecker.

Days 5-7

We visit the upper part of Turda Gorge for Rock Thrush and Rock Bunting. The end of the day will find us at the foot of the Harghita Mountains, where the pine wood is home to Capercaillie, Hazel Grouse and Brown Bear. Three-toed and White-backed Woodpecker, Ural Owl, Nutcracker and Common Crossbill are among the species we might see. We make a day trip to Bekas Gorge, which is one of the most certain and easily accessible site for Wallcreeper in Europe. We also visit nearby Killer Lake and a swamp-meadow near Senetea, where Common Rosefinch is breeding.

Days 8-11

On our way to the Southern Carpathians we might visit Saint Anne Lake, the only crater lake of Europe. The nearby Mohos Marsh is one of the biggest highland moors. Later we arrive to Zarnesti from where we discover the famous Bucegi Mountains for Nutcracker, Common Crossbill, Crested Tit and Ring Ouzel. In Zarnesti Gorge we have chances to see Alpine Swift and Crag Martin. Bearwatching is also an option in a specially located hide. In the Stramba Valley we look for Ural Owl and Lesser-spotted Eagle. We won’t miss Bran, the home of “Count Dracula” that is also nearby. We might as well visit the Fagaras Mountains on a day trip to search for Three-toed Woodpecker, Alpine Accentor, Ring Ouzel and Wallcreeper.

Day 12

After breakfast we drive to Bucharest to catch the flight back home.

Displaying Great Bustards & all European Woodpeckers – Kiskunság & High Tatra

 
Lowland Steppes of Hungary and High Tatra Mountain of Slovakia, 9 days


Our unique spring tour offers displaying
Great Bustards on the steppe of the Kiskunság National Park in Hungary, as well as all European woodpeckers, owls and the possibility to observe Brown Bear in the unspoilt forests of Slovakia.

Kiskunság National Park, HUNGARY

Similarly to Hortobágy, the scenic Kiskunság National Park still preserves parts of the once continuous Eurasian steppe, the so called "puszta". The park hosts one of the biggest populations of Great Bustards in Europe, but has other highlights to offer as well. Alkaline lakes and temporary flooded areas of grassland attract huge numbers of ducks, geese and waders. Species include Ferruginous Duck, Garganey, Black-winged Stilt, Mediterranean Gull, White-winged Black Tern, Kentish Plover and other migrating shorebirds. We might be able to see Stone-Curlew, Collared Pratincole, Tawny Pipit and Red-throated Pipit as well.

High Tatra, SLOVAKIA

The Tatra Mountains of Slovakia are perfect to observe several highlight species such as Pygmy, Tengmalm's, Ural and Eagle Owl, Hazel Grouse, Golden and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Nutcracker, Ring Ouzel, Common Crossbill, Crested Tit, with a little luck even Wallcreeper and other alpine species. The limestone karst region of the Slovak Karst offers an abundance of rare owl species in attractive habitats, as well as interesting butterfly and bat species.

 

 

 

Fact File

  • 9 days in Slovakia and Hungary visiting national parks famous for rare birds and mammals
  • bear watching from secure hides
  • optional tour to the alpine zone of the Tatras, optional participation in catching bats
  • start and finish in Budapest
  • using 3 accommodations located close to the sites

Highlights

  • visiting famous National Parks such as Kiskunság, Tatra and Slovak Karst in 2 countries
  • wide variety of birds, mammals, butterflies and habitats
  • plenty of raptors, owls, all 10 woodpeckers of Europe
  • bear watching from comfortable and scenically located hides
  • unique scenery of the High Tatras and the Slovakian Karst

Accommodation

  • 2 nights in a small family run hotel at the Kiskunság NP, Hungary
  • 3 nights in the Slovakian Karst region
  • 3 nights in a lakeside hotel in the High Tatras

Departure Dates

April-June

http://www.ecotours.hu/calendar

Price


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 Budapest;
  • 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 steep slopes in the Tatras
  • Longer driving distances on the third and last day
  • Longer driving distances on the third and last day

Optional programmes

cable car to the higher region to look for alpine species

second evening bear watching from the hide

participation in the capturing of bats at one of the best places for bats in Europe


Itinerary

slovak1

Days 1-2

After arriving at the Budapest Airport we head towards the Kiskunság National Park. Targets here include Great Bustard, Saker, Red-footed Falcon, Ferruginous Duck, marsh terns, Pygmy Cormorant, Montagu’s Harrier, Stone-Curlew, Roller, Lesser Grey Shrike and Golden Oriole.

Days 3-5

We travel towards Slovakia birding en route, looking for Imperial Eagle and other raptors. We visit the Slovak Karst for Red-breasted and Collared Flycatcher, Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, White-backed Woodpecker and Eagle Owl; the Szepes-Gömör Mountains for Pygmy and Tengmalm’s Owl, Hazel Grouse and Three-toed Woodpecker. The woods close to the city of Kosice hold a big population of Ural Owl and woodpeckers.

Days 6-8

We head towards the Tatra Mountains to search for Pygmy and Tengmalm’s Owl, Three-toed Woodpecker, Nutcracker, Ring Ouzel and Common Crossbill. As an optional extra, weather permitting, we can take a chairlift from the rocky Demanovska Valley to the scenic alpine zone, hoping to see Water Pipit and the tame Alpine Accentor.

Day 9

We travel back to Budapest to catch the flight back home, birding en route.

Grand Tour: HUNGARY & ROMANIA

Kiskunság & Hortobágy National Parks, HUNGARY &
Transylvania, Carpathians and Danube Delta Reserve, ROMANIA, 15 days

Several strikingly different birding areas in Europe make this journey a GRAND TOUR! The combination of two such interesting areas as Hortobágy National Park in Hungary and Transylvania in Romania will be most rewarding. Add to this several days in the Danube Delta and on the Black Sea Coast, including 2 days on a luxurious Floating Hotel with en-suite facilities and you have a truly great adventure!

 

If you are looking for something really exciting and original, you are warmly invited to participate in this tour! During the trip you will encounter several different habitats thus your bird list will contain amazingly varied species, probably including Saker Falcon, Red-footed Falcon, White-tailed Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Common Crane, Ferruginous Duck, Pygmy Cormorant, Dotterel, Dipper, Nutcracker, Wallcreeper, Rock Bunting, Hazel Grouse, 8 species of woodpeckers with pelicans, Glossy Ibis and migration passage.

 

You will be also surprised by encountering so many different ethnic cultures, medieval monasteries, churches, castles, everyday village life, craftsmen and nomadic shepherds.

 

 

Fact File

  • 3 days in Hungary
  • 12 days in Romania
  • starting in Budapest and finishing in Bucharest, possibility of leaving or joining on the 8th day in Bucharest
  • visiting the Hortobágy, Transylvania, Eastern and Southern Carpathians, Danube Delta
  • using 6 accommodations

Highlights

  • exploring Kiskunság and Hortobágy National Park in Hungary
  • visit the famous Turda Gorge area in Transylvania
  • 3 days in the Southern Carpathians, including bearwatching
  • 2 full days in the Danube Delta
  • 1 day in Histria and Vadu, one of the best birding areas in Europe
  • visit to the famous Babadag Forest
  • birding in the Macin Hills and Cheia Gorge

Accommodation

  • 2 nights at Kiskunság or Hortobágy, Hungary
  • 2 nights in Torockó, Transylvania
  • 2 nights in Zarnesti, Southern Carpathians
  • 1 night in Sinaia, Southern Carpathians
  • 4 nights in Mamaia, a resort at the Black Sea
  • 3 nights on a floating hotel in the Danube Delta

Departure Dates

May-June and September

http://www.ecotours.hu/calendar

Price


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 Budapest;
  • 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

Optional programmes

Optional bearwatching in the Carpathians

Itinerary

rom1

Day 1-2

At Budapest Airport our English speaking guide meets us. During the afternoon we check en route for Imperial Eagle, as we travel to the famous Hortobágy National Park where we explore the marshes, fishponds and grasslands to look for Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, Long-legged Buzzard and Saker Falcon. Red-footed Falcon, Great Bustard and Stone-Curlew is also possible.

Days 3-4

Travelling towards the Romanian border we pass through the city of Debrecen where we stop to enjoy the woods that attract many species of woodpeckers. In Transylvania we visit the spectacular Turda Gorge, looking for Golden Eagle or a late Rock Thrush.

Days 5-6

We reach the Fagaras Mountains in the Southern Carpathians, where we should see Three-toed Woodpecker and Nutcracker. At Zarnesti we search for Eagle and Ural Owl, Wallcreeper and Chamois. Optional programme can be  an evening visit to a bear watching hide. with a very good chance to see the largest carnivore of Europe. 

Day 7

We travel to the town of Sinaia in the Bucegi Mountains where we look for Wallcreeper and Alpine Accentor. A small detour can be made to see "Dracula's Castle" near Bran which would be an optional programme..

Days 8-9

We will be birding and raptor spotting whilst travelling to Mamaia on the Black Sea coast. We drive via Bucharest and we pick up the guests joining us here. Those on the 8-day trip will leave us here as well. On the coast we visit Histria and Vadu for White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Pygmy Cormorant, Ruddy Shelduck and Paddyfield Warbler in the reeds.

Days 10-12

We head north towards the Danube Delta crossing Babadag Forest home to Levant Sparrowhawk, Booted and Lesser-Spotted Eagle and Sombre Tit. At Enisala we have another chance to enjoy the spectacle of pelicans! We arrive to our floating hotel in Tulcea and we spend 2 full days birding along the rich waterways of the Danube Delta! We expect to see Grey-headed Woodpecker, hundreds of Dalmatian and White Pelicans, Pygmy Cormorants, Herons, Egrets and many more.

Days 13-14

We leave the boat and head for the Macin Hills to look for Pallid Harrier, Long-legged Buzzard and Isabelline Wheatear. We also visit Cheia Gorge to search for Pied Wheatear and raptors.

Day 15

We head for Bucharest birding en route.