Abruzzo Adventures

Bears, Wolves, Chamois and Golden Eagles

await you in this 5-day Italian mountain adventure.

Location          Abruzzo National Park, Italy

Date                   THIS WORKSHOP HAS NOW ENDED.

                       ANY FUTURE WORKSHOPS WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN LATE 2018.

 

Cost                Contact Paul for details. 

                            paulalistaircollins@gmail.com

Group Size        Maximum of 7 participants

Your Guides      Paul Collins and Mattia Cialoni

Trip Overview

With snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear rivers and lush beech woodlands, the Abruzzo park in central Italy offers you the chance to observe some of the country's most iconic animals in stunning surroundings - such as wolves, bears, vultures, wild boar and Apennine chamois. 

This trip is perfect for both beginners and advanced photographers, as well as nature enthusiasts who want to see the magnificent wildlife that Italy has to offer. Places are limited to ensure the best experience for each guest, tailored to interests and abilities, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Highlights

  • Discover one of Europe's great wilderness areas 

  • Travel with likeminded wildlife photographers and under expert guidance

  • The best place to see Bears and Wolves in western Europe, and at affordable costs 

  • Watch family groups of Chamois in the wildflower meadows 

  • Good chance of seeing rare birds such as red-footed falcons and white-backed woodpeckers

  • Stay in a traditional Italian guesthouse in the valley

  • Visit historic hilltop villages and dine on local Italian produce

  • Receive 1-on-1 photo tuition and editing guidance 

Your photography will benefit from use of our camouflage hide setups, placed strategically in the landscape to boost your chances of photographing many species of mammal and bird at unrivalled close range. 

 

Apart from the big mammals, many birds can be seen here that can't be found in the UK. We have a good chance of finding the rare Lilford's White-Backed Woodpecker, as well as breeding Collared Flycatchers and Bonelli's Warblers along the streams and in the beech woodlands. 

 

The wildflower meadows hold two thirds of all Italian plant species, ranging from the Ghost Orchids to the Marsican Iris, as well as an abundance of colourful butterflies and lizards to photograph. 

Schedule

Some of the outings we have planned for you:

  • Wolf packs in the valleys - the best place to see these in Western Europe

  • Bears with cubs feeding on berries 

  • Chamois families in the wildflower meadows

  • Red Deer swimming in the crystal-clear rivers and beech forests 

  • Wild Boar, Foxes, Roe Deer and Red Deer at close range from our camouflaged hides

  • Panoramic vistas of the mountains, at sunrise and sunset 

 

Activities and photo opportunities are tailored to whatever species are present at the time of day, as well as to weather conditions and participant preferences. Each day we will discuss options on how best to maximise your photo opportunities. 

 

A typical day will consist of: 

  • We will begin photographing just before sunrise, making the most of the golden summer light.

  • Close to noon, when the sunlight is at its peak, we will break for lunch either on location or at the B&B with a chance for more relaxed local exploration. 

  • After lunch, we will continue photographing until just after the last light of sunset. 

  • At least one evening will be dedicated to a photo review and editing session. 

  • Depending on interest, evening activities could range from dinner in the local town to searching for nocturnal animals such as Porcupines and Owls. 

Our Base

We will be staying in a family-run B&B in the mountain valley, near the quaint town of Pescasseroli and the traditional shepherd communities. It is conveniently placed for the region's best mammal-spotting hotspots yet secluded from the busy tourist areas. 

Practical Information

Food           Breakfast is typical of Italy, consisting of pastries and fresh fruit with coffee/tea and                              juice. Lunch will generally be freshly prepared sandwiches made with local cheese or                          meat. Depending on our activities, evening meals will be at the B&B or in a restaurant                          in Pescasseroli. 

Walking       Light to moderate, with some uphill mountain tracks, and at a comfortable walking                               pace with breaks. For some targets, we will need to hike between 1 and 4 hours'                                   round-trip to find the best photo opportunities. It's up to you to decide your physical                            fitness for this trip, although we can tailor to your abilities. Please contact us                                          beforehand to discuss the suitability and if you have any mobility issues. 

Group           With a maximum of 7 participants, our small group size ensures everyone has a better                        personal experience. Guides are on hand to answer your questions and help you with                         observing and photographing animals whatever your ability. 

Photo Gear  To get the most out of your photography experience, we recommend that you bring a                           DSLR with a telephoto lens of 300mm or more, and a wide-angle lens for landscapes.

Clothing      It is important that participants wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the                                      mountainous environment. Upon sign-up, a list of recommended clothing will be sent.

Weather      Ranging from 17C to 25C in the midday heat. Warm but not humid, with lots of                                      sunshine. Colder weather and cloud is always possible particularly at higher altitude. 

Insects        Mites and mosquitoes may be encountered in wildflower meadows, and insect                                      repellent is advised as a precaution.  

Flights        We recommend flying from London Stansted to Rome Ciampino on Monday 14th May                          and returning on the afternoon of Saturday 19th May. Please contact us so that we can                        recommend the best flight for you to take. 

What You Can Expect

  • 5 full days of photography from dawn to dusk

  • Photographing Europe's most elusive predators in the wild

  • Unlimited expert photo and wildlife guidance

  • Instruction on photo techniques and composition

  • 1-on-1 instruction from your two guides in a fun, non-competitive learning environment 

  • Hone your photographic skills under guidance

  • Learn about animal behaviour and how to identify their signs/tracks

  • Photo editing sessions in the evening

  • Stay with Italians and experience local Italian food and culture 

Birds

  • Goshawk 

  • Golden Eagle

  • Peregrine

  • Red-Footed Falcon

  • Honey Buzzard

  • Griffon Vulture

  • Rock Partridge

  • Lesser Grey Shrike

  • Red-Backed Shrike

  • Collared Flycatcher

  • White-Backed Woodpecker

  • Wryneck

  • Hoopoe

  • Redstart

  • Black Redstart

  • Serin

  • Bonelli's Warbler

  • Eastern Subalpine Warbler

  • Rufous-Tailed Rock Thrush

  • Blue Rock Thrush

  • Alpine Accentor

  • Rock Bunting

  • Alpine Chough

  • Dipper

  • Yellow Wagtail

  • Wheatear

Mammals

  • Marsican Brown Bear

  • Apennine Wolf

  • Apennine Chamois

  • Wild Boar

  • Red Deer

  • Roe Deer

  • Red Fox

  • Wildcat

  • Crested Porcupine

  • Calabrian Black Squirrel

Reptiles & Amphibians

  • Western Green Lizard

  • Spectacled Salamander

  • Apennine Yellow-Bellied Toad

  • Orsini's Viper

Your Guides

Paul Collins

Paul is an award-winning wildlife photographer and regularly leads workshops in Scotland and England. 

Mattia Cialoni

Growing up on the nearby Adriatic coast inspired Mattia to develop an interest in the local fauna. He has been tracking wolves and bears for many years using his own set-up of camouflage hides. 

What's Included

What's Not Included

  ✓  Services of local photography and wildlife guides

       (English and Italian speaking)

  ✓  Evening image review and editing sessions

  ✓  A welcome presentation on the local fauna and flora 

  ✓  Use of camouflage hides and camouflage gear 

  ✓  Accommodation in a traditional Italian B&B

  ✓  Breakfast on all days

  ✓  5 traditional meals at the B&B (dinners or lunches dependent on            our activities)

  ✓  Airport pick-up and drop-off from Rome Ciampino airport to B&B

  ✓  Ground transportation 

   ✗  Return flights from London Stansted to Rome Ciampino

       (please contact us so that we can recommend the best flights)

   ✗  Any Visa charges or airport taxes

   ✗  Personal and cancellation insurance*

   ✗  5 meals (packed lunches, or dinners taken in the local town)

   ✗  Snacks and beverages

   ✗  Personal expenses

   ✗  Optional tips for local guides/drivers

   ✗  Laundry 

   ✗  Any additional overnight stays 

* To take part in our workshop, you must be covered by adequate insurance for its entire duration. The insurance must cover for cancellation, ​medical and emergency            expenses. We recommend insurance against damage or loss of baggage, camera equipment and personal items. 

Cancellation Policy

  • If you choose to cancel at more than 60 days before the departure date, we will refund you 75%.

  • If you choose to cancel within 60 days of your chosen date, the cost is non-refundable. 

  • However we can issue a 75% refund if we are able to replace your cancellation with a new booking. 

  • If the workshop does not go ahead based on the guides' decision, then we will refund you 100%. 

Enquire

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