Kos BougainvilleaIt’s time for a gallery of beautiful and relaxing images – of trees and flowers.

With the 2015 travel season just over and the new brochure for 2016 just having gone to be printed and posted (this will be the subject of another post), I’ve been sorting through photographs from this year’s trips. Of course, most are of archaeological sites and monuments, ancient art and artefacts, landscapes, seascapes, gulets and guests.

What struck me, however, is how many pictures of plants I appear to have been taking.

Sometimes, the trees are as venerable as the ruins: an oak at Sidyma in Lycia.

Sometimes, the trees are as venerable as the ruins: an oak at Sidyma in Lycia.

It makes perfect sense: the sites we visit tend to be embedded in beautiful natural surroundings. Their environment – from geology and topography to flora, fauna and land use through time – is part of their very nature (no pun intended). As our travels start in the lush Mediterranean spring, continue throughout the summer and conclude in the bountiful late summer or early autumn, the season of fruit harvest, our experience of the landscapes we tour includes the enjoyment of their diverse and fascinating – and moreover, beautiful – vegetation. From spring flowers on Cretan or Sicilian hillsides via the venerable forests of Lycia or the Peloponnese to the richly-laden boughs of vines or fruit trees in September, be they in Italy, Greece or Turkey, the local flora and its history adds another dimension of interest and enjoyment to our travels – perhaps especially to our walking tours.

Quite recently on this blog, we focused on the caretta caretta or loggerhead sea turtle; and much longer ago, we ran a post about the wildlife and animals we encounter on our expert-led tours and cruises in Turkey, Greece and Italy, essentially just a gallery of 18 images, showing some of the creatures we sometimes encounter. Today, I’d like to add a similar gallery of plants, flowers and trees photographed on our tours or during preparatory trips. The images are by no means meant to be a systematic selection – they are just an illustration of the many beauties that may await you on our tours in 2016! Enjoy.

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