Hungary butterflies

Europe/Hungary

Eastern Hungary, a paradise for butterflies

Bükk & Aggtelek National Parks, 8 days

This relaxed butterfly holiday focuses on the best butterfly sites of Hungary. Bükk National Park comprises of limestone hills with oak and beech woodlands interspersed with meadows and lovely valleys. The nearby Little Hortobágy provides steppe habitats with different species and a nice variety of birds and dragonflies. Aggtelek National Parks is famous for its dripstone caves and for its rich butterfly fauna.

More then 100 butterfly species have been recorded in the parks visited as well as many species of dragonfly. The birdlife is just as amazing with Eastern Imperial, Lesser Spotted and Short-toed Eagles, Saker Falcon, woodpeckers, Roller, Bee-eater, Golden Oriole, Collared Flycatcher and River Warbler among others.

Facts

Highlights

Hotels

4 nights at Noszvaj in Bükk NP
3 nights at Jósvafő in Aggtelek NP

Departure Dates

Saturday 24 June – Saturday 1 July 2017

Price

from 1,540 € + 215 € (single room supplement)
Ask for the actual price

Optional extensions

Visit to Baradla dripstone cave
Wine tasting at the famous Thummerer cellar, cellar of the Year in 2011, famous for its Bull’s Blood

Itinerary

1

Upon your arrival at Budapest Airport we drive north-east, heading towards the Bükk National Park, stopping on route to look for Eastern Imperial Eagle. Our small family hotel is situated at the foot of the Bükk Hills on the edge of a picturesque village. It has the best food in the area and offers tasty local wine.

2-4

We visit the humid Hór Valley set among rolling hills covered with oak and beech woodlands. Fritillaries abound along the gravel road with Silver-washed, High Brown, Niobe, Marbled, Nickerl’s and Heath Fritillary recorded commonly. White Admiral, Common Glider, Lesser Purple Emperor and Great-banded Grayling can also be found perched along the roadside. Coppers are well represented with Purple-shot, Large, Scarce and Purple-edged. Small, Chestnut and Pearly Heath are common and if we are lucky we might find Poplar Admiral or Camberwell Beauty. A nearby pasture woodland is another site worth visiting, where we look for Lesser Fiery Copper, Berger’s Clouded Yellow and a nice selection of Blues. Bee-eaters nest in the sand banks and raptors circle above the meadows, while Middle Spotted Woodpeckers are drumming on the old oaks. The heart of the Bükk Hills is a famous karst plateau. The area proves attractive to hilltoppers such as Common and Scarce Swallowtails and we might find a late Clouded Apollo. Southern Small White, Mountain Green-veined White and Fenton’s Wood White are among the more challenging species to seek out. One day we visit Little Hortobágy, a beautiful flat steppe area resembling its larger cousin further south-east. It is blessed with an amazing variety of birds, with breeding Eastern Imperial Eagle, Red-footed and Saker Falcon, Roller, Lesser Grey Shrike and Golden Oriole. There are also many butterfly species to be found here such as Eastern Bath White, Eastern Pale Clouded Yellow, Large Copper, Grizzled Skipper and Knapweed Fritillary.

5

We leave the Bükk Hills and drive north towards Aggtelek National Park stopping en route to search for Pallas’s Fritillary, Anomalous Blue and Purple Emperor. Our hotel is situated on the edge of the woodland inside Aggtelek National Park.

6-7

We explore a wide range of habitats from very dry hillsides to wet valleys. We walk across the village of Jósvafő along a cristal clear stream reaching a wet meadow set between drier hillsides. “Clouds of butterflies” often gather along the stream and key species include Sooty Copper, Mountain Alcon, Meleager's, Chalkhill and Checquered Blue. South of Jósvafő we look for Safflower and Orbed Red-underwing Skipper, Eastern Short-tailed, Osiris, Mountain Alcon, Large, Chapman’s and Anomalous Blue. Another area a bit further east is home to Hungarian Glider and Pallas's Fritillary. Poplar Admiral is sometimes seen here too. In a valley close to Aggtelek village all nine Hairstreaks of Hungary occur and there is also a long list of Blues including Chapman’s and Turquoise. Woodland Brown and Dusky Meadow Brown, Glanville, Knapweed, Spotted and Lesser Spotted Fritillary are all common, together with Silver-studded Blue, Marbled White, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and False Grayling. The spectacular Baradla dripstone cave system, a world heritage site, is also worth a visit. Other wildlife includes Fire Salamanders, and a nice array of birds including woodpeckers, Ural Owl, Corncrake and River Warbler.

8

We head back to Budapest for our flight home.

bird photography and birding tours Hungary and Eastern Europe - Bee-eater on a branch

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