For more than a decade I've searched for special sites where you can combine wonderful opportunities for writing, with wildlife and landscapes that are truly inspiring. Lake Prespa is now among my shortlist of perfect places. Set amid spectacular mountains and at the point of intersection of three different countries – Albania, the Republic of Macedonia and Greece – Lake Prespa is one of the richest wetlands in Europe.
In early summer the reedbeds at the western end of Mikra Prespa (Little Prespa) present an astonishing spectacle of large waterbirds. Great and pygmy cormorants, squacco, night and purple herons, glossy ibises, little bitterns, white and Dalmatian pelicans are in
an unceasing radial traffic, as they fly out to forage and attempt to satisfy nestfuls of squawking youngsters. The region holds three times as many butterflies as the UK and has a flora equal to that for all of Britain. The joy of Prespa is thay at all times you feel immersed in a glorious sense of natural abundance.
This is doubly so in the spot that serves as our course centre - a hotel on the tiny islet of Aghios Achillios, which is joined to the Prespa mainland by a short pontoon causeway. Its limestone flora is reminiscent of the Derbyshire dales, except that the tracks of Hermann’s tortoises can be followed through the morning dew and the songs of golden orioles and nightingales dominate the dawn chorus.
Two days of natural historical exploration book-end a three day writing course that is designed for anyone who loves both words and wildlife and wishes to express their interactions between the two. The course fee is £1250 and includes transfers to/from Thessaloniki, all transport, full-board accommodation, tuition and fees. If you wish to learn more about this course please contact me here. I will send you a detailed outline of the programme.