New! Madeira

Endemic Sea-birds and passerines in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean

2025 Dates
  • 17 May - 24 May 2025
Duration8 Days
2025 Price
Price TBC
Max Group Size12

Full details shortly. If you wish to register an interest by email, we will inform you when the page is complete. 

The islands of Madeira offer great birding and relaxing, serene scenery. Fascinating wildlife can be found both on land and offshore, and birding is varied even though our species tally will be limited to less than 50. Venturing into the famous laurel forests skirting volcanic hills we seek endemic Madeiran Firecrest and Trocaz Pigeon along with (Macronesian) Plain Swift, Spectacled Warbler, Berthelot’s Pipit and a few other land-birds. Among birds with endemic sub-species status, critically threatened Macronesian Sparrowhawk is important due to extensive habitat loss.

No tour here is complete without pelagic trips, and these will be a firm highlight. Journeying a short distance into the Atlantic Ocean we have good opportunities for seabirds, the main target being endemic Zino’s Petrel. With less than 100 pairs, it is arguably Europe's rarest seabird and if conditions allow, we will also attempt to visit the colony at night. Also possible are Cory’s, Great and Macronesian Shearwater, Fea’s (Deserta’s) Petrel, Bulwer’s Petrel, White-faced and Madeiran Storm Petrel. Cetaceans are also likely, with dolphins (of several species) often performing brilliantly around the boat, we have a good chance of seeing Short-finned Pilot Whale and could get lucky with a sighting of Bryde’s, Fin or Sperm Whale. We look for endemic Mediterranean Monk Seal while the floral display of Madeira can be stunning in May, with the bonus of endemic butterflies enjoying this spectacle too!

Coming Soon

Please note: all itineraries are given as a guide only. Actual holiday content may vary according to the judgement of your guide, and elements beyond our control (eg weather).

More information coming soon.

Other birding and wildlife holidays in Portugal

Why choose Heatherlea for your birding and wildlife holiday in Europe?

Our overseas holidays are planned with care to offer great birding and wildlife, led by capable Leaders who really look after you. Every holiday is run the 'Heatherlea Way', and we hope our Overseas Adventures remind you of the quality and care so many of you enjoy in Scotland. That means rewarding and exciting days in the field, and good quality accommodation and meals, with a real flavour of the country we are visiting. Heatherlea always seek to include the personal touches that make all the difference.

Heatherlea holidays are not ‘dawn to dusk’ expeditions. Our less-intensive approach is ideal for those who want to relax whilst experiencing the best wildlife watching, and wherever possible we organise early or late activity on an optional basis. We also take sensible breaks when in very hot places and regular comfort breaks on every holiday whenever possible. All itineraries are planned carefully around the best wildlife opportunities, and you won’t miss out on memorable wildlife, whilst enjoying relaxed, informal days that are great fun.

The really important part of any wildlife holiday is the experience for you, our valued customer. Heatherlea invest in many things to offer you the best possible service;

  • We have been organising birding and wildlife holidays for over 30 seasons, and have a highly experienced and capable office team. We also offer a telephone and email service outside normal office hours.
  • Heatherlea overseas holidays have a maximum of 12 clients per trip, putting the emphasis on personal service, and helping you get the best possible experience.
  • Our holidays often include things which others might invite you to pay yourself, for instance Departure Taxes and tips to hotels.
  • All elements of our holidays are sold under our own licence, ATOL 6113. Under ‘Flight-Plus’ legislation it is a legal requirement of any tour operator to hold an ATOL licence for the supply of any overseas holiday where a flight is involved, if that holiday includes either overseas accommodation and/or car hire. It can be a criminal offence for an operator to book flights as part of a package without an ATOL licence. Heatherlea also hold full Tour Operator Insurance for your added protection.
  • Heatherlea is your complete wildlife holiday provider. Our ‘Back Office’ team can organise all your pre-flight and other travel needs. Our specialists will help you book the right services, at the best price. Book holiday extensions through us, and your ATOL protection is extended further. We don’t charge extra for this service.
  • Heatherlea is a limited company, registered in Scotland, and registered to pay VAT (applies to all holidays within the European Union).

Trip Reports

Coming Soon

Tour Details

About Heatherlea Holidays

Contact Information

The Mountview Hotel, Nethybridge,
PH25 3EB Scotland

T: 01479 821248