Kirker Holidays

Cultural Tours & Music Holidays – new itineraries for 2015 from Kirker Holidays

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New escorted itineraries range from art appreciation in Emilia Romagna and the French Riviera to Imperial Morocco and the history of Poland’s Teutonic Knights

Discerning travellers who appreciate escorted tours with a cultural or musical theme will, once again, be spoiled for choice in 2015, thanks to Kirker Holidays’ latest selection of expertly-crafted itineraries. Featuring no less than 17 new tours – both in the UK and across mainland Europe – the only difficult part will be deciding whether to indulge an interest in historic English stately homes or Veneto villas, explore the Island of Aphrodite or board an exclusive music cruise to the Canaries…

NEW to Kirker’s Cultural Tours selection for 2015 are:

ARMENIA: A Caucasian Adventure – Renowned for its hospitality, fine cuisine, religious traditions and a long, colourful history that dates back to the time of St. George the Illuminator, Armenia remains charmingly untouched by the blight of large-scale tourism. Discover its delights in the company of tour lecturer, Andrew Allen, on this eight-night holiday. Departing 20 May & 9 September 2015, the price is from £2,496 pp*.

THE BALKANS: A Balkan QuintetUnravelling the mysteries of this remote and beautiful corner of Europe, this 11-night itinerary encompasses visits to Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Albania as it explores how the region became such a religious melting pot, how it dealt with Ottoman rule and how it faces the future following recent political upheavals. Led by Andrew Allen. Departing 24 April & 11 October 2015, the price is from £2,194 pp*.

BELGIUM: The Battle of Waterloo – A ‘don’t miss’ trip for anyone with an interest in military history, this three-night trip examines the story behind one of the most epic contests of all time. Led by tour lecturer Hugh Macdonald-Buchanan, the itinerary includes visits to Napoleon and Wellington’s command positions, the Wellington Museum, the Memorial to the British dead, and more. Departing 10 July & 2 October 2015, the price is from £798 pp*.

CYPRUS –The Island of Aphrodite – Travelling to both the north and south of Cyprus, this eight-night holiday offers an insight into the island’s long and chequered history whilst also introducing visitors to the traditional values and village life of its people and – of course – the beautiful landscapes and coastal scenery for which it is world famous. Led by tour lecturer, Alex Koller. Departing 17 March & 27 October 2015, the price is from £1,998 pp*.

FRANCE – Art on the French RivieraBe dazzled by the natural beauty, mild climate and clear light conditions that inspired artists such as Monet, Matisse, Chagall and Picasso to come to the Côte d’Azur in the late 19th century, and which continue to draw visitors to its chic, sun-soaked shores today. Led by tour lecturer Simon Monckton, this is a five-night holiday. Departing 18 April & 7 September 2015, the price is from £1,448 pp.

FRANCE – Gardens of the Côte d’Azur From a four-star base in the pretty harbour town of Menton, this five-night tour – led by tour lecturer Simon Monckton – visits several splendid gardens dotted along the stretch of coastline between St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and the France/Italy border, including the famous Hanbury Gardens at La Mortola, Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild and Serre de la Madone. Departing 23 April & 12 September 2015, the price is from £1,458 pp*.

ITALY – Art, Music & Gastronomy in Emilia-RomagnaExplore this relatively unknown corner of northern Italy on a six-night itinerary that’s a treat for both cultural and culinary tastebuds. Visiting Parma, Piacenza, Fidenza and Villa Verdi, enjoy a region synonymous with the very best food and produce, as well as the finest music credentials – Verdi and Toscanini were born in Parma. Led by tour lecturer Charlie Hall. Departing 16 April & 15 October 2015, the price is from £1,794 pp*.

ITALY – Villas of the Veneto – Join tour lecturer Charlie Hall and fellow architecture enthusiasts on a five-night holiday that focuses on the work of Andrea Palladio.  Gaze in awe at a selection of his most notable buildings and villas, set amid the rural landscape of the Veneto, and visit the pretty hilltop town of Asolo, which boasts wonderful views of the Venetian plain. Departing 10 May & 13 September 2015, the price is from £1,595 pp*.

MOROCCO – Imperial Morocco – Experience the great Imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, Marrakech and Fez on a ten-night trip – led by tour lecturer Fiona Dunlop – that blends fine museums and elegant architecture with travels through dramatic gorges, fertile valleys and romantic desert passes, staying in four and five-star hotels throughout. Departing 18 March & 28 October 2015, the price is from £2,890 pp*.

POLAND – Poland & the History of The Teutonic Knights – Discover the long, colourful and often violent history of the Teutonic Knights on a nine-night holiday that includes wonderful mediaeval cities and castles, visits to Torun and Gdansk, a day in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and four nights in Warsaw. Departing 29 May & 19 September 2015, the price is from £2,480 pp*.

SPAIN – An Andalucian Discovery – Based in Malaga and Andalucia’s great Moorish cities of Seville, Cordoba & Granada, this 11-night itinerary examines the distinctive characteristics and atmosphere of each. Led by tour lecturer Simon Monckton, highlights also include Malaga’s Picasso Museum, the historic town of Carmona, the remains of a vast Muslim palace at Medina Azahara and the architecturally-significant towns of Úbeda & Baeza. Departing 16 March & 9 November 2015, the price is from £2,694 pp*.

UK – Houses of Norfolk – Led by art historian and local resident, Andrew Taylor, this four-night tour of some of England’s grandest houses, churches and gardens is complemented by a delightful concert in the Marble Hall at Holkham and a private dinner at Raynham Hall. Departing 4 June 2015, the price is from £1,389 pp*.

UK – Houses of NorthamptonshireStaying in the ancient market town of Oundle, explore Northamptonshire’s pretty countryside and four of its most impressive houses on a four-night holiday – escorted by Kirker Tour Leader, Barry Cheeseman – that also features a recital by Simon Rowland-Jones (viola) and Laura Samuel (violin) in The Drawing Room at Elton Hall. Departing 13 July 2015, the price is from £895 pp*.

Joining Kirker’s sublime Music Festival selection for 2015 are two NEW Exclusive Music Festivals – one on land and one at sea – and two NEW escorted holidays to two of Europe’s leading music events:

Cruising the Canary Islands, Madeira & Lisbon – Sailing from Avonmouth on Fred.Olsen’s ‘Black Watch’, Kirker clients on this 12-night cruise will be treated to an exclusive programme of on-board performances – featuring Gary Matthewman (piano), The Ruisi String Quartet, Simon Rowland-Jones (viola), Nelly Miricioiu (soprano), singers from The Royal Opera’s prestigious Jette Parker Young Artists’ Programme and guest lecturer Elaine Padmore (former Director of The Royal Opera) – as well as shore visits to Madeira, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Lisbon. Departing 31 August 2015, the price is from £1,990 pp*.

The Kirker Exclusive Music Festival in Suffolk – The acclaimed Chilingirian String Quartet provides the unforgettable musical accompaniment to this four-night holiday, during which they will perform pieces by Beethoven, Britten, Dvorak, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert, exclusively for Kirker clients. Staying at historic Seckford Hall, excursions to The Red House in Aldeburgh, The Maltings at Snape and magnificent gardens at an Elizabethan manor house are also included. Departing 8 June 2015, the price is from £1,195 pp*.

GERMANY – Leipzig & Dresden: Music in Saxony – Combining two of Europe’s great musical cities, this eight-night holiday coincides with the Dresden Music Festival, at which many international orchestras appear. As well as tickets to two of these concerts and sightseeing, the itinerary also features sublime performances in Leipzig by the mighty Gewandhaus orchestra and St. Thomas’s Church Choir, who sing at the church where J.S. Bach was Cantor. Departing 20 May, the price is from £2,645 pp*.

UK – The Three Choirs Festival in Hereford – Enjoy world-class musical performances in the delightful setting of Hereford’s intimate cathedral on this five-night holiday that includes tickets to all five concerts as well as escorted excursions to local National Trust houses (Castle Croft & Berrington Hall), the spectacular mediaeval Hampton Court Castle and Moccas Court, boasting gardens by Humphrey Repton and Capability Brown. Departing 27 July, the price is from £994 pp*.

*Depending on the itinerary chosen, prices are based on two sharing and include return flights (London) or standard class Eurostar, transfers, accommodation with breakfast and some other meals, excursions/musical performances and the services of a tour lecturer and/or holiday escort. UK tours do not include travel to/from the destination. Single rooms available on request – supplement applies unless otherwise stated.

Kirker’s 2015 Cultural Tours & Music Holidays brochure contains 29 cultural tours, 13 escorted itineraries to leading music festivals and events in Europe (plus one in the USA) and seven Exclusive Kirker Music Festivals, with more itineraries planned as the year progresses.

Prices start from £798 pp (two sharing) for a three-night Kirker Chamber Music Weekend in Alfriston, Sussex. Departing 27 April & 1 December, the price includes three nights’ accommodation with breakfast at Deans Place Hotel, three dinners, three concert and talks, programme notes, all entrances and gratuities, and the services of the Kirker Tour Escort, Barry Cheeseman.

For further information on Kirker’s full programme of Cultural Tours & Music Holidays for 2015, or to book, please call Kirker Holidays on 020 7593 2284, email or visit  An online copy of the brochure can be viewed here

Ends / 27 October 2014

Press: Please contact Karen Carpenter at Travel PR on 020 8891 4440 or email At Kirker, contact Ted Wake on 020 7593 2281 or email


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