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Kirker kicks off its 30th anniversary year with an expanded Short Breaks collection


New short breaks for 2016: Portugal’s verdant Douro Valley, the German spa town of Baden-Baden and the Channel Islands of Guernsey & Jersey, plus hotel barge cruising on the waterways of rural France & Italy

Specialist tour operator for discerning travellers, Kirker Holidays has launched the latest edition of its popular Short Breaks brochure, featuring 80 cities and some 250 coastal and countryside properties throughout Europe and beyond. Celebrating its own 30th anniversary in 2016, Kirker has packed the new brochure with tempting suggestions for discerning clients planning their own special occasions this year, as well as for those simply seeking a sublime few days (or longer) away from the humdrum routine.

Joining Kirker’s short breaks selection for the first time in 2016 are:

  • THE DOURO VALLEY: One of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world and a UNESCO World  Heritage Site, the Douro Valley offers some of the most unspoilt and unusual scenery in Europe, making it equally appealing as a relaxing holiday destination in its own right or as a twin-centre itinerary with the charming city of Oporto.Six Senses Douro Valley

 Kirker’s featured properties in the Douro Valley are the four-star deluxe Quinta Nova Luxury Winery House on the
quieter, northern side of the valley (from £559 pp* including complimentary wine tasting), the four-star deluxe The Vintage House in the small unspoilt town of Pinhao (from £648 pp*) and the five-star deluxe Six Senses Douro Valley, Europe’s first Six Senses resort (opened last July, set in a converted 19th century manor house with large summer swimming pool and indulgent Six Senses spa.

  • BADEN-BADEN: A fashionable spa town for almost 200 years, Baden-Baden enjoys an idyllic location at the fringes of the Black Forest, its elegant architecture and vast expanses of wooded parks and pathways creating an immediate sense of wellbeing. World-class music performances are held throughout the year at the Festpielhaus, while modern art enthusiasts will appreciate the fine collection on show at the Museum Frieder Burda – the Kirker Concierge can pre-book tickets for both. 

Kirker’s featured properties in Baden-Baden are the four-star superior Belle Époque, once a retreat for the aristocracy and now a boutique hotel (from £438 pp*), the five-star Dorint Maison Messmer, a smart modern hotel just moments from the Museum Frieder Burda (from £519 pp*) and Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa, Baden-Baden’s famous grand dame, surrounded by beautiful private gardens which run down to the banks of the river Oos (from £649 pp*).

  • THE CHANNEL ISLANDS: Enjoy a welcome respite from the frenetic pace of modern life – yet wonderfully close to home – with a blissful few days in the scenic Channel Islands. Guernsey’s old-world charm, picturesque harbour town of St. Peter Port and abundant coastline – from the wide sandy beaches of its west coast to the secluded coves and superb cliff walks of the south – will have visitors enraptured. And Jersey’s reputation as one of the warmest spots in the British Isles, its renowned cuisine, fascinating WWII Tunnels and exotic animal inhabitants at the Durrell Wildlife Park make it a destination to suit all ages and interests. 

The Atlantic Hotel_JerseyKirker’s featured properties in Guernsey are the four-star superior Bella Luce, a country house hotel nestled in the pretty parish of St Martin’s (from £479 pp*) and the five-star superior Old Government House, an elegantly-furnished hotel known locally (and affectionately) as the OGH (from £539 pp*). In Jersey, Kirker offers the four-star deluxe The Atlantic, perched spectacularly above St. Ouen’s Bay with its own golf course (from £449 pp*), the four-star superior L’Horizon Beach Hotel & Spa, overlooking St. Brelade’s Bay (from £459 pp*) and the five-star superior Longueville Manor, a Relais & Châteaux hotel with beautifully-appointed bedrooms set in an 18-acre estate (from £498 pp*).

*Prices are based on a three-night break and include flights (London – regional departures on request), private transfers or car hire, accommodation (two sharing) with breakfast, Kirker Guide Notes to restaurants, museums and sightseeing (where available) and the services of the Kirker Concierge to book restaurants, expert local guides or tickets to theatres, opera performances, concerts, museums and galleries.

Also NEW for 2016, Kirker has joined forces with European Waterways to introduce a selection of tailor-made, eight-night holidays that blend relaxing canal cruising in France or Italy with a stay at one of Kirker’s carefully-selected hotels. Each itinerary includes return travel by air or rail from the UK, transfers throughout, two nights’ hotel accommodation with breakfast and, during the six-night cruise, all meals (prepared by accomplished on-board chefs), fine wine and soft drinks, as well as a programme of excursions to vineyards, châteaux and historic towns along the route.

In FRANCE, choose from:

  • Canal du Midi & Carcassonne – sailing on the stylish ‘Anjodi’, which featured in Rick Stein’s ‘French Odyssey’ TV series, this eight-night holiday combines six nights’ cruising along one of the world’s most picturesque waterways with two nights at the five-star deluxe Hotel de la Cité, within the walls of the mediaeval fortress of Carcassonne. The price is from £4,098 pp (two sharing). 
  • Paris & Northern Burgundy – enjoy a weekend in Paris, staying at the four-star deluxe Hôtel Westminster, before embarking on ‘L’Art de Vivre’ – formerly a First World War supply vessel in England before being lovingly converted into an elegant hotel barge – for a gentle cruise along the Nivernais Canal from Auxerre to the pretty village of Chevroches. The price is from £3,598 pp (two sharing). 
  • South Burgundy & Lyon – combining wine tasting in some of the region’s most renowned vineyards, exceptional Burgundian cuisine and visits to Dijon and Beaune, this holiday culminates with a night in France’s self-proclaimed gastronomic heart, Lyon. Sailing on ‘L’Impressionniste’, guests can work up an appetite by walking or cycling on the adjoining tow path, or simply sit back and enjoy views of the scenic Ouche valley from the sun deck. The price is from £4,497 pp (two sharing). 
  • Bordeaux – after an indulgent two-night stay at the five-star Grand Hotel in Bordeaux, board the converted Dutch Clipper barge ‘Rosa’ for a cruise on the Canal de Garonne that includes a crossing of the Pont Canal d’Agen, one of France’s longest aqueducts. Enjoy excursions to Saint-Emilion, Marmande and the historic towns of Vianne and Barbaste, as well as tastings at a local cheese maker, an Armagnac producer and a viticulture lesson at a premier grand cru château. The price is from £3,498 pp (two sharing). 
  • Alsace – stay two nights in Paris before travelling by rail to Strasbourg and hopping on board ‘Panache’ for a memorable journey along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin that includes the unique Arzvillier boat elevator and a candlelit passage through the Arzvillier tunnels. Sightseeing highlights also include the Marc Chagall chapel in Sarrebourg, the René Lalique Museum and the famous wineries of the Route des Grands Vins. The price is from £4,398 pp (two sharing).


Kirker offers Venice to Mantua, an eight-night holiday combining two nights at the four-star deluxe Londra Palace hotel in Venice with a six-night cruise that traverses the historic waterways of northern Italy to the Renaissance city of Mantua. Sailing on ‘La Bella Vita’, visit the Roman city of Chioggia before travelling through the delta of the River Po (home to flamingos and other wild birds) and onwards to the Etruscan town of Adria and Renaissance Ferrara, visiting several local vineyards en route. The price is from £3,549 pp. 

Click here for an online copy of Kirker’s dedicated brochure to the Six Best Waterways of France & Italy. 

As well as adding appealing new destinations to its 2016 Short Breaks programme, Kirker continues to nurture excellent relationships with its featured hotels, some of which they have known for three decades. This close relationship means clients not only benefit from the warmest welcome wherever they travel with Kirker, but they can also enjoy a wide and continually updated selection of special offers. Highlights currently include:

  • BRUGES: Stay three nights for the price of the two until 31 March at the four-star deluxe Hotel Heritage – from £448 pp, saving £101 pp. Includes complimentary Eurostar upgrade to Standard Premier.
  • FLORENCE: Stay three nights for the price of two until 16 April at the five-star superior Grand Hotel Villa Cora – from £728 pp, saving £135 pp.
  • PRAGUE: Stay three nights for the price of two until 24 March at the five-star deluxe Hotel Aria – from £598 pp, saving £98 pp.
  • SALZBURG: Stay four nights for the price of three until 30 April at the five-star Goldener Hirsch – from £629 pp, saving £120 pp.
  • VENICE: Stay three nights for the price of two until 28 April at the four-star superior Palazzo Sant’Angelo from £549 pp, saving £86 pp.

All Kirker itineraries include private car transfers – ensuring that clients arrive refreshed, relaxed and ready to enjoy their holiday – as well as carefully-curated Kirker Guide Notes (for most destinations), brimming with advice and personal insight from the Kirker team on the best local restaurants, museums and sightseeing opportunities. In many cities, Kirker also includes complimentary entrance tickets to museums such as the Doge’s Palace or Accademia in Venice, the Uffizi in Florence, the Borghese Gallery or Vatican Museum in Rome and the Prado or Thyssen in Madrid. Visitors to Monaco can enjoy complimentary helicopter transfers and a ‘Passport to Monaco’ (giving entrance to a number of key attractions), while private walking tours of Prague or Marrakech and museum passes in Paris, Berlin & Bruges are also included on a complimentary basis, ensuring Kirker clients enjoy an unforgettable experience in their chosen city included.

Celebrating your own anniversary or special event in 2016? Kirker Holidays can advise on special extra touches, using the expert services of the Kirker Concierge to book dinner at a recommended restaurant, arrange opera or ballet tickets, or a private walking tour with an experienced, English-speaking local guide who can help make your holiday even more memorable.

Reflecting on the 30 years since Kirker launched its first brochure (to Italy) back in 1986, Joint Managing Director Ted Wake comments:

“Back in 1986, the world was a very different place; the internet was still a fantasy on a distant horizon and today it seems hardly possible that 30 years have slipped by so quickly. Whilst browsing for holiday inspiration on the web (as for most information) has now become the norm, when it comes to booking there is still no substitute for the personal service, care and attention to detail offered by a real human being… and Kirker’s expert team of ‘real human beings’ is among the very best. 

“We look forward to celebrating Kirker’s 30th anniversary year by continuing to create carefully-considered itineraries for discerning travellers, and look forward to whatever changes and challenges the next 30 years may have in store.” 

For further information, to hear about Kirker’s latest special offers on short breaks and tailor-made holidays across Europe and beyond, or for a copy of Kirker’s 2016 Short Breaks brochure (online here) and Escapes Spring 2016 newsletter (online here), please contact Kirker Holidays on 020 7593 2283 or visit


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