The Hidden Land
16 - 24 Sep 2017 (9 Days)
Study Tour Lecturer:
Study Tour Overview
The sheer span of Armenian history is difficult to comprehend. The land called Armenia appears next to Colchis and Parthia in ancient maps, was a Hellenistic vassal state, and later a province of Rome. It was fought over by Byzantines, Arabs, Mamelukes, and the Mongol Golden Horde. It suffered conquest and periodic slaughter by the empires of Persians, Russians, and, most notoriously, Ottomans. Yet, despite its precarious position surrounded by powerful and hostile neighbours, or perhaps because of it, Armenian culture has been uniquely independent: the Armenian language has its own alphabet, and only Armenians practise Armenian Apostolic Christianity, their national religion for over 1700 years. This Art Pursuits Abroad Study Tour will explore this land’s distinctiveness, as expressed in its extraordinary monastic architecture which both complements and competes with the stony beauty of the natural landscape. Apart from Yerevan, the thirteenth Armenian capital and a city founded before Rome, we will also visit the turquoise Lake Sevan in the east and the foothills of Turkish occupied Ararat in the west.
Programme Details - Click to show details
Programme Details - Click to hide details
The programme details for this Art History Cultural Study Tour are as follows:
Mid-morning flight with Air France from London via Paris to Yerevan. Transfer by private coach to your four-star hotel. First of six nights in Yerevan.
Start a coach tour of Armenia’s capital Yerevan with a panoramic view from the monument to Mother Armenia. Continue to the huge Cathedral of St Gregory the Illuminator (d.331), a fascinating complex consecrated in 2001 and dedicated to the first official head of the Armenian Apostolic Church. At the giant stairway of the Cascade, begun under Soviet rule in the 1970s and still under construction, visit the Cafesjian Centre for the Arts with stunning modern glass and sculpture. In the afternoon, visit the Manuscript Museum, one of the world’s biggest depositories of ancient writings. Overnight in Yerevan.
Coach excursion south of Yerevan through fertile fields to the plains at the foot of biblical Mount Ararat. According to tradition, it was here that Noah planted a vine after leaving the Ark. The monastery of Khor Virap is a major pilgrimage site, as St Gregory the Illuminator was held captive here for thirteen years before miraculously converting and baptising his tormentor, King Tiridates III. Continue to the remote monastery at Noravank, set in a narrow gorge of breathtaking natural beauty. The complex comprises two churches characterised by fine 14th-century carvings. Third of six nights in Yerevan.
Drive to Lake Sevan, one of the largest high-altitude lakes in the world. Sevanavank Monastery, originally situated on an island – turned into a peninsula following the partial draining of the lake in the Stalin era –– is a royal foundation of 9th-century origins. After lunch, through the forests of Dilijan National Park framed by the Lesser Caucasus mountains, continue to Goshavank Monastery with some of the most intricate, lacy ‘khachkars’ — Armenian cross-stones — in the country. First of two nights in Dzogaret.
From Dzogaret explore Armenia’s north. The monastery at Haghbat in Debed canyon — a UNESCO World Heritage site – represents the highest flowering of Armenian religious architecture. Rare mediaeval frescoes can be found here as well as in the nearby Sanahin Monastery. Continue to Odzun whose umbrella-domed church dates from the fifth to seventh centuries. Overnight in Dzogaret.
In the morning, visit Amberd fortress, a rare instance of Armenian mediaeval defence architecture, perched on a cliff surrounded by deep river gorges 2,300 metres above sea level. From there, return to Yerevan for some free time and independent visits. Overnight in Yerevan.
A short distance from Yerevan lies Echmiadzin, Armenia’s religious heart. Visit ruins of Zvartnots Temple, a masterpiece of Armenian architecture and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The main cathedral of Echmiadzin was the first official church built in Armenia in 303. Today it is the Holy See of Echmiadzin where the Catholicos of Armenia resides. The local museum exhibits the Holy Lance and a fragment of Noah’s Ark. Fifth of six nights in Yerevan.
In the morning, drive east of Yerevan to the unesco World Heritage Site of Geghard, a mediaeval monastery partially carved out of the rocks. Experience the exceptional acoustics of this intensely spiritual site in a specially arranged choir recital of sacred music. Continue to Garni village for lunch, followed by a visit of a pagan temple dating back to the first century AD — the only remaining monument of pre-Christian times in Armenia. Final night in Yerevan.
Coach transfer from the hotel to the airport for a morning flight via Paris to London Heathrow, scheduled to arrive at 1.45pm.
Please note that at this stage the programme is still provisional. Although we aim at the greatest degree of accuracy from the outset, some details, especially the order of visits, may be subject to change.
What Is Included - Click to show details
What Is Included - Click to hide details
This Art History Cultural Study Tour includes:
- Scheduled flights with Air France between London Heathrow and Yerevan (via Paris, Economy class)
- Transfers and excursions in Armenia by private coach
- Guided visits to all sights listed in the programme
- Services of the lecturer and a tour manager
- Detailed programme and study notes
- All entrance fees, taxes, and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters
- Transfers and excursions in Armenia by private coach
- Six nights B&B in the international 5-star Marriott Hotel in the centre of Yerevan (marriott.co.uk/hotels/travel/evnmc-armenia-marriott-hotel-yerevan/) and two nights B&B in the stylish, though somewhat idiosyncratic, 4-star boutique Tufenkian Hotel (tufenkianheritage.com/en/accommodation/avan-dzoraget-hotel/) in Dzoraget in the north of the country
- Five dinners and six lunches, some of them (outside Yerevan) in private homes. Fare is often simple, but delicious, with plenty of fresh herbs and vegetables.
- Small group between 12 and 22 participants
- Three dinners and four lunches
- Transport between home and London Heathrow
- Travel insurance. We strongly advise you to be covered by adequate travel insurance.
- Tourist visas are not required for nationals of the European Union. Other nationals please enquire.
Price and Stamina - Click to show details
Price and Stamina - Click to hide details
The price of this tour is £2,850.00 per person, based on two people sharing.
Options available are: Double room for sole use supplement £350.00. The price of this tour without flights £2,400.00.
Deposit payable at the time of booking £300.00 per person.
Specific fitness requirements for this Study Tour:
This tour involves a lot of walking, sometimes on uneven ground and in hilly territory. Visits to sites and museums require prolonged periods of standing without the possibility of a rest. Some journeys are inevitably longer than two hours, but will be interrupted by comfort stops. Having said that, this tour is no more physically demanding than most of our other holidays.
Please note that all our Study Tours involve a significant amount of standing and walking, often across uneven ground, over cobbled streets, or up and down steps and inclines. While we do not have an upper age limit for participants, we require you to have a level of fitness which does not spoil other participents' enjoyment of the holiday and you should be able to walk at a reasonable pace and / or stand for at least thirty minutes without aid or requiring a rest.
If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular tour is suitable for you, please ring us to check before placing your booking.
Booking / Payment Information - Click to show details
Booking / Payment Information - Click to hide details
How to Book a Study Tour Holiday:
You can book on-line by going to the tour web page and clicking the "Book this tour" button, or download a tour booking form** or ring us on 01280 820521 or write to us - see our address details below. More information about the booking procedure can be found in the "Booking Procedure, Terms and Conditions" section below.
How to Pay by Credit or Debit Card:
You can pay your deposit or balance payment for a Study Tour Holiday in the following ways:
- On-line by clicking the "Make a payment" ..button in this section and following the instructions.
- Or ring us to make your payment (please have your your credit or debit card details ready (and we will also need to have your phone number or email address) - our contact details are on each page.
Please note that payment can be made by cheque, bank transfer or debit card (Maestro or Visa Debit cards - free of charge). On-line card payments are processed securely by WorldPay on our behalf. Credit card payments (Visa and MasterCard only) incur a 2% handling fee to contribute to the charges levied upon us by card companies and this handling fee is non-refundable under any circumstances. We will NOT retain any card information once payment has been received.
**Note: You can get a free copy of Acrobat Reader by clicking here.
We only accept payment in British Pounds (GBP) and accept the following types of cards only:
An on-line booking may be cancelled within 7 days of the booking being made and the associated on-line payment will be refunded less an administration charge. We would need to be informed of the cancellation in writing within the 7 day period. Our normal booking terms and conditions will also apply.
Art Pursuits Abroad will not have access to any of the card details that you provide to WorldPay when you make your payment.
Already made your booking:
Do you need to make a payment for your booking? If yes, please click the button below:
Booking Procedure, Terms and Conditions - Click to show details
Booking Procedure, Terms and Conditions - Click to hide details
A provisional booking should be made by telephone or through our website. Once we have confirmed availability, we will hold your reservation for one week.
To make your booking definite, fill in our booking form. This must be signed by the person authorised by all persons named on the form to make the booking based on our terms and conditions. If you make a booking on behalf of others as well as yourself, we shall take it that you have the authority of each of those other people to enter into that contract and that you and they have agreed to be jointly and severally liable to us. You then need to send your completed and signed booking form to us together with the deposit specified in the tour description. This deposit is non-refundable unless we have to cancel the holiday in which case all money you have paid us for that tour will be refunded.
Once we have received these, a contract exists between you and Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd. We will then issue you a booking confirmation invoice. Please check this invoice carefully as soon as you receive it. Contact us immediately if any information appears to be incorrect. We regret we cannot accept any liability if we are not notified of any inaccuracies in any document within fifteen days of sending it out. If you are booking within eight weeks of the date of departure, full payment is required with your booking. The final balance is payable at the latest eight weeks before the tour. It is your responsibility to ensure that the full amount reaches us on time. If it doesn't, we are entitled to assume that you wish to cancel your booking. In this case, we will be entitled to keep all deposits paid or due at that date.
Payment can be made by cheque, bank transfer or debit card (Maestro or Visa Debit cards - free of charge). We also accept credit card payments (Visa and MasterCard only), but these incur a 2% handling fee to contribute to the charges levied upon us by card companies. Please note that this handling fee is non-refundable under any circumstances.
Download a copy of the Booking Procedure.
BOOKING TERMS AND CONDITIONS
A list of what is included in the price of a tour is given in each tour's description. The basic tour price is per person sharing a double room and includes VAT.
We require that you have adequate holiday insurance, covering medical treatment, repatriation, loss of property and cancellation charges. We also recommend that you carry a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which can be obtained from the Department of Health.
AGE AND FITNESS
All our tours involve a significant amount of standing and walking, often across uneven ground, over cobbled streets, or up and down steps. While we do not have an upper age limit for participants, we require you to have a level of fitness which does not spoil other participants' enjoyment of the holiday and you should be able to walk or stand for at least thirty minutes without aid or requiring a rest.
If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular tour is suitable for you, please ring us to check before placing your booking. If you or any member of your party has any medical condition or disability which may affect your study tour or has any special requirements as a result of any medical condition or disability (including any which affect the booking process), please tell us before you confirm your booking so that we can assist you in considering the suitability of your chosen study tour and/or making the booking.
In any event, you must give us full details in writing at the time of booking and whenever any change in the condition or disability occurs. You must also promptly advise us if any medical condition or disability which may affect your participation in our study tour develops after your booking has been confirmed. If we reasonably feel unable to accommodate properly the particular needs of the person concerned, we must reserve the right to decline their reservation or, if full details are not given at the time of booking or the condition/disability develops after booking, cancel when we become aware of these details. You further agree to accept the authority and decisions of Art Pursuits Abroad and our tour lecturer or manager whilst on your study tour. If in the opinion of any such person(s) your health endangers the safety or smooth running of the study tour we reserve the right to cancel your study tour or your participation in any part of it and shall have no further liability to you..
PASSPORTS AND VISAS
You must have a valid passport for all our tours. For most countries, this needs to be valid for six months beyond the dates of travel. Non-European nationals may have to obtain a visa. Visa requirements for British citizens on our tours outside Europe are stated in the individual tour description.
CANCELLATIONS AND CHANGES BY YOU
If you have to cancel your booking, we will make a charge to offset costs incurred on your behalf. Charges vary according to the period of notice given. Up to 57 days before the tour the deposit is forfeited. Thereafter, a percentage of the total cost of the tour will be due:
- Between 56 and 29 days: 40%
- Between 28 and 15 days: 60%
- Between 14 days and 3 days: 80%
- Within 48 hours: 100%
We take as the day of cancellation that working day on which we receive written confirmation of your cancellation. Your travel insurance policy may cover you for at least some of your losses.
If you want to make a change after your initial booking, we shall endeavour to try to satisfy your requirements once we have received written confirmation from you, but we shall make a charge to reflect any cost involved in this.
CANCELLATIONS AND CHANGES BY ART PURSUITS ABROAD LTD
We do our utmost to provide the tour programme as confirmed, but we reserve the right to modify or cancel the tour and any of its ingredients if unforeseen circumstances arise. If a programme change represents a significant loss to the tour, we will offer compensation. If you decide to cancel because the alternative offer were not acceptable, we will give a full refund. We also reserve the right to cancel the tour if there are insufficient bookings up to eight weeks before departure. If we have to cancel the tour, we will offer a full refund.
COMPLAINTS AND PROBLEMS
If something goes wrong, please inform a member of our staff as soon as possible. We will then endeavour to put things right quickly. If a problem cannot be resolved while on tour, you will need to send us a written report within 28 days of your return, giving full details of your complaint. We will then endeavour to agree a reasonable level of compensation, if appropriate. In the unlikely event that agreement cannot be reached, you may wish to take advantage of the independent dispute resolution scheme offered by AITO - details available on request.
YOUR FINANCIAL PROTECTION
In accordance with the Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Art Pursuits Abroad Limited are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Art Pursuits Abroad Limited.
FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED AIR HOLIDAYS
We provide full financial protection for our package holidays, by way of our Air Travel Organiser's Licence (number 6436). When you buy an ATOL protected flight-inclusive holiday from us you receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and whom to contact if things go wrong.
We will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative). In some cases, where we are unable to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).
If we are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us (or your credit card issuer where applicable). You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.
FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED RAIL-BASED PACKAGES AND INDEPENDENT TRAVELLERS
In accordance with the Package Travel, Page Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Art Pursuits Abroad Limited that do not include flights are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements in the unlikely event of the insolvency of Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd.
Consumer Aware: Your booking is insured by IPP Ltd and its panel of insurers. This insurance is only valid for passengers who book with and pay directly to Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd. For further information see www.ipplondon.co.uk.
OUR LIABILITIES TO YOU
We accept responsibility for ensuring that all parts of the tour are supplied as described and that all services reach a reasonable standard. However, we shall not be liable for the failure or improper performance of these services where such failure or improper performance is attributable to the fault of the client, or the unforeseeable or unavoidable actions of an unconnected third party or to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our or our suppliers control. Our obligations and responsibilities shall also be limited where international conventions in respect of air carriers apply.
These conditions form part of your contract with Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd and are governed by English law. All proceedings shall be within the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
Download a copy of the Terms and Conditions.
Financial Security and Consumer Protection - Click to show details
Financial Security and Consumer Protection - Click to hide details
In accordance with The Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Art Pursuits Abroad Limited are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Art Pursuits Limited.
FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED AIR HOLIDAYS
Art Pursuits Abroad Limited air holidays are ATOL Protected, since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 6436. All the flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate
FOR ART PURSUITS ABROAD LIMITED RAIL-BASED PACKAGES AND INDEPENDENT TRAVELLERS
In accordance with the Package Travel, Page Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992 all passengers booking with Arts Pursuits Abroad Limited that do not include flights are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies paid to us, including repatriation if required, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your travel arrangements in the unlikely event of the insolvency of Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd.
Consumer Aware: Your booking is insured by IPP Ltd and its panel of insurers. This insurance is only valid for passengers who book and pay directly with/to Art Pursuits Abroad Ltd. For further information see www.ipplondon.co.uk.
OUR LIABILITIES TO YOU
We accept responsibility for ensuring that all parts of the tour are supplied as described and that all services reach a reasonable standard. However, we shall not be liable for the failure or improper performance of these services where such failure or improper performance is attributable to the fault of the client, or the unforeseeable or unavoidable actions of an unconnected third party or to unusual and unforeseeable circumstances beyond our or our supplier’s control. Our obligations and responsibilities shall also be limited where international conventions in respect of air carriers apply.
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