Dacian, Roman & Saxon treasures
26 May - 2 Jun 2018 (8 Days)
Study Tour Lecturer:
Study Tour Overview
Today Transylvania is a region so inexorably entwined with the gothic myth and romanticism of Bram Stoker’s Dracula that one might almost be forgiven for thinking that it is no more than a figment of the celebrated author’s imagination. Yet ‘the land beyond the forest’ — as its Latin name so eloquently translates — is very much a reality, where travellers looking to eschew the conventional associations of the region will be richly rewarded with the startling vestiges of an older Europe. Indeed the real Transylvania, although satisfyingly studded with crumbling castles, will also reveal sun-drenched summertime valleys filled with Saxon towns, unesco-listed churches and flower-filled meadows.
This new Art Pursuits Abroad tour will tell the story of Transylvanian history. From the Dacian capital of Sarmizegetusa Regia, offering a breath-taking glimpse of pre-Roman life, to the nearby remains of the Roman capital at Ulpia Traiana, which will provide the perfect opportunity to study how Trajan’s conquerors asserted their control over these remote lands. Dacia remained part of the Roman Empire from 106 to c.275 ad, when Aurelian decided to evacuate the province due to the pressure of Barbarian invasions. The Goths, and later the Huns under Attila, arrived in the province in the early Middle Ages and by the beginning of the 11th century, Hungary’s first Christian king, Stephen, had made Transylvania part of his kingdom and begun converting the indigenous people. Germanic settlers from Flanders, Luxembourg and the Moselle Valley followed in around 1150, colonising the sparsely populated area of the south-western Carpathians. Although inhabitants before them have undoubtedly made their mark on the landscape, it is perhaps these ‘Saxon’ settlers who have left the biggest imprint, constructing unique, and now unesco-listed, fortified churches and establishing a ring of seven fortress towns, which today retain a distinctive ‘Germanic’ feel. Subsequent Hapsburg rule and Romanian unification will also be explored, particularly in Alba Iulia and at the Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu, during our first foray into this fascinating and overlooked corner of Eastern Europe.
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:
Morning flight c. 9am with Lufthansa from London Heathrow to Sibiu, via Munich. By private coach to Alba Iulia and settle in to our five star hotel. Overnight in Alba Iulia.
By coach to Hunedoara to visit Corvin Castle. Originally built by the Anjou family on the site of a former Roman camp, the fortress was expanded in the 15th century by voivode, Ioan of Hunedoara. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Hunedoara was one of the main iron processing centres in Transylvania and swords made in the town were renowned across Europe. After lunch continue to the remarkable UNESCO listed fortified church at Câlnic. Later return to Alba Iulia for a walking tour exploring Roman, Mediaeval, Hapsburg and 20th-century history. Overnight in Alba Iulia.
By coach to Sarmizegetusa Regia, the capital of the Dacian civilisation from c.50 bc. After lunch drive to the Roman capital, Ulpia Traiana. En route visit 13th century Densus church, built with Roman spolia. Afterwards visit the Archaeology Museum with finds from Ulpia Traiana. Check in to our comfortable 3-star pension, overnight in Sarmizegetusa.
By coach to Deva to visit the History Museum, with its fascinating interactive displays detailing the history of Dacian civilisation with many finds from Sarmizegetusa Regia. Continue to Sibiu and check in to our four-star hotel. After lunch and some free-time, coach excursion to Sibiel village to visit the unique glass icon museum. Overnight in Sibiu.
This morning we explore Saxon Sibiu on foot. Later visit the Bruckenthal Museum, with its wide-ranging collection of European paintings, from Flemish masters to 19th-century Romanian works. The afternoon is at leisure, with free time to become better acquainted with the town’s hidden passages and sun-drenched pastel-painted squares. Overnight in Sibiu.
By coach to the magnificent fortified Saxon church at Biertan. Begun in the late 15th century, this unesco World Heritage Site offers a wonderful insight into how Germanic immigrants transformed this area when it was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. There are beautiful views of the surrounding village and forested hills. We continue to Sighisoara, another of Transylvania’s seven Saxon towns, visiting the Church on the Hill, the town museum with its quirky collection of exhibits from historic medical implements to 1930s rocketry, and the clock tower. Return to Sibiu and overnight.
Drive to Bran and visit the castle, famously now associated with the legend of Count Dracula. The fortress enjoys a spectacular hilltop outlook and casts an imposing silhouette on the land below. An atmospheric and historically important building which held military significance until the mid-18th century, Bran castle only has tangential associations with the real Vlad the Impaler, upon whom Bram Stoker drew for inspiration for his blood-thirsty character. Continue to Brasov. After lunch we undertake a walking tour of the town, including a visit to the 15th-century Black Church, so called because it was damaged in a fire in 1689. Return to Sibiu and overnight.
In the morning, we visit the ASTRA Museum, an open-air ethnological museum with an internationally important collection of historic buildings, which have been painstakingly moved from their original locations and preserved. After some free time, transfer to Sibiu airport for an afternoon flight with Austrian Airlines to Heathrow, via Vienna, arriving in London c. 6.45pm.
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 Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines between London Heathrow and Sibiu (outbound via Munich, inbound via Vienna, Economy class)
- Transfers and excursions in Transylvania by private coach
- Two nights B&B in the five-star Hotel Medieval in the centre of Alba Iulia (hotel-medieval.ro/), one night B&B in the basic but comfortable three-star Sarmis Pension (pensiuneasarmis.ro), and four nights B&B in the four-star Hotel Continental Forum in Sibiu (continental-forum-sibiu.continentalhotels.ro)
- Five dinners and two simple lunches
- 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
- Small group between 12 and 22 participants
- Excludes six lunches and two dinners
- Transport between home and London Heathrow
- Travel insurance. We require that you are covered by adequate travel insurance.
Price and Stamina - Click to show details
Price and Stamina - Click to hide details
The price of this tour is £2,350.00 per person, based on two people sharing.
Options available are: Double room for sole use supplement £320.00. The price of this tour without flights £2,170.00.
Deposit payable at the time of booking £200.00 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 long 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:
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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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