About Andante

Expert-led | Excellent Value Archaeological Journeys

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What to expect when you travel with us

Founded and run by archaeologists, Andante Travels has grown to become one of the UK’s leading specialist tour operators. Nominated for the British Travel awards in 2012 and 2013, and in 2013 we were awarded 'Best Small Holiday Company for Customer Service' at the prestigious British Travel Awards. Thanks to the wonderful support of our travellers we ran for no less than 5 awards in 2014. Our tours have also been named ‘Trips of a Lifetime’ by the National Geographic Traveler 5 years in a row. Over the years, we have introduced thousands of people to the wonders of the ancient world.

Here are a few more details on our holidays and service. If you have any further queries then please do get in touch.

Expert Guides
Our tours are conceived, planned and led by articulate experts: archaeologists, historians, writers and broadcasters. Drawing on the ancient sites we visit, our Guide Lecturers are able to build up a vivid picture of life in the past with knowledge, good humour and skill. They will be there to enlighten and inspire you from breakfast to supper and even in the bar afterwards!

Professional Tour Managers
Uniquely, our tours are also accompanied by a professional Tour Manager. Competent, efficient and charming, our Tour Managers ensure all the practical details of your holiday are taken care of. They are also excellent company and include linguists, writers, archaeologists and fellow travel enthusiasts. 

Exclusive Special Access
Ever wanted to go behind the scenes at the Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg? To visit the trenches of a working excavation or stand amongst the stones at Stonehenge? We offer our guests privileged, private access to some of the truly great sites, monuments and museums.

Small Groups
Andante Travellers are interesting, intelligent people leading all manner of different lives. We aim to create an easy and informal atmosphere - we have a lot of fun on our tours and many friendships have been formed. Our maximum group size is 25, although some are restricted to as few as 15; the average group size is currently 18.

Low Single Supplements
We have no desire to penalise the single travellers who come on our tours! As such we try to keep single supplements to a minimum and only ever pass on charges from the hotel. Tours with a low single supplement are marked on individual tour pages.

Value for Money - no hidden costs
Unless otherwise stated all our tours include: flights, expert Guide Lecturer, Tour Manager, all meals (except on travelling days), accommodation, local travel, entry to all sites and museums and tips. We also guarantee not to pass on any currency surcharges - the price of your tour will stay the same, regardless of the price of the dollar or euro...

Hand-Picked Hotels, Good Food
We are firm believers in in offering you an authentic handpicked hotel of character. Some of our choices are amongst the best in the world and some are simple, but the vast majority are charming and picturesque places to stay. From feasting at the top of the Reichstag to our famous picnics, we also make the most of good local food (and guests have commented that Andante Tours can sometimes expand the  waistline as well as the mind!).

Unique Field Notes for every tour
A handy, pocket-sized - in-depth but accessible - guide to the sites you see on tour, written by your Guide Lecturer. Delivered to your door with a recommended reading list a few weeks before you travel - ideal to whet your appetite for
the journey ahead!

Holidays everyone can enjoy
All you need to enjoy our tours is enthusiasm and an inquiring mind. Our groups include people from all walks of life - some have a lifelong passion for archaeology, others have no prior knowledge. We are determined to make sure that our tours are holidays, not study trips. Guests often report coming home amazed at how much they saw and learned!

Active, Adventurous Journeys
All of our tours are at least moderately active and are carefully planned to minimise the amount of time spent on the road. The level of walking activity varies from tour to tour. Unlike some travel companies we do not impose an arbitrary age limit, however if you do have concerns about your fitness do give us a call and we will be happy to advise.

Peace of Mind
When you travel with us, you will be looked after around the clock. In the unlikely event of an emergency, Andante staff will be on hand to help you both on tour and from the UK. We are experts in dealing with the unexpected. We have a 24-hour emergency number which is manned at all times and, of course, you will be accompanied by Andante staff at all times.

Dining In & Eating Out
We will do our best to accommodate special diets and pass all requests on to our hotels and restaurants but regret that we cannot guarantee them. You will need to feel that you are in charge of your own diet and if necessary, take vital foods with you. If you have any questions about this, please let us know before travelling.

We travel to places with wonderful and distinctive food, and discovering restaurants and local cuisine is one of the joys of travelling. We include meals at local restaurants at lunch and dinner on most tours, rather than eating in the hotels all the time.

Lots of Walking
All of our tours are physically active and some require a significant amount of walking. If there are long journeys, we make sure we find rest-stops or sites to visit en route. Archaeological sites are often in wonderful rural places. We provide the opportunity to walk to the furthest reaches where we can, climb up to spectacular viewpoints and squeeze ourselves into chambers and channels (even an aqueduct on one particular tour!). Many guests find that walking poles are helpful when the terrain is very uneven. Remember that walking around cities can be just as tiring, if not more so, than remote mountain tops.

As a guide we recommend that you should be able to walk for 30 minutes continuously at a good pace without requiring a rest.

Local Transport
We hire our coaches from reliable family firms wherever possible and have worked with some of our drivers for many years. Friendly and helpful coach drivers add much to the tour. The size of the coach we select depends on the size of the party, but we always bear comfort in mind and there is often enough space for everyone to have two seats. Andante staff will encourage guests to move around the bus and change seats throughout the tour.

On some tours, access to certain sites is only possible on a smaller coach or in 4x4s, and some of our tours see us covering long distances in 4x4s. If this is the case on your departure, it will be made clear in the tour description.

Travel Health
Please make sure that you have thought about any inoculations or medicines that you might require for your trip. Whilst we are always happy to help with any questions about your trip we regret that we cannot offer medical advice. You should always consult your GP if you are unsure about what vaccinations you should get.

The websites below give some useful information about what vaccinations are usually recommended when travelling to a given country:

www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations.aspx
www.nc.cdc.gov/travel

Passports
Please do check to make sure that your passport will be valid for the entirety of your trip. Many countries require you to have at least 6 months to 1 year still valid on your passport from the date that you enter the country.

The websites below give lots of useful information on how much validity is required for each country:

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
travel.state.gov/content/passports/ encountry.html

Visas
Please remember that it is your responsibility to make sure that you have a valid visa to travel. Many countries don’t require visas at all but as this changes regularly it is best to double check this. The two websites above will also give advice as to whether a visa is required.

For tours where visas are required in advance we will provide additional information about the visa process once the tour is confirmed. For some countries the visa process can be quite long and laborious so when this is the case we will make sure to warn you well in advance and assist you with the process.

Travel Insurance
We strongly recommend that you do arrange insurance cover for your trip. Thankfully it is very rare that any of our guests need to call upon their insurance, but on those rare occasions when they have, they have always been very glad to have this protection in place!

EU citizens travelling in the EU: please note that an EHIC card should not be considered a substitute for travel insurance.

Full Financial Protection
All our holidays are fully bonded and protected. The air holiday packages in this brochure are ATOL Protected, since we hold an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 3552. ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services in this brochure. Holidays without flights are protected by ABTOT. This means that in the unlikely event of our insolvency, your holiday would be completed or refunded.