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5 holiday tours for art and architecture lovers

Special interest holidays are becoming more popular and are a great way to spend time with people that are as interested in arts and culture as you.

Caravaggio's display at St John's Co-Cathedral, in Malta
On display at St John's Co-Cathedral, Caravaggio's painting 'The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist' is considered to be his greatest work.

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Special interest holidays are becoming more and more popular and it is a great way to spend time with people that are as interested in arts and culture as you. 

We’ve listed a few of our most popular holiday tours that will inject a little beauty into your trip and have you wandering in the footsteps of some of the greatest artists and architects in the world. 

From Tuscany to India to the Baltics, there are many exciting holiday opportunities allowing you to travel to different locations with Saga.

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Amsterdam and the Golden Age of Art tou

The Netherlands doesn’t always spring to mind first when it comes to art and architecture breaks in the way that Spain, France and Italy often do, but some of the finest masters came from a Dutch tradition. 

Van Gogh and Rembrandt are undoubtedly among the most famous European artists, but they are flanked by Vermeer, Hals and Steen for painting. 

This holiday explores the Dutch Golden Age of painting, which took place during the 17th century when the artworks began to move towards displaying detailed realism, depicting the everyday life and times of the Netherlands rather than Biblical narratives.

On this tour you can spend your days wandering the canals of the beautiful city of Amsterdam, delve into its complex history of art inside galleries, and explore the darker Nazi occupied history that produced one of the greatest memoirs of our time; Anne Frank’s diary. 

We organise everything from flights to accommodation to insightful evening workshops where you can learn all about the arts and culture on your holiday to Amsterdam.

Italian Splendours tour 

The home of Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Dante, Italy was the centre from which the Renaissance emanated. 

Art, literature and music flourished here, so it’s the perfect place to holiday. See the Uffizi and Accademia galleries in the beautiful Tuscan city of Florence and step inside the legacy of the Roman Empire, its architecture, history and art, in Rome, before witnessing the Vatican City and its murals.

The tour will take you to spend days in the south of Italy, so you can view the fascinating remains of Pompeii in the city of Naples on your breaks. This is a trip for classic art, painting and architecture lovers in the heart of Europe.

Grand Capitals of the Baltic tour

Discover north eastern Europe by seeing the incredible architecture of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia on your holidays. 

View a Baroque and Rococo architectural masterpiece, the Rundale Palace of Riga in Latvia, or wander around the city’s colourful streets in its old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Take in Tallinn’s fairytale spires and old world churches in Estonia, then wander through the Baroque city with touches of Gothic architectural style before returning to your holiday hotel room.

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Art History in Malta tour 

A holiday designed specifically as an art appreciation tour, you can see the painting and works within the Grandmaster’s Palace and the vault paintings in St. Paul’s Shipwreck Church – where masterpieces by Matteo Perez d’Aleccio, Attilio Palombi and Giuseppe Calì are housed in Valletta. 

Spend some time browsing the National Museum of Fine Arts to learn more on your holiday too. 

If you’ve always wanted to indulge your love of art, with similarly minded people, the Art History tour in Malta is a brilliant place to begin.

India’s Golden Triangle and Beyond tour

Lavish, colourful and expressive India wears its art on its sleeve, from the kaleidoscopic saris worn by women, to the semi-precious stones winking in the sunlight on the walls of the country’s temples.
India embraces art down to its roots, making it a great cultural holiday location. In Delhi you will be able to see the Mughal influence of its rulers in the many forts and palaces. 

Agra boasts the most famous of all Indian landmarks, the Taj Mahal, with its eerie symmetry and its dark yet romantic history. Take the time on your holidays to look at the delicate borders and artwork carved into the marble and learn more about the Taj Mahal was constructed.

If you’re interested in art appreciation holidays outside the UK, or want to be directed to a tour that incorporates a country’s culture and architecture, then contact Saga and we can help you choose a tour that fits your interests. 

You might even be inspired to book onto some painting or art courses in a school once you get home.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.