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Moravia in the Czech Republic is still a largely undiscovered part of Central Europe, and yet it abounds in wonderful buildings, rich in historical associations and scenic beauty. For a long part of the mighty Habsburg Empire, Moravia’s proximity to the heart of the monarchy in Vienna meant it became a favourite area for the wealthy aristocracy to build their magnificent summer palaces and the 18th and 19th centuries saw a huge building boom after the Ottoman defeat at Vienna in 1683. However, the Renaissance was also a period of rich cultural activity, resulting in some of the finest 16th century buildings of Central Europe. The great Mies van der Rohe, one of the pioneers of modernist architecture, has also contributed to the diverse architectural treasures of the region. His iconic Vila Tugendhat in Brno was completed in 1930 and remains an exemplar of minimalist chic. This new Art Pursuits tour encompasses great houses of all periods, some with important gardens or designed landscapes and often set in countryside of great natural beauty, offering a fascinating introduction to this overlooked corner of the world.
To use our NEW itinerary, simply click a day below and a detailed overview will appear.
Mid-morning flight with BA from London Heathrow to Prague and transfer by coach to our four-star hotel in the enchanting little Renaissance town of Telč, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, where we will spend the first two nights of our tour.
A morning devoted to exploring Telc, one of the finest small towns of Central Europe with its beautiful unspoilt square of gabled Renaissance and Baroque houses. The Renaissance castle is particularly fine and has outstanding carved and painted Renaissance interiors. An afternoon excursion will take us to �dár nad Sázavou, one of the finest monastic complexes in Europe. The former abbey buildings are the home of the eminent Kinský family, whose property was restituted after the Velvet Revolution of 1989. Santini-Aichel, one of the most exciting and original architects of the period, remodelled the mediaeval monastery church in the early 18th century and built the amazing hilltop pilgrimage chapel of Zelená Hora (Green Hill) designed symbolically in the form of a five-pointed star and now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
After checking out of our hotel, we travel out of the town to Vranov château, spectacularly sited on a cliff above the river Dyje, the masterpiece of the great Austrian architect, Fischer von Erlach and an Unesco World Heritage site. After lunch, we travel to Uhercice, a majestic Renaissance-Baroque house, and the subject of one of the most significant restoration projects in the country. Continue to Lednice to check into our four-star hotel for the remaining 4 nights of this tour.
This morning we visit Castle Lednice, the Romantic Gothic Revival summer palace of the Liechtensteins, containing splendid original furnishings, and enjoy the great landscape park with its many 18th- and 19th-century follies. The entire Valtice-Lednice complex is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, and forms one of the finest designed landscapes in Europe. A relaxing boat ride will take us to the Oriental minaret and there will also be time to explore the garden. In the afternoon we see 18th-century Milotice, with its theatric exterior and magnificent painted Ancestor’s Hall. A special group dinner will be in one of the enchanting garden pavilions with views over the park.
After breakfast we set out to visit Buchlovice, a charming Italianate villa and externally one of the most beautiful houses of Moravia, set in outstanding gardens. We continue to Bucovice, a late Renaissance château containing some of the finest Renaissance interiors in Central Europe.
After breakfast drive to Brno to see the iconic Vila Tugendhat, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the masterpiece of Mies van der Rohe. Recently superbly restored, it is the most important example of 1930s Modernism in the Czech Republic. In the afternoon we see the monumental palace of Slavkov, with superb plasterwork by Italian artists. Here the peace treaty between France and Austria was signed after the battle of Austerlitz which was fought in the surrounding fields. The evening will be spent enjoying a wine-tasting in a South Moravian vineyard before our last night in Lednice.
After breakfast, check out of our hotel and transfer to Vienna airport for our flight to London Heathrow.
When it comes to getting you to your destination. Leger Holidays make it easy, with a selection of travel options for you to choose from
For complete flexibility, make your own transport arrangements to and from the ship. We will provide you with times and locations as well as some useful information for you to make your own arrangements to join your cruise.
If you require any further information to assist with your travel plans, please contact our Holiday Advisors who will be happy to help.
Travel down to Dover and jump onboard your coach for your ferry crossing.
Alternatively, travel the day before your departure and enjoy an overnight stay, with complimentary parking for the duration of your cruise, before being collected after breakfast the following morning.
Step aboard Eurostar at London St Pancras for a fast and comfortable journey to mainland Europe. You can even upgrade your reserved seat to Standard Premier – speak to our Holiday Advisors for more information. On arrival in Paris, Lille or Brussels, you will then join connecting services for your onward journey.
Return flights from London Heathrow with transfers to and from the ship are included in our package on our specific arrival and departure dates. We also include one item of checked in luggage per person.
If our included flights are not suitable, alternative flights may also be available from other airports on our arrival and departure dates. These may have an additional supplement and are subject to availability at the time of booking.
For those travelling from further afield, you can also book overnight accommodation in London, before and after your holiday. Speak to our Holiday Advisors for more information.
For an even more relaxed start to your European holiday, why not stay overnight in Dover or nearby Ashford the night before your cruise from only £65pp? All our quoted prices include car parking for one vehicle for the duration of your cruise and cooked breakfast the following morning. Our coach will collect you and return you to the hotel on its way to/from the port of Dover. And if you don’t want that holiday feeling to end, why not do the same on your return journey?