Andante travel: meaningful archaelogical holidays

Joanna Lawson

Marketing manager

Andante travels

“We’re an archaeological travel company, set up in 1985, and owned and run by archaeologists. We run tours all over the world to ancient monuments, and each tour has a guide who is a respect archaeologist.

“The company was started by Dr Annabell Lawson, who started showing people around Stonehenge and sights in Germany, and she figured it would be a good idea to keep going.” 

“We currently run around 60 tours, that take in the Middle East, North Africa, South American and Sri Lanka. The most popular tours are those to Jordan, Egypt, Pompeii, larger towns in Peru and Mexico.

“Always been a popular type of travel for those in a certain circle, always going to be a market for specialist travel and types of holiday. I think that the rise of programmes such as Time Team has made it more accessible, the stereotype of archaeology has been blown away a bit by shows like that. Low cost airlines have also opened up the market for more interesting holidays for people.

“We now run Barebones, which is a scaled down version of the tours. We’ve found that a lot of people like having a guide, but they also like to go off by themselves. People want independence and a chance to explore the place they are visiting, but the Bare Bones tour allows them to explore and also have guided sessions. They are becoming very popular, especially with younger travellers.

“We see a real fluctuation in our most popular destinations, I don’t know why it varies. Obviously if there’s a big film or book based around a certain archaeological sight then sometimes that increases the interest, but it really is vary random why people decide to visit certain sights.

Pompeii is probably our most consistently popular destination for people to visit. This is because it’s still in one piece, you can really see what Roman life was like, the bodies are still covered in ash, and it’s also very accessible now because of low cost flights to Italy.”

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