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Category Archives: Edventures Blog
Download the full itinerary here: Enchanting Ecuador – Itinerary 2014
PROVENCE: Magic en Plein Air!
November 4 – 13, 2013
with an extension to Paris
November 13 – 16, 2013
Few places are as beautiful or as much treasured as Provence, the region of southern France whose associations range from Caesar, the Romans and Popes to prolific artists, splendid wine and unspoiled villages. On canvas, in the cafes and through the landscape, magic is in the air!
-Eight nights accommodation at four star properties.
Avignon: Three nights
4 Star Hotel Del’Horloge, Avignon
Aix-en-Provence: Three nights
4 Star Chateau de la Pioline
Nice: Two nights
4 Star Splendid Hotel, Nice
We are especially pleased that our favorite French guide, Gabrielle Greenway, will be joining us.
Other inclusions are:
-Breakfast daily at the hotel
-Two winery visits with tastings
-Private motor-coach throughout the tour
-Art historian guide each day
-Entrance fees to all featured museums and attractions
-Gratuities to driver and guide
-Full time tour manager
-Comprehensive pre departure readings
-Detailed travel guide
Trip price: $4495 per person based on double occupancy. The single supplement is $650.
There will be a surcharge of $200 per person if there are under twenty paying passengers.
We require a minimum of ten paying passengers to offer the trip.
Paris Extension Trip Price: $955. The single supplement is $369.
Schedule By Day: November 4 – 13, 2013
Mon. November 4, 2013
Depart on overnight flight from JFK to London and on to Marseilles. Dinner, Breakfast in flight.
Tues. November 5, 2013
Transfer from Marseille Airport to Avignon, via private coach. Our guide will provide commentary en route through the beautiful Provencal countryside. We will settle in to our hotel neighborhood, and relax before our welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Avignon is where the popes pontificated in medieval times and people danced on (or under) the famous bridge. Once the majestic center of church power, today it’s an intimate, Provençal walled city. Great historic sights, mellow bars and fashionable shops along quaint cobbled streets make for wonderful strolling.
Wed. November 6, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel
Private Coach & Guide: full day sightseeing of Avignon. In the 14th century, Avignon was the capital of Christendom, home to the popes, leaving a wonderful footprint of that period on view for today’s visitors. This beautiful walled, medieval city has become quite a cultural center. Its famous bridge, pont St-Benezet, built in 1177, has suffered various disasters, but today has four of its original arches still intact. Palais des Papes – The maze of corridors and rooms in the Palais de Papes were richly decorated by skilled artists and craftsmen brought from Italy. We will also visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, the Roman aqueduct, Pont du Gard.
Thurs. November 7, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel, lunch at winery restaurant and wine tasting at another winery. Private coach and guide for a full day of sightseeing and touring of the Luberon hilltowns and Cote du Rhone. The Luberon region, stretching 40 miles along a ridge of rugged hills east of Avignon, nestles some of France’s most appealing hill towns and sensuous landscapes.
We will explore the Cotes du Rhone wine region of endless vineyards, mountains and old stone villages. We will visit Vaison la Romaine, Vacqueyras, Gigondas and if time permits, Rasteau. We will stop for wine tastings at a few wineries and enjoy a three course winery luncheon. Wine can be purchased and shipped home from the winery.
Fri. November 8, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel
Private coach and guide: Touring Provence & the French Riviera
Head southwest through Provence to Aix-en-Provence, touring en route:
Aix en Provence
Aix en Provence is Marseille’s better-behaved, slightly younger brother. Founded in 123 BC by the Romans, today Aix (pronounced “X”) is a lively university town with elegant, aristocratic old quarters and squares lined with cafes and cooled by fountains. “Its good taste comes so naturally that not even the students can disturb it,” observed the travel writer Marcel Renébon. “It was the last city in France to give up its sedan chairs.” Arles was once the political center of the early Christian Church. It regained its former popularity when Van Gogh settled here, painting some of his most celebrated works. It features great ruins such as the Roman Arena plus eclectic museums. We will spend time at the Musee de l’Arles Antique. The collection includes one of the world’s most famous collections of Roman Christian sarcophagi as well as mosaics, sculptures and antiquities.
St. Remy is a sleepy village living the small-town Provencal life.
Two of the most famous residents of the elegant town of St. Remy were the Renaissance seer Nostrodamus and the painter Vincent Van Gogh, who spent most of the last year of his life in a sanitarium just outside of the town. From the window of his room he made 150 paintings and drawings.
The village consists of perfectly groomed houses decorated with subdued hues and touches of marble and stone door and window frames. We will spend time visiting the sites painted by Van Gogh and visit places he stayed, allowing time to wander this quaint village. We will continue our drive to the Chateau de la Pioline, our home for the next three nights. Set on ten acres, the property has lovely gardens and an in-ground pool.
Sat. November 9, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel
Long Distance Coach: Touring Provence & the French Riviera Half-day tour of Aix-en-Provence: Step back in time in what was once a Roman city. Fountains ripple while university students stroll by mansions. Artists and writers have found inspiration here, so there’s no shortage of their legacies. There will be time at leisure in downtown Aix to find an inviting sidewalk cafe for lunch on your own along Cours Mirabeau. This afternoon will be free to trace the footsteps of Cezanne in Aix. A few to wander include:
Studio at Les Lauvres:
Cézanne’s last studio in Aix is a place haunted by memory, where the spirit of the master lingers on. His equipment and the objects he took for models are still there, combining with other mementoes and the garden to recreate the living, intimate atmosphere of his presence.
The Manor of Jas de Bouffan
For lovers of Cézanne in France and around the world, as well as for the residents of Aix and Provence, the Jas de Bouffan estate – never before opened to the general public – is a fascinating attraction, a place which retains an aura of mystique despite its direct links with so many of the painter’s celebrated works.
Sun. November 10, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel, lunch at a local restaurant
Long Distance Coach: Touring Provence & the French Riviera
Half-day tour along the Route de Cézanne in nearby Le Tholonet.
Le Tholonet is a small village situated close to Aix en Provence in the “Haute Vallée de l’Arc” which is worth visiting for several reasons. From the village there are magnificent views of Mount Saint-Victoire and the superb surrounding countryside. You will appreciate the picturesque rivers of the Arc and La Cause which cross the territory and meander between the vineyards and fields of wild flowers.
Le Tholonet was one of Paul Cezanne’s favorite places. Its red soil, grey rock and intense blue sky all complemented by Mount Sainte-Victoire offer a palette of extraordinary colors. You will discover the Chateau du Tholnet painted by Cezanne and which is today one of the stopping points on the Cezanne circuit, retracing the important sites during his time in the region. When leaving the village at the foot of the windmill you will come across a figure in the image of Cezanne which commemorates the centenary of his birth. We will have a three course lunch in the village and then return to the chateau to relax and enjoy the chateau property.
Mon. November 11, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel
Today we will travel southwest via private coach to the French Riviera, stopping en route in Biot and Antibes. Biot is famous for its pottery, having survived many wars from ancient Roman times. This was also home to the famous painter Fernand Leger, where much of his work still remains. Today it features the marvelous glass blowers and a 15th century church. We will have time to wander through the village craft shops and bistros.
The Picasso Museum:
Antibes is a quaint port town that still has little fishing boats bobbing among the pleasure yachts. Picasso moved here for a time in 1946, leaving all his local works behind on his departure. The Picasso Museum was founded on the ancient acropolis of the Greek town of Antipolis. Up until the beginning of the seventeenth century, the castle was inhabited by the Grimaldi family. In 1925, the castle was bought by the town of Antibes and transformed into a history and archaeology museum. In 1966 the museum was named for Picasso and became the first museum dedicated to his work.
Tues. November 12, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel.
We will leave our hotel in Nice for a full day excursion with guide and private coach to Monaco and St Paul de-Vence. Picture-perfect on a hilltop and ringed by ramparts, St Paul de-Vence has long been a magnet for artists and visitors to the French Riviera. Marc Chagall is buried in the pretty
In St. Paul de-Vence we will visit the Fondation Maeght, a contemporary art museum that Features the works of such artists as Bonnard, Braque, Calder, Chagall, Giacometti and Miro.
Wed. November 13, 2013
Breakfast served at our hotel. Some trip participants will be escorted to the airport for their departure home after breakfast and others will continue on for the Paris extension. Travelers continuing on for the Paris extension will transfer to the Nice train station for the TGV train to Paris. A private coach will meet us at the Paris station for our transfer to the Hotel Mayfair.
Situated in the first arrondissement, we have enjoyed previous stays at this quaint Parisian hotel and our frequent travelers have requested this hotel for our stay. It is close to a metro and within walking distance of major sites. For example, simply walk through the Tuileries Garden, and you are at the Musee d’Orsay, or step out in the opposite direction for the Louvre. With a three day, three zone Metro pass, you will have access to a wide range of sites. Edventures staff will be available to assist you in selecting yours sights and finding your way.
After arrival, we will become familiar with our hotel neighborhood before exploring at leisure.Thu and Fri. November 14 & 15, 2013 Breakfast at the hotel every dayWith our three day metro pass we are free to explore Paris. Options include the Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, Notre Dame, strolling the Champs-Ellysees or wandering along the Seine or travelling to Versaille.
Sat. November 16, 2013
After breakfast at our hotel a private coach will meet us for our transfer to the Charles DeGaulle Airport for our flight home.
You can also come to a trip overview presented at 11:30 AM at Saratoga Arts, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs on:
Saturday, April 20
Saturday, May 11 and
Saturday, June 22.
Enter through the gallery door on Broadway and ask to be directed to the board room, which is located down the hall in front of you.
(with an optional four night extension to Cappadocia, Turkey)
Main tour: April 26 -May 3, 2013
Extension: May 3 – 7, 2013
Location, location, location! That is the story of Turkey, where east meets west, Europe meets Asia, Christianity meets Islam and where the world’s oldest city was discovered. Turkey today is a splendid mosaic, a thriving democracy that is rich in Oriental history and European splendor. Full of marvelous mystery and intrigue, it’s a glistening city of tiled mosques, world-class cuisine and the whirl of a dervish. Istanbul, Cappadocia and all things Turkish conjure exotic images most of us dream about but few actually experience in their lifetime. Join our magical carpet ride to a land that is far away, romantic and unforgettable.
Saratoga Arts and Soroptimist International of Saratoga County Present:
Portugal : Glorious Eden* November 3 – 11, 2012
*Famous British poet and traveler Lord Byron stopped by Sintra, Portugal in the 18th century, writing that the town is “perhaps in every respect the most delightful in Europe,” and calling it a “glorious Eden” in his epic poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage.
Imagine whimsical castles, tiled fortresses, wineries tumbling down steep hillsides and botanical collections centuries in the making…..join Saratoga Arts, Soroptomist International of Saratoga County and Edventures on an escape to Portugal this fall!
November 3- 11, 2012
Day 1 – Saturday, November 3
Depart Newark on direct flight to Lisbon. This non-stop flight includes meals, refreshments, and in-flight entertainment.
Meals: Dinner and breakfast
Day 2 – Sunday, November 4
Arrive Lisbon – Upon arrival, we will transfer to the Lutecia Hotel, our home for four nights.
The balance of the day is at leisure. This evening we will enjoy a welcome dinner at our hotel.
Lisbon is a city spruced up not just for tourists to see; it’s an authentic place that stands out in an increasingly homogeneous world. Although it boasts a range of must-see sights, its biggestpleasures are its street-life and setting, admired from a pavement cafe, from the scenic outlook of a hilltop, or simply by wandering around its enchanting neighborhoods. Not too many other cities have such an intriguing mix of the old and the new, or so many contrasting faces, making this a city for unhurried exploration and a place to get lost in, discovering its many distinctive sights and characteristic images. From the Moorish Alfama quarter to reminders of the Golden Age of Discoveries in Belém, to a royal residence in the Serra de Sintra, Lisbon offers an incredible adventure.
Overnight: Lisbon Meals: Dinner
Day 3 – Monday, November 5 Sightseeing Tour of Lisbon – This morning we will begin our sightseeing tour of Lisbon. Among our sights is the Belem Tower. Built in 1515 as a fortress to guard the entrance to Lisbon’s harbor, the Tower was the starting point for many of the voyages of discovery, and for sailors it was the last sight of their homeland. We will walk through the cobbled alleys of Alfama, the seaman’s quarter, and admire the wide Liberdade Avenue and visit to Jardim Botanical – Lisbon’s oldest botanical garden.
Next we will visit one of Lisbon’s most visited sights, the Coaches Museum (Museu Nacional dos Coches). The collection hosts the largest and most valuable collection of its type in the world. It is housed in a richly decorated 18th century royal riding school that is part of Belem Palace, illustrating the ostentation and staggering wealth of the old Portuguese elite.
We will then visit the delightful Tile Museum. Presenting five centuries of decorative ceramic tiles or azulejos, the museum traces the history and production of the art form. Its collection is the only of its kind in the world, and contains a splendid array of tiles from as early as the 15th century along with displays on how they were made.
The afternoon and evening are at leisure. Overnight: Lisbon
Day 4 – Tuesday, November Full day excursion along Estoril coast to Cascais and Sintra
We will depart today on a scenic drive along the Estoril coast with a short stop in Cascais, a popular resort favored by European nobility and kings in the early 20th century. Today it iscolorful cosmopolitan town with elegant pedestrian streets, luxuriant villas, fashionable shops, restaurants and bars. We then continue to Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage site because of the town’s Romantic architecture. On arrival we will visit the Sintra Royal Palace, an 15th-century royal residence, containing one of the largest tile collections in Portugal. Sintra was declared a World Heritage Site because:
“In the 19th century Sintra became the first center of European Romantic architecture. Ferdinand II turned a ruined monastery into a castle where this new
sensitivity was displayed in the use of Gothic, Egyptian, Moorish and Renaissance elements and in the creation of a park blending local and exotic species of trees. Other fine dwellings, built along the same lines in the surrounding area, created a unique combination of parks and gardens which influenced the development of landscape architecture throughout Europe.”
Return to Lisbon where the evening is free at leisure. Overnight: Lisbon
Day 5 – Wednesday, November 7 Full Day excursion to Obidos, Batalha
We will depart Lisbon in the morning heading north to Óbidos, an enchanting walled city whose narrow cobblestone streets reflect its medieval heritage. All of Obidos has been declared a national monument. It is known as the “Wedding Present Town” because it was a gift King Dinis gave to Queen Isabel on their wedding day in 1282, but that alone is not what makes it such an extraordinarily romantic place — what make it one of Europe’s most romantic medieval villages are its incredibly picturesque cobblestone streets lined with colorful houses filled with geraniums and bougainvillea, Gothic doorways and windows, whitewashed churches, flowerpots and dazzling tiles — all encircled by the walls of a 12th century castle.
Then to Batalha to see the 14th century abbey, a masterpiece of Portuguese “Manueline” architecture named after the king who reigned in the Age of Discovery. This style is characterized by the wide range of architecture brought back by the explorers and is a mixture of late Gothic, with Italian and Flemish influences and even those of East Indian temples.
Battle of Aljubarrota. An equestrian statue of Nuno Alvares Pereira, the king’s commander at the battle, stands before the southern façade. The exterior possesses innumerable pinnacles, buttresses and openwork balustrades above Gothic and Flamboyant windows, while the front portal is decorated with statues of the apostles in intricate Gothic style.
Return to Lisbon where the evening is free at leisure. Overnight: Lisbon
Flight to Porto with afternoon tour
After breakfast, we will transfer to the airport for our flight to Oporto designated World Heritage status by UNESCO. On arrival at our hotel, Mercure Porto Centro, we will enjoy an afternoon tour of the city to introduce us to Portugal’s “second city” known as a city with soul, wine and beauty! The unhurried pace of life in Porto mirrors the graceful flow of ocean waves rolling on her shores and makes the strife in the world seem distant and remote. Look for brilliant blue skies set against red tile roofs and the sun glittering on
the Douro River which here meets the Atlantic Ocean in tumultuous vigor. Porto gave its name to the famous Port wine and to the country. Vineyards grow for mile upon mile
along the Douro’s steep slopes, and you will enjoy a visit to a Port Wine Cellar for a tasting. This evening is free at leisure.
Overnight: Porto Meals: Breakfast
Day 8 – November 10 Excursion to Amarante and the Douro River Valley – From Porto we will depart for Amarante, a beautiful riverside town immaculately set in a gorge of the Rio Tâmega, with the wooden balconies of its old houses leaning over the water. We will visit the Gardens of the Casa de Mateus. The beautiful baroque Casa has been made famous as the label on Mateus Wine. Then we enter the Port Wine region through vineyards clinging to the steep hillsides of the Douro Valley. The Douro River, rising in Spain and reaching the Atlantic Ocean in Porto, has created the spectacular Douro River Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rambling vineyards and charming native farms called quintas cling to the steep sides of the Douro River Valley, creating an incomparable backdrop to one of Europe’s most unspoiled regions and to Port country—the oldest demarcated wine region in the world.
Overnight: Porto Meals: Breakfast
Day 9- Departure – After breakfast, transfer to the Porto Airport for departure flight (via Lisbon) to Newark.
Meals: Breakfast and meals en flight to the USA.
Tour package: $3490 double occupancy includes:
- Direct flights to/from metro-NY to Lisbon;
- Flight from Lisbon to Porto
- Seven nights hotel: Lisbon and Porto including daily breakfast and one banquet dinner.Both hotels are located in the center of the city to make it easy for travelers to exploreon their own.
- Tax deductible contribution to Saratoga Arts, Soroptimist International of SaratogaCounty or the NYS Retired Teachers’ Association
- First class motorcoach transport for all ground excursions
- Garden visits, wine tastings, castles, fortresses and culinary delights!
- Expert local guides who will make Portugal come alive
- Edventures tour manager
- Time for shopping, photography and individual exploring
- Small group travel
- Gratuities for guides and bus drivers
- Memories to last a lifetime!
TRIP PRICE based on double room occupancy is $3470. The single supplement is $365.
SMALL GROUP FEE: A small group fee of $200 will be charged if enrollment falls below 20 travelers.
Jane Austen Tour — January 3-12, 2013
Led by Dr. Catherine J. Golden, Skidmore College
Edventures is pleased to announce a Jane Austen Tour that departs for England on Thursday, January 3 and returns Saturday, January 12. To bring the world of Jane Austen to life, we will travel to Steventon, Chawton, Winchester, and Bath for an exploration of areas central to Austen’s life and fiction. Our visit will take travelers to the communities that were important to Jane’s personal development and provided inspiration for the characters and enduring novels we have come to love.
The tour will begin in the city of Winchester with a visit to the famous cathedral and Jane’s burial site. From Winchester, we will take a day trip to two nearby communities: Steventon, where Austen was born and lived until 1801 when she moved to Bath, and Chawton, her final home, which is now Jane Austen’s House Museum. Steventon is a small village where in Jane’s time the stagecoach went back and forth to London twice a day. Its social life and traditions fueled her imagination and fill the pages of novels that she drafted in Steventon and later revised in Chawton and published under the titles of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), and Northanger Abbey (published in 1818 after her death). Jane’s literary output thrived at Chawton where she conceived her other great novels—Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), and Persuasion (also published in 1818 after her death). Imagine seeing the table where she sat and revised Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice and the rooms where she conceived her other great novels.
Settling in Bath, we will use the facilities of this beautiful Georgian city as a living classroom to explore where Jane Austen lived from 1801-1806 and the settings vital to the characterization and plot of two novels set in Bath, Northanger Abbey (1818) and Persuasion (1818). Time will be devoted to the Bath streets and locations important to Austen and her characters—including the Pump Room, part of the Roman Bath complex where the genteel went to see and be seen, and the magnificent Assembly Rooms with amazing chandeliers. Day trips include a visit to the coastal town of Lyme Regis, a setting important to Persuasion, and Lacock, which the BBC used as the setting for its productions of Emma and Pride and Prejudice (yes, the Colin Firth version) as well as for Cranford. We will also enjoy the Roman Baths and the New Royal Baths opened only a few years ago, which offer the full range of spa services in a striking setting. There will be plenty of free time to enjoy the waters and other activities that strike your fancy.
In keeping with Edventure’s mission of “Adventure Travel That Educates,” the trip will be led by Dr. Catherine J. Golden, Professor of English at Skidmore College where she teaches courses on Victorian literature and culture and Jane Austen. She is author of Posting It: The Victorian Revolution in Letter Writing (2009)—winner of the SHARP George A. and Jean S. DeLong Book History Prize and the Chicago Philatelic Society’s 2011 Vermeil Medal—and Images of the Woman Reader in Victorian British and American Fiction (2003). She is editor of five books including Book Illustrated: Text, Image, and Culture 1770-1930 (2000); her lectures include a presentation at the Smithsonian and the 2012 Moseley Distinguished Faculty Lecture at Skidmore. Catherine has led several study groups on Jane Austen on location, so Edventures travelers will benefit from her vast knowledge of the areas we will visit as well as her enthusiasm and expertise in all things Jane.
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