Upcoming Trips

 Philadelphia Flower Show and Exhibit on Pompeii
March 1st & 2nd 2014  $375
Philadelphia 2014 Registration Form

Soroptimist International of Saratoga County is again pleased to sponsor a weekend of art and floral wonder in Philadelphia on March 1 and 2.  The tour begins with a visit to the Franklin Institute for the exhibit “One Day in Pompeii,” which features over 150 artifacts from the National Archaeological Museum in Naples,Italy, including wall-sized frescoes, marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, and full body casts of the volcano’s victims. The artifacts offer an insider’s glimpse into the daily life of this ancient Roman city.


ecuador back_RGB


Soroptimist and Edventures are pleased to announce a ten-day, air inclusive tour to Ecuador!!One of our most exciting trips to date, we will wander through ancient romantic cities, Indian Markets and enjoy the wonder of volcanoes on the horizon. The trip includes a  journey up the Amazon River to a jungle lodge. In the company of expert guides, we will learn about this ancient culture, explore the native arts and then discover the birds, flowers and ecosystem of one of the second longest river on  earth. This is a once in a lifetime adventure …. find your inner explorer and join us next spring!

Early sign-up discount of $100 offered until January 15th
PRICE: $3150 includes air! (double occupancy)

We are having two trip overview presentations:
Saturdays November 23rd  and December 14 at Saratoga Arts:
Saratoga Arts is located at 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs

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

Download the printable itinery & registration form.

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 lunches
-Welcome dinner
-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
-Pre-departure meetings
-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.

Do you have questions about the trip? If so, contact Mary at Edventures
1 (607) 387-3322 or write to goedventures@gmail.com or visit our website, goedventures.com.

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.

Exotic IstanbulWhere East Meets West!

(with an optional four night extension to Cappadocia, Turkey)

Main tour:  April 26 -May 3, 2013
Extension: May 3 – 7, 2013

(Download a printable itinerary)

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.

Daily Itinerary:

Day 1 – FRIDAY        April 26, 2013
Depart from metro NY to Istanbul.This non-stop flight includes meals, refreshments, and in-flight entertainment.

Day 2 – SATURDAY    April 27, 2013
Upon arrival in Istanbul, we will transfer to our hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure. This evening our guide will take us for a stroll through the flower market area for wonderful Turkish cuisine at our welcome dinner.
Overnight: Istanbul      Meals: Dinner

Day 3 – SUNDAY     April 28, 2013
Following breakfast at our hotel, we will meet our Turkish tour manager and local guide for a full day of sightseeing in Istanbul. We will explore:

The Blue Mosque:
One of the most famous monuments in both the Turkish and Islamic worlds, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (also known as the Blue Mosque) is a superb creation in the classical Ottoman style. The mosque has six towering minarets and 260 windows illuminating its vast main chamber, which is decorated with more than 20,000 Iznik tiles. (Blue Mosque exterior, Istanbul)

We will next visit the Roman Hippodrome (“square of the horses”).  This Byzantine scene was home to Constantinople’s sporting and political life. Inspired by the Circus Maximus in Rome, it was once the stadium for chariot racing and large public events. Today we can see many monuments including a 3500 year old Egyptian Obelisk.

Haghia Sophia, The Church of Holy Wisdom, is an awe-inspiring expression of religious faith and one of the world’s foremost architectural wonders. The first church on the site burned down in the year 404, the second church was destroyed in 532, but the third – inaugurated by Emperor Justinian in 537 –firmly stands to this day. The church was converted into a mosque in 1453. Since 1934 the structure has been a renowned museum.

Our last stop today will be to the Caferage Medresseh, a small artistic sanctuary in the middle of the hustle and bustle of old town Istanbul — a delightful and memorable experience. We will see Turkish handicraft demonstrations that include paper marbling, calligraphy and porcelain painting. There will be time on your own for shopping and dinner.
Overnight: Istanbul        Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 – MONDAY  April 29, 2013
Today we will have a half day guided tour exploring the many culinary delights of Istanbul. We will wander down Istiklal Street which is a pedestrian route with many food vendors, cafes, tea shops, bookstores and “lokantasi” (small eateries). We will stop and our guide will introduce us to the food vendors and we will sample all sorts of “Turkish delights.”  Afternoon is on our own for shopping, photography or for exploring one of the museums.
Overnight: Istanbul          Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 – TUESDAY April 30, 2013
After breakfast we will meet our guide and head to the Dolmabahce Palace. The designs in the palace contain eclectic elements from the Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical styles, blended with traditional Ottoman architecture.  Filled with great collections from European antiquities, furniture and  a 4.5 ton chandelier, the palace has 285 rooms.  After visiting the palace we will continue on our guided tour of the Yildiz Royal Garden.

This afternoon we will explore the Istanbul Spice Market. Also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, this is one of the best places in the city to buy little presents. The sea of stalls offers spices, treats, and souvenirs of all kinds. Tonight there is an optional trip to an authentic Turkish bath. No stay in Istanbul would be complete without a session of steaming, soaping, scrubbing and massaging in a Turkish bath (hamam). Originally founded by the Romans, public baths remain a social institution in Turkey. It is an experience you will not soon forget!  Overnight: Istanbul       Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 – WEDNESDAY   May 1, 2013
After breakfast we will spend another full day of guided touring in Istanbul. Today we will visit the Topkapi Palace, the Basilica Cistern and the Grand Covered Bazaar. You will have free time on your own in the later afternoon and evening for shopping.
Overnight: Istanbul        Meals: Breakfast

Topkapi Palace: The largest and oldest palace in the world, Topkapi is the crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire. With its treasury and exotic buildings overlooking the Golden Horn, this was the residence of the Ottoman Sultans between the 15th and 19th centuries. It was here that the power politics of ruling an empire stretching from the gates of Vienna to the Persian Gulf were played from the backdrop of harem intrigue! The jeweled turban crests, silken caftans and priceless Chinese porcelains bear witness to the grandeur of a bygone era.

Basilica Cistern:
Next we will visit the Basilica Cistern. The name of this subterranean structure derives from a large public square on the First Hill of Constantinople, the Stoa Basilica, beneath which it was originally constructed. The underground ceiling is supported by a forest of 336 marble columns, many reused from Roman buildings.  Full of atmosphere, the cistern was featured in the 1963 James Bond film From Russia with Love and other movies.

Grand Bazaar:
In operation since the 14th century, the Grand Bazaar is the oldest and one of the world’s largest covered markets, with 58 streets and over 4,000 shops. It is a labyrinth where one delights in getting lost and finding one’s way out!  The bazaar is specially known for its jewelry, leather, pottery, spices and carpets.
Overnight: Istanbul       Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 – THURSDAY   May 2, 2013
After breakfast we will meet our  tour manager and board our motor coach to drive one hour out of Istanbul to a small holiday city on the Black Sea named “Sile.” We will visit a workshop where a special cotton fabric is woven and enjoy the ambience of a small seaside village.

We will return to Istanbul and this evening have a delightful cruise on the Bosporus, a strait that runs a winding course between two continents from the Black Sea to the Aegean.  We will view seaside mansions, mosques, palaces, restaurants and beaches along its shores. It is sure to be a magical cruise followed by our farewell dinner in the city.
Overnight: Istanbul     Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 – FRIDAY     May 3, 2013
This morning our main tour will end. Those travelers going on the extension to Cappadocia will depart for their flight. Those not attending the extension will depart on their flight back to the USA.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel. Our non-stop flight to New York includes meals, refreshments, and in-flight entertainment.

Those continuing on the trip extension to Ankara and then Cappadocia will fly to Ankara. This afternoon we will visit the world famous Museum of Anatolian Civilization. Housed within an old Ottoman  bazaar building, the museum has a number of exhibits of Anatolian archeology.  The exhibits of gold, silver, glass, marble and bronze works date back as far as 500 B.C. The coin collections, with examples ranging from the first minted money to modern times, represent the museum’s rare cultural treasures.

After touring the museum we will visit the memorial to Ataturk, the beloved Turkish leader considered the founder of modern Turkey.

Overnight: Ankara  Meals: Breakfast and dinner.

Day 9 – SATURDAY    May 4, 2013
After breakfast we will visit the AKEKA Design Atelier and observe the production of hand rendered felt rugs, garments and decorative items.

We will then drive via motor coach to Cappadocia via Salt Lake. Our accommodation while in Cappadocia  is in a luxury cave-style hotel. We will check in and this evening we will experience a performance by whirling dervish.
Overnight: Cappadocia     Meals: Breakfast

Day 10  – SUNDAY    May 5, 2013
Today we will visit the rock-carved churches filled with frescoes at Göreme. The unique landscape of this area was created by volcanic, geological and erosive activity. Here, amid the soft type of rock called tuff, one of the most ancient and influential monastic movements took root in the fourth century. This afternoon we will have some time to explore an authentic carpet weaving co-operative.
Overnight: Cappadocia      Meals: Breakfast

Day 11 – MONDAY   May 6, 2013
After breakfast we will take a return flight to Istanbul where we will have our final overnight and a last evening for exploring magical Istanbul!

Overnight: Istanbul    Meals: Breakfast

Day 12 – TUESDAY  May 7, 2013
After breakfast we will transfer to Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport for our direct flight to metro New York.

Meals: Breakfast at hotel. Our non-stop flight includes meals, refreshments, and in-flight entertainment.

Tour package : $3298. double occupancy includes:

  • Direct flights to/from metro-NY to Istanbul;
  • Six nights hotel accommodation in Istanbul
  • Tax deductible contribution to Saratoga Arts or

Soroptimist International of Saratoga County

  • First class motor coach transport for all ground excursions
  • Expert local guides who will make Turkey come alive
  • Edventures tour manager
  • Time for shopping, photography and individual exploring
  • Gratuities for guides and bus drivers
  • Small group travel
  • Memories to last a lifetime!

Extension to Cappadocia: $1360.


TRIP PRICE for the main tour based on double room occupancy is $3298.  The single supplement is $395.

TRIP PRICE for the optional extension is $1360The single supplement is $300.

SMALL GROUP FEE: A small group fee of $200 will be charged if enrollment falls below 20 travelers.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE: To reserve your space, send a deposit of $500 per person at time of registration.

TRANSPORTATION to and from the metropolitan New York airport will be arranged for travelers with pick-up in Saratoga Springs and we hope from the Albany area.  We say, “we hope from the Albany area” because Crossgates Mall no longer allows travelers to leave their cars there.  We hope to find an alternate pick-up spot.  The estimated cost for this round-trip service is between $160 and $180.

Trip insurance is a personal choice but is recommended. Some purchase it through their local AAA office, which sells Access America. To get the best rates, you can compare costs online through agents such as Squaremouth.com, InsureMYTrip.com or Totaltralinsurance.com, which offer side-by-side comparisons.  Please contact Edventures prior to purchasing trip insurance to assure that the trip is a “go.”

Do you have questions about the trip?  If so, contact Mary at Edventures 1 (607)387-3322 or write to goedventures@gmail.com or visit our website, goedventures.com.

You can also come to a trip overview presented at Saratoga Arts, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs on:

Saturday, November 17 at 11:30 am and

Saturday, December 8 at 11:30 am