Saturday October 1 and 29 at 11:30 am at  Saratoga Arts, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.       (607) 387-3322      goedventures@gmail.com            www.goedventures.com                                                             …                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Edventures, LLC, P.O. Box 1404, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866      email: goedventures@gmail.com        

 

Croatia and Montenegro:

Splendors of the Mediterranean

 

May 22-31, 2017

 

 

The poet Byron christened Croatia The Pearl of the Adriatic. George Bernard Shaw (not a man easily impressed) called it Paradise on Earth. Are these praises legitimate?  They are. Croatia is historically fascinating, naturally beautiful, and wonderfully Mediterranean.  Astronauts report that viewed from space, Croatia’s Dalmatian coast displays the bluest waters on earth and it is along this coast where will be staying--in the cities of Split and Dubrovnik-- exploring the countryside and seacoast on a tour that features the best of the country and allows time for you to find your own favorite sights.

We will visit pristine medieval towns, meander past ancient stone homes along narrow streets, wonder at a Roman Emperor’s “retirement home” that features columns shipped from Egypt, and feast on sea to table culinary masterpieces.  We will visit and stay in the major cities of Split and Dubrovnik, both located on the Adriatic Sea, and from there take day trips to nearby islands, fishing villages, a national park, and other gems. Charm is a key word for many of our destinations that include three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The end of May means we benefit from lower costs and avoid the packs of tourist that arrive on cruises to spend one part of one day.  You, on the other hand, on a ten-day tour, will have the time to savor the Croatian experience and make your own memories.

 

 

 

 

Daily Itinerary

Mon. May 22, 2017             Depart USA – Dubrovnik, Croatia

Edventures is in the process of reserving a flight for the entire group.  If you wish to travel on this flight, please indicate this on the reservation form at the end of the itinerary.  Otherwise, you can arrange your own flight.

Meals: Our flight from JFK includes dinner and breakfast.

Tues. May 23        

Upon our arrival in Dubrovnik our tour escort will meet us and transfer us to our hotel, the four star Lacroma Hotel. After settling into your room, have a beverage at the hotel’s wine bar terrace and enjoy the view of the Adriatic Sea and nearby islands, or take a swim in the pool.  In the evening we will meet for a welcome dinner.

Overnight: Dubrovnik

Meals: Breakfast and Welcome Dinner

 

Lacroma Hotel: http://www.valamar.com/en/hotels-dubrovnik/valamar-lacroma-dubrovnik-hotel

 

Weds.  May 24: Tour of Dubrovnik      

After breakfast we will meet our guide and begin our visit to one of Europe’s most beautifully preserved medieval cities, surrounded by ramparts, watchtowers, and the azure Adriatic Sea, the first of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites we will enjoy on the tour. Often cited as one of the world’s most beautiful cities, we will spend the morning exploring a treasure trove of rich history within the city walls of Dubrovnik, which was an important Mediterranean Sea power from the 13th century onwards.  Its history is remarkable. For example, a Franciscan Monastery houses a 14th century pharmacy replete with ancient jars and jugs lining the shelves. Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains grace the city. After lunch at a local restaurant, we will take a walk around Dubrovnik’s perimeter wall that offers a breathtaking perspective of red-roofed stone buildings and ancient, narrow alleys. Later we will visit a local artisan to learn about a traditional craftsmanship that still thrives today.  The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.  In the evening we will enjoy a family-hosted dinner where you will enjoy a traditionally prepared dinner.

Overnight: Dubrovnik

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

         

 

 

Thurs. May 25: Full Day Excursion to Montenegro

Today we have a full day guided tour of Montenegro.  Pack your passport because the country obtained its independence from Serbia only a decade ago and is not yet part of the EU. The area we will visit is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Bay or Kotor, an important artistic and commercial center in the Middle Ages, whose main city of Kotor maintains its 12th and 13th century buildings in a setting that creates perfect harmony between human creation, the sea, and a background of soaring hills and mountains. After visiting Kotor, we will take a boat ride to a nearby island and explore a monument well loved by Montenegrins.  We will also stop in Perast, an old, charming coastal town of ornate mansions built during a wealthy period when the city was under Venetian rule in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The video below, produced by the United Nations, provides a visual picture of this town of Kotor.

http://www.unesco.org/archives/multimedia/?s=films_details&pg=33&id=1201

          Overnight: Dubrovnik

Meals: Breakfast

         

Fri. May 26, 2017

Today is a free day to enjoy a Dubrovnik and it surrounds at leisure. There are many options to choose from, and here are just a few:

1) Take a swim in the gorgeous blue waters of the Adriatic by utilizing the hotel’s beaches, or enjoy the indoor or outdoor pool;

  •   2) Take a kayak and snorkeling tour along Dubrovnik’s city walls, or for additional explorations, combine kayaking and biking on nearby islands. There are a variety of options to choose from by clicking here: http://www.viator.com/Dubrovnik-tours/Kayaking-and-Canoeing/d904-g17

    3) Return to the walled city to spend time at your favorite site and have lunch or dinner in one of the coves overlooking the water; or

    4) Go down to the Old Port and hitch a ride to see the walls of the old town from a new perspective, or join a cruise that takes you out to the islands you can see from the city.

     

Overnight:  Dubrovnik

Meals: Breakfast

 

 

 

Sat. May 27, 2017 - Split

Today we depart from Dubrovnik and travel north along the spectacular Adriatic coast, past old fishing villages and new resorts to the city of Split. In the afternoon we will enjoy a sightseeing tour featuring the historic inner city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, whose main attraction is the Roman Emperor Diocletian’s Palace, which was built to serve as a military fortress, a family residence and administrative center for a powerful man, ruler of the Roman Empire from AD 284-305. What is so different about visiting this Roman edifice is its accessibility to the sightseer. So often these ancient and historic buildings have a do-not-touch quality to them.  Not so this palace because many of its structures are still in use today. When Edventures staff visited, one of our favorite restaurants was the Augubio, which is situated at the very heart of the palace.  Its walls and floors are ancient, with the beauty and patina that only age can provide.  The restaurant apologizes to its guests for placing its tables on a sloping floor, but explains that it wants to reveal the oldest layer of the building, once part of a Roman road.  And it proudly points to a stone drain cover in the corner as valuable evidence of the high technical level of Roman engineering. You will want to plan on coming back to this area for dinner.  For inspiration on why you want to visit Split, take a look at this video produced by the New York Times.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/28/travel/what-to-do-in-36-hours-in-split-croatia.html?_r=0 

Overnight:  Split

Meals: Breakfast

Hotel Corner http://hotelcorner.eu/en/

         

Sun. May 28,2017Excursion to Krka, Sibenik and Trogir

Croatia is famous for its natural beauty so today we will head out to one of it prizes, the Krka National Park (pronounced KUR-kah), about one hour north of Split.  A spectacular feature of the park is its waterfalls, surrounded by a network of paths and bridges that provide comfortable and safe walking for viewing and exploring. 

 

From the park we will take a boat ride to the picturesque island of Visovac, one of the over a thousand Croatian islands. We continue our exploration with a visit to the towns of Sibenik and Trogir.  Sibenik is much younger than Split, having been founded only in the 11th century, so its major influences are not Roman, but Venetian, builders of the city’s defensive walls, and Austro-Hungarian.  Its charming medieval old town features a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a Renaissance cathedral, one of the most important Renaissance architectural features in the eastern Adriatic.

 

Next we will visit the island of Trogir, which, unlike Sibenik, is typical of many Croatian cities because its culture was created under the influence of the ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as the Venetians.  The city’s medieval core, surrounded by walls, comprises a preserved castle and tower and a series of palaces that reflect the conquerors of Croatia.

 

Overnight: Split

Meals: Breakfast

 

Mon. May 29, 2017 Excursion to Island of Solta for Culinary Treats

After breakfast, we will travel by ferry to another island, the quiet island of Solta, which is known for its honey, olives, and wine.  Our first stop will be at a traditional family-run farm known for its winemaking and olive growing. Here we will enjoy an island lunch of traditional Croatian fare.  After lunch we will continue on to a beekeeping estate where we will meet the owner and learn about the art of beekeeping and the life of bees.

Overnight: Split

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

 

Tues. May 30, 2017

Your last full day in Split is designed to allow free time to explore the city on your own. And your choices are many. 

 

  1. Split is a very cosmopolitan city with wonderful boutiques, which you can find by strolling through the narrow, winding streets that surround the palace. Fashionable leather shoes and bags are some of the tempting items that will interest you.

  2. Join the locals and sit on the Adriatic’s promenade, a bustling seafront, sip espresso and people watch. You can also ooh and ah over the expensive yachts lined up in the harbor, many of which are owned by Russian oligarchs.

  3. Take a walking tour and learn about wine, wine production and specific varieties produced in Croatia.

  4. Join a sailing tour around the charming Palenki Islands on board a yacht.  Besides sight seeing, you can swim and snorkel off the boat.

  5. Join a kayaking tour around Croatia’s peninsula, cruising through untrammeled coves and inlets.

  6. Grab your camera and explore the vistas and details of this remarkable city. 

  7. Take a Game of Thrones tour and visit many of the film’s locations.

  8. Relax with an espresso next to those columns transported from Egypt.

 

Meals: Breakfast and Farewell Dinner

 

Weds. May 31, 2017       

Departure for home.

 

 

TRIP PRICE:

The land only trip price per person double room occupancy is $2990.

The single room supplement is $599.

The reservation deposit fee is $500.

 

$100 discount

Edventures is extending a discount of $100 to the first 15 people who register.  

 

AIRFARE:  Many of our travelers have requested booking their own air arrangements in order to use their airline mileage points. However, Edventures will reserve a number of airline seats. The schedule and price are below:

 

May 22 Lufthansa Flight 413 departs Newark at 8:05 pm and arrives Munich at 10:00 am the next day

May 23 Lufthansa Flight 1720 departs Munich at 2:25 pm and arrives Dubrovnik at 3:50 pm

May 31 Croatia Air Flight 4438 departs Split at 7:55 am and arrives Munich at 9:25 am. 

May 31Lufthansa Flight 410 departs Munich at 12:05 pm and arrives JFK at 3:05 pm

Please note: for those who make their own flight arrangements, please note that the group departs from Newark but returns to JFK.

 

PRICE FOR AIRFARE: $1347

 

 The following elements are included in the price of the trip:

  • $100 tax deductible contribution to Saratoga Arts, Soroptimist International of Saratoga County, Academy for Lifelong Learning or North Country Arts;
  • Full time tour escorts and professional guides who will help make the histories and cultures of Croatia come alive;
  • Gratuities for guides, coach drivers, tour escorts;
  • Four star lodging in Dubrovnik and Split;
  • Daily breakfasts, 2 lunches and 2 dinners;
  • Luggage handling for one checked bag;
  • Scenic boat rides, and ferry rides;
  • Small group travel
  • Private motor coach transportation throughout the trip;
  • Pre-departure documents and meeting; and
  • Memories to last a lifetime!

 

SMALL GROUP FEE:  A small group fee of $200 per person will be charged if the group number falls below 20.

 

PAYMENT SCHEDULE:  Reservations are due ASAP. The reservation deadline is January 18.

For reservations after this date, contact Edventures.

 

FINAL PAYMENT:  Edventures will send an invoice approximately February 1.

 

TRIP INSURANCE is a personal choice, but is recommended. Some purchase it through their

AAA office, which sells Access America.  To get the best rates, you can compare costs online through agents like Squaremouth.com, InsureMyTrip.com, or Totaltravelinsurance.com, which offer side-by-side comparisons. Please contact Edventures prior to purchasing trip insurance to assure that the trip is a “go.”

 

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES: The average high in Dubrovnik in May is 70F with a low of 51.  In Split the range is a high of 72 and a low of 55.

 

Do you still have questions about the tour?  If so, contact Mary at Edventures 1 (607) 387-3322

or email at:  goedventures@gmail.com.

 

 

You can also attend a trip overview that will be presented on

Saturday October 1 and 29 at 11:30 am at

Saratoga Arts, 320 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.

 

Italy: the Lake District and Cinque Terre

August 29-September 7, 2016

Fall is a spectacular time to soak up Italian nature and experience the beauty and culture of the unique areas known as the
Lake District and Cinque Terre.

Gaze upon the majesty of the Lake District nestled quietly at the foot of the Alps. Enjoy the rugged landscape amid mountainous peaks and valleys of Lake Como, Varenna, Bellagio, and Lugano, Switzerland. After five nights in the Lake District, we will continue to the Mediterranean Sea to the Cinque Terre, the “Five Lands” on the Italian Riviera, where natural beauty reigns. Here you can explore hilltops with a funicular ride and enjoy a scenic boat ride among villages that tumble to the sea. There will be time for hiking or exploring with a train pass.

Daily Itinerary Mon. August 29, 2016 Depart USA – Milan, Italy

Edventures has reserved Alitalia flight # 605 from JFK to Milan, which departs at 8:30 pm and arrives at 10:40 am the next day. If you wish to travel on this flight, please indicate this on the reservation form at the end of the itinerary. Otherwise, you can arrange your own flight. Meals: Our flight from JFK includes dinner and breakfast.

Tues. August 30, 2016

Upon our arrival in Milan our tour escort will meet us and transfer us to our hotel, the four star Seven Park Hotel. Set on the north eastern shore of Lake Como in the town of Colico, the hotel offers a private beach, a seasonal outdoor pool, and a wellness center. After settling into your room, have a swim at one of the hotel’s two pools and rest before the group meets for a welcome dinner. Overnight: Colico Meals: Welcome Dinner

Weds. August 31, 2016

After breakfast we will meet our guide and private motor coach for a full day tour to the lakeside town of Como. Nestled in between Lake Como and the Alps, the city of Como is the epitome of northern Italian cultural perfection. Despite its small size and population, it attracts tourists and artists worldwide to come enjoy its museums, art houses and gardens. What better way to experience Como and the surrounding region than to look down upon it from atop Brunate, the small commune town overlooking Como. A funicular will take us on a picturesque route heading uphill above the lake through a forested hillside to the village. You will select a place for lunch and then have time to explore on your own. Overnight: Colico Meals: Breakfast

Thurs. September 1, 2016

Today we have a full day guided tour to the towns of Varenna and Bellagio which vie with each other as the prettiest village on the lake. Varenna is an old fishing village whose picturesque lanes and old fisherman’s houses invite slow meandering and appreciation for its backdrop of the Alps across the lake. After this visit we will whisk across the lake by ferry to Bellagio, the “Pearl of Lake Como.” Situated on the end of a peninsula, its expansive views of the Alps across the lake are unmatched anywhere. While there we will visit the Villa Melzi Gardens which grace a neoclassical villa built in the early 1800s as the summer residence of one of Napoleon’s regional rulers. The gardens reach from the lake up to a high point above the villa providing a bird’s eye view of the Alpine panorama. Along the garden paths exotic trees and plants provide a canopy for Egyptian sculptures and Roman statues. Overnight: Colico Meals: Breakfast

Fri. September 2, 2016

On today’s full day tour we head to Lugano, Switzerland. On the way we will stop on the western side of Lake Como to the area of Tremezzo, Italy, and visit Villa Carlotta. The 17-acre villa was started in 1690 and faces the Bellagio peninsula which we visited earlier. The Italian garden is known for its floral displays, century old cedars and sequoias, and a three-dimensional design of steps, gushing fountains and sculptures that highlight the sloping landscape. Lugano lies in a bay on the northern side of Lake Lugano, surrounded by numerous mountains offering splendid viewpoints. The traffic-free historic town center, the mountains and lake invite visitors to soak up the atmosphere – and enjoy "dolce far niente" (pleasantly doing nothing). The two closest mountains to Lugano, Monte San Salvatore and Monte Brè, give you an outstanding panorama of the town, Lake Lugano and the alpine scenery. Overnight: Colico Meals: Breakfast

Sat. September 3, 2016

Today we explore other areas of northern Italy, heading south and west of Lake Como to Bergamo and Lake Iseo. The upper town of Bergamo is a beautiful walled city with buildings that date back to medieval times. At its heart is the Piazza Vecchia, which was remodeled during the Renaissance and has been hailed by architects and writers as the most beautiful square in Italy. It is the perfect place to stop for something to eat and drink. Streets of shops and restaurants lead off Piazza Vecchia to other squares with fountains, beautiful buildings, old churches and museums. We will pay a visit to the mausoleum of the Colleoni family which is a masterwork of Renaissance architecture and decorative art. In the afternoon we will move on to Lake Iseo to relax with a sparkling wine tasting at Ca’del Bosco Cellars. The cellars are situated atop a hill in a vast park of oak, chestnut and acacia surrounded by vineyards with views of the entire valley. Complementing nature is a collection of contemporary art: surprising sculptures adorn the landscape with the colors of bronze, marble and steel. Overnight: Colico Meals: Breakfast

Sun. September 4, 2016

After vacationing in the shadows of the Alps we’ll head over to the gem of Europe, the Mediterranean Sea. En route to our destination, the seaside town of Rapallo, we will take in the beauty of the local geography of sprawling farm-laden valleys and rural villages. Along the way we will take a break to enjoy an Italian lunch and wine in the area of Nizza Monferrato known for its varieties of red wines. Our hotel in Rapallo is the four star Grand Hotel Bristol Resort and Spa. With panoramic views of the Gulf of Tigullio, the hotel offers a large outdoor pool and free wellness center. Overnight: Rapallo Grand Hotel Bristol Resort and Spa (www.grandhotelbristol.it) Meals: Breakfast and lunc

 Mon. September 5, 2016

Having settled into your Rapallo hotel, after breakfast we will embark on our exploration of the area. We’ll take the funicular to a hilltop for stunning views of the Mediterranean and its seascapes and landscapes. We will return down the hill for a scenic boat ride on the Gulf of Tigullio all the while admiring the intense blue of the bay with a stop at the village of the rich and famous: Portofino. You’ll have time to wander along the harbor, relax at a sidewalk café or climb the steps to the hills above the town. Overnight: Rapallo Meals: Breakfast

Tues. September 6, 2016

The highlight of the area is the Cinque Terre – the “Five Lands” on the Italian Riviera, where natural beauty reigns. The charming villages of Monterosso al mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, situated along the coastline, are the major attractions as they have largely escaped modern development. Today you will experience these Italian havens first hand. Your Trail and Train Pass gives you entry to the light hiking along the footpaths clinging to the cliffs above the Mediterranean. Or you can use your pass on the trains and go between villages by rail. Overnight: Rapallo Meals: Breakfast and Farewell Dinner

Weds. September 7, 2016

Our Alitalia flight 1384 departs Genoa, Italy, for Rome at 12:20 pm. Alitalia flight 610 departs at 2:45 pm and arrives at JFK at 6:20 pm.

 

TRIP PRICE: The land only trip price per person double room occupancy is $3175. The single room supplement is $915. The reservation deposit fee is $500. $100 discount Edventures is extending a discount of $100 to the first 15 people who register. 

 

 

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