This tour is a one of a kind program for everyone fortunate to have more than two weeks to explore the outstanding heritage, charm and lifestyle of Poland. During the tour you will be accommodated only in luxury 4*/5* hotels.
Day 1 – WARSAW
This evening, meet with your tour leader and other travellers during a hearty and delicious welcome dinner.
Day 2 – WARSAW – THE PHOENIX CITY
We start the day with a tour covering the best of Warsaw. First, the colourful and charming Old Town, listed high on the UNESCO World Heritage List after reconstruction from the rubble of the war; the historical Jewish Ghetto area, where you can see some original fragments of the wall that separated Jews and Poles during the occupation. We will also take you to the Royal Lazienki Palace Park, a magnificent palace and park complex, Warsaw’s most attractive green area.
After free time for lunch you will visit the ultra-modern, poignant Warsaw Uprising Museum, which commemorates the uprising of 1944, the single most important event that has defined today’s Warsaw. Alternatively, you can choose to have free time to explore the city further.
This evening we enjoy a classic Polish dinner in Warsaw Old Town. We will end the day with a private Chopin piano concert. With a glass of sparkling wine in your hand you will hear a selection of six to eight of Chopin’s masterpieces, such as études, mazurkas, polonaises, nocturnes, impromptus, préludes, and scherzos.
Day 3 – LAND OF A THOUSAND LAKES
After an early breakfast, we travel to the Masurian Lake district, an area of outstanding natural beauty with almost 3,000 lovely lakes. At the mid-point of the trip, we will stop in Warmia region and visit Etnographic Park in Olsztynek, one of the eldest open-air museums in Poland.
On arrival at Gizycko, you have free time to discover this natural paradise and the fantastic little town. Places definitely worth seeing include the Boyen Fortress, the unusual swing bridge, a neo-classical Evangelical church, the Teutonic castle, several other churches and a number of places to sit back, relax and admire the charming views.
Tonight, we have dinner at our accommodation in Gizycko castle converted into an elegant hotel.
Day 4 – WOLF’S LAIR & ŚWIĘTA LIPKA
In the heart of Masurian forests we can find the brooding ruins of Hitler’s wartime headquarters. This was where Hitler spent almost 3 years (1941-44) commanding all the German army operations. The bunker was also the site of the famous assassination attempt in 1944, known from the film, ‘Valkyrie’. Near Mrągowo, on the edge of Lake Dejnowa, is Swieta Lipka, a beautiful and important pilgrimage shrine. This is a monument of exceptional value, listed as possibly the most magnificent object of the late baroque in Poland today. This evening is free for you to enjoy at your leisure.
Day 5 – TEUTONIC CASTLE AND LAVENDER FIELDS
After breakfast, we will board our coach and travel towards the Baltic Sea in the west. On the way, we will first visit a farm called the Lavender Fields which as the name suggests promises an unusual and fragrant experience as well as an insight into the everyday life of the region.
This afternoon, we arrive in Malbork, probably the largest medieval castle in Europe. Built in the late 13th century as Marienburg, to serve as the residence of the Grand Masters of the Knights of the Teutonic Order. This imposing red-brick fortress consists in fact of three castles and is rightly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tonight dinner is at our accommodation, one of the best hotels in Gdansk
Day 6 – GDANSK
Gdansk is a historic and cultural centre with outstanding examples of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. During sightseeing you will see the Old Town, St. Mary’s cathedral (the largest Gothic church in Poland) dominating the town, the Neptune Fountain and the Artus Court. After we drive to Oliwa, one of Gdansk’s most attractive districts, with a large Cistercian monastery complex including the Oliwa Cathedral. The cathedral is home to a rare 18th-century pipe organ, one of the largest of its kind in the world. After an organ concert, the rest of the day is free to do as you choose.
Day 7 GDANSK – LEISURE
Today, you can either enjoy some free time in Gdansk, where there is a lot to do (it’s the amber capital of Poland) or choose another recommended activity.
Day 8 – TORUN – A GOTHIC HEAVEN
After breakfast we will depart from Gdansk and travel south to Torun. Torun is one of Poland’s most interesting and best preserved historic cities. It’s easily covered on foot, full of delightful architectural surprises: a decorative frieze here, a stained-glass window there. We will get a taste of its second most famous product, gingerbread and see the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus, the great astronomer who stopped the Sun and moved the Earth.
Tonight’s dinner will highlight why Torun is one of the most pleasant and captivating destinations in Poland. A true surprise!
Day 9 – POLAND’S FIRST CAPITAL
On our way to Wroclaw we will make a stop in Gniezno, the first capital of Poland. Its 14th-century Gothic cathedral houses the tomb of Poland’s first patron saint and features a fascinating Romanesque bronze door. Arrival at the medieval town of Poznan, the capital of Greater Poland for a short city walk with a guide. Don’t forget to taste local delicacy, St Martin Croissant! Afterwards transfer to Wroclaw. Dinner tonight is in a superb local restaurant.
Day 10 – THE CHURCH OF PEACE & WROCŁAW
Wroclaw is yet another dream destination – the centre is a sheer pleasure to walk around and there is a lot to see and to do. Shortly after breakfast we will take a short walk in Old Town with a local guide. The walk includes the Cathedral Island with its narrow lanes, gas lamps, and countless bridges. From there we head to the to the University district to admire the historic academic headquarters of the city’s main college. We will also stroll through the old butchers’ lane with its quaint shops on our way to the magnificent main square, the heart of the city, where locals and visitors enjoy themselves in one of the many beer gardens.
This afternoon you are welcome on a complimentary trip to Swidnica, a small town located one hour from Wrocław. Swidnica is home to the enormous wooden Church of Peace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built to commemorate the end of the Thirty Years’ War, it is the largest wooden church in Europe and was built in less than a year (1656-57) without the use of a single nail. Enjoy free time this evening in Wrocław.
Day 11 – AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU
Journey east and a change in atmosphere, towards our saddest stop at one of the most poignant places on earth. Built in 1940, Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest German concentration camp complex, with two areas covering in total 40 sq km. Now a museum, Holocaust Memorial and the National Museum of Martyrdom. It is a place of reflection on European history and conflict. After lunch, we pay homage to Pope John Paul II in the nearby town of Wadowice. From there, we continue south to Zakopane, the main and picture-perfect resort of the Tatra Mountains. Enjoy free time this evening in Zakopane.
Day 12 – POLISH MOUNTAINS
Zakopane is a gateway to one of Poland’s greatest natural treasures, the beautiful High Tatras alpine mountain chain. We will take a walk through this small town. You will have an opportunity to take a ride up a funicular railway to the top of Gubalowka Hill, one of the most beautiful peaks in the Tatras boasting the best view of the whole mountain range. Alternatively, enjoy some free time strolling and buying some souvenirs along Krupowki Street.
This evening, we take a horse carriage ride to one of the best local restaurants. Experience the highlander show with musicians and dancers to get a taste of the lively folk customs, the local dishes and the strong “highlander tea”.
Day 13 – RAFT TRIP & SALT MINE
We start the day with a very gentle raft ride on the Dunajec River winding through the extremely beautiful Pieniny gorges. The two-hour excursion, which covers about 15 km, beginning in Sromowce and ending in Szczawnica, is an unforgettable experience. On the way to Krakow we will visit the amazing Wieliczka Salt Mines – a labyrinth of corridors, splendid halls and a chapel hewn in rock salt more than 100 meters under the ground. Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage sight, this is Poland’s most unique and fun historic monument. No matter how deep you go, the temperature remains constant; a strange feeling indeed. Enjoy dinner in Krakow.
Day 14 – KRAKOW – THE ROYAL CAPITAL
Krakow had one of the most vibrant Jewish communities in Poland until the Second World War. We will visit Old Synagogue and explore the narrow streets of the old Jewish neighborhood. After listening to the famous Hejnal trumpet-signal we will enter St. Mary’s church to see the largest Gothic altar in Europe.
During the day we also take a relaxing walking tour of the legendary Wawel Castle, covering the Cathedral and the Belfry. This is the seat of Polish monarchs from medieval times and every brick, unlike Warsaw, is genuine and radiates royal stature. After sightseeing you will have a free time or can take a walk with your tour leader to the local store with renowned Polish pottery and buy some souvenirs. This evening is free for you to enjoy at your leisure.
Day 15 – WINE & LEISURE
We will visit the Underground Museum located beneath Krakow’s main square to explore the medieval history of the city, and then enjoy free time or the chance to visit a Polish winery! On the outskirts of Krakow, on the grounds of a beautiful monastery is a picturesque vineyard; an opportunity to taste Polish wine in a beautiful setting overlooking the Vistula River. This evening, enjoy a delicious dinner in an excellent local restaurant with a special opportunity to learn how to prepare our national dish – “pierogi” ( filled dumplings).
Day 16 – BLACK MADONNA, RETURN TO WARSAW
The last highlight of our tour – Czestochowa. This is the most important Catholic shrine in Poland for the veneration of the Virgin Mary. Pilgrims arrive here throughout the year from around the world. Even for the non-religious, the monastery is an impressive display of Polish piety and patriotism. We will see not only the famous Black Madonna but also the monastery premises in a tour, led by a resident Pauline monk. Arrival in Warsaw at approximately 6pm. To meet your needs fully, we can arrange an extended stay in Warsaw or other Polish or Central European destinations.
- hotel accommodation as described or similar
- transport (air-conditioned high-class motorcoach)
- experienced driver
- professional English-speaking escort guide while on tour
- 24 diversified meals, including breakfasts and nine three-course dinners
- city tours of Krakow, Warsaw, Gdansk, Torun, Poznan, Wroclaw, Zakopane with licensed guides
- sightseeing of open-air museum in Olsztynek, Wolf’s Lair, Swieta Lipka, Malbork Castle, Gniezno, Swidnica Peace Church, Auschwitz-Birkenau, Wieliczka Salt Mines, Wawel Castle, Our Lady’s Church and the Jasna Gora Monastery
- entrance to private Chopin piano concert
- organ concert in Gdansk-Oliwa
- lavender workshop in Warmia region
- funicular to Mt. Gubalowka
- horse carriage ride and highlander show in Zakopane
- raft trip on Dunajec River
- tasting in Polish winery on the outskirts of Krakow
- information booklet
- tour organisation and travel documents
Images courtesy of StayPoland.com