For centuries, Poland has played a pivotal role in the growth of European culture. Home to great minds such as composers Frederic Chopin and Karol Szymanowski, Renaissance astronomer Nicholaus Copernicus and many others, Poland’s rich history has created a mix of stunning architecture, charming medieval towns and friendly people. The country boasts 16 UNESCO World Heritage Sites and this enchanting 11-day tour of Poland will visit some of the most important ones. This journey can easily be combined with our other small group cultural tours through Eastern Europe including Moldova and Romania.
|UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour|
|3.||Historic Centre of Krakow||4.||Torun|
|5.||Historic Centre of Warsaw||6.||Weliczka Salt Mines|
|Price (From)||:||US$ 2195|
|International air not included|
Day 01: Arrive Warsaw
Upon arrival at Warsaw Airport we are met and transferred to our hotel. Check in time at the hotel is 1500hrs. At 6:00 PM, we meet our guide and the rest of the group members in the hotel lobby. We are then driven along the beautifully renovated Royal Route with its historical monuments and beautiful residences. We stop at Castle Square for a short walk through Old Town to at a local restaurant. Our welcome dinner will include typical Polish dishes and famous Polish vodka, “Zubrowka”.
Overnight: Novotel Warszawa Centrum, Warsaw (2 nights) (D)
Day 02: Warsaw
This morning we discover the highlights of Warsaw. Our half-day sightseeing tour includes the Historic Centre of Warsaw*, meticulously rebuilt after World War II, including the impressive Royal Castle, the seat of the kings of Poland. Here the Constitution of May 3rd was proclaimed in 1791, becoming the second oldest constitution in the world. We get to admire some of the castles 300 rooms, including the Canaletto Room featuring 23 paintings; the Throne Room; the magnificent Knight’s Hall with six large paintings by Marcello Bacciarelli; the Marble room featuring 22 portraits of Polish kings and the largest and most impressive of all the castle’s chambers, the Ballroom. Afterwards we get have lunch at a local restaurant. We then continue our tour with a drive to the area of the former Warsaw Ghetto. En route, we see the building of the National Opera House and Town Hall. During our tour of Warsaw, we experience the famous Warsaw chocolate factory “Wedel”, tasting a delicious hot chocolate at the Wedel Old Fashioned Shop. In the evening, we take an unforgettable musical journey through the world- famous compositions of Poland’s greatest composer, Frederic Chopin, at a piano recital. (B, L)
Day 03: Warsaw/Czestochowa/Zakopane (Drive)
After breakfast, we depart for Zakopane – one of the most popular vacation resorts in the Tatra Mountains. En route, we stop in Czestochowa to visit the Jasna Gora Monastery and the Black Madonna Shrine with its miraculous icon. Our lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Czestochowa. We arrive in the evening in Zakopane, a town beautifully situated at the foot of the Tatra Mountains. Its picturesque location makes it one of the most popular resorts in the country. Once a small mountain village, Zakopane became a fashionable artist’s retreat at the beginning of the 20th century.
Overnight: Mercure Kasprowy, Zakopane (1 night) (B, L)
Day 04: Zakopane/Krakow (Drive)
In the morning, we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Zakopane. This city’s wooden architecture, known as the Zakopianski style, blends seamlessly with the natural landscape and has inspired buildings across Poland. We visit the Jaszczurowka Chapel, a great example of the wooden architecture in Zakopane, and the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima at Krzeptowki, which was built by the people of Zakopane to thank the Lady of Fatima for saving the Pope after an attempt on his life. Admire the breathtaking views of the Tatras from the top of Gubalowka Mountain (subject to weather/technical conditions) and shop for arts and crafts created by the Highlanders (Gorale) in the local shops. After a lunch on our own, we continue to Krakow. En route, we take a spectacular rafting trip on the Dunajec River (subject to weather & river water levels) in Pieniny National Park. We then continue to Krakow, where upon arrival dinner will be served at our hotel.
Overnight: Novotel Krakow City West, Krakow (3 nights) (B, D)
Day 05: Krakow/Auschwitz/Krakow (Drive)
Our morning sightseeing tour of the Historic Centre of Krakow* will feature the Wawel, the Royal Castle, home to three dynasties of Polish monarchs. Its stately halls and exquisite chambers are filled with priceless art, valuable period furniture and rare ancient objects, such as a collection of monumental 16th century tapestries. Next we visit the Wawel Cathedral, featuring 18 chapels - the place where Polish kings were crowned and buried. which are true architectural masterpieces. Following our visit, of Wawel, we drive to the Old Town, featuring its restored Main Square of magnificent houses and palaces. Here we stop at St. Mary’s Basilica to see the magnificent wooden altar by Wit Stwosz. In the middle of the square is Cloth Hall, built before 1349, but renovated in the 16th century, with many shopping stalls inside. After lunch, we drive to Auschwitz *, the Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp. The fortified walls, barbed wire, platforms, barracks, gallows, gas chambers and cremation ovens bear silent witness to the conditions within which the Nazi genocide took place. Auschwitz-Birkenau, was the largest concentration camp of the Third Reich. According to historical investigations, 1.5 million people, among them a great number of Jews, were systematically starved, tortured and murdered in this camp from 1940 to -1945, a symbol of humanity's cruelty to its fellow human beings. (B, L)
Day 06: Krakow/Wieliczka/Krakow (Drive)
We enjoy a free morning in Krakow to enjoy this historical town on our own. In the afternoon we sample the food in the famous Krakow cafeteria, before driving to the Wieliczka Salt Mine* (subject to lift functioning). The deposit of rock salt in Wieliczka has been mined since the 13th century. This major industrial undertaking had royal status and is the oldest of its type in Europe. The Wieliczka Royal Salt Mines illustrate the historic stages of the development of mining techniques in Europe from the 13th to the 20th centuries; featuring; hundreds of kilometers of galleries with works of art, underground chapels and statues sculpted in the salt, making for a fascinating pilgrimage into the past. Dinner with a folkloric show will be served at a local restaurant in Wieliczka, before we return to Krakow. (B, D)
Day 07: Krakow/Lowicz/Torun (Drive)
Today we first drive to Lowicz, a typical Mazovian town famous for its folk art, colorful costumes and beautiful paper cut-outs. Here we join a local family for lunch in their home. Their charming cottage is located at the foot of the former Lowicz Castle. We will be welcomed in the typical Polish way, with bread and salt, and then enjoy our meal served by a young married couple in their lovely house. We will have time to talk about their day-to-day life and have our dessert in a beautiful garden. We continue to Torun. Upon arrival, the balance of our day is at leisure.
Overnight: Mercure Torun Centrum, Torun (1 night) (B, L)
Day 08: Torun/Gdansk (Drive)
In the morning, we explore the highlights of Torun*. The town is the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus and considered one of the most magnificent historic cities of Poland. Its Old Town has been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List on account of its impressive 13th century Town Hall, several superb churches and historic streets. A visit to the Copernicus Museum is included in our itinerary. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Torun. In the afternoon, we drive to Gdansk and we take a brief walk through the town’s Old Town. upon arrival.
Overnight: Mercure Gdansk Old Town, Gdansk (2 nights) (B, L)
Day 09: Gdansk/Malbork/Gdansk (Drive)
Today, we take a detailed tour of the much-lauded city of Gdansk, starting from the Upland Gate - a fragment of the city's former fortifications and one of its main gates. Behind it are the Prison Tower and the Torture House. We continue on to the Long Market - a magnificent street boasting grand mansions decorated with late Renaissance and Baroque facades. Next, we come upon the Main Town and Artus Court, formerly also Junkerhof, a building that used to be the meeting place of merchants and a centre of social life. After lunch at we explore the Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork*. This 13th-century fortified monastery belonging to the Teutonic Order was substantially enlarged and embellished after 1309, when the seat of the Grand Master moved here from Venice. A particularly fine example of a medieval brick castle, it later fell into decay, but was meticulously restored in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the conservation techniques now accepted as standard were evolved here. Following severe damage in the Second World War it was once again restored, using the detailed documentation prepared by earlier conservators. The balance of the day is free to shop for Baltic arts and crafts, including some unique amber jewelry and ornaments. (B, L)
Day 10: Gdansk/Gdynia/Sopot/Oliwa/Warsaw (Drive)
We drive to Gdynia, youngest of the tri-city complex, which also includes Sopot the famous and fashionable seaside resort. Here we can still see the oldest and longest wooden pier in Europe. We will also visit Oliwa Cathedral, famous for its one-of-a-kind pipe organ, to enjoy a concert. Our lunch will be served at a local restaurant. In the afternoon we drive to Warsaw and check in to our hotel.
Overnight: Novotel Warszawa Centrum, Warsaw (1 night) (B, L)
Day 11: Depart Warsaw
After breakfast this morning, we are transferred to the airport for our flight home. Check out time is by 1100 hrs. or join one of Bestway’s other European cultural tours. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Departure Dates & Prices
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This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and average tour size of 25 participants.
Also please note that this is NOT part of our small group tours.
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
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