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Polish Heritage Tour

16 days
15 nights

Rates

Dates

Rates:

Per person:
$ 3,030.00 (double occupancy)
$ 3,850.00 (single occupancy)

Dates:

Jun 09, 2017 - Jun 24, 2017 sold out
Aug 25, 2017 - Sep 09, 2017 sold out
Sep 15, 2017 - Sep 30, 2017 sold out
Jun 01, 2018 - Jun 16, 2018 
Jul 20, 2018 - Aug 04, 2018 
Aug 03, 2018 - Aug 18, 2018 
Sep 07, 2018 - Sep 22, 2018 
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Hotels:

Warsaw 2 nights : SHERATON*****
Gizycko 2 nights: ST. BRUNO****
Gdansk 3 night: HANZA****
Torun 1 nights : 1231****
Wroclaw 2 night : ART****
Zakopane 2 nights: BELVEDERE****
Krakow 3 nights: AMBER DESIGN****

Included:

hotel accommodation as described above or similar
transport (comfortable, air-conditioned 30pax Isuzu Turquoise for maximum 25 people)
experienced driver
professional English-speaking escort guide while on tour
25 diversified meals, including breakfasts and nine three-course dinners
city tours of Warsaw, Gdańsk, Toruń, Wrocław, Zakopane and Kraków (licensed guides)
sightseeing of Wolf’s Liar, Święta Lipka, Malbork Castle, Gniezno, Świdnica Peace Church, Auschwitz, 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
funicular to Mt. Gubałówka
highlander show in Zakopane
raft trip on Dunajec River
information booklet
tour organization and travel documents

NOT INCLUDED:
airfare
airport transfer
lunches and six dinners
optional gratuity

Optional tours:
Cruise in Gdansk - 40 PLN per person
Sand dunes

Highlights & Experience:

STAYPOLAND SPECIALS:
Everything included in the Polish Dream Tour & much more:
Even more precious time in Gdańsk/Sopot and Zakopane
Entrance to Hitler’s HQ, the Wolf’s Lair
Castle hotel in the Masurian Lake district
Baroque frescos in Sanctuary of Saint Mary in Święta Lipka
Lifestyle farming in Masuria
Spectacular Dunajec river raft trip
Polish winetasting in Kraków
Possibility to see the famous Baltic sand dunes

UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE MONUMENTS:
Historic Centre of Warsaw
Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork
Medieval Town of Toruń
Kraków's Historic Centre
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Auschwitz Concentration Camp
Church of Peace in Świdnica

NATIONAL & LANDSCAPE PARKS:
The Tatra National Park
Słowiński National Park

Itinerary:

Day 1  : Arrival in Warsaw

Meet with your tour leader, your guide, and fellow travelers in the hotel lobby this evening for an informational meeting and a delicious welcome dinner. Overnight in Warsaw. (D)

Day 2  : Warsaw

This morning, our sightseeing tour will cover the very best of Warsaw. The reconstruction of Old Town after the war has put this colorful and charming part of the city on UNESCO's World Heritage List.  We will tour the old Jewish Ghetto area where we can still see parts of the wall that separated the Jews and the Poles during the occupation.  We will travel the Royal Route that links the Royal Castle to Wilanow Palace, including a visit to Warsaw's most beautiful park, the Royal Lazienki Palace Park.

You will have some free time for lunch on your own before visiting the very modern Warsaw Uprising Museum, commemorating the uprising of 1944, the most important event defining today's Warsaw.  You can also omit this visit and have some free time if you wish.

Enjoy a typical Polish dinner in one of Warsaw's best restaurants this evening.  You are invited to a private Chopin piano concert after dinner.  Listen to Chopin's masterpieces such as etudes, mazurkas, polonaises, impromptus, scherzos, nocturnes and preludes while sipping a glass of sparkling wine.  Overnight in Warsaw.  (B, D)

Day 3  : The Land of a Thousand Lakes

We depart for the Masurian Lake district right after breakfast.  This area is known for its natural beauty and almost 3,000 beautiful lakes.   We will visit the Skansen Kurpiowski, a small folk architecture museum located in Nowogrod, an area of the Kurpie region.  We arrive in Gizycko, a resort town in the lake region, in the afternoon.  Here we have some free time to explore the many sights; such as the Teutonic castle, the Boyen Fortress, the neo-classical Evangelical church as well as other churches.  Dinner and overnight stay in an elegant hotel that used to be a castle.  Overnight in Gizycko.  (B, D)

Day 4  : Wolf's Lair and Swieta Lipka

This morning we travel to the middle of the Masurian forest where Hitler's wartime headquarters, the Wolf's Lair, was located. We can see the ruins and the bunker where Hitler spent almost three years in charge of his army operations. The bunker was the site of the well-known assassination attempt in 1944, made famous in the movie "Valkyrie."  After lunch, we visit the important pilgrimage shrine, Swieta Lipka, on Lake Dejnowa, near Mragowo.  Listed as possibly the most magnificent object of the late Baroque period in Poland today, this monument is of exceptional value. Overnight in Gizycko.  (B)

Day 5  : Teutonic Castles and Lavender Fields

Today's sightseeing takes us west towards the Baltic Sea and the town of Malbork. We will stop at the Lavender Fields Farm on the way for a fragrant experience and to better understand everyday life in this area. The Malbork Castle, built in the 13th century, is probably the largest medieval castle in Europe. The castle was first called Marienburg and served as the residence for the Grand Masters of the Knights of the Teutonic Order. The castle is built from red bricks and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. We continue to Gdansk in the late afternoon. Dinner at our hotel. Overnight in Gdansk.  (B, D)

Day 6  : Sopot and Gdansk

After breakfast, we depart for Sopot, a pretty beach resort with boulevards, parks, and tree-lined streets, this town is a playground for the wealthy.

After Sopot, we visit Oliwa, a very attractive district in Gdansk. Here we find the Oliwa Cathedral within a large Cistercian monastery complex. 

The cathedral is home to a rare pipe organ from the 18th century, one of the largest of its kind in the world. We are invited to listen to an organ concert, before some free time for lunch.

Afterward, we return to Gdansk for more sightseeing in this historic city with outstanding examples of Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic architecture.  We will visit Old Town and St. Mary's (the largest Gothic church in Poland), as well as Artus Court and the Neptune Fountain. Overnight in Gdansk.  (B)

Day 7  : Gdansk - a Day at Leisure

This day is free for you to do as you please. For shoppers, Gdansk is known as the Amber capital of Poland.  You can travel to the beautiful seaside resort of Sopot, or visit the modernist port of Gdynia farther north or cruise from Gdansk to Westerplatte (site of the opening shots of World War II) in a replica of a galleon. Overnight in Gdansk.  (B)

Day 8  : Torun - a Gothic Heaven

Today, we drive south to one of the most popular cities on all our tours; Torun. The city is small and easily covered by foot, with many architectural surprises such as stained-glass windows and decorative friezes. Torun is the birthplace of the famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who stopped the Sun and moved the Earth.  Later, for a treat, have some gingerbread, the city's 2nd most famous product.   Overnight in Torun.  (B)

Day 9  : Poland's First Capital

We depart for Wroclaw, with a stop in Gniezno, the first capital of Poland, on the way.  Gniezno is important to understand the beginnings of Polish Statehood.  Inside the 14th-century Gothic cathedral, we find the tomb of Poland's first patron saint as well as a beautiful Romanesque bronze door.  We arrive in the medieval town of Wroclaw, the capital of Lower Silesia, in the afternoon.  Dinner at a superb local restaurant.  Overnight in Wroclaw.  (B, D)

Day 10  : The Church of Piece and Wroclaw

This morning you have some choices: you can enjoy some free time to see Wroclaw's old town on your own or see the impressive university hall or you can join a complimentary sightseeing trip to Swidnica, about an hour's drive away. Here you will find the large wooden Church of Peace, dating to 1657 and now on UNESCO's World Heritage list, built without using a single nail, it is one of the few places where Protestantism was permitted after the Thirty Years' War.

After lunch, we will take a walk through Old Town with a local guide. We will see the many bridges, narrow lanes and gas lamps of Cathedral Island before heading over to the University District to see the academic headquarters of the city's main college.  We will experience the old butchers' lane with its many quaint shops on our way to the magnificent main square in the middle of the city, where locals and tourists enjoy themselves in the many beer gardens.  Overnight in Wroclaw  (B)

Day 11  : Auschwitz - Birkenau

We travel East towards the somber atmosphere of one of the most poignant places on earth, Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp complex in Europe. Built in 1940, it was vast, covering 40 square kilometers. Today it is a museum, a Holocaust Memorial and the National Museum of Martyrdom, a reflection on European history and conflict.  This afternoon we drive south to Zakopane, a picture-perfect resort town in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains. Overnight in Zakopane. (B)

Day 12  : Polish Mountains

After breakfast, we'll take a walk through Zakopane, the gateway to the High Tatras Alpine mountain chain. The town is known for its many wooden houses and unique wooden architecture. In the winter it is a popular ski resort and in the summer hiking and backpacking is the main activity. Take a ride on the funicular to the top of Gubalowka Hill, one of the most beautiful peaks in the Tatras, for a fantastic view of the Tatra mountain range. In the afternoon you will have some free time for souvenir shopping on Krupowki Street.  This evening we are invited to a lively Highlander folk show with musicians and dancers, local culinary dishes and strong "Highlander Tea." Overnight in Zakopane.  (B, D)

Day 13  : Rafting Trip and Salt Mine

In the morning we will have an unforgettable experience, rafting gently down the Dunajec River. The two-hour trip takes us through 15 km of the stunning Pieniny gorges, from Sromowce to Szczawnica. In the afternoon we will visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines on our way to Krakow.  The salt mines, on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage Site, are labyrinths of corridors, a chapel carved out of rock salt and splendid halls more than 100 meters underground. The temperature remains the same no matter how deep you go. It is Poland's most unique and fun historic monument. Overnight in Krakow.  (B)

Day 14  : Krakow - the Royal Capital

Krakow had a vibrant Jewish community before World War II. We will explore the narrow streets of the old Jewish neighborhood and visit the Remuh Synagogue and Cemetery in the morning.  After lunch, we take a walk through Wawel Castle where we see the Cathedral, the Belfry and we may also be able to see the historical State Rooms. The castle was the seat of Polish monarchs from medieval times, evident in its royal stature. Take some free time to explore the city on your own or join our tour leader for shopping at a renowned Polish pottery store. Overnight in Krakow (B)

Day 15  : Wine and Leisure

After breakfast, we go underground to a museum located beneath Krakow's main square, to explore the medieval history of the city. Next, we will hear the famous bugle call before entering St. Mary's church where we can see the largest Gothic altar in Europe. 

Enjoy some free time this afternoon, or join the group for a visit to a Polish winery on the outskirts of Krakow.  The picturesque vineyard is located on the grounds of a beautiful monastery, overlooking the Vistula River.  This evening, we'll go on a horse-and-carriage ride around the old town of Krakow before dinner at an excellent local restaurant where we also learn how to prepare the national dish - "pierogi" (filled dumplings)  Overnight in Krakow (B, D)

Day 16  : Black Madonna and Return to Warsaw

This morning we see the last highlight of our tour- Czestochowa. It is the most important Catholic shrine in Poland honoring the Virgin Mary, visited by pilgrims from all over the world. This monastery is an impressive display of Polish patriotism and piety. A resident Pauline monk will show us the famous Black Madonna as well as the monastery premises.

We arrive in Warsaw at approximately 6 p.m. in the evening and drop-off is possible at the Chopin Airport, the Hotel Novotel Airport, Hotel Airport Okecie or Hotel Sheraton Warsaw Centre. We can also arrange an extension to your trip or add other Polish or Central European destinations.Overnight in Warsaw (B)

Notes:

Distances: 2250 km/ 1400 miles

tour code: STPLND