$ 2,125.00 (double occupancy)
$ 2,560.00 (single occupancy)
Warsaw 2 nights : Sofitel Victoria*****
Gdansk 2 nights: HANZA****
Torun 1 night: 1231****
Wroclaw 2 nights : Best Western Prima****
Zakopane 1 night : Aquarion****
Krakow 3 nights: Amber Design****
lunches and 6 dinners
Visit to the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising
Private Chopin piano concert
Organ concert in Oliwa Cathedral
Ethnographic museum in Olsztynek
Former Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk (the place where the Solidarity movement started)
Presentation on amber
Gingerbread tasting & the Polish leaning tower of Pisa in Torun (Copernicus' birthplace)
Fascinating Church of Peace in Swidnica
Less frequently visited Auschwitz II (Birkenau) Holocaust Memorial
Highlander show in Zakopane
Cable car ride to Mt. Gubalowka
Opening of the world's largest wooden Gothic altar
Horse-drawn cart ride across the Old Town in Krakow
Tour of the Czestochowa monastery led by a Pauline monk
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE MONUMENTS:
Historic Centre of Warsaw
Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork
Medieval Town of Torun
Krakow's Historic Centre
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Auschwitz Concentration Camp
Church of Peace in Swidnica
NATIONAL & LANDSCAPE PARKS:
The Tatra National Park
Check in to your hotel and meet with your tour leader and a representative from our office in the evening, followed by a hearty and delicious welcome dinner. Overnight in Warsaw. (D)
A full day of sightseeing in Warsaw. We will visit Old Town, rebuilt after World War II, site of the historic Jewish Ghetto area. We continue to the heart of vibrant downtown before driving along the elegant Royal Route to the Palace on the Water, one of Europe's finest 18th-century royal residences, in the Lazienki Gardens. Lunch on your own. In the afternoon, we visit the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising, one of the best museums in Poland, dedicated to the 1944 uprising. You can omit the Museum visit if you like, and take some free time to explore Old Town and the details of the building restoration on your own.
In the evening, we'll have a traditional Polish dinner in a local restaurant, followed by a private piano concert of works by Chopin, Poland's renowned composer-pianist, the greatest master of Romantic music. Overnight in Warsaw (B, D)
After breakfast, we depart for the Baltic Sea, heading north through the Warmia region to the Ostroda-Elblag Canal in the Ilawa Lake District. We will board a canal boat and cruises north on a system of canals combined with the narrow-gauge railway, built by Germans in the 19th century. In the afternoon, we will tour Malbork Castle, one of the largest medieval castles in Europe, and the seat of the mighty Order of Teutonic Knights between 1309 and 1459. The great halls and the magnificent high tower have been meticulously restored, it even has a central heating system, and the building is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This evening we continue north to Gdańsk, check into our comfortable hotel and have dinner. Overnight in Gdansk (B, D)
We will visit Sopot this morning. Known as the "Monte Carlo" of the Baltic, it is a quaint and sophisticated town and the most popular seaside resort in Poland,
Next, we visit Oliwa and its beautiful cathedral from the 13th-century, known for its incredibly complex pipe-organs.
We will have an opportunity to enjoy an organ recital before returning to Gdansk for some free time. On our way there we make a stop at the famous Gdansk (formerly Lenin) Shipyards, where the Solidarity movement led by Lech Walesa started. Gdansk is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Poland, due to it's past as the wealthiest Polish port city. Old Town has a rich maritime atmosphere, similar to Amsterdam, with narrow, tall red-brick houses in the Hanseatic-style architecture. Climb to the top of the tower of St. Mary's church for a panoramic view of the city, take a look at the medieval astronomical clock or visit the National Museum for a look at the haunting masterpiece, "The Day of Judgement," by Hans Memling. The evening is free. Overnight in Gdansk (B)
After breakfast, we leave Gdansk and drive south to Torun, where we will tour Old Town, (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The town of Torun has survived many wars and invasions, and many of the original Gothic structures are still standing, such as town hall, the Polish "leaning tower of Pisa," the medieval fortification walls and the beautiful St. James church. We'll tour the house where Torun's most famous son was born, the House of Nicolaus Copernicus, the astronomer. Be sure to taste the gingerbread you'll find all over town. You will have some free time in the evening to explore Torun on your own. Based on comments from our previous clients, this stop is a surprise hit, leaving lasting impressions. Overnight in Torun (B)
In the morning, we will stop in Gniezno, the first Polish capital, on the way to Wroclaw (Breslau). Gniezno is a must-see to understand the early history of Poland. The cathedral was the coronation site of five Polish kings. It is well known for its bronze Romanesque gate. The tomb of Saint Wojciech (Adalbert) is the centerpiece of the cathedral.
We arrive in the medieval city of Wroclaw in the Lower Silesia region in the afternoon. Tonight, we will have dinner in an excellent restaurant. Overnight in Wroclaw (B, D)
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. It was built without using a single nail and was one of the few places where Protestantism was permitted after the Thirty Years' War. Lunch on your own, then a short walk through Old Town with a knowledgeable local guide. You have the evening free. Overnight in Wroclaw. (B)
The tour today will be a very different kind of experience. We will visit two former Nazi death camps outside the town of Oswiecim in eastern Silesia that make up the Holocaust Memorial, the older camp Auschwitz I (the museum) and Birkenau II, the vast area of the former work and extermination camp. The memorial is there to remind all of us of one of the worst periods in our history.
After lunch, we will visit the nearby town of Wadowice, and the home of Pope John Paul II, before heading for the Carpathian Mountains and the mountain resort town of Zakopane. Here we will attend a high-spirited Highlander folk show with music, dance, local food, and Highlander tea. Overnight in Zakopane (B, D)
In the morning, we'll enjoy a tour of the exquisite wooden architecture of Zakopane before taking the funicular railway up to Mount Gubalowka, one of the most stunning peaks in the Tatras, for a great view of the scenery. The afternoon is free for shopping along Krupowki Street in Zakopane. We depart for Krakow and arrive in the early evening. Overnight in Krakow's Old Town (B)
This morning we pay a visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines, descending into the unforgettable underground tourist attraction with grottos, chambers, and chapels carved from rock and salt deposits. There is nothing like it anywhere in the world. Afterward, we pay a visit to the legendary Wawel Castle, where we will see the Cathedral, the Belfry and possibly the historical State Rooms.
In the evening, to top it all off, we will take a horse and carriage ride through Old Town, before being treated to a sumptuous dinner in one of Krakow's finest restaurants. Here you will learn how to prepare Poland's national dish, Pierogi, a type of dumpling filled with meat, vegetables or fruit. Overnight in Krakow (B, D)
We will explore the Main Town Square, the largest town square in Europe, with churches of different architectural styles, and beautiful streets brimming with old world charm. We will visit the Church of the Virgin Mary and witness the magical moment when the world's largest wooden altar (carved by Wit Stwosz between 1477 and 1489) opens its wings, a daily event. We will also be able to hear the haunting alarm-call, the Hejnal, played by a trumpeter from one of its twin towers on the hour, every hour. The afternoon is free to explore Krakow on your own, or you may want to visit a local store where world-famous Polish pottery is sold, and learn about its production. Overnight in Krakow (B)
After breakfast, we will visit Częstochowa, the last highlight of our tour. The Jasna Góra (Bright Hill) Monastery of Częstochowa belongs to the most important and inspiring pilgrimage points in Christendom, along with Rome, Lourdes in France and Fatima in Portugal. Led by a resident Pauline Monk, we will see the famous Black Madonna and the monastery premises. We will arrive in Warsaw in the early evening and can drop you off at the Chopin Airport, the Hotel Novotel Airport, the Hotel Airport Okecie or the Hotel Sheraton Warsaw Center.
If you want to extend your stay or want a continuation of the tour, we can provide the best rates for you. (Favorite extension could include Lublin, known a Poland's Jerusalem; Poznan, one of Poland's most historic cities; Kazimierz Dolny, a renaissance trading town; the Bialowieza forest where you can find bison and spa hotels.
Distances: 1950 km/ 1210 miles
tour code: STPLND