Kraków’s Old Town emerged from WWII largely unscathed and is absolutely beautiful. Discover Europe’s largest medieval market square and the arches, spires and gargoyles of this UNESCO Site. Kraków is the cultural heart of Poland and was for many years its Royal capital. Perhaps walk along the Royal Route to follow in the footsteps of Polish monarchs. This will lead you to Wawel Castle, a complex with heavily fortified walls which guard a wealth of treasures. No visit to Kraków is complete without a visit to Auschwitz. Although harrowing, visiting this most notorious concentration camp will be a poignant and important experience. The barracks of the former death camp are a sobering reminder of one of the greatest crimes in human history.
Furthermore, this tour includes a visit to Zakopane, often referred to as a haven for painters, this picturesque town will blow you away with its aesthetics. The Tatra Mountains loom over its buildings, reminding visitors and residents alike of its location in the heart of nature.
No other tour will truly encapsulate Poland’s diverse beauty and history. With such a range of activities and exceptional destinations, this tour really is Poland in a nutshell!
Day 1: Following your early morning home taxi collection we travel to Dover for the ferry crossing to Calais, then continue to our overnight stop in Gelsenkirchen.
Day 2: After breakfast we head for our second overnight hotel, making suitable stops en-route. Our hotel for the night is the 4-star Mercure Halle.
Day 3: Today we head for our main hotel, the fabulous Hotel Wyspianski in Krakow. The major sights and attractions of Krakow Old Town and the ones of the Jewish Quarter are just a short distance from your hotel.
Day 4: This morning we enjoy a guided walking tour of the oldest part of this remarkable city. Kraków’s Old Town escaped serious damage during WWII. As a result, and unlike many other European cities whose centre have been rebuilt, what you see in Kraków is genuine. The wealth of Gothic and Renaissance monuments and churches, and the sheer number of architecturally wonderful buildings, makes this a very special place. The imposing Wawel Castle is the big attraction, along with the vast Rynek Główny, Europe’s largest market square. The former Jewish quarter, Kazimierz, whose narrow streets are scattered with lively squares and remnant synagogues, was the setting for the film Schindler’s List. In the afternoon we head to Visit Europe’s oldest salt mine at Wieliczka. Many generations of Polish miners have created an impressive underground world of salt lakes, chambers, galleries and a unique Salt Works Museum. The visit takes you through a labyrinth of galleries and caverns and some walking on uneven ground will be required.
Day 5: Today we visit somewhere that is, put simply, unlike anywhere else on earth. The Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum and Memorial is the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp used during World War II. Many of the original buildings survived after the war. Today, a visit takes you to the two parts of the site to learn about the realities of the lives and deaths of the people who were brought there. A guided tour will take you to see the remaining prison blocks and watch towers, as well as the gas chambers and crematorium. Learn about the tragedy of the Holocaust and the realities faced by those detained in this most notorious concentration camp.
Day 6: A full-day excursion to Zakopane, Poland’s winter capital. Located at the foot of the Tatra Mountains, the town, which developed as a health resort, is renowned for its beautiful, traditional wooden villas, some of which are now museums. Enjoy a stroll along Krupówki, the main pedestrian area. From the centre of the town, take the funicular to Gubałówka hill for panoramic views over the town and the surrounding Tatra mountains.
Day 7: Today is at leisure in Krakow. Our centrally located hotel is ideally positioned for you to be able to explore Poland’s former capital, considered by many to be the most beautiful city in the country. Other attractions include Wawel Royal Castle, built on Wawel Hill, where people have been living for 50,000 years and where, over the past 1,000 years, Polish Kings decided to take up residence.
Day 8: This morning we depart Krakow, and head into Germany for an overnight stop in the Leipzig.
Day 9: The journey continues with a final overnight stop in Gelsenkirchen
Day 10: On our final day we continue to Calais for the return ferry crossing to the UK, making suitable stops en-route. Our door to door taxi service will be waiting to take you home when we get back to Norfolk.
Single Supplement: £204
Tour Reference: EUR1729
Maritim Gelsenkirchen **** 2 nights
Situated in the heart of the Ruhr Valley, in a peaceful location next to Gelsenkirchen’s Stadtgarten central park. All cosy bedrooms have safe and minibar, and offer views over the town. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, lift access, swimming pool, sauna, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Mercure Halle **** Leipzig – 2 nights
All 134 rooms offer free Wi-Fi, TV’s with cable channels. Guests will also find electric kettles, hairdryers and phones. The hotel also features a restaurant, a fitness centre and a bar/lounge.
Hotel Wyspianski **** Krakow – 5 nights
Situated just a few metres from the Main Square. The airy rooms come with flatscreen TV’s and desks. There’s an airy restaurant serving international cuisine, plus a cosy bar and terrace seating in the garden. Other amenities include a gift shop & a casino.
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|Fri 25 Sep, 2020