PL3 Poland: Bridging East & West Tour

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Torun, home of Copernicus; Warsaw: Old Town tour; Vibrant Gdansk; Well-preserved Krakow; Wieliczka salt mines tour;

  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to the entries under the blue box below.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Wed 04 Sep 2019Sat 14 Sep 2019 $3700 USD Last-minute Availability
Sun 17 May 2020Wed 27 May 2020 $3700 USD
Wed 02 Sep 2020Sat 12 Sep 2020 $3700 USD

Final balance payments by cheque or wire deduct $125 USD per person!

Optional Single Supplement: $622 USD (number of singles limited).


Tour Overview


There exists immaculate beauty and timeless history within the borders of Poland.

On this Poland tour, we are embarking on a journey that will expose us to a world that is usually only experienced through travel guides or history books. It is an essential experience for anyone who wants to see the most important locations in the world.

The tour of Auschwitz is an eye-opening lesson that is better learned up-front rather than reading about it in the chapters of any textbook.

Poland offers something to learn and something to appreciate around every corner; this analogy can be taken quite literally when we step foot along the labyrinthine, cobblestone streets of the capital city, Warsaw.

The history of this city alone spans from the 13th to the 20th centuries and we can surely appreciate how the history books remain wide-open for the vibrant future of this spectacular country.

Regions visited: Central And Eastern Europe
Countries visited: Poland


Testimonials


(Mount Holly, NC, US)

All excursions were enjoyable. Meals were outstanding thanks to Chris, our tour leader. Chris is phenomenal people-person. We had him on the nordic tour last year. He was great and we are looking forward to him being our tour leader in West Africa. We really enjoyed Poland, exceeded our expectations.

(Rochester Hills, MI, US)

One of my best tours. Great combination of leader, hotels, restaurants, cities. Itinerary with stops to break up long drives worked well and gave us a chance to experience smaller cities. Loved learning more of the history of Poland. I really appreciate the great locations of all of the hotels!! This is very important for me and others I have talked to. It makes it so much easier when exploring on our own, a very important part of a tour, allowing travelers to get a better feel for the city.

Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrive in Krakow
Arrival in Krakow.

Krakow is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It was originally the home of the Polish royalty (between 1038 and 1596), before the capital was moved to Warsaw. The cobblestone streets, majestic churches (almost 100!), and old world charm make Krakow an unforgettable destination.

PLEASE NOTE: Our Poland program will operate slightly differently depending on the date selected. Because of closures on certain days of the week, the sightseeing order will vary from Spring to Fall (our overnight points, however, remain the same). This itinerary reflects the order of sightseeing for the immediately upcoming departure; once that trip departs, this itinerary will be updated for the following date.

Overnight in Krakow.

Included Meal(s): Dinner

Day 2 Krakow: Wieliczka Salt Mines & Oskar Schindler Museum
This morning we visit the Wieliczka Salt Mines. On our 5km (3 mile) journey below the earth's surface we will see the salt-formed caves and grottoes, a subterranean lake and a chapel with statues carved from salt. The mines' 11 levels of galleries stretch 300km (186 miles), and some 20,000,000 tonnes (22,000,000 tons) of rock salt were extracted over 700 years. According to local legend, the deposits were discovered in the 13th century by a Hungarian princess named Kinga, whose lost ring was found in a block of salt extracted here.

We also visit the Oskar Schindler's Factory Museum. The story of Oskar Schindler and his employees is one which has been well-known since the book and film by Thomas Keneally and Steven Spielberg (whose film 'Schindler's List' was shot almost entirely in Krakow). Individual histories of Krakow's wartime inhabitants guide visitors through the exhibit which covers the war of 1939, everyday life under occupation, the fate of the Jews and the city's underground resistance using vast archival documents, photos, radio and film recordings, period artifacts and multimedia.

Overnight in Krakow.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Krakow: City Walking Tour
Krakow is very compact, and the whole central region with its cobblestone streets is full of well-preserved architecture, Gothic churches and splendid museums. On our sightseeing tour (largely on foot at a leisurely pace) we visit Wawel Hill with the Royal Castle, Market Square, and the 16th century Renaissance Cloth Hall. We continue onward to Jagiellonian University and St Mary's Church with the Wit Stwosz altar. This was designed in 1489 by Wit Stwosz of Nuremburg and is the finest sculptural work in Poland.

We then stroll down the hill from the castle complex and enter the Old Town, one of the most famous old districts in Poland and the centre of Poland's political life from 1038 until King Sigismund III Vasa relocated his court to Warsaw in 1596. The entire medieval old town is among the first sites chosen for the UNESCO's World Heritage List. The district features the centrally located Rynek Glowny, or Main Square, the largest medieval town square of any European city. There is a number of historic landmarks in its vicinity, such as St. Mary's Basilica (Kosciol Mariacki), Church of St. Wojciech (St. Adalbert's), Church of St. Barbara, as well as other national treasures.

Balance of the day at leisure.

Overnight in Krakow.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Krakow - Oswiecim (Auschwitz) - Czestochowa - Lodz
Our first stop today is the Oswiecim (Auschwitz) and Brzezinka (Birkenau) Nazi concentration camps preserved as memorials to the 1.5 million people of 28 nationalities who perished here, the overwhelming majority of whom were Jewish. Our guided walking tour of the site reveals the compelling history of this region and the very human aspect of this particular historic location.

We continue to Czestochowa, the "spiritual home" of Poland, where pilgrims from every corner of the country come to Jasna Gora (Luminous Mountain) Monastery to revere the image of the Black Madonna, Poland's most important icon. Legend says that the icon was painted by St Luke the Evangelist on a piece of cypress wood from the table used by Mary in Nazareth. The icon was brought from Jerusalem and installed in the monastery around 1384.

We finish our day in Lodz (pronounced: Wooj). A small settlement, that in 1423 was granted civic rights, was thriving at the beginning of the 19th century. Lodz became one of the Europe's biggest and fastest growing textile industry centre. At that time, a new identity of the city - "a promised land" and "a city of many cultures" was created. In Lodz people of different nationalities and religions shared the same dream of a success. Despite the
differences they were able to build the city together.

We arrive in time for dinner.

Overnight in Lodz.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Lodz - Warsaw: City Tour
This morning we travel to Warsaw, arriving in time to embark upon some city touring. En route we visit the Chopin Museum in Zelazowa Wola.

After WWII, a reconstruction campaign by its citizens resulted in today's meticulous restoration of Warsaw's Old Town with its churches, palaces and market-place. It is an outstanding example of a near-total reconstruction of a span of history covering the 13th to the 20th century. Warsaw has shrugged off its dour Eastern Bloc image, and is finally showing its true colours. The vibrant heart of the largest country in "New Europe", Warsaw is now poised to make is presence felt as a business and cultural hub.

A highlight of our day will be a visit to the Warsaw Uprising Museum, dedicated to the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. The museum sponsors research into the history of the Uprising, and the history and possessions of the Polish Underground State. It collects and maintains hundreds of artifacts, ranging from weapons used by the insurgents to love letters, in order to present a full picture of the people involved. The museum's stated goals include the creation of an archive of historical information on the Uprising and the recording of the stories and memories of the still living Uprising participants.

Overnight in Warsaw.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Warsaw Sightseeing - To Torun
Still in Warsaw, we have a walking tour of the Old Town, a UNESCO protected site. We visit Castle Square, the Uprising Monument, and then drive over to the Praga area for a view of the river. From there go to the Jewish Ghetto area and to Umschlag Platz where we visit the Museum of History of Polish Jews. The museum features a multimedia narrative exhibition about the vibrant Jewish community that flourished in Poland for a thousand years.

We continue our journey to the picturesque medieval town of Torun, a beautiful medieval city in northwestern Poland, situated on the Vistula River. Torun's architecture managed to escape bombing, and as such represents one of the only examples of true Gothic architecture in Poland. At warm times of year Torun's old town is full of street cafes and restaurants where you can eat and drink outdoors and enjoy the medieval atmosphere.

Overnight in Torun.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 Torun: Nicolaus Copernicus Museum* - Gdansk
This morning we enjoy the sights of Torun. Its Old Town has been included in UNESCO's list for its impressive 13th century Town Hall, superb churches and historic streets preserving Torun's past glory. If possible,* we will visit the Nicolaus Copernicus Museum, Copernicus House. The museum collects materials about the life and work of Copernicus: a library, old prints and books from the time of Copernicus, various editions of his work, "Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres," and models of the astronomical instruments he used.

We continue to Gdansk, an absolutely charming place with its tall, narrow buildings, peaked roofs and decorative facades that combine perfectly with the cobblestone streets. The famous Gdansk Shipyards are visible from most parts of the city. During our time in Gdansk we'll visit the marvellous Old Town and its main street, Dlugi Targ (Long Market).

* DUE TO ONGOING renovations, the Copernicus Museum may be closed periodically. Our regrets in advance if we are unable to visit.

Overnight in Gdansk.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Gdansk Area Tour
Its position on the Baltic has historically made Gdansk one of the most important port cities in Northern Europe, and tragically also the scene of a rather disturbing past. World War II was ignited by a dispute over the control of the city. By the end of the war the city lay almost completely in ruins. The German population was expelled and replaced by Poles as the city came under Polish rule and changed its name to Gdansk. However, the impact of its former
German ties is still evident. Although most of the old buildings were damaged or destroyed in WWII, they have been painstakingly restored or rebuilt.

Today we tour Gdansk, including the Teutonic Knights Castle in Malbork, the largest brick building in Europe and one of Poland's greatest tourist attractions.

Overnight in Gdansk.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Gdansk - Oliwa - Olsztyn
After breakfast we drive to Olsztyn.

En route we stop to visit Oliwa Cathedral. This Holy Trinity, Blessed Virgin Mary, and St Bernard's Church was first erected as a Cistercian shrine back in the 13th century. Reconstructed in 1350 after a great fire, it re-emerged in the Gothic style, but many of the new fixtures were to be relatively short lived. The Gothic interior was extremely damaged in a 1577 fire and was replaced with the Baroque fixtures we admire today for their beauty and intensity. The Oliwa Cathedral is perhaps best known for its massive, splendid organ. The organ is comprised of over 7,000 pipes and is decorated with movable angels and brightly painted stars. When built, the instrument was the largest in Europe. The main alter is also very impressive, and if the organ is in use, you're sure to be riveted by its magnificent
sound!

We continue to Olsztyn, a town located in a region of lakes and forests. The most attractive part of the city is the old town, encircled by a set of fortified walls.

Overnight in Olsztyn.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Olsztyn - Olsztynek - Warsaw
After breakfast, we return to Warsaw. On the way, we visit the Ethnographic Park in Olsztynek, site of the Museum of Folk Architecture, one of the oldest open-air museums in Europe. The museum contains many interesting examples of folk architecture, including houses, barns, windmills and other traditional buildings. A particular attraction of the park are the interiors of old houses, the evangelical church, a blacksmith, a pottery stand, a windmill as well as various temporary displays representing items of traditional craftsmanship and modern folk art and handicraft from the region.

Continue to Warsaw.

Overnight in Warsaw.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Departure
Departure from Warsaw, or continue to our tour of the Baltic States.

SZEROKIEJ DROGI!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

Tour Map

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Hotel Ascot

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Krakow
Country: Poland

The modern hotel is located in the heart of Krakow. Standard room equipment includes: Cable TV and radio, free wireless
... telephone, safe, bathroom with shower, hairdryer, air- conditioning.



Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Radisson SAS Warsaw

Rating: 5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation5 Star Accommodation
Location: Warsaw
Country: Poland

Conveniently located in the heart of the business district and tourist quarter of Warsaw, Radisson SAS Centrum Hotel welcomes both
... and leisure travellers. The hotel is close to the Palace of Science and Culture and the Warsaw Central Station, and just a 20-minute drive from the airport.


Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Mercure Helios Torun

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Torun
Country: Poland

The Mercure Helios Torun is located in the city centre, very close to the old town and the birthplace of
... Copernicus. Hotel offers 105 modern single and double rooms and 5 suites. All rooms are equipped with SAT TV, pay TV, radio, telephone, minibar and fast Internet access.


Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website

Mercure Hevelius Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Gdansk
Country: Poland

The Hotel Mercure Gdansk Hevelius is just a stone's throw away from the Old Town. The hotel also offers a
... view of the picturesque Old Town or the historic Gdansk Shipyard.


Read More.

Click here to visit hotel website


Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

Breakfast and dinner (hotels & local restaurants) daily. All accommodation, transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.

Exclusions

International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international air taxes (if applicable), excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs and shopping.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered in spring, summer and fall the most popular of which is are spring and fall when temperatures are relatively mild and crowds thinner. Showers quite possible in spring and fall, somewhat less so in summer though can occur any time. Summers can be humid.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Land transport throughout by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Though we will have a couple of full bus days there are plenty of stops of interest.

This trip is typical of most of our European tours, which are ambitious and involve full days of travel and sightseeing. While we don't have any actual strenuous activity (ie hiking) built into the program, you will do a lot of walking on this trip. These walks will mostly be in the form of walking tours of towns and cities and short walks to dinner. Being Europe, and a hilly/mountainous area, cobbles, uneven surfaces, and slopes/stairs are common. If you are accustomed to typical "bus tours," which rely heavily on vehicular transport for all sightseeing activities, you should be aware that this tour is considerably more active.

Accommodation

Well-located, air- conditioned, mid-range hotels (3-star) throughout. Many are smaller properties (3-4 story) that may not have elevators. All hotels have en suite bath, though most have shower only. Porter service is rarely available; you MUST be independent with your luggage. Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader throughout, driver, local step-on guides in various locales.

Group Size

10-18 (plus Tour Leader)

PL3 TRIP DETAILS

DURATION11 days

TOUR STARTKrakow

TOUR ENDWarsaw

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