The best of Krakow and Malopolska Region
Arrival in Krakow. Airport transfer to the hotel. Dinner with folklore dances show and lesson in a typical Polish restaurant in the Old Town.
Breakfast. Walking tour of the Old Town – discovering the treasures of the former capital of Poland. Starting with the Wawel hill with an impressive castle (which used to be the seat of the Polish kings) and the cathedral, you’ll follow the Royal Way to admire the beautiful tenement houses and churches and reach the Market Square – the largest medieval market place in Europe! Here we’ll stop for a while to listen to the bugle call played by a trumpeter from St. Mary’s Church tower, visit the church (with the famous wooden altar) and the Cloth Hall – a perfect place to buy some souvenirs from Krakow. During the tour you’ll also visit the university quarter with Collegium Maius – the oldest building of the Jagiellonian University.
In the afternoon – a walking tour of Kazimierz – the old Jewish quarter – a must see for anyone who is coming to Krakow. The history of Kazimierz dates back to 1335 when it was founded as an island town by King Kazimierz the Great. During over 500 years it was housing the Krakow’s Jews and became a major European centre for the Diaspora. Strolling along the narrow streets, you’ll feel the unforgettable and unique atmosphere of this quarter with its synagogues and museums, numerous cafés, bars and art galleries. During the tour we’ll visit the Remuh Synagogue, an old cemetery and a fascinating photo exhibition in Galicja Jewish Museum. Dinner with klezmer music concert and overnight.
Breakfast. In the morning – departure for Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum (UNESCO). Located about 70 km from Krakow, this former Nazi concentration camp is one of the best known places of genocide in the world. About 1,3 million people lost their life there. Nowadays the preserved Memorial consists of two parts Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II – Birkenau. The site is a key place of memory for the whole of humankind for the holocaust, racist policies and barbarism […] and a sign of warning of the many threats and tragic consequences of extreme ideologies and denial of human dignity (UNESCO WHL, Statement of Significance).
In the afternoon, on the way to Krakow – short visit to Wadowice – the birthplace of John Paul II and Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (UNESCO). The sanctuary in Kalwaria (established in 17the century) is one of the most famous pilgrimage places in Poland. The last point of the tour will be Lanckorona – a small, picturesque town with its landmark - steep market square surrounded by wooden arcaded houses from 19th century. Dinner and overnight in Krakow.
Breakfast. Today you’ll see another face of Krakow – Nowa Huta district. In 1949 the Communist regime in Poland decided to build an ideal socialist town, big heavy industry centre on the outskirts of Krakow. The reasons for building it were strictly ideological and the whole idea was against the economic rules. To let you feel the spirit of the communist times, we’ll travel there by an old-style bus. During the tour you’ll learn about the unique architecture idea of Nowa Huta and about the life of its inhabitants. You’ll also experience it – while visiting a communist style apartment!
In the afternoon - guided tour of the Wieliczka Salt Mine (UNESCO). The mine, one of the oldest in the world, is visited every year by over one million of tourists from all over the world. During the tour you’ll admire 20 salt rock chambers (with a magnificent St. King’s chapel), underground saline lakes, numerous salt sculptures and impressive timber constructions. There will be also a chance to try some specialties of an underground restaurant and send a postcard at the underground post office! Dinner and overnight.
Breakfast. Full day tour to Zakopane – the winter capital of Poland. The town is located at the foot of Tatra mountains – the highest mountain range in Poland. It’s famous for the traditions of the Gorale (the highlanders) – people living there, unique architecture style and of course stunning views of the mountains. After reaching Zakopane (about 2 hours drive from Krakow), we’ll use a funicular to ride up the Gubalowka Mount – you’ll never forget the breathtaking scenery that can be seen from there. Then the tour continues with highlights of Zakopane – the old cemetery, Villa Atma, the Papal Sanctuary at Krzeptowki and beautiful wooden Jaszczurowka Chapel (one of the best examples of the local Zakopane style in arts and architecture). We won’t miss Kropowki – the most famous street of the town and the best place for souvenirs hunters. On the way back to Krakow, we’ll visit Chocholow – a village looking like an open-air museum, famous for numerous 19-century wooden houses.
OPTIONALLY: Dunajec river rafting. Take your sun cream and photo camera with you and prepare yourself for a 2-3 hours leisure trip on traditional wooden rafts along the Dunajec River Gorge - one of the most beautiful river gorges in Europe. You’ll never forget the breathtaking views of peaks, steep rocky walls and several hundred meter high precipices dropping down to the river.
The second part of the tour will be a visit in the Niedzica Castle. Built in 14th century on a limestone rock, 30 meters above the Dunajec river is famous for… a ghost called “The white lady”. And what does the Indian Inca treasure has in common with a castle in Poland? – you’ll learn it from our guide!
In the evening - farewell dinner with workshop of making dumplings (traditional Polish dish) in a restaurant in the Old Town.
Airport transfer and departure from Krakow.