Flavours of Poland – gastronomic tour
DAY 1 ARRIVAL - WARSAW
Arrival in Warsaw. Airport transfer to the hotel. Welcome dinner. Overnight in Warsaw.
DAY 2 WARSAW – Mazovia
Traditional Mazovian cuisine is probably one of the most varied in Poland. Among its dishes you can find elements of Polish cuisine, as well as foodstuffs which come from foreign cuisines, mainly from the French and Russian ones. The most popular dishes are: broth, mushroom soup, buckwheat, roasted duck and fruit stew.
To understand better where the variety of this regional cuisine comes from, we are going to participate in a guided tour of the most important city of Mazovia, as well as of Poland, that is Warsaw. The capital of Poland was severely damaged during the Second World War and most of the architecture represents the post-war period. Our tour starts in the Old Town (since 1980 on UNESCO list as “an exceptional example of the comprehensive reconstruction of a city that had been deliberately and totally destroyed”). You’ll see the Royal Castle, St. John’s Cathedral, Old Market Square and Barbican. Next we move to one of the most beautiful parks in Warsaw – Lazienki Park (with Palace on The Water and Frederic Chopin Monument).
In the afternoon – free time. Dinner in a traditional restaurant. Overnight in Warsaw.
DAY 3 GDANSK – Pomerania
Today we travel to the north to visit Gdansk, get to know its history and taste the specialties of the local cuisine. Given that Pomerania region is situated next to the sea, the typical ingredients in its cuisine are fish and shellfish, which are used to prepare dishes, like for example: crab soup, fried eel, marinated herring.
In the afternoon - sightseeing of Gdansk – the city of 1000-years history, attracting tourist by numerous gems of architecture. Strolling around the town you’ll see the beautiful merchant’s houses, St. Mary’s church (believed to be the largest brick church in the world),the Long street with the Gothic Main Town Hall, Artus Court and the Neptune’s fountain in the Long Market – the city’s most important square, Motlava river and the Crane.
Dinner in a traditional restaurant. Overnight in Gdansk.
DAY 4 TORUN – POZNAN – Greater Poland
After breakfast we travel towards Poznan. Greater Poland is a vast region, rich in regional products (mainly potatoes), which have contributed to the creation of an extraordinary cuisine. You can notice also a significant influence of German cuisine, due to the invasion of Prussia in XIIIth century. We recommend you to try some of the following dishes and products: potato pancakes, potato bread, berry soup or pork chop with plum. For the dessert: St Martin´s Croissant, the most typical product of the region.
On the way we visit Torun (UNESCO) – one of the oldest cities in Poland, birthplace of a famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. The layout of the city has remained unchanged since the Middle Ages and today we can admire its impressing medieval brick Gothic architecture. During the tour you’ll see the most important sites of Torun: the Old City Town Hall, the Copernicus House), monumental churches (including the cathedral with the largest medieval bell in Poland), the city walls with gates and towers (including the famous Leaning Tower) and the ruins of the Teutonic Castle. Don’t forget to buy a local specialty here – gingerbread!
Finally we arrive to Poznan and we go on a short walking tour of the city. We’ll start in Ostrow Tumski island with Archcathedral Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, the first cathedral in Poland, a burial place of three kings and five dukes of the oldest Polish Piast dynasty. The tour continues in Poznan’s Old Town. In the Old Town Square we’ll admire the beautiful Renaissance tenement houses and Town Hall with the landmark of the city - two charming billy-goats. At the end of our walk we’ll see one of the most impressive Baroque churches in Poland - the Church of St. Stanislaus. Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in Poznan.
DAY 5 WROCLAW – Lower Silesia
This time we will move to the south to find out about a totally different cuisine, based on a rural tradition. Lower Silesia region was outside the territory of Poland until the end of World War II. However, its cuisine has got its own character, which is different from Polish cuisine, as well as from the German one. Amongst the most typical dishes and products there are: spelt soup, bread from Gogołowice (a village near to Milicz), regional wine “twaróg sudecki” (regional quark cheese).
Here we are going to visit Wroclaw, which is the fourth largest city in Poland, known for its long and fascinating history. The city, located on 12 islands on Odra river and having about 200 bridges is often called the Polish Venice. During our guided tour you’ll see all the highlights of the stunning architecture of the city: the Polish second largest (after Krakow) Market Square with a beautiful Gothic Town Hall, the University with impressing Baroque Aula Leopoldina Hall and Ostrow Tumski – the oldest part of the city with St. John’s Cathedral. Look hard, because apart from other tourist you’ll certainly meet the small inhabitants on the city center – the dwarfs! Dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in Wroclaw.
DAY 6 KRAKOW – Lesser Poland
Today we travel to the east to visit Cracow, the centre of Lesser Poland. The tempestuous history of this region is reflected even in the cuisine, which is a mix of the traditional Polish cuisine and foreign influences, especially Austrian, German, Ukrainian and Jewish. In order to understand what its originality consists in, try one of the following dishes: Viennese eggs, cheese pie, duck with mushrooms, “żurek” (soup based on flour and meat, served also with boiled egg) or “pierogi” (dumplings with different fillings possible, from meat to fruit; one of the most typical dishes in Poland).
Walking tour of the Old Town (UNESCO)– 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.
Dinner in a restaurant with traditional dishes. Overnight in Krakow.
DAY 7 ZAKOPANE - “PODHALE”: Tatra region
In the morning we travel to “Podhale”, an exceptional region of which the culture, dialect, cuisine and traditions are one of the most original in the country. The native people who live here are called “Górale“ and dedicate themselves, among other things, to the production of regional products. Their cuisine is rich in cheeses prepared in a traditional manner, amongst of which the most famous is “oscypek“ (queso duro, ahumado, producido de lechce de oveja). Entre los platos tradicionales más característicos se encuentran además “kwaśnica“ (sopa a base de col y carne) y “placek zbójnicki“ (un tipo de tortilla de patatas servido con carne o con crema).
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.
Dinner in a traditional restaurant. Overnight in Cracow.
Airport transfer and departure from Krakow.