In the past Poland was a place of coexistence of confesions and relgions. Catholix, Orthodox, Lutheran, Jewish and Muslim communities lived here side by side for centuries. During the tour, we will visit multiple churches and shrines, synagouges, mosques and places important for historical, religious minorities of Poland.
Day 1: CRACOW
Arrival to Cracow Balice airport. Transfer to the hostel.Time at leisure. Overnight in Cracow.
Day 2: CRACOW
Cracow has been listed by UNESCO as one of the world’s most beautiful and historical city. It escaped the ravages of World War II with many monuments and buildings of architectural merit. Discover medieval Market Square, Wawel Castle and the 16th-century Cloth Hall. Innumerable pubs and restaurants, often with live music create a magical and unforgettable atmosphere of Cracow. Meeting with the guide at the reception desc. Visit to Cracow Old Town with one of the largest Market Square in Europe with Cloth Hall and St. Mary Basilica. During a stroll through Planty Park you can admire the Barbican and St. Florian Gate, precious examples of medieval defensive architecture encircling Cracow. Visit to Wawel Hill, a former seat of Polish dukes and kings. Guided tour through Royal Chambers. Wawel Cathedral – Gothic basilica, where royal coronations took place and where kings and other distinguished Poles have been buried. Overnight in Cracow.
Exploring Cracow Kazimierz, the Jewish district, where even now one can observe the remains of the Jewish diaspore – synagogues: Remuh, Old and Temple or the Jewish cemetery. Each street has its own character and is a mute witness of its inhabitants’ lives, interrupted during the WWII with the forced relocation to the ghetto in Podgórze. Overnight in Cracow.
Day 4: CRACOW
Exploring Cracow on your own (without guide)
Transfer with private bus to Tyniec Bendictine Abbey( to be confimed later). Overnight in Cracow.
Day 5: CRACOW → Wieliczka
After breakfast drive by train to Wieliczka (it takes about 0,5 hour)(city next to Cracow), where you will visit the Salt Mine , listed by UNESCO on World Heritage List. The tourist route is a complex of about various 20 chambers, narrow tunnels, galleries, chapels and lakes. The tour starts with 378 steps to the shaft bottom – 64 meters depth! Overnight in Wieliczka underground chambers.
Day 6: WIELICZKA→ CZĘSTOCHOWA → WARSAW
Departure for Częstochowa (private bus without tour guide) where Jasna Góra – one of the most beautiful Polish Baroque monasteries is situated. Visit to the monastery (local guide), the most important Polish pilgrimage place, home of the Black Madonna miraculous icon. Transfer to Warsaw. Overnight in hostel Warsaw.
Day 7: WARSAW
Warsaw was once called “Paris of the East”. Get to know the city where World-famous composer, Frederic Chopin, and a genius physicist, Marie Curie Skłodowska, spent their childhood. The city suffered a lot during the WWII. Nowadays the reconstructed Old Town is listed by UNESCO. Current Warsaw is a 2-million modern city with an old soul, which remembers the painful past but also gives the space for new initiatives of young generation. Meeting with a local guide at the reception desk. Our tour to Poland will start with the visit to the core of Warsaw – the Old Town located on the bank of Vistula River. Group will see movie of the history of the Royal Castle – an official residence of Polish kings, where the first European Constitution was signed. In the Main Market with a Mermaid, a symbol of the city, you will hear some of city’s legends. Walk through the New Town, pass a birthplace of a Nobel-prize winner Marie Curie Skłodowska. Royal Route: Presidential Palace, Warsaw University, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Overnight in Warsaw.
Day 8: WARSAW
Exploring Warsaw on your own (without guide) WWII period in the history of Warsaw: visit to the Uprising Museum (visit with audioguides),which commemorates the civil uprising in 1944. Tour to the site of the biggest Jewish Ghetto in occupied Europe and the Monument to Ghetto Heros. Overnight in Warsaw.
Day 9: WARSAW –Treblinka
Meeting with the guide. Trip to Treblinka Extermination Camp. Even though it functioned for less than 2 years it is estimated that more than 800,000 Jews were murdered here (including Jews from Warsaw’s ghetto). Visit to the museum which shows the history of the place and archival photographs. To understand the size of Jewish community in the pre-War Poland one needs to leave Warsaw and visit one of the ‘sztetls’ – that’s how in the previous time towns where the majority of population were Jews were called in Eastern Europe. We would go to a small sleepy town Tykocin, which used to have one of the richest Jewish communities in the entire country. We would see how the typical city was organized and would visit a 16th century synagogue, which is the second biggest in Poland. Overnight in Tatarska Jurata.
Day 10: KRUSZYNIANY- BOHONIKI- BIAŁYSTOK-WARSAW
Guided tour along the Białystok Tatar trail leads to Bohiniki and Kruszyniany, the oldest centres of Islam followers in Poland. They remember the first Tatars from over 300 years ago who were settled here by king John III Sobieski. Vist in two Muslim Mosques. This area has unique climate of Polish Orient. Currently, the villages are home to few Tatars, but operating mosques and Muslim cemeteries make those places very important for both religious and symbolic reasons as they illustrate the history of adaptation of this community into the Polish-Belarusian environment. Departure to Warsaw. Overnight in Warsaw or once again in Tatarska Jurata in Kruszyniany (Tatar farm house).
Day 11: WARSAW
After breakfast departure to Warsaw. Time at leisure. Overnight in Warsaw.
Day 12: WARSAW