Castles of Lesser Poland

Follow the route of Medieval castles and fortresses of Lesser Poland and Silesia region! And visit most important places of Polish history: Cracow, Jasna Góra monastery, and beautiful natural park of Jura mountains.

In the program

  • visit to a famous pilgrimage place, Częstochowa, to see the Black Madonna
  • picturesque medieval castles and strongholds
  • National Park with caves
  • visit to the beautiful city of Cracow, former capital

The trail begins in Częstochowa (famous sanctuary and Pauline Monastery on Jasna Góra) and ends in Cracow, on Wawel Hill – the former seat of Polish dukes and kings. The total length is about 164 kilometers. During the trip we will see the most significant fortresses, erected in the 14th-century to protect the western border of Poland. They were located in the unique landscape graced with profusion of strange shaped limestone rocks, gorges and cavities.

Day 1 – CZĘSTOCHOWA
Monastery in Częstochowa, Poland’s most famous shrine to the Virgin Mary and the country’s greatest place of pilgrimage was founded in 1380 by Pauline monks from Hungary. The biggest treasure of the monastery is an icon of the Virgin Mary, known as the Black Madonna of Częstochowa. It is credited with many miracles, e.g. saving of the monastery during a Swedish siege in the 17th century. Afterwards the king proclaimed the Black Madonna the Patron and Queen of the lands of his kingdom. Overnight in Częstochowa

Day 2 – CZĘSTOCHOWA – Mirów – Bobolice – Ogrodzieniec – CZĘSTOCHOWA After breakfast we set off for Mirów and Bobolice – twin stronghold located 1,5 km from each other. In Bobolice we would visit a local museum and see the reconstructed interiors of the castle. Our next stop would be Ogrodzieniec. Castle ruins are well preserved here. It is the most impressive ‚Eagle Nest’ of the route. Situated on the top of the upland was built as a fortress of hard limestone and dolomite. Because of its defensive values, it was also called The Wolf Jaw. Overnight in Częstochowa

Day 3 – CZĘSTOCHOWA – Pieskowa Skała – Ojców – CRACOW
This day we will visit an impressive Renaissance castle Pieskowa Skała(Dog’s Rock), built on the limestone cliff in the valey of Prądnik river. It is one of the best preserved example of a Renaissance defensive architecture in Poland. The castle is located in Ojcowski National Parkfilled with hundred of caves, numerous cliffs and ravines. In the heart of the park we will visit another castle and walk the largest cave (320 metres), which of the Polish kings used as a hideout. In the evening we will arrive to Cracow and have an evening stroll through the Old Town. Overnight in Cracow

Day 4 – CRACOW
Welcome to the former capital of Poland! According to UNESCO one of the World’s most beautiful cities. Even now Cracow is regarded as the spiritual and intellectual center of Poland. We will visit the last Eagle’s  Nest – Wawel Castle placed on the Wawel Hill. Till the 17th-century it was an official residence of Polish kings. Overnight in Cracow

Day 5 – CRACOW
After breakfast you set off for a half-day city tour which will give you an overall impression of the most significant Cracow sights. Our guide will show you one of the largest Market Squares in Europe with Cloth Halland St Marry Church. During a stroll through Planty Park you can admire Barbican and St. Florian’s Gate, precious example of medieval defensive architecture encircling the city. After break for lunch you will set off for a gentle stroll through enchanting streets of Cracow to the Kazimierz district. In medieval times Kazimierz and Cracow were separate towns, where both Catholics and Jews inhabitants lived and worked next to each other. There are a lot of remains of the Jewish diaspora in Kazimierz – synagogues: Remuh, Old and Temple, Jewish cemetery. Each street has own history and a different character. Szeroka Street known for famous worldwide Jewish festival of culture, Plac Nowy and many restaurants, pubs and galleries, each serving specific charm to the tourists and locals. On Kazimierz you will find a mixture of two different cultures, as well as the new face of Polish artists and intellectuals – it’s still a vivid and developing place. Overnight in Cracow

Day 6 – DEPARTURE