School trip: Cracow-Wieliczka-Zakopane

Cracow it’s a perfect destination for school trip.  According to UNESCO,  is one of the world’s most beautiful historical cities. It luckily escaped the destruction during World War II, its monuments and buildings survived. One can find here huge medieval castle – former residence of Polish kings. And unique painting of Leonardo da Vinci (Lady with an Ermine), hanging in castle’s museum. As well as one of just only few European medieval Jewish districts, multiple marvelous churches and museums rich of important  pieces of art. Cracow is also a place where young Karol Wojtyła, future pope John Paul II, studied at the university.

Next to the city lays Wieliczka, UNESCO-listed salt mine, where salt was extracted from the Middle Ages. Another interesting spot is Zakopane, town situated in the middle of Poland’s highest Tatra mountains. School trip to Cracow combines culture, history and contact with beautiful nature.

Our proposal is 5 days Cracow-Wieliczka-Zakopane school trip, perfect for groups of pupils.

1th Day – arrival to Cracow, accommodation in hotel/ hostel

 

2nd Day – Sigthseeing Cracow. Walk along the Old Town: the largest Market Square in Europe with Renaissance

Cloth Hall and Gothic Basilica of St Mary with a 15th– century carved wooden altar.  Stroll through Planty Park – the Barbican and Florian Gate – precious examples of medieval defensive architecture.

Visit to Wawel Hill, a former seat of Polish dukes, kings, with Renaissance royal chambers. Part of the complex is the Cathedral, where royal coronations took place and where kings and other distinguished Poles have been buried. In castles museum one can see famous Leonardo da Vinci painting. It is also a place where a pope John Paul II was consecrated as a bishop in 1958.

Possible additional attractions for groups:

  • The biggest Water Park in Poland. Attractions: 3 swimming pools, water sport area, a rapid river and 10 different slides, etc.
  • Visit to a bowling center
  • Polish Aviation Museum, with unique collection of warplanes from I World War (read more about it here). Group could visit an educational centre there with plane seats and flight simulator.
  • Boat cruises on the Vistula river.

Each attraction lasts approx. ~1 hour

Following sites can be seen on route: Dębnicki Bridge, Kościuszko Mound, Norbertine Nunnery, Water Works, Camaldolese Abbey.

 

3 rd DayCracow & Wieliczka

Wieliczka Salt Mine trip takes around 4,5 hour. This is a unique complex of  about 20 chambers and narrow tunnels, serving as galleries and chapels. There are also underground lakes there. Wieliczka is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Poland’s main tourist attractions.

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. During the tour the tour school group will visit also parts of former Jewish ghetto in Pogórze district.

 

4th Day – Cracow → Zakopane

Morning drive to Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Cracow – Łagiewniki, a resting place of Saint Faustina Kowalska. The new, impressive basilica was finished in 2002 and was already visited by two popes (John Paul II and Benedict XVI). It is one of the most visited shrines in Poland.

Leaving Cracow in the directions of Zakopane. On a way stop in small villages with a beautiful viewing points and historical wooden churches. Arrival to Zakopane.

Zakopane is known as a ‘winter capital of Poland’. Here you can get acquainted with the traditions of the people of Tatra Mountains. This region has a different architecture – typical for Zakopane are wooden huts covered with shingle. The city is famous for good ski conditions, hiking and beautiful landscapes. Next to Zakopane is the Tatra National Park.

Visit to a ski – jumping arena, where one of Polish ski jumpers, Adam Małysz, won the world cup. Getting to know a local folklore of Tatra Mountain by visiting a small cemetery located on the hill with a picturesque view at the mountains. Trip on a cable car to Gubałówka, to see a panorama of the whole Tatra mountains. Tasting of some local food, i.e. smoked sheep cheese, called ‘oscypek’.

Possible activities in the late afternoon:

Visit to Aqua Park. A complex of swimming pools with thermal water of a different shape and size (both indoor and outdoor). The temperature of the water: up to 36ºC. Three slides are more than 300 m long.

  • Bone fire with sousages
  • Dinner in a restaurant with a selection of local delicacies.

Overnight in Zakopane or in a hotel nearby

5th Day – Zakopane → Cracow

Early in the morning in the final day of the school trip, the group will departure to Łysa Polana, where a route to Morskie Oko lake starts. The lake is quite big (has area of 35 hectares) and is surrounded by the highest parts of Polish Tatra mountains. This means picturesque view. Route to this idyllic place is perfectly safe (even in the winter) – it leads through closed, curvy asphalt road, and takes 2h30m one way. There is a mountain shelter near the lake with decent but tasty hot meals.

In the afternoon group will departure to Cracow for overnight.