Discover vibrant, historic cities and beautiful countryside in the heart of
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
Group Size Small Group
Poland has come and gone from the map of Europe many times over the centuries, the battle line between East and West. Today it is a beautiful country full of history and a proud people, keen to show off their country’s individuality and culture. Our journey starts in Warsaw the mighty capital, then it’s north to the port city of Gdansk where the Solidarity trade union movement began, whose opposition to Communism led to the end of Communist Party rule in 1989. From here we move onto lesser known Wroclaw, the 2016 European Capital of Culture. Finishing in Krakow, Poland’s cultural capital, with its beautiful old town square, cobbled streets and jazz bars. From here we have a day trip to Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains. This is a busy trip with lots to discover, far beyond Poland’s stereotypes of communist housing blocks and stodgy food.
* All breakfasts and 1 lunch
* All accommodation
* Airport transfers (at designated times)
Tour leader throughout
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Guided tour of Warsaw and Krakow old town
- Discover lesser known Wroclaw
- Visit UNESCO listed Auschwitz and Wilanow Palace
- Enjoy local Polish hospitality
- Optional day tour of Wieliczka Salt Mine (must be booked in advance)
- 7 nights comfortable hotels
- Normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs
- Travel by private bus
The group flight arrives into Warsaw late morning. There is free time to explore the Polish capital. We recommend the Warsaw Uprising Museum, as there is no time to visit the following day. It is considered one of the best museums in the city.Meet the group in the early evening for our briefing.*Hotel Metropol or similar*
Walking tour of Warsaw, transfer to Gdansk
Warsaw is the sprawling capital of Poland and the country’s largest city. Its widely varied architecture reflects the city’s long, turbulent history, from Gothic churches and neoclassical palaces to Soviet-era blocks and modern skyscrapers. Our guided walking tour starts in the UNESCO listed Old Town, lovingly restored after World War II, and Wilanów Palace, dating back to 1805 and once home to John II Sobieski, one of Poland’s most famous kings.After an early lunch, we take the 4hr transfer to Gdansk, Poland’s great maritime city. There may be some free time for a stroll along the quayside before dinner.***Number One Hotel or similar*
Sightseeing in Gdansk, transfer to Torun via Malbork Castle
Gdansk is surely one of Europe’s most famous port cities, and was a leading centre of commerce during the times of the Hanseatic League, in the 14th and 15th century. In the 20th century, it vast docks saw the founding of the Solidarity Movement, which played a major role in bringing an end to Communist rule in Poland and helped precipitate the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.Our tour will take in the Old Town and the wonderfully restored docks, before free time to enjoy the city. You may choose to visit the award-winning Solidarity Museum or maybe just relax with a coffee in one of the many cafes. We then transfer to Torun, stopping at the UNESCO listed Malbork Castle, the largest castle compound in the world, dating back to the 13th century.***Gotyk Hotel or similar*
Walking tour of Torun; transfer to Wroc*ł*aw
This morning we have a walking tour of Torun. This is amongst Poland’s oldest cities and the birthplace of Nicolaus Copernicus, one of history’s most famous astronomers. The city is known for having preserved, almost intact, its mediaeval spatial layout with many Gothic buildings, including monumental churches, the town hall and many burgher houses.After lunch we transfer to Wroclaw, approximately a four-hour drive through the Polish countryside. We will arrive in time to check in and head out for dinner on the old town square.*Campanile Centrum Hotel or similar*
Transfer to Krakow, stopover at Auschwitz
Wroclaw (vrots-wahf), is one of Poland’s finest cities, with a unique mix of Bohemian, Austrian and Prussian traditions, culture and architecture. We will have a walking tour of the Market Square, old town and the city’s Gothic cathedral, dating back to 1272.After a late lunch, we leave for Krakow, stopping at the Auschwitz concentration camp on the way. We will have a guided tour of both camps and the museum buildings. Reflecting on our visit we transfer to Krakow, Poland’s cultural capital. Our journey time to Krakow is approximately 4 hours in total. *Chopin Hotel or similar*
Morning walking tour of Krakow, free afternoon
Krakow may be Poland’s second largest city, but for many centuries it has been the academic, cultural and artistic capital of the nation. The mediaeval Old Town is UNESCO listed and dates back to the 13th century. It is now home to the largest market square in Europe as well as numerous merchant houses, St Mary’s Basilica and Wawel Castle complex. All sites are within easy walk distance of the main square.After an orientation tour in the morning, the day is free for you to enjoy this beautiful city. Alternatively, you may choose to visit the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a 30-minute drive from the centre of the city. Established in the 13th century, salt was mined here until 2007. The mine’s attractions include dozens of statues and four chapels carved out of the rock salt by the miners. The older sculptures have been supplemented with new carvings made by contemporary artists. Those who chose to visit the mine will return to Krakow in time for dinner with the group. *Please note:* this excursion must be booked in advance through Exodus. Prices can be found in the ‘money’ sections of the trip notes. This tour is not exclusively for Exodus clients and therefore you might be joined by non-Exodus clients.*Chopin Hotel or similar*
Day trip to Zakopane
Today we take an excursion to Zakopane situated in the foothills of the Tatra Mountains. This pretty resort town is famed for its wooden chalets and is popular in summer with hikers. We will take the cable car up Kasprowy Wierch and take a short walk on the mountain. There will be time for a relaxing lunch and souvenir shopping, the region is particularly well known for wood carvings and oscypk – a tasty smoked cheese.We will return to Krakow in time for dinner. You may also want to check out one of the world-famous jazz bars in one of the city’s many cellar pubs.*Chopin Hotel or similar*
Free day in Krakow before our evening flight back to London**
7 nights comfortable 3-star hotels with en suite rooms. All accommodation is based on twin-share, with private facilities. Wi-Fi is free in all hotels, but is sometimes unreliable. Most hotels are within walking distance or a short taxi ride from the city centres, making going out for dinner in the evening easy. Our hotel in Gdansk has a small indoor swimming pool.
All breakfast and 1 lunch are included.
Breakfast will be standard continental style, consisting of bread, cheese and meats, as well as cereal and fruit. Lunches will be three
Lunch on day 5 will be three course with coffee, tea and water. On these days you’ll probably only want a snack in the evening. Polish cuisine is rich in meat, especially pork, chicken and beef as well as winter vegetables and herbs. Soups served in bowls made of bread, are rather fun and quite common. Stuffed dumpling know as pierogi are also popular These days vegetarians are well catered for, but please let Exodus know at the time of booking.
Vegetarians and Vegans: In Poland, vegetarians are usually well catered for. However, it is extremely difficult for vegans, as dairy produce and eggs form the staple part of the diet and occur in the vast majority of meals. Therefore we recommend that you bring some supplementary items.
This trip is graded as Leisurely/Moderate (2) and visits as much as possible in a week. There is a lot to see, yet the pace is not rushed and of time is left each day for self-exploration. Although the road infrastructure throughout Poland is slowly improving some roads are still slow, traffic jams on main routes are quite common and journey times can vary as a result.