A cultural short break of Poland's old capital its medieval Old Town, the royal castle, the Salt Mine, Auschwitz, Wadowice and Schindler's factory
Krakow - 4 nights
Krakow lost its medieval position of Polish capital in 1609 and this consequent loss of importance restricted later development and allowed its ancient centre to remain unspoilt and largely spared the ravages of the Second World War. Much of the wealth of Krakow flowed from the 1,000 years of operation of the Wieliczka Salt Mines, whose salt sculptures are a unique feature of the underground caverns.
In the 20th century Poland suffered from both German and Communist occupation and a small area not far from Krakow juxtaposes two sites which could be said to represent the good and evil of this period. One is the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The other is Wadowice, birthplace of the late Pope John Paul II, who was for many a symbol against Communist rule. His birthplace is a museum. He also lived and studied in Krakow during the Nazi occupation and later became Bishop, and is now a Saint.
Oskar Schindler’s wartime factory is now an excellent museum which tells the tale of Krakow’s five years under Nazi occupation.
Cultural Short Break
Jules Verne Sightseeing
3 UNESCO Heritage Sites
Local Expert Guide
Historic Hotel Option
Group Size: 2 - 25
Day 1 Fly from your chosen airport to Krakow and transfer to your chosen hotel for a stay of four nights.
Day 2 Morning walking tour of Wawel Hill including the 16th century castle, its royal chambers and the cathedral followed by the Old Town including the church of St. Mary, St. Florian’s Gate, Cloth Hall and the main Market Square. Afternoon visit to the stained glass museum and tasting of four different vodkas/liqueurs. (B)
Day 3 Drive to Auschwitz-Birkenau. The tour of the museum, part of UNESCO, comprises both parts of the former concentration camp – Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau. Continue to Wadowice for a visit to the 18th century Basilica and the Holy Father John Paul II Family Home. Enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of Polish papal cream cake. (B)
Day 4 Morning orientation tour of the old Jewish district followed by Schindler’s Enamel Factory. The administrative buildings of this former metal item factory house the Nazi occupation exhibition. Afternoon excursion to Wieliczka Salt Mine, one of the oldest mines in Europe placed on the list of UNESCO in 1978. The mine opened in the 13th century, and produced table salt continuously until 2007. (B)
Day 5 Return flight. (B)
This is a full itinerary with most visits on foot including 800 steps at the salt mine.
A central 3-star hotel five minutes’ walk from Market Square. Bar, restaurant, WiFi (free) and 231 rooms with private facilities, hairdryer and satellite TV.
A 16th century townhouse, this 4-star boutique hotel in the Old Town is a few steps from Market Square. Restaurant, café, bar, gym, WiFi (free) and 22 air-conditioned rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, mini-bar, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
Warsaw Restored Extension
Add a stay in Warsaw, Poland’s capital since the 16th century. Largely destroyed during the Second World War but thanks to the boundless determination of its people the city was restored to its former glory. Flights are from Heathrow only with British Airways. Breakfast daily.
Day 1 Travel by train (2½ hrs) to Warsaw for three nights at the 4-star Polonia Palace Hotel.
Day 2 Tour of Warsaw includes a walking tour in the Old Town and visits to Marie Curie Museum and Lazienzi Palace and Park.(B)
Day 3 Day at leisure.(B)
Day 4 Return flight from Warsaw to London Heathrow. (B)
The 4-star Polonia Palace Hotel is a historic four-star hotel opened in 1913 and located in the heart of Warsaw on Jerusalem Avenue. It offers a restaurant and piano bar. 206 elegant rooms with private facilities, hairdryer, safe, TV and free WiFi.
per person in a twin/double room
British Airways from Heathrow
Supplements per person
Single supplement £165
Hotel Amadeus £115
Single supplement £290
British Airways Club Europe from £225
easyJet from Gatwick - Nil
Easyjet from Bristol - Nil
Ryanair from Manchester - save £25
Extension - Warsaw Restored
Polonia Palace Hotel
3 nights £365
(May/Sep/Oct £395; Apr/Jun £425)
Single supplement £165
(May/Sep/Oct £185; Apr/Jun £225)
Extra nights – Krakow
Hotel Wyspianski (per night) £50
Single supplement £40
Hotel Amadeus (per night) £75
Single supplement £65
Add £125 per person
Arrival transfer add £45
Departure transfer add £45
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 4 nights' accommodation, breakfast daily, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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