Polish castles tour
King for a fortnight... or for as long as you wish
1st day Warsaw
afternoon Arrival in Warsaw, walking tour of the Old Town of Warsaw with colorful tenement houses, art galleries, quaint restaurants, boutiques and antique shops. Visit to St John's Cathedral; also known as Warsaw Cathedral - the city's oldest Gothic church, dating from the 14th century; Royal Castle and Royal Castle Square
evening Leisurely dinner at a local restaurant, overnight in Warsaw
2nd day Warsaw - Zelazowa Wola - Niepokalanow - Teresin
morning drive along the Royal Route with a stop at Wilanow Palace - one of the most beautiful monuments of Polish baroque architecture The palace is surrounded by a park with several gardens.
afternoon Visit to Zelazowa Wola manor, the birthplace of the genius composer and virtuoso - Frederic Chopin. Chopin's family lived in the manor house, now a museum with interiors in the style of his times, dedicated to the great composer continued to Niepokalanow - village with the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Franciscan monastery, founded by St. M. Kolbe, at present one of the most important places of pilgrimages in Poland then Teresin with Jasny Palace
evening Dinner and overnight at Jasny Palace
3rd day Teresin - Nieborow - Sulejow Podklasztorze
morning Drive to Nieborow with the Palace dating back to the 14th century and Park Arkadia, formerly owned by the Radziwill noble family, nowadauys the palace houses a very interesting collection of antiques
afternoon Tour moves on to Radziejowice with a palace of Radziejowski noble family, visit to the palace is followed by a drive to Sulejow Podklasztorze 14th century Monastery
evening Dinner and overnight at the Sulejow Podklasztorze Castle - Monastery
4th day Sulejow Podklasztorze - Czestochowa - Paszkowka
morning Drive to Czestochowa to visit the Jasna Gora Monastery, a religious and spiritual center of Poland, a place of many pilgrimages coming from all over the world, to see the world famous Black Madonna Painting. Visit to the Treasury Room with a collection of many precious gifts, received by the monastery throughout the ages.
afternoon Drive along the Eagles' Nests Trail, to Ogrodzieniec - medieval castle ruins, Smolen and others, and then on to Pieskowa Skala castle that has been very well restored and houses a museum today
evening Dinner and overnight at Paszkowka Wezykow - Palace
5th day Paszkowka - Krakow
morning Arrival in Krakow. Even the Nazis in retreating from Krakow and the Red Armies on their last great offensive agreed to declare Krakow an open city and did not bomb it - sightseeing tour of the ancient capital of Poland, a royal city on the Vistula river starting with the Royal Castle and Cathedral on the Wawel Hill, coronation church and final resting place of Polish Kings, poets and national heroes. Buildings originally gothic, were remodeled according to the new Renaissance style at the beginning of the 16th century. Visit to the Franciscan Church with stunning stained glass windows by Wyspianski).Walk up the Royal Route continues to the center of the city which features Europe's largest medieval square, Main Market Square. In the middle of the square is the Cloth Hall built before 1349, but altered in the 16th century, now a trading center with souvenir and crafts stalls, and Town Hall Tower, whose cellar originally held a torture chamber and now hosts a summertime restaurant, walk around the Main Square surrounded with magnificent houses, palaces and two of the city's most important churches. St Adalbert's, dates from the tenth century and is the oldest extant church in Krakow. And the Gothic St Mary's church with its twin spires. Within the church is the fifteenth-century Chapel of Our Lady of Czestochowa, and Wit Stwosz's wooden triptych and large stone crucifix, which is exemplary of this period of late Gothic art and Europe's largest Gothic wooden altarpiece. From one of the St. Mary' church towers every hour on the hour the trumpeters call the traditional call that signaled the Tatar invasion in the 12th century. Tour ends at the beginning of the Royal Route at the Brama Florianska - one of the most charming places in Krakow. Next door there is the Czartoryski Museum, which houses Leonardo Da Vinci's renowned "Lady with an Ermine".
afternoon At leisure, time for a for a cake and coffee at the famous Krakow cafe, "Jama Michalika", a place designed by local artists, with beautiful painted glass windows and interesting drawings.
Evening: dinner at a local restaurant, overnight at your centrally located hotel
6th day Krakow
morning A walking tour of Kazimierz, famed for its unique atmosphere, the south-east quarter of Krakow, historical center of Krakow' Jewish religious and social life, was incorporated into Krakow in the XVIII century. The tour of Kazimierz takes you to the most important monuments in this area. Visit to the sites, which Steven Spielberg used for his location shots of the Oscar winning "Schindler List". Walk continues to the Old Synagogue - now the Judaic Department of the Historical Museum of the City Krakow the Remuh Synagogue and Remuh Cemetery - the most precious monuments of the Jewish culture in Krakow.
evening Dinner at a local restaurant, overnight at your centrally located hotel
7th day Krakow - Wieliczka - Niepolomice - Niedzica
morning Drive to Wieliczka Salt Mine and walking tour of mine, a unique underground world of salt lakes, galleries, chapels, and chambers, all carved in salt by many generations of Polish miners. Well-preserved mining chambers and primitive mining tools and machines are on display. The mine had operated continuously since its construction in the Middle Ages till the last decade of the 20th century. Today it reaches a depth of more than 300 metres on nine levels with close over two hundred kilometers of corridors, galleries, chambers and underground lakes from 64 to 135 metres below the ground. The route is 2,5 km long and begins with a walk down 400 steps (ends by being brought back up by elevator). All altarpieces, figures and monuments there are carved in salt. The highlight is the richly ornamented Chapel of Blessed Kinga. The temperature underground averages 55 degrees Fahrenheit/14 degrees of Celsius.
afternoon Visit to the gracious Niepolomice castle, originally built in the 14th century, the present Renaissance structure dates back to the 16th century. It is located in a lovely, wooded park. Then drive to see the wooden architecture locations: further East you reach Bochnia - there is wooden bell tower. Continue southwards to visit the Nowy Wisnicz castle and later the wooden St.Leonards church and Market Square in Lipnica Murowana, allowing time to visit Czorsztyn castle ruins 5 km before arriving at Niedzica castle.
evening dinner and overnight at the Niedzica castle
8th day Niedzica - Dunajec Rafting - Kobior
morning A tour of the castle - built in the 16th century, the Renaissance period castle remains almost fully intact. Standing on a 566 m high hill, the castle overlooks the Czorsztyn hills and one of the turning points of the Dunajec River.
Rafting down the Dunajec Gorge. The trip begins at the raft wharf located in Sromowce-Katy, while entire 8-km journey ends up in Szczawnica.
afternoon Drive to Noma Residence Promnice palace in Kobior for dinner and overnight
9th day Kobior - Pszczyna - Brzeg - Wroclaw
morning Drive to Pszczyna for a visit to an old castle, extensively remodeled in the 19th. century, it contains a large museum of period furniture and artwork.
afternoon Stop en route to Wroclaw at the elaborate Renaissance castle of Brzeg, built in the 16th century. Arrival in Wroclaw,
evening Dinner and overnight at your centrally located hotel
10th day Wroclaw - Ksiaz
morning A city tour of Wroclaw to see its Gothic cathedral, the 13th century town hall and city square and the medieval Market Square, one of the largest in Europe. The square is surrounded by Gothic and Renaissance houses, which extend into the adjacent Salt Market, in which fresh produce is sold daily. Cross the Odra river to Tumski Island to see the impressive Gothic cathedral with an elaborate wooden altar which carved in the 15th century by students of Wit Stwosz the oldest part of the town. The area northwest of the Market Square is occupied by the University - see the 18th century lecture hall, Aula Leopoldina with its high vaulted ceiling decorated with elaborate frescoes.
afternoon Visit to Raclawice Panorama brought here from Lvov, where it was painted by a group of Poland's outstanding historic artists over 100 years ago. Nearly 15 meters (50ft) tall and 36 meters (118ft) in diameter, it depicts the battle of a peasant army under the command of Gen. Kosciuszko (the American Revolutionary War hero) against the Russians in 1793.
evening Drive to Ksiaz Castle for dinner and overnight
11th day Ksiaz - Rydzyna
morning Tour of the Ksiaz Castle situated at the top of a steep rocky slope, built in the 13th century by the Piast Prince Bolko I. It was later owned by Czech and Hungarian kings. From the 16th century until 1939 the estate was property of the Hochberg von Pless princes, who extended their unusual castle over the centuries. Ksiaz fell into ruin and was plundered after the war, but has since been restored. Today this imposing building with its volume of nearly 150,000 cubic meters has 400 rooms.
afternoon Drive to Lubiaz with the first and largest Abbey of the Cistercian Order brought to Poland in 1163
evening Drive to the largest and well preserved 18th century palace in the town of Rydzyna for dinner and overnight
12th day Rydzyna - Torun
morning Drive to Poznan. This 1,000-year-old city combines Gothic and baroque architecture and as in many other Polish cities, the focal point is the Old Town. The superb, Renaissance Italian-style, town hall in the Market Square is its trademark. The square is surrounded by colorful 17th century houses. Originally Gothic, the Hall owes its current look to the Renaissance Italian designer Battista who touched it up in the 16th century. Other features are the 10th-century Dzialynski Palace, and the Museum of Musical Instruments, which, among other things, houses Chopin's pianos.
afternoon Drive to Gniezno - inhabited since the eighth century, it is here that Polish history is said to have begun. It is here that Lech, leader of the Polonie tribe that gave Poland its name, first sighted a white eagle's nest. The 10th century cathedral built by Mieszko I was the site of royal coronations for 300 years during the Middle Ages. The distinguishing characteristic of the Cathedral is its bronze door whose twelve panels depict the life and martydom of Poland's first saint. Continue to the best preserved pre-historic fortified settlement in Europe, Biskupin dating back at least 3,500 years, an island village first inhabited more than 2700 years ago. Today visitors marvel at the recreated village, with its watchtower, houses, and entrance gate, originally the only entrance to the island.
evening Drive to Torun for dinner and overnight at your centrally located hotel
13th day Torun
morning a city tour of Torun to see the old town hall rebuilt in 1737 after a fire, but still maintaining many of the architectural elements of the original Gothic structure. Visit to the Cathedral of St. John, an outstanding example of medieval red brick construction dominating the city landscape. Walk through medieval walls and gates, narrow streets, tiny cellars and museums and impressive medieval buildings. The bank of the Vistula river leads to the ruins of the 13th century Castle of the Teutonic Knights. Also in this area is a planetarium, the place where Copernicus was born and educated.
afternoon At leisure
evening Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at your centrally located hotel
14th day Torun - Golub Dobrzyn - Malbork
morning Drive to Golub Dobrzyn castle and fortress for a short visit, continued to well-preserved 16th century Gniew Castle and further on to Kwidzyn with its tripe naved cathedral adjoining the castle
afternoon Visit to Pelplin with a large Cistercian monastery the centerpieces of which is Europe's second largest Renaissance altarpiece. The diocesan museum has the medieval manuscript of Gutenberg's Bible, Drive to Malbork - the castle there is a classical example of a medieval fortress, one of the best of its kind in entire Europe. Together with a system of multiple defense walls with gates and towers, covering over 80 acres, it is the largest brick structure in Europe and one of the largest strongholds in the world. The castle itself is divided into three major parts; the oldest section is the rectangular High Castle with arcaded courtyard containing among others refectory, chapterhouse, St. Mary's chapel and treasury. In 14th century the old forecastle was converted into the Mid Castle with the Grand Refectory, The Knights' Hall and the Palace of the Grand Master. The Lower Castle encompassed the armory and the St. Lawrence Church. The castle interiors house several exhibitions,
evening dinner and overnight at the Malbork Castle
15th day Malbork - Gdansk - Reszel
morning Drive to Gdansk, a beautiful old Hanseatic port city on the estuary of the Vistula river. See the High Gates, built just over 400 years ago and now regarded as one of the greatest pieces of Renaissance architecture in Europe. Stroll though the most beautifully restored part of Gdansk, the Main City, and the stunning Main Town Hall, Artus Court, Neptune's Fountain. St. Mary's Church, the largest brick church in the world, beer gardens, sidewalk cafes, and boutiques with best selection of silver and amber souvenirs. The main street is Dluga - a mixture of late medieval and Renaissance architecture.
afternoon Drive to Frombork where Copernicus spent half of his life and conducted the research for his heliocentric theory. See Gothic Cathedral with his tombs and the museum. Drive on to Lidzbark Warminski,
evening Drive to Reszel 14th century castle of the Bishops of Warmia, originally built by the Teutonic Knights. Dinner and overnight at the Reszel castle
16th day Reszel - Pultusk
morning Drive via Ketrzyn to Gierloz to see the "Wolf's Lair" Bunker, which once served as Hitler's eastern-front headquarters and the site of the failed 1944 assassination attempt, its remains provide a chilling glimpse of the might of Nazi Germany. Drive to Swieta Lipka and the Basilica of Sw. Lipka, with miraculous icon of Our Lady
afternoon Tour continues to Olsztyn to visit the Old Town and the Gothic Castle. On your way to the town square, pass by the impressive looking remnant of the old medieval fort. Nearby the battle grounds of Grunwald outside of Olsztynek still serve as a symbol of resistance to foreign domination after a rather bloody battle that Poles with Lithuanians won against Teutonic knights. In Olsztynek itself, one can enjoy an interesting skansen of 18th and 19th century architecture from this region and from Lithuania.
evening Drive to Pultusk Castle, dinner and overnight at the Pultusk Castle.
17th day Pultusk - Warsaw
morning Tour of the Dom Polonii - original Renaissance castle in Pultusk a reconstructed 15th century residence castle of the Plock bishops. Situated in a park on the bank of the Narew river, the castle stands right on the outskirts of the Puszcza Biala (White Forest).
afternoon Drive to Warsaw for leisurely dinner and overnight
18th day Warsaw
Transfer to the airport for departure
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