2021 - Southern Polish Explorer
It is clear to see why Southern Poland attracts more visitors than any other region in the country – from rejuvenated Wrocław with its fine Gothic architecture and an idyllic location on the Odra River, to the sombre air of Auschwitz, the most notorious of the WWII concentration camps. And of course, the atmospheric former royal capital of Krakow, an architectural gem of a town with its soaring churches, vast market square and Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter. This tour takes you on a Polish odyssey through charming cities and beautiful scenery of a warm and welcoming country. NEW for 2021 is a centrally located hotel in Krakow Old Town just 10 minutes’ walk to the famous Cloth Hall Market plus an authentic Jewish dinner one evening complete with mesmerising Klezmer music.
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1 - After joining your holiday coach, travel to Dover for the short sea crossing to Calais. Then continue into Germany for your overnight stop in the Dortmund area. BB
Day 2 – A big travel day today as you head to the city of Wrocław, full of charm and appeal. Poland’s fourth largest city has a unique architectural and cultural make-up having been influences by Bohemia, Austria and Prussia. Overnight in the 4* Novotel Wrocław Centrum. DBB
Day 3 - Built on several islands, the unique character of Wrocław is due in part to its long and entangled history with its neighbours and was only returned to Polish rule at the end of WWII. The Old Town boasts a huge market square, gothic churches, scenic waterways and lush parks. You can join a local guide who will show you the sights on an included guided tour of Wrocław before departing for Krakow for your 4-night stay at the 3* centrally located Hotel Wyspianski with porterage. Two nights buffet dinner in the hotel, one night Jewish dinner at a local restaurant and one night on your own to explore Krakow and find a local restaurant of your choosing (own expense).
Day 4 – 6 At leisure in Krakow with two included excursions and one optional excursion. Your centrally located hotel makes it easy to explore Krakow, Poland’s former royal capital during your leisure time – perhaps a visit to the museum housed in Oskar Schindler’s former enamel factory (not included) or a meander through the magnificent Cloth Hall, arguably the world’s oldest shopping mall or a visit to Wawel Castle, a potent symbol of the country’s national identity. The Jewish Klezmer evening with set dinner menu takes place at the historic Ariel Restaurant in the heart of the Jewish District accompanied by phenomenal live Klezmer music (transfers by local coach).
KRAKOW’S JEWISH QUARTER
Enjoy a morning guided tour of Krakow’s Jewish Quarter to gain more insight into the tragedy of 20th century and to see how this area has been revitalised in 21st century. The quarter used to be a separate town, Kazimierz, although these days it feels wholly integrated into Krakow itself. The German occupation during WWII led to the destruction of the Jewish community and after the war, Kazimierz fell into neglect and disrepair. It is only in the past couple of decades, that cafes and bars have returned to the area, bringing in a new population of students and professionals. A visit to the historic Remuh Synagogue & Cemetery is included where numerous tombstones with Hebrew inscriptions can be found, despite many having been destroyed in WWII.
Time to reflect with an included visit to Auschwitz, the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps. Travel to the authentically preserved memorial near the industrial town of Oswiecim. The site now consists of two parts – Auschwitz 1 and Auschwitz 11 – Birkenau. The included entrance and guided tour (including an audio-guide) makes it possible to understand this unique place more fully and the enormity of what happened here.
WIELICZKA SALT MINES
There will also be the opportunity to join an optional excursion to the UNESCO listed Wieliczka Salt Mines, one of Poland’s most popular visitor attractions. Only a fraction of the miles of subterranean labyrinth of tunnels and vast chambers chiselled out of rock salt are open to the public and the 2-hour guided tour takes you via the extraordinary salt-hewn formations, chapels with altarpieces, chandeliers, statues and even underground lakes. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes as you will walk about 2km and the temperature in the mine is a cool 14°C.
Day 7 – Head off today as you bid farewell to Poland and head to the dramatic city of Dresden on the banks of the Elbe and your overnight hotel. BB
Day 8 – You may like to join the included Dresden guided tour this morning to discover the secrets of this revitalised city, which was so badly damaged during WW2. The restoration is phenomenal and Dresden, ‘Florence on the Elbe’ is once again a magnificent ‘jewel’, full of rococo and baroque architecture and opulent buildings, not least the astounding Frauenkirche, the Zwinger Palace and the Semper Opera House. Continue on to the final overnight in the Dortmund area. BB
Day 9 - After breakfast, travel back through France to Calais for the return to England.Back to top
3* Hotel Wyspianski
Just 500m from Krakow’s historical and cultural centre, the Market Square, this 3* large, modern hotel offers a great base for exploring this fascinating city.
There are 231 contemporary and comfortable guestrooms come with TV, hair dryer, bathroom with shower and WiFi. There is a restaurant serving Polish and international cuisine and a spacious bar with outdoor area.
The hotel also has a lobby gift shop plus a fitness room. There is a lift.