The Very Best of Ireland

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The Very Best of Ireland

The Proud Spirit of Poland

With a long, colourful history, and a particularly tumultuous 20th century, Poland offers travelers a fascinating glimpse into the proud spirit of a nation.  From medieval castles and cathedrals to some of the most fascinating WWII and Cold War era museums in Europe, you’ll delve deep into the story of an indomitable and ultimately successful struggle for autonomy and freedom.  As with any of our tours, along the way you’ll learn about and enjoy the very best regional cuisine, beer, and spirits!  Na Zdrowie!

The Very Best of Ireland

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Old Town Krakow Tour
  • Wawel Castle and Cathedral
  • St. Mary’s Church Krakow
  • Kazimierz 
  • Krakow Craft Beer and Spirits Tour
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau or Wieliczka Salt Mine (your choice)
  • Schindler’s Factory Museum
  • Old Town Warsaw Tour
  • Museum of the History of Polish Jews
  • Warsaw Uprising Museum
  • Jabeerwocky Craft Beer Warsaw
  • Royal Way Tour Gdansk
  • European Solidarity Centre Museum
  • St. Mary’s Church Gdansk
  • Gdansk Craft Beer and Spirits Tour
     

July 29 – August 5, 2020

$1995

Per Person + Air Based on Double Occupancy
All prices in US dollars.  Payment in other currencies possible – contact us.

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Day 1: Welcome to Poland!

We begin our tour in the afternoon meeting in our central hotel lobby for a welcome drink – some special Polish spirits to begin our Proud Spirit of Poland Tour!  We’ll take a tour of the historic old town of Krakow, carbonated with a few craft beer stops along the way.  This evening we will dine in style at a locals’ favourite traditional Polish restaurant.
Sleep in Krakow (3 nights) / Walking: Moderate
Meals provided: Dinner

Day 2: The Soul of Krakow

Today we will venture out to the edge of town for a thought provoking tour of Schindler’s Factory, made famous by the film Schindler’s List.  Returning to the centre through the old Jewish neighbourhood of Kazimierz, we’ll stop for a traditional lunch.  Back in the centre of town we’ll ascend Wawel Hill, visiting the medieval castle and Renaissance cathedral.  After our visit, you’ll be free to explore Krakow’s old town and find your own special spot for dinner with some recommendations from your tour director. Sleep in Krakow / Walking: Strenuous / Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 3: Options

This morning you’ll have some time to explore Krakow’s Old Town on your own, with some guidance from your tour director.  We’ll regroup after lunch, and leave town for a visit to either the Wieliczka Salt Mine or the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum.  It’s your choice, but you’ll have to decide beforehand. Wieliczka is much more than a mine – it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a work of art.  Auschwitz-Birkenau is a museum of Nazi war crimes, and a memorial to the victims.  It is not an easy visit, which is why we offer two options this afternoon.  Regardless of which option you choose, you will be with a tour guide.  When we are all back in town in the evening, we can regroup and share our experiences over a nightcap.
Sleep in Krakow / Bus: 3 hours / Walking: Moderate
Meals provided: Breakfast

Day 4: Uprising

After breakfast we’ll hit the rails on a quick train to Warsaw.  After checking into our central hotel, we’ll delve into one of Poland’s key events in its struggle for freedom from tyranny in WWII at the very modern Warsaw Rising Museum.  Then we’ll visit one of Poland’s premier craft beer pubs, followed by a sumptuous traditional Polish feast!
Sleep in Warsaw (2 nights) / Train: 3 hours / Walking: Moderate
Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5: Survival

This morning, we’ll tour the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which travel writer Rick Steves calls “the best museum in Poland, and a contender for the best European history museum, period.” This is not a holocaust museum – this is the story of a people’s survival through centuries of turmoil. We’ll have lunch together in the Old Town, and enjoy a tour with our local guide through the best of Warsaw. Enjoy finding your own special spot for dinner this evening – ask the local guide for recommendations!
Sleep in Warsaw / Walking: Strenuous / Meals provided: Breakfast and Lunch

Day 6: The Royal Way

After breakfast we’ll ride the train to Gdansk on Poland’s Baltic Coast.  Known as Danzig in German, this city has a complicated history, and became the initial point of conflict in WWII when Germany launched an attack just outside the city limits on September 1, 1939.  Today we’ll take a tour of the historic Royal Way – the main street of what was the largest and richest city in Poland 600 years ago.  After our tour, we’ll settle in for a craft beer paired dinner.
Sleep in Gdansk (2 nights) / Train: 3 hours / Walking: Moderate Meals provided:  Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7: Solidarity

Poland’s 20th century was not an easy one.  Liberation from the Nazis was quickly replaced with tyranny by the communists.  But at the docks in Gdansk, a movement called Solidarity sparked a revolutionary fervor in the proud Polish people, eventually toppling the communist government and replacing it with a democracy.  We will tour the fascinating European Solidarity Centre at the very dockyards where the Solidarity movement began this morning.  In the afternoon, you’ll have some free time to explore this beautiful seaside city, and in the evening we’ll reconvene for our final craft beer and spirits tour, finishing with a farewell dinner to remember!  
Sleep in Gdansk / Walking: Moderate 
Meals provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8: Do Widzenia!

Alas, all things must pass, and after breakfast, our tour is over.  Whether you’re heading home now, or continuing on in Europe, we wish you safe travels.  Do Widzenia! – Polish for “goodbye”.
Meals provided: Breakfast

The Fine Print – What You Get:


Not so much fine print: 
We believe in up front pricing, not a hard-to-read long list of extra costs.
Group Size: We run small group tours, less than half the size of a normal big bus tour. Our average group size is 14-18 travellers, plus a tour director and a driver.
Transportation: Transportation is by Polish Rail and chartered coach. Transportation to and from airport is your responsibility. Krakow and Gdansk are well served by train connections to the airports.
Activity level:  This tour is suitable to people with a basic fitness level. You will need to carry your own bags, climb hotel stairs, and keep a leisurely to moderate pace on city walking tours. This trip is suitable for adults. It is not suitable for young children.
Accommodations: We choose generally smaller, family-run hotels, in the 3-4 star category, that are close to the action, rather than large impersonal hotels in some industrial park outside of town. All rooms have private ensuite bathrooms with shower or bathtub. Most rooms are doubles.

  • Solo travelers: You may choose to pay extra for one of the limited number of single private rooms, or you can room with another solo traveler in the group of the same gender and skip the extra fee.  See the registration form for specific prices.
  • Couples: Couples will usually share a room with one double or queen bed (large King beds are not common in Europe).
  • Two friends traveling together: Two friends or siblings traveling together will be roomed together with two beds in a twin room. Note: some European twin beds share one headboard but they will always have separate sheets.
  • Triple room: A typical triple room will be one double bed and one single bed.

Sightseeing tours and attractions: This is the main reason you are in Poland, and we understand this! Led by your tour director, and local guides when appropriate. Entrance fees to all attractions are included. Most tour companies sell many of their attractions as expensive “optional excursions” which add up really quickly. Not us.

Meals: Breakfasts are always included. Note that because we stay in characteristic Polish hotels, breakfasts will reflect local preferences . Many lunches/dinners are on us – the rest are up to you. See itinerary for breakdown.

Gratuities: Unlike most tour companies who ask you to pay a “mandatory” tip to the driver and guide, with us tipping is neither requested nor required.

Book Your Poland Tour Now!

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