WHAT MAKES THIS TOUR SPECIAL
Tour Director: Marta Jochym
People are mesmerized with Poland because of its unique blend of "fairytale come alive" scenery, warm and passionate locals and the ever-present sense of history. The Soul of Poland tour offers a rich insight into European history: the Teutonic Knights, the Golden Age of the Renaissance, the Art Nouveau movement, and the bleak years of communism, but this journey will also delight you with the natural beauty of its cities, its mountains and the picture-perfect countryside.
The quintessentially Polish city of Warsaw, rising like a phoenix from the ashes, rebuilt itself from the rubble of World War II to become a modern and sophisticated metropolis, gleaming with the cutting edge architecture and stylish design, elegantly dressed locals, rich cultural scene, art galleries, gourmet restaurants and sidewalk cafes. The past has not been kind to Warsaw, so the city is focused on the future. Yet Warsaw is full of history: since it became the capital of Poland in 1596, it suffered wave after wave of foreign invasions, and the tragic remains of the past are still scattered among the new, dynamic architecture of the city and among its miraculously saved palaces and parks. With this blend of old and new, both in spirit and in appearance, the city is optimistically racing towards the future while respecting the tradition.
During our time in Warsaw, we’ll gain an insight into the city of complex, tragic and inspiring history, the city of Frederic Chopin and Marie Curie, the city which forged the enduring spirit of the Polish people. We’ll see the meticulously restored Old Town with the Royal Castle and the Lazienki Palace and Park enveloped in the music of Chopin. We'll tour the 1944 Rising Museum and visit the Jewish History Museum and other Jewish sites of the city, then spend the day touring the exquisite Wilanow Palace and Gardens, and finish with the controversial Palace of Science and Culture.
The ancient city of Krakow is Poland’s most visited city, with a vibrant art scene in a historic setting. The city is considered a gem of medieval and Renaissance architecture and a European cultural capital. It's a magical place where legends mix with reality and stories from the old times still find relevance in contemporary life. Established by Prince Boleslaw V in 1257, the well preserved original grid of streets with Europe's largest central square seems to be the last stage in perfecting the city-planning in the Middle Ages. In its long history, Krakow has seen many ups and downs. The proud capital of a mighty kingdom for centuries, it was turned into a sleepy borderland town of the Austrian Empire in the 19th century. Then, at the turn of the century, it became a vital center of Polish national awakening and the cradle of Poland's rebirth, only to be oppressed again under the Nazis, and then under the Communist regimes. Today, Krakow has been restored back to its well deserved status as one of Europe's great cities.
During our time in Krakow, we’ll experience European history and world-class art on a personal level. We'll take in-depth private tours of the medieval Old Town, visit the incomparable Wawel Royal Castle, the Collegium Maius of the Jagiellonian University, and the poignant Jewish Kazimierz, attend a Klezmer music concert, wander along the city's quaint medieval lanes and in the underground labyrinths of the ancient Wieliczka Salt Mine. We'll tour the communist utopia neighborhood of Nowa Huta, visit art galleries, museums and poignant churches and synagogues. We'll set out from the city to Pieniny National Park for a relaxing river rafting down the Dunajec River Gorge, visit an overlords' borderland castle and take a short hike in the Ojcow National Park, learn the intricacies of Polish cuisine during the traditional Polish cooking class and take a horse ridden carriage through the magic of the night-time Krakow.
The focus of the tour is history and architecture, but also creating lifetime memories and connecting with like-minded women. We know that you will fall in love with Poland and its atmosphere of a constant celebration, its romantic sidewalk cafes, borderland medieval castles and Renaissance palaces. You'll delight in quaint, rustic landscapes of gingerbread cottages, storks' nests and roadside shrines bedecked with fresh flowers.