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The Ground Tour of Poland

Day 1

Transfer to the hotel in Warsaw. An evening presentation of Poland. This is going to be a lecture on Polish history, art, traditions and customs. The lecture will be accompanied by multimedia presentation of cities, geography, music. Welcome dinner.

Day 2

Guided sightseeing of Warsaw – the capital of Poland. The monuments we will show you were the reason to register Warsaw on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We will follow the "Royal Tract", The Royal Castle and representative chambers with excellent collection of paintings by classicist artists. St. John's Cathedral was destroyed during the World War II and subsequently rebuilt. The Main Market Square is surrounded by picturesque houses. The remains of defensive walls are joined with the Barbican. Next we will take a walk on the tour of palaces. First of all the Palace on the Water in Lazienki with the garden complex. Finally visit in the Warsaw Uprising Museum is one of the key to understanding the history of Warsaw, Poland, Central Europe and World War II.

Day 3

Morning departure to Torun. On the way we will stop in Zelazowa Wola – the birthplace of Frederic Chopin. This genius caused popularity of Poland in the world of international music. The manor houses the museum exhibiting memorabilia of Chopin's family. Arrival in Torun in the late afternoon. Accommodation at the hotel and dinner.

Day 4

Sightseeing of Torun – the city which is world-famous because of two major reasons: Copernicus and gingerbread. The famous astronomer was born here and the production of gingerbread has been known for generations. In 1997 the city became a member of UNESCO List. The most "medieval" city in Poland offers such attractions as: the Town Hall (said to be one of the finest in Europe) with its representative chambers: the Royal, the Municipal, the Court. Being in Torun you cannot forget about its churches. The Cathedral, the church of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist, St. Mary's Assumption, St. Jacob's. All these temples are of gothic origin and have impressive interior decorations. On the way we will show you burghers' houses, with the most famous one – the house where Nicolaus Copernicus was born. In the afternoon we will take you to Golub Dobrzyn – a medieval castle where tournaments are organized in the summer period. Dinner at the local restaurant.

Day 5

Today we will be touring down the Vistula river. First we will visit Grudziadz– the town picturesquely located on the bank of the river. Historically and architecturally it abounds in precious examples. Among the numerous monuments we will visit: St. Nicolas's church, Benedictine Abbey. You can admire the unique arcaded houses in the main Gniew. The Gniew Castle was the most powerful claim of the Teutonic Order on the left bank of the Vistula. Dinner at the local restaurant.

Day 6

Transfer to Ostroda where you embark on the ship. It will take you on a cruise down the Ostroda – Elblag Waterway. It is a unique example of the 19th century engineering. This system of waterways and sluice gates was built between 1844 and 1881. The most attractive element is the complex of inclines equipped with steel rails to transport ships on low-deck carriages where building a canal was impossible. Afterwards transfer to the hotel in Gdansk. Accommodation at the hotel and dinner.

Day 7

Guided sightseeing of Gdansk with the "Main Town" and former seats of the wealthiest citizens. You will start at the Upland Gate – the former main entrance to the city. Passing by the remains of gothic defensive walls with Prison and Torture Towers, you will get to the Long Market surrounded by richly decorated mansions – like the famous Uphagen's Mansion. Close by there is the famous 15th century Crane. The late gothic Main Town Hall surmounted with a life-size gilded figure of king Sigismund Augustus is a characteristic landmark. Beyond the Main Town Hall there is the Artus Court – the 15th century building used by the Hanseatic League and as a stock exchange since the 17th century. Right in front you can admire the Neptune Fountain – the city official image and symbol of maritime origins. Just behind there is St. Mary's Basilica – the gothic symbol of city's wealth and power. On the way back we will walk along Mariacka Street with perfectly reconstructed terraced houses. Shopping break to buy the famous amber jewellery. Later that day a visit to the Cistercian Monastery in Oliwa to attend the pipe organ concert. The gothic cathedral is famous for this 18th century instrument with 7878 pipes of tin and wood.
Dinner at the local restaurant.

Day 8

Morning departure to Bydgoszcz. On the way we will stop in Malbork – the biggest lowland Teutonic castle. It consists of the Upper, Middle and Lower Castles, the cathedral and the Palace of the Great Master, gates, towers and defensive walls all built in the 13th century. It was said to be unconquerable for almost two centuries. It is one of the major tourist attractions in Poland and a landmark for an obligatory visit when you are touring the northern part of the country. Arrival in Bydgoszcz and sightseeing of its most precious monuments: the 15th century St. Nicolas's and St. Martin's basilica, multi-storey warehouses. Accommodation at the hotel and dinner.

Day 9

Morning departure to Poznan. On the way we will stop in Biskupin to visit the settlement area dating back to the 8th to 5th century B.C. It was discovered in 1934 and reconstructed later on to give the impression of Slavic village. In September there is always archaeological picnic organized here. You can learn hunting, making pottery from clay and many other skills. Afterwards we will go to Gniezno – the city with more than a thousand-year-old history, the first capital of Poland (until the 11th century). Here in the year 999 relics of St. Adalbert were laid and the local church became a famous medieval pilgrimage destination. The coronation ceremony of the first Polish king took place in the gothic cathedral in 1025. It shelters treasures of art such as St. Adalbert's baroque silver coffin, decorative tombstones and chapels. The unique Romanesque ornamented bronze doors with relieves are the monument of great artistic value. Arrival in Poznan. Accommodation at the hotel and dinner.

Day 10

Guided sightseeing of Poznan. A visit to the Old Market Square with the renaissance Town Hall. The church of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Stanislas with the extraordinary main altar and famous pipe organs. A visit to Ostrow Tumski – the former seat of the bishop and the prince. Sightseeing of the Cathedral – the place where first rulers of the Piast dynasty are buried. Return to the hotel and dinner.

Day 11

Morning departure to Wroclaw. On the way we will stop in Kornik and Rogalin. Kornik is one of those places where you can't make up your mind – whether to admire the beauty of the park abounding in various species of flora or the very residence. It is situated on an islet surrounded by a moat. The palace was thoroughly rebuilt in the 19th century and now is of the romantic English style. The palace in Rogalin houses collections of armoury, guns, national and family memorabilia, but also carriages. Arrival in Wroclaw and accommodation.

Day 12

Guided sightseeing of Wroclaw – the capital of Lower Silesia region. The city is one of the most beautiful in Poland. The Main Market Square was laid out in the 13th century. The façade of the Town Hall is probably the most spectacular of all medieval town halls in the country. The Main Square together with adjoining Salt Market are surrounded by vividly painted, differently shaped houses. The city churches are also worth visiting. The church of the Name of Jesus with the extremely rich baroque decorations, St. Vincent's, St. John the Baptist's, St. Elisabeth's and above all the Cathedral in Ostrow Tumski. From its high tower you can admire the cityscape. Afterwards you are going to see the "Panorama of Raclawice" – panoramic painting depicting the glorious event from Polish history. In the evening we will invite you for a pint of freshly brewed beer in a small brewery right underneath the Town Hall. Dinner at the local restaurant.

Day 13

Morning departure to Krakow. Arrival in the afternoon. Accommodation at the hotel. Trip to the Salt Mine in Wieliczka. The venue was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1978. Numerous caverns, richly decorated chambers, beautifully illuminated staircases, lakes and chapels were created by generations of miners for over 700 years. The guided route will take approximately three hours. Underground you can have lunch in the restaurant, send a postcard from the post-office and buy some souvenirs. Return to the hotel in Krakow and dinner.

Day 14

Guided sightseeing of Krakow – the time-honoured Polish city, usually described as the capital of Polish Culture. You will take a walk along the Royal Tract, from the remains of the city defensive walls to pass burghers' houses of different styles to the Main Market Square with St. Mary's gothic basilica and picturesque building of the Cloth Hall. Formerly this was a place where clothes from all around Europe were sold in booths and stalls. The Jagiellonian University which we will visit next is the second oldest university in Europe. A visit to the Wawel Hill to see the gothic Cathedral and the renaissance Royal Castle with unique collection of Flemish tapestries woven in the 16th century. Farewell dinner.

Day 15

Transfer to the airport or railway station.