day 01 Warsaw Arrival
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel in the heart of the city. In the afternoon meet your guide and the rest of the group in the hotel’s lobby. Drive along the beautifully renovated Royal Route with its historical monuments and residences. Stop at Castle Square for a short walk through Old Town, and then join us for welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Your meal will include typical Polish dishes including “Zygmuntówka” cream cake that has become the sweet symbol of Warsaw, as its shape is reminiscent of the statue of King Zygmunt III Waza standing in Castle Square, the doorway to Warsaw Old Town. D
day 02 Warsaw
This morning you will be introduced to the highlights of Warsaw. A half-day sightseeing tour includes Old Town, beautifully rebuilt after World War II, with the impressive Royal Castle, seat of the kings of Poland. Admire some of its 300 rooms and see there Canaletto Room with 23 of his paintings, the Throne Room, the magnificent Knight’s Hall with six large paintings by Marcello Bacciarelli, the Marble room with its 22 portraits of Polish kings and the largest and most impressive of all the castle’s chambers, the Ballroom. Lunch at Delicia Polska restaurant located in the historical building of Polonia House. It is here, in 1925, where Madame Curie-Sklodowska met with professors of physics and chemistry for tea and cake. While being in Warsaw you cannot forget that this is also the city of the greatest Polish composer, Frederic Chopin who gave in Warsaw his first concerts, attended his piano lessons and where in the Church of the Holy Cross you can see the special plaque where the urn with his heart is placed, brought secretly from Paris by his beloved sister. Visit the Chopin Museum with several exhibitions devoted to the different parts of Chopin’s life, to start with the birthplace, Zelazowa Wola, through Warsaw and Paris where he lived and worked till the very end of this short life. Many precious memorabilia, such as Chopin’s letters addressed to his family and friends, Chopin’s gold watch and the most precious - last piano on which Chopin composed during the last two years of his life. BL
day 03 Warsaw-Czestochowa-Krakow
Morning tour of the Jewish sites of Warsaw including the site of the bunker on Mila Street, the place where the chief staff of the Jewish Combat Organization committed suicide, the monumental memorial of the Heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto located on the square which was once the site of one of the main bunkers of the Jewish Combat Organization and the Umschlagplatz. Visit to one of the newest and most important museums of Warsaw, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. The main exhibition divided into eight galleries presents the thousand-year history of Polish Jews, but the museum is also the bridge between the past and the present day that shows today life of the Jewish community in Warsaw. There are also documentary movies, temporary exhibits, and platforms for discussion, workshops, performances, concerts and lectures.Depart for Krakow with light lunch en route. Stop in Czestochowa, the site of Jasna Gora and the Black Madonna, venerated as Poland’s holiest icon. You will also visit the Treasury Room with impressive collection of precious gift given to the Jasna Gora Monastery including those from Saint John Paul II or former President of Poland, Lech Walesa. Arrival in Krakow and short orientation walk through the charming Krakow Old Town with welcome drink on the terrace of the most famous, historical building of Krakow, the Cloth Hall beautifully overlooking the illuminated Market Square. BL
day 04 Krakow
The morning sightseeing tour will feature Wawel, the Royal Castle, home to three dynasties of Poland’s monarchs. Its stately halls and exquisite chambers are filled with priceless art, valuable period furniture and rare ancient objects. The collection of monumental 16th century tapestries is matchless. Stop in the Wawel Royal Cathedral, site of Karol Wojtyła – Saint John Paul II, ordination as Bishop of Krakow. You cannot omit also to see the famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci “The Lade with the Ermine” that is presented in the Wawel Castle. Drive to Old Town with its renewed Main Square of magnificent houses and palaces. There, you will stop at St Mary’s Basilica to see the magnificent wooden altar by Wit Stwosz. In the middle of the square is Cloth Hall built before 1349, but renovated in the 16th century with many shopping stalls inside. The afternoon is at leisure. Tonight’s dinner will be served at “Wesele” restaurant beautifully overlooking the illuminated Old Town Market Square. Its name comes from the famous Polish drama “Wesele – the Wedding” wrote by one of the leading Polish writers of the 19th century who based many of his works on Krakow folklore inspirations. Here you will not only taste the special Krakow menu with delicious cheese cake but also the interiors of the restaurant decorated with folk elements. BD
day 05 Krakow
Walk through Kazimierz, a former Jewish district town with its own Market Square, Town Hall and thriving culture. Watch a short movie about Kazimierz district in the Centre for Jewish Culture. See a magnificent Gothic Old Synagogue and the Remuh Synagogue with adjoining Renaissance cemetery. Visit the newest, renovated Tempel Synagogue built for progressive Jews, decorated with stuccoes, paintings and stained glass. Visit to Oscar Schindler Factory with the main exhibition “Krakow Under Nazi Occupation, 1939-1945” that shows the dramatic choice people were forced to make during the World War II. Key phases of the period come in for special attention to the creation and liquidation of the Jewish Ghetto. “Krakow Under Nazi Occupation: 1939-1945" showcases life during the war for Poles and Jews, concentrating at least some of its narrative on the disruption of Polish-Jewish relations against the backdrop of Nazi brutality. The atmosphere of the era is evoked by recreations of typical Cracovian interiors and street scenes. At the same time it presents the history of Krakow Jews and the tragedy of Jewish community being a part of the tragedy of the rest of the population. Dinner and Klezmer music concert in the “Klezmer-Hois” restaurant – famous for its founder, the last Klezmer of Poland, Leopold Kozlowski, the musician, a former music director of the Yiddish Theatre in Warsaw. BD
day 06 Krakow-Wieliczka-Auschwitz-Wroclaw
Today we depart for western Poland and the historic city of Wroclaw. Known as "Venice of the North", it is one of the oldest cities in Poland, capital of Lower Silesia, with a beautiful location along the Odra River. Drive to Wieliczka to visit the underground world of the oldest salt mine in Europe and the UNESCO treasure site and the world class tourist attraction admire its beauty and rich interior decoration, the Blessed Kinga Chapel, as well as the original linings of the galleries and workings, and the underground salt lakes. Lunch at the local wooden-inn where you till taste one of the most famous Polish dish: pierogi, a kind of dumplings with different stuffing: cabbage and mushrooms, meat, white cheese or seasonal fruit. On the way to Wroclaw you will also see the largest death factory in the history of humanity, Auschwitz-Bireknau. All over the world, it has become a symbol of terror, genocide, and the Holocaust The preserved, authentic Memorial consists of two parts of the former concentration camp: Auschwitz I with permanent exhibition of the Main Camp where you will see Block 11 where the Gestapo held 'court' hearings on the ultimate fate of many prisoners, the Wall of Death and Crematorium I. You can also see a short documentary movie. In Auschwitz II-Birkenau with the most important remaining camp sites, residential barracks, the unloading ramp, the ruins of gas chambers and crematoria II and III. BL
day 07 Wroclaw-Swidnica-Vineyard “Adoria”-Wroclaw
Morning walk through the heart of Wroclaw, the Market Square with the beautiful buildings and the Town Hall, that is recognized as gem of Gothic-Renaissance urban architecture. See the magnificent Aula Leopoldina, one of the most magnificent chambers of the Wroclaw University. Rich decors from the 1st half of the 18th century make Aula Leopoldina one of the most spectacular Baroque interiors in Poland. Afternoon drive to Swidnica, visit the UNESCO Site, the Church of Peace, the largest timber-framed religious building in Europe, was built in the former Silesia in the mid-17th century, amid the religious strife that followed the Peace of Westphalia. Constrained by the physical and political conditions, the Church of Peace bears testimony to the quest for religious freedom and is a rare expression of Lutheran ideology in an idiom generally associated with the Catholic Church. On the way to Swidnica, a short break at the Vineyard Adoria for a wine degustation and dinner to be served in the beautiful interiors of the Renaissance Topacz Castle. BD
day 08 Wroclaw-Lowicz-Nieborow-Warsaw
Return to Warsaw. En route you will be invited for a home-hosted late lunch by a local family, whose charming cottage is located at the foot of the former Lowicz Castle. You will be welcomed in a typical Polish way, with bread & salt, and enjoy your meal served by the young married couple in their lovely house. Home-made cake and tea can be served in the lovely garden where you will also have time to talk about their day to day life. Continue to Nieborow to see the former residence of the aristocratic family of Radziwill. It houses a splendid collection of art, paintings and sculptures including the Head of Niobe, a Roman copy from the 1st or 2nd century AD, made of the white marble. See the rich collection of Dutch ceramic tiles produced in Harlingen, magnificent library and collection of artistic majolica established by the Radziwill aristocratic family in 1881. Enjoy your farewell Chopin piano concert which will take you on a journey though the world famous compositions of Frederic Chopin. A glass of sparkling wine will be offered during a short interval between the two parts of the concert. BL
day 09 Warsaw Departure
Your tour comes to an end in the morning. You will be transferred to an Airport for your departure flight. B
Inclusions: entry ticket to a music festival, arrival/departure transfers, twin share, English speaking tour escort, local guides, deluxe coach, breakfast daily, three lunches, four dinners, wine tasting, entrance fees, hotels services and taxes. Sightseeing: Warsaw-Royal Castle, Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Chopin Museum, Nieborow Palace, Czestochowa-Jasna Gora Monastery and the Black Madonna Shrine, Krakow-Royal Castle and Cathedral on the Wawel Hill, St Mary’s Church, Oscar Schindler’s Factory, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Wroclaw-Aula Leopoldina, Swidnica Church of Peace. Hotels: Warsaw-Polonia Palace, Krakow Metropolitan, Wroclaw-The Granary La Suite Hotel (or similar). maximum 16 participants
Choice of Music Festivals presented during the Music and Art Tours:
Apr Easter Beethoven Festival
Established by Elzbieta Penderecka, wife of world known Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki. The first Festival was held in 1997, and it immediately became a major event. The two following Festivals entered not only into the cultural agenda of the city of Krakow but also into the list primary European music events.
Jun Mozart Festival
The festival gives an opportunity to admire all the scenic works by Mozart, the 24 operas, concerts and oratoria, performed in original languages [German, Italian, Latin]. The remarkable interiors of historic places, parks and churches contribute to the magnificence of the performances.
Aug Chopin and His Europe Festival
The main goal of the Festival “Chopin and his Europe” is to promote Polish culture in Europe through Chopin’s music. Beside his compositions you can listen to other composers who have had an influence to Chopin’s work and was his inspiration.
Sep Wratislavia Cantans Festival
During the festival you can listen to oratorio-cantata concerts, symphonic concerts, chamber music concerts, enjoy opera and ballet performances, vocal and instrumental recitals, attend concert-exhibitions, concerts of sacred music of different religions, art exhibitions of all epochs and cultures. Festival take place in the most beautiful historical venues in Wroclaw and over 10 cities in the Lower Silesia.
Oct 17th International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition
One of the oldest music competitions in the world – one of great, world prestige. It was founded by Prof. Jerzy Żurawlew (1887-1980) – extraordinary Polish pianist, teacher and composer. In the beginning it was a small contest with only 26 pianists from 8 countries, but throughout the years the competition gained more prestige and became one of the most important piano contests in the world