Departures from UK airports are available throughout the year. Flight schedules vary between airports and seasons so please contact us for details of flights operating from your local airport. The lead-in price from £399pp is available in the low season from November through to March. April to October prices start from £469pp. The price is based on two people sharing a twin/double room and may vary depending on choice of departure date and airport. All holidays are tailor-made with extra nights, single rooms and hotel upgrades available at a supplement.
(Please note the Salt Mine tour on Day 2 is unsuitable for those with limited mobility or who are claustrophobic. If in any doubt, please check at time of booking.)
Fly direct to Krakow. On arrival join the private transfer to your hotel where you will spend 4 nights.
This morning your local guide will meet you at the hotel and take you on a four-hour walking tour of the city. Learn about Krakow's fascinating history and heritage, taking in some beautiful examples of Gothic and Renaissance architecture as you go. Top of the list must surely be Wawel Castle, the very symbol of Poland's national pride and identity. A tour inside reveals Poland's very own crown jewels. The tour also encompasses Krakow's picturesque Old Town, dominated by the Main Market Square, Rynek Glówny. The Market Square ranks amongst the largest medieval squares in Europe and throughout history has served as a focal point to large city events.
There is time to relax before a late afternoon excursion to the Wieliczka Salt Mine, situated a 40-minute drive outside Krakow. A UNESCO World Heritage Suite, the Salt Mine started life in the Middle Ages and represents one of Europe's oldest functioning mines.
This morning is devoted to uncovering the city’s Communist past and to really capture the authenticity and flavour of life during the Communist era, you’ll travel with your English-speaking guide in a genuine East German Trabant car. Your journey starts in the Socialist suburb of Nowa Huta, famed as Stalin’s gift to Krakow and one of the most elaborate examples of social engineering. Pausing for refreshments at a Communist-style restaurant, your tour takes in an immaculately-preserved Communist apartment museum where you’ll see original propaganda films, photos and maps depicting life in 1970s Poland.
The rest of the day is free for you to spend as you wish, perhaps just sitting awhile in a café and absorbing the sights and sounds of the city, visiting one of the many museums for which Krakow is famous or exploring the Jewish heritage trail in Kazimierz and across the river in Podgórze, site of Schindler’s Factory.
Today’s full-day excursion takes you out of the
city on a poignant journey of remembrance to
Auschwitz, a name synonymous with tragedy,
persecution and mass genocide. The largest of the World War II concentration and extermination camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau was specifically designed as a death camp not only for Jews but also for Poles, gypsies, Russian prisoners of war and other nationalities deemed fit to be there by the Nazi regime. Reaching Auschwitz after a 90-minute drive from Krakow, you’ll have an in-depth guided tour in English of both Auschwitz and Birkenau (including transportation between the two camps), lasting approximately three and a half hours. This is a thoroughly moving and utterly memorable tour that will resonate for years to come.
Check out of your hotel and join the private transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK. If time permits you can leave your luggage with the hotel and enjoy a last few hours exploring the city.
Our opinion...The 3 star Hotel Maksymilian is housed in a 19th-century building situated only 700 metres from the Main Market Square, where you’ll find many of the places of interest in Krakow.
Location... Wawel Royal Castle is just a 20-minute walk away. Shops and restaurants are also close by.
Accommodation…Rooms at the Maksymilian are elegantly furnished and decorated with warm colours. Each comes with a safe and a private bathroom with a hairdryer and toiletries.
Facilities…The restaurant offers a great selection of traditional Polish cuisine.
Transport...Hotel Maksymilian is located 2 km from Kraków Główny Railway and Bus Station.