Poland Day Trips & Excursions
Undoubtedly Dunajec River Gorge is one of the Poland's prime tourist attractions and this great day trip from Krakow gives you the chance to admire some amazing scenery as you float down the river. Begin your excursion with a visit to Niedzica Castle, originally built in the 14th century by the Hungarians to protect an important trade route through the Dunajec Valley. The castle towers over a large water reservoir with an impressive dam built in mid 1990s.
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» Dunajec River Gorge and Niedzica Castle from Krakow
Undoubtedly Dunajec River Gorge is one of the Poland's prime tourist attractions and this great day trip from Krakow gives you the chance to admire some amazing scenery as you float down the river, as well as a visit to Niedzica Castle in the Dunajec Valley.
Begin your excursion with a visit to Niedzica Castle (also known as Dunajec Castle), originally built in the 14th century by the Hungarians to protect an important trade route through the Dunajec Valley. The castle towers over a large water reservoir with an impressive dam built in mid 1990s. While visiting the castle you can admire the delightful view over the artificial lake and learn the amazing story of Inca refugees who found shelter here.
After your visit of the castle, continue to Sromowce Nizne to board your wooden raft to drift at a leisurely pace along the Dunajec River. The river runs from northern Slovakia to southern Poland and is at its most picturesque passing through Dunajec River Gorge. Your adventure down the winding Dunajec River offers breathtaking views of mighty limestone cliffs plunging into the water and stunning native flora, you may even spot some rare bird species such as the Black Stork.
Your highly experienced guide ensures you have a smooth ride, pointing out the sights along the way and teaching you the history of the gorge. Your 2 to 3 hour voyage ends 15 kilometers later in Szczawnica. It is advisable to bring suitable rainwear or a sun hat depending on the weather.
» Zakopane and Tatras Mountains Day Tour from Krakow
Experience a ride up a funicular railway to the top of Mt. Gubalówka and take a walk around the peak. Visit the oldest part of Zakopane with its old mountaineer cottages and ash trees. Experience the true Zakopane atmosphere when you walk along Krupówki.
Nestled at the foot of the spectacular Tatra mountains, Zakopane is the winter sports capital of Poland and its most famous resort. During the winter, plentiful snow and challenging runs make for excellent skiing while the summer months offer hikers mountain lakes, glacial valleys and waterfalls. The mountains are also home to a unique and diverse range of flora and fauna.
Your tour starts with a ride up a funicular railway to the top of Mt. Gubalówka to see a wonderful view of the Tatras.
After a short walk around the peak, return down the funicular to visit the oldest part of Zakopane where the old cottages of the mountaineers still stand, surrounded by ash trees and blackened by the sun. These wooden houses and churches were built in the Zakopane style by the remarkable Polish artist, Witkacy.
In addition to the traditional mountain architecture, magnificent folk costumes and jewelry have also survived here to this day. To better experience the true Zakopane atmosphere, take a walk along Krupówki, the central mall, lined with restaurants, cafes, boutiques and souvenir shops. Here you will have a lunch break.
The last stop in Zakopane is either the Tatra Museum or, on the way back to Krakow, a visit to the lovely old wooden village of Chocholów.
» Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum Half-Day Trip from Krakow
Leave Krakow for a morning or afternoon to visit the UNESCO-listed Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum. This sobering half-day trip will have a lasting impact, commemorating the lives of those who died in the extermination camps during the Holocaust of World War II.
Auschwitz-Birkenau is the best-known cemetery and place of genocide in the world. Started in 1940 as a concentration camp for Polish political prisoners, in 1942 the camp became a center for the extermination of European Jews. During the years 1940 to 1945, approximately 1.5 million people died there. The majority of the camp's victims were Jews, along with Poles, Gypsies, Russian POWs and members of other nationalities.
Your tour of this haunting site begins onboard the coach with a 15-minute documentary about the liberation of the camp. On arrival at the museum, your guide will show you the exhibitions in some of the surviving prison blocks, the gas chamber and the crematorium.
After a short break, the tour continues to Birkenau, where the view from the watchtower above the entrance gate reveals the forbidding expanse of the biggest Nazi concentration camp built during the Holocaust. A Martyrdom Museum was set up here in 1947, and in 1979 Auschwitz-Birkenau was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites.
» Wieliczka Salt Mine Half-Day Trip from Krakow
Leave Krakow behind and spend a fascinating morning or afternoon touring the legendary Wieliczka Salt Mine, one of the oldest salt mines in Europe. Along with the mine's historical importance, its carvings of fabulous figures, monuments and altarpieces have earned the Wieliczka Salt Mine a place on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.
Legend has it that the salt mines were part of the dowry of the Hungarian princess, Kinga, when she married Boleslaw the Shy over 700 years ago. You'll tour the richly ornamented Chapel of the Blessed Kinga and visit an underground salt-mining exhibition on Level 3.
Your guided tour takes you from 210 to 440 feet (64 to 135 meters) underground, passing through galleries and chambers on three levels. The guided walk consists of 20 monumental chambers joined by 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) of pathways.
Entering the Wieliczka Salt Mine, you'll descend a 380-step staircase to Level 1. Although this walk is not strenuous and can be undertaken in ordinary footwear, it will need to be considered when booking this tour. The last stop on your visit to the mine is the souvenir shop and snack bar. From here, a lift carries you back to the surface.
» Pieskowa Skala Castle and Czestochowa including the 'Black Madonna' Day Tour from Krakow
Follow the Eagles Nest Trail to Czestochowa to see the "Black Madonna", a Gothic painting of Our Lady at the monastery of Jasna Gora. Returning to Krakow you will stop at the Renaissance Castle in Pieskowa Skala which is home to the Museum of the National Wawel Art Collections.
In the city of Czestochowa is Poland's national shrine and the icon which has drawn pilgrims from across the globe for centuries.
The monastery of Jasna Gora is home to the miraculous "Black Madonna", a Gothic painting of Our Lady, which after Rome, Lourdes and Mecca makes Czestochowa one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in the world today. Your visit to the monastery includes the Miraculous Picture Chapel and the Basilica.
Also, you can visit the 600th-Anniversary Museum, the Arsenal and the Treasury on your own, if you wish, while others on the tour have a break for lunch and buying souvenirs.
Your journey back to Krakow takes you along the Eagles Nests Trail, an historic strategic system of watchtowers and castles. Today most of these are in ruins. However, not all of them have been destroyed completely and you will see some that have managed to endure the rigors of time.
On the way back from Czestochowa there will be stop over in Pieskowa Skala to visit a well-preserved Renaissance Castle along the Eagle Nests Trail. High on a cliff over the valley of the Pradnik river, this 14th century fortification was rebuilt in the 16th century as a Renaissance residence. Today it is home to the Museum of the National Wawel Art Collections.
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For centuries, Poland has been a bridge between the East and West. Set in the heart of Europe, Poland is a multifaceted country where the capital and medieval towns are trawled by contemporary city slickers, and where horse-drawn carts negotiate country lanes, untouched by progress
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