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Arrival in Cracow. Half day sightseeing tour in Cracow. Transfer to Beskid Zywiecki – a beautiful mountain region in the southern part of Poland. Dinner in regional restaurant and overnight stay.
Breakfast. Sightseeing tour around Beskid Zywiecki and Beskid Slaski. Visit to Zywiec - capital of the region, Zywickie Lake, Szczyrk, and Wisla. Visit to the famous Polish brewery “Zywiec” with beer sampling. Traditional Polish grill party and overnight stay.
Breakfast. Encounter with the first adventure - rafting or snow rafting. Type of attraction depends on time of your visit. Afternoon bungee jumping or a tandem flight on a paraglider with instructor. Dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast. Meet with your next adventure – “Zorbing”. One is enclosed in a double, large plastic sphere which rolls down hill. Afternoon program – ride on quads or winter scooters (depends on the time of year of your visit). Dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast. Visit to “Tarzania” – a special new adventure park with a three different rope tracks, suspended 7 meters above the ground. Afternoon visit to “Western City” with a special program and ride by train “Union Pacific”. Dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast. One day tour to Slovakia. Visit to Demianowska Valley – visit to Demianowska Cave (the biggest in the Tatra mountains) or for those who prefer it, skiing in winter time. Afternoon visit to a swimming pool in Besenova, famous for its hot water springs. Return to Poland. Dinner and overnight stay.
Breakfast. Departure to Cracow. Visit to one of the following well known places: Oswiecim, Wadowice or Wieliczka.
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Cracow- an ancient magic city.
Cracow offers a wide spectrum of museums, art galleries full of exhibitions, theatres, historic cellars, clubs, cafes & restaurants with live music, is an exciting destination for the travelers on the world map!
The city’s cultural heritage is mirrored in its intellectual achievements – the Jagiellonian University is the oldest in Poland. The student population of the city numbers almost 100,000 and this large student population fires a lively nightlife scene that burns brightly in the atmospheric cellar bars away from the tourists above. Cracow has sharply contrasting seasons with cold, snowy winters and fresh springs and autumns. Visitors should beware of the locals’ use of the word fresh – an optimistic reference to blatantly cold weather. The labyrinthine cellars of the Old Town are an ideal place to escape the winter chill. However, come summer, the quintessential Cracow experience is relaxing in a pavement café on the main square enjoying one of the long and balmy nights.
Cracow (Krakow) is now well established as a major tourist destination. At the height of summer, Poland’s fourth largest city throngs with tour groups, all manner of tourist tack and countless pavement cafés that seem to occupy every cobble of the main square. Out of season, late at night or even in the first slivers of morning light, it is clear why so many people flock to visit. This magical city, situated in the southeast of the country, between the Jura uplands and the Tatra Mountains, on the banks of the Wisla (Vistula) River, has one of the best-preserved medieval city centres in Europe. Dozens of churches cover almost every architectural period and are surrounded by monasteries and abbeys – walking through the Old Town streets is like drifting back through the musty pages of a historical novel.
Cracow – a tourist horn of plenty
Cracow, Poland's former royal capital, is one of the most attractive spots on the tourist map of Europe. This is a place where legends, history and modernity intertwine. The city, which lies on the banks of the Vistula River, is famous for its priceless historical monuments of culture and art.
Owing to its unusual location at the bottom of mountain peaks and at the bank of a vast lake, the Żywiec area is a dream place for tourism and recreation. Żywiec is included to the group of the greatest 86 Polish resorts. Nearby Zywieckie Lake is a paradise for fans of water sports, and the proximity of winter resorts, such as Korbielów, Zwardoń, Szczyrk, equipped in numerous ski lifts, attracts masses of skiers. Marvelous, immaculate nature of the Beskidy gives tourists unlimited opportunities for hiking.
There are three major mountain tracks starting in Żywiec: a yellow one via Oczków and Koscielec (795 m) into the Little Beskid; another yellow one via Grojec (612 m) to the Brewery, and a blue one via Trzebinia, Tokarka (530 m) and Sopotnia Mała up to Romanka (1366 m) and further into the Żywiecki Beskid. There are also two flat-land tracks, one is called "Żywiec Liberation Path" and the other "Swedish Wars Path". The clean, mountain rivers, Soła and Koszarawa, attract fans of canoeing and rafting. Anyone can test their courage in Wilczy Jar bungee-jumping from the bridge (17,5 m) into the water. The waters of Żywieckie Lake, good winds and sufficient accommodation facilities appeal to those keen on sailing and windsurfing. Once a year, fans of kayaking can try their abilities in the very popular (with both amateurs and professionals) rafting contest "Trzech Zapór" ("Of Three Dams").
There are numerous sport clubs with sections of archery, triathlon, cycling, kayaking, karate, horseback riding, and windsurfing. The ski season starts in November and lasts until the end of April. There are two ski lifts at the slopes of Grojec Mount. Żywiec fascinates. Anyone who will once visit this charming area where the mountains meet the "sea" will certainly want to come back.
Szczyrk- ski resort and a true skiers' paradise
Szczyrk is just 10 km from Bielsko Biała. Surrounded by mountains of the Beskid Śląski and Beskid Żywiecki, and getting a lot of sunshine, it has perfect skiing conditions. The snow cover gets ca. 30 cm thick in town and 50 cm thick in the mountains. There are 30 ski-lifts, a cable railway, 60 km of skiing routes, of which 10 km are covered with artificial snow and 3,5 km are lighted and enabling you to ski after dark. In summer there are 72 km of tourist routes, 8 km of walking paths and 60 km of well marked mountain bike routes. In summer, you can visit Lodowa or Malinowska Caves and go to Żywiec for a beer.
Szczyrk is the second largest winter sports resort in Poland. The town is situated 17 kilometres south from Bielsko Biała and has three ski trails with the total length of 60 kilometres, around 40 ski lifts and 4 ski-jumps. A hiking trail leads to Mt Barania Góra (1220 m) where the three springs of river Vistula are located.
Winter sport resorts Wisła by the river of the same name and Korbielów, situated between the Babia Góra massif (1725 m) and Mt Pilsko (1557 m). In winter a network of ski lifts and ski trails operates on the slopes of Mt Pilsko. The river Olza running through Cieszyn, has been a division line between the Polish and Czech part of the town since 1920. The town centre situated on the Polish side has been well-preserved. Beautiful 18th and 19th century houses ring the large market square. On the Góra Zamkowa (Castle Hill), the Rotunda of St Nicolas calls for closer inspection. It is an exclusive example of Romanesque architecture appearing in Silesia in such a good shape.
Wadowice (280 – 300 m) is located in the west of Malopolska Voivodship on the bank of the Skawa river at the foot of the Beskid Mountains at the crossroads of the main routes between Silesia and Podhale and Kraków and Cieszyn.
We recommend the tourists and pilgrims to visit:
- Minor Basilica – the Church of the Presentation of Blessed Virgin Marry - the oldest part of the church – rectangular, gothic presbytery, comes from 15th century. The church strictly connected with Karol Wojtyła’s childhood and youth.
- Museum – Family House of Karol Wojtyła - the building is Pope’s birthplace. The Museum is led by the Sisters of Nazareth.
- Church of St. Peter - the temple was built in years 1986-1991 as thanks for the election of Karol Wojtyła as Pope and for the life of the Holy Father after the assassination attempt on the 13th May 1981 in St. Peter’s Square.
- Monastery of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites - Monastery of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites was built in the years 1897–1899. There is Father Raphael’s cell in the monastery which is accessible to visit.
- Town Museum - the building is from 1800. The museum gathers keepsakes and exhibits connected with the town and surroundings.
Europe's oldest salt mine is located in Wieliczka, where 25 million tones of salt have been mined over the last 1,000 years. The mine is in operation to this day. Due to the therapeutic microclimate, exhausted mine shafts are used as sanitarium facilities today. Conferences and balls are also held in the subterranean chambers. There is even an underground restaurant. Unused excavation sites have also been adapted to house a mining museum with objects dating as far back as the 11th century. The caves and several chapels are decorated with numerous salt sculptures. The most unusual site is a 17th century underground church, within which everything is carved from salt – from the chandeliers to the figure of its patron saint, St. King.
Wieliczka at the outskirts of Cracow has been the salt-mining centre since the 13th century. The length of its shafts and tunnels totals 350 kilometres. Besides, there are above 2,000 underground excavating chambers. The salt mine, still in operation, has been included on UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. The three upper levels out of the overall 9 are open to tourism. The 4.5 kilometre route extends to a depth of 136 metres below the ground, passing 20 chambers and numerous underground lakes on its way. Many chambers are decorated with intricate salt carvings. In the St Kinga’s Chapel where regular concerts are held, there is an altar carved from salt. The mine museum tells about the history of salt mining. A local curiosity is the sanatorium situated 211 metres below the ground where asthma and bronchitis are treated. While in the environs of Wieliczka, it is also worthwhile visiting the castle (Zamek Żupny) dating from the 14th century with a museum, displaying, among other objects, an interesting collection of old saltcellars.
The Wieliczka Salt Mine in Brief:
Age: over 800 years old
Length of galleries: over 300 kilometres
Tourist route: over 2,000 metres
Visitors: 700,000 per year, from all continents
Unique features: underground lakes, chambers and pits, chapels and sculptures carved in salt rock, wooden bridges and passages
Highlights: the Chapel of the Blessed Kinga, the patron of salt miners, hewn out by hand from solid salt
Underground town: on several levels at depths ranging from 60 to 100 metres. It includes a sanatorium, post office, cinema, restaurant, souvenir shop and concert halls.
Auschwitz-Birkenau (Oświęcim-Brzezinka in Polish)
All over the world, Auschwitz has become a symbol of terror, genocide, and the Holocaust. It was established by the Nazis in the suburbs of the city of Oswiecim which, like other parts of Poland, was occupied by the Germans during the Second World War. The name of the city of Oswiecim was changed to Auschwitz, which became the name of the camp as well. June 14, 1940, when the first transport of Polish political prisoner deportees arrived in Auschwitz, is regarded as the date when it began to function. Since 1940 it was the location of a concentration and later of the extermination camp. By January 1945 around 2 million people had been killed here, mostly Jews but also Gypsies, as well as political and war prisoners. The camp was designed to be an organized death factory. Everything was thoroughly put into accounts. On leaving the camp, the SS blew up part of the facilities. The barracks once crammed with prisoners, the torture and execution sites and the rail-tracks leading straight to the camp remained on place to stand witness to this appalling cruelty. Tourists can watch the movie made by the Soviet troops during the camp’s liberation. This memorial site can be visited every day. It was added to UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.