Travel to Poland
Named by National Geographic Traveler as “One of 50 Trips of a Lifetime”
Savor Poland: Krakow to Zakopane with Sophie's Daughter
Named by National Geographic Traveler as “One of 50 Trips of a Lifetime,” you will fall in love with Poland with its atmosphere of constant celebration, its romantic sidewalk cafes, borderland medieval castles and Renaissance palaces. You'll delight in its unique blend of "fairytale come alive" scenery, warm and passionate locals and the ever-present sense of history.
Join us in May 2019 as we eat, drink, and dance our way through one of Poland’s most beautiful and “delicious” regions, Lesser Poland, home to the magnificent capital city of Krakow and the Tatra Mountain resort town of Zakopane.
Our tour begins in Krakow, considered a gem of medieval and Renaissance architecture and a European cultural capital. It's a magical place where legends are mixed with reality, and stories from the old times still find relevance in contemporary life.
After settling in at our hotel we will wander through the streets of Krakow, admiring its fascinating Classical, Gothic and Baroque buildings, and visiting a variety of shops ranging from quaint to contemporary. We'll visit the famous Cloth Hall in operation since medieval time, it now houses over 1,500 unique stalls and boutiques offering everything from unique culinary delights, to trendy designer shoes, bags and clothing, to exquisite hand cut Polish crystal glassware.
We’ll sip sparking champagne while enjoying a private Chopin piano recital in authentic surroundings that absorb the unique atmosphere of the 19th-century parlor where Fryderyk (Frédéric) Chopin grew up to become one of the world’s greatest composers. And we’ll visit Czartoryskich Museum, home of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous Lady with an Ermine, arguably the most beautiful of his three known female paintings. Krakow is one of just six places in the world that can boast a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, the old masters’ old master.
We’ll tour the medieval Old Town, the Jewish neighborhood of Kazimierz and the communist utopia neighborhood of Nowa Huta from a very local and uniquely cultural view – food. We will taste Polish kielbasa, pierogi, and Zapiekanka (Polish pizza). We'll drink beer (delicious in this part of the world) and visit a local vodka bar to sample a kaleidoscopic flight of Polish infused vodka, or opt for a creative "specialty" cocktail cooked up by the knowledgeable folk behind the bar. We'll visit the "best local places" off the beaten path and often missed by visitors (they are simply hidden!).
We visit Auschwitz concentration camp in Oswiecim; without a doubt one of the most infamous attractions you'll visit in southern Poland. 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 with a documentary about the liberation of the camp. On arrival at the museum, your private guide will show you the exhibitions in some of the surviving prison blocks, the gas chamber and the crematorium. 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.The sobering experience of being inside a gas chamber and walking the prisoners’ barracks will be something you will always remember.
Next we’ll visit Collegium Maius, explore underground labyrinths at the medieval Wieliczka Salt Mine and enjoy a private tour of the splendid Wawel Castle — the coronation and burial site for Polish monarchs since the 14th century. We'll end our day with dinner celebrated in one of the underground chambers within an interior nowhere else to be found, savoring a wide variety of traditional Polish dishes, European dishes as well as specially prepared authentic chef dishes, excellent desserts and appetizers. The mine also provides a full selection of wines and spirits from all over the world.
The next day we'll travel to the countryside to sample nalweki (herbal infused vodka liquor) at an artisanal distillery and learn to make Polish bread, bagels and cookies at the quaint town bakery.
That evening we'll enjoy a scenic boat ride to the Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec where the view is as magnificant as the monk's gourmet jams and jellys. We'll tour the monestary and enjoy a celestial dinner prepared by the monks especially for our group.
One of the highlights of our stay will be private cooking lessons at the Krakow Culinary Institute. We will learn how to prepare a gourmet three course meal and then sit down and enjoy dining on the fruits of our labor.
Before leaving Krakow we will stop for “milk soup” at bar mleczny, an authentic Polish milk bar, and leave ample time for shopping the enchanting stalls on Krakow's Grand Square.
Prepare to relax in picturesque Zakopane high in the Tatra Mountains. Upon arrival we begin with a stroll along Krupowki Street — one of the best known Polish promenades — where we marvel at the unique architectural styles of the buildings and become awe-struck at the trendy boutiques. We shop and shop and shop even more! Our horse drawn carriage carries us (and our shopping bags) back to our luxurious hotel where we dress for dinner that evening at the home of a Hollywood celebrity.
The next day we visit the internationally famous Dr. Irena Eris Spa, celebrated by European women and tantamount to good taste and style. Thanks to its philosophy of holistic beauty, it it known for a comprehensive approach to taking care of the body and spirit. We enjoy a a wide range of massages and skin care treatments customized for our face & body and luxuriate in the world famous Spa featuring a Finish sauna, swimming pool with thermal waters, two outdoor jaccuzzis, and steam room.
During our stay in Zakopane we travel by cable car ride up Gubalowka Hill to get the best panoramic view of the spectacular scenery and crystalline lakes, relax during a tranquil river rafting trip down the Dunajec River Gorge on a wooden raft where we enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Pieniny Mountains, and lunch on the ruins of Nidzica Castle.
We’ll visit the village of Dolina Chocholowska where we’ll sample the famous, handmade oscypki and bryndza cheeses and highlander tea — which includes lots of vodka — and enjoy a traditional cooking class taught by local village women.
One of the tour highlights will be experiencing an evening of traditional Highlander dancing and savoring an authentic Highlander dinner cooked over a blazing bonfire.
Reserve Your Space
Don’t miss this special opportunity to tour Poland with Sophie’s Daughter. Space is limited. Sign up to receive cost information, tour dates and a detailed itinerary. Book early. This one-of-a-kind tour will sell out fast!