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At the Foot of the Tatra Mountains

Day 1

Transfer to the hotel in Krakow. Meeting with the Polish tour leader and description of the tour itinerary. An evening walk around the city centre. Welcome dinner accompanied by a folk performance at a local restaurant.

Day 2

Guided sightseeing of Royal Krakow – the well known historical city, the European Capital of Culture in the year 22000. Krakow is an architecturally and artistically valuable city owing to the fact that it hardly suffered from any destruction during the Second World War. This is why the original medieval urban setting of squares and streets (known as genius loci) is perfectly preserved. Walk along the Royal Tract, from the remains of the city defensive walls to pass buildings from different epochs to the Main Market Square with St. Mary's gothic basilica and picturesque building of the Cloth Hall. Formerly this was a place where the great variety of clothes were sold in booths and stalls. A visit to the Wawel Hill to see the gothic Cathedral and the renaissance Royal Castle with unique collection of Flemish tapestries woven in the 16th century. Lunch at a local restaurant. Shopping-afternoon and time to discover the atmosphere individually (our suggestions on museums, restaurants, cafes, exhibitions, performances are at hand).

Day 3

Early morning departure to the mountain region of the Tatras. En route stop in Debno to visit an extremely precious 15th century wooden church with original medieval wall-paintings and gothic sculptures. What makes the church so unique is the fact that it constitutes the genuine heritage of medieval highlanders who decorated this place in their own style. Next we will go to Zakopane – a winter ski resort. Framework constructions of huts and villas made of rounded timber with decorative patterns and roofs covered with shingle are the features of this style. Advantages of local climate were discovered in the 19th century and the town became a spa almost as popular as Davos or Vevey. Scientists, artists, musicians, poets, painters and architects travelled to Zakopane seeking for recreation and health treatment. We will visit the "Koliba" villa to see the Museum of the "Style of Zakopane" with traditional wooden craftsmanship. Pieces of furniture, tools, musical instruments, wooden spoons, ladles, leather shoes, stripes, traditional paintings on glass – these are just a few examples of exhibits in the museum. Next we will take the funicular to the top of "Gubałówka" hill. Within ten minutes we will get to the top to admire panorama of the Tatras. Time for souvenir-shopping afterwards. Lunch in traditional highlanders' inn. Visit to the "Jaszczurówka" chapel – the essence of the "Style of Zakopane". Drive to the Niedzica castle – the former Hungarian bordering fortress set beautifully over the dam on the Dunajec river. Sightseeing, dinner and overnight stay at the hotel located in the original stylish chambers of the castle.

Day 4

Exploring the limestone Pieniny range – one of the most attractive tourist regions of Central Europe combining picturesque landscapes, panoramas, historical sites, mineral waters and spas. An exciting element of the itinerary is the raft trip down the Dunajec River through the Pieniny Gorge on wooden highlanders' rafts. It is a unique and unforgettable attraction available from 1st of May until 31st of September. The raft trip lasts about two hours – you embark on wooden rafts steered by local highlanders wearing traditional attire. During the trip you will have a chance to admire ravines, steep slopes and rock formations with the highest peak – The Three Crowns. The river is not very deep but the rushing current easily carries the rafts down to their destination. Sightseeing of Szczawnica – the 19th century spa with its historical Alpine architecture and villas situated in the park. You will have a chance to see how 1970s grey and dull socialist architecture affected the beauty of the landscape. Mineral water tasting. Lunch in shepherds' hut accompanied by traditional highlanders' music. They will be playing violins and cello. Return to Krakow and the last opportunity for souvenir shopping.

Day 5

Transfer to the airport or railway station.