Brilliant Holidays in Krakow, Warsaw and the Polish Highlands

Celebrate the heartfelt holiday traditions of Poland, wandering Krakow’s brilliant Christmas Market and joining a Polish family in their Warsaw home for the intimate Christmas Eve feast called Wigilia, where you can sample 12 different traditional dishes. This wintry journey brings you close to the warm heart of Poland’s long-standing customs.

8 Day Trip

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Overview Itinerary

MIR Signature Experiences on this Tour
  • Learn to cook pierogi
    Learn how to make traditional Polish-style pierogi, Poland’s national dish, with a private chef....
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  • Participate in a Christmas decoration workshop
    Participate in a workshop that demonstrates how the people in old-time Polish villages made their Christmas decorations by hand, working together in groups....
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  • Embrace the culture of the Polish highlanders, or gorale
    Drive into the foothills of the Tatra Mountains to discover the timber architecture, embroidered costumes and savory cuisine of the Polish highlanders...
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  • Browse the brilliant stalls of the Christmas Markets
    Browse the brilliant stalls of the Christmas Markets, looking for hand crafted ornaments, traditional costumes, seasonal treats and Nativity scenes....
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Why Travel with MIR on this Tour
  • Over two decades of Poland travel experience
  • Travel programs such as Harvard and Stanford University alumni have chosen MIR to guide them to Poland
  • Twice named one of National Geographic Adventure’s “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”
  • On-the-ground support and quality you can trust
  • Personalized travel planning from start to finish
  • Guides and tour managers that clients rave about
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Itinerary & Highlights at a Glance

Days 1-5: Krakow

In Krakow’s UNESCO-listed medieval Market Square, browse the Christmas Market where some of the country’s finest artisans display their hand crafted gifts, such as hand-painted pottery, crèches and gingerbread ornaments. Make Polish pierogi under the guidance of your own private chef. Sample regional delicacies and hot mulled wine in a snowy mountain town lined with 19th century log buildings. Take a magical torch-lit sleigh ride bundled in blankets, then warm yourself at a bonfire, roasting kielbasa and tasting Polish vodka. Participate in a workshop showing how old-time Polish village people made their Christmas decorations by hand. Tour a small factory where Poland’s famous hand-blown glass ornaments are created and travel by train to Warsaw.

Highlights

  • UNESCO-listed Krakow, Poland’s royal capital from the 11th to the 17th century
  • Wieliczka Salt Mines, a UNESCO Site with beautiful chambers and chapels carved out of salt
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Days 6-8: Warsaw

Travel by train to Warsaw and take a walking tour of Warsaw’s Royal Road, a gracious avenue festooned during the holiday season with swags of elegant white lights. Visit some of the city’s churches to admire their Nativity scenes. Gather in a Polish home for a traditional family-style Wigilia, the Christmas Eve vigil and dinner, beginning as the first star appears in the eastern sky. Taste each of the 12 dishes served at a Christmas Eve dinner, as well as desserts such as the poppy-seed pastry called makowiec. Join the family at the midnight church service of Christmas carols sung by the whole congregation together. This yearly service is so much a part of Polish Christmas traditions that a participant does not have to be a believer to enjoy the joyful ritual.

Highlights

  • Poland’s capital, Warsaw, with its UNESCO-listed Old Town, rebuilt from the ground up after WWII
  • Christmas markets filled with handcrafted traditional ornaments and Nativity scenes
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See Dates & Prices for more details or to see suggested extensions.

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Tour Dates & Prices
Trip Length: 8 Days

Land Tour Price, Per Person
based on double occupancy

  • 4-16 Travelers $3,595
  • Single Supplement $550

2015 Dates

  • December 18-25
  • $3,595
  • Max 16 Travelers
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Group Size

Small Groups – Never More than 16 Travelers. Guaranteed!

What’s Included

On Your Tour

  • Shared accommodations in well-located superior hotels.
  • 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 5 dinners, per the itinerary (including the roasted kielbasa as dinner in Rabka). Some lunches and dinners are not included so that you may enjoy a chance to experiment on your own.
  • Restaurant tips for included meals.
  • Services of an experienced, English-speaking MIR Tour Manager with local guides at specific sites for groups of 5+ travelers. For 2-4 travelers, locals guides only in each city.
  • Arrival/departure transfers. MIR will arrange for all travelers to be met on arrival and seen off on departure whether we make your airfare arrangements or not, provided you arrive and depart on the tour start/end dates in the tour start/end cities.
  • Transportation throughout itinerary by private coach or van (size of vehicle depends on group size).
  • First class train tickets from Krakow to Warsaw.
  • Guided sightseeing tours and entrance fees as outlined in itinerary.
  • Special events, excursions and cultural performances per the itinerary.
  • Baggage handling where available.
  • Gratuities to local guides and drivers.

Before Your Tour

  • Personalized pre-departure support from one of our knowledgeable Tour Specialists.
  • Complete pre-departure information including detailed packing list and reading list.
  • Touring with MIR handbook with country-specific information, maps, and travel tips.
  • Final document packet including luggage tags, final updates, and more.
  • Assistance booking your custom flight arrangements (on request; please note that international and internal airfares are not included in the land tour cost).
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Prepare for Your Trip

International Airfare

MIR's in-house, full-service air department will gladly assist with your air travel needs.

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Reading List

MIR recommends reading up before you leave home. So settle back in your armchair with some of our favorite books about our favorite places.

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Visas

Most MIR programs require one or more visas, and each visa requires a completely blank page in your passport. Visa information for this particular tour is listed in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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Travel Insurance

Stay a Little Longer…

You may want to extend your time in Poland with a visit to Wroclaw, or a pre-tour in the northern city of Gdansk. Czech Republic, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, the Balkans or the Baltics also make great add-ons. Call us for more details.

Or, choose from one of these suggested itineraries:

Is this Trip Right for You?

It is important to keep in mind that while Poland is fairly modern and cosmopolitan, some aspects may not live up to the standards North American travelers expect. A full list of details about the rigors of this tour are explained in the Detailed Descriptive Itinerary.

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