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Poland

Kraków

Stay six nights in the heart of the historic centre of Kraków, the first site in Poland to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We take a guided tour of the 13th-century merchants' town with Europe's largest market place and numerous historical houses, palaces and churches. Evidence of the town's magnificent history is provided by the remnants of the 14th-century fortifications, the medieval Jewish district of Kazimierz, the Jagellonian University, the Renaissance Royal Castle and the Gothic cathedral on the Wawel Hill, where the kings of Poland were buried and we are granted special permission to offer ecumenical worship.

We take a guided tour of the Kazimierz Jewish Quarter as a walk-through living lesson in Jewish history, art, culture, and architecture and of course the tragedy of the Holocaust and World War II, as depicted in Schindler’s List. We visit and tour the Deutsche Emaillefabrik, once owned by Oskar Schindler, who helped to save over 1,000 Jewish employees from the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps where we tour and remember, reflect and honour the victims with prayers at the memorial.

Kraków is home to the seminary of Pope John Paul II who was born just 40km away in Wadowice. We visit his former home, museum and the Papal Basilica as well as the most venerated pilgrimage site in Poland. Częstochowa and the Jasna Góra monastery complex includes the Chapel of Our Lady, which houses the famous ‘Black Madonna’ painting, said to have been painted by Luke the Evangelist in the 14th century. We join together in worship these sites as well as the fascinating Wieliczka Salt mines where worship is in the underground salt chapel of St. John Paul II.

Itinerary

  1. Travel to Kraków (D, DR)

    Meet your Tour Leader at Gatwick Airport and fly direct to Kraków. On arrival transfer to your hotel close to the heart of the Old Town to relax. Flights may be available from other UK regional airports to Kraków where our UK airport representatives will assist you with check-in and on arrival in Kraków, you will be met and transferred to the hotel.

    Evening: meet your Tour Manager and ordained Tour Leader and get to know your fellow pilgrims over a welcome drink followed by dinner in the hotel with a drink and water, tea or coffee included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink 

  2. Kraków – City tour, Wawel Castle & St. Mary’s Basilica (B, D, DR)

    Morning: stroll from the hotel for a morning’s historical walking tour with your Tour Manager, a qualified Kraków city guide, who will talk of legends surrounding the Main Square, the Cloth Hall and then the Royal Road, a picturesque route leading along some of the most famous streets and prominent townhouses. During the tour, you will visit, among other things, the Wawel Royal Castle, the residence of the kings of Poland until the 17th century. After, see the church of St. Francis of Assisi and tour St. Mary’s Basilica with its distinctive two towers. Here we join together in optional ecumenical worship.

    Afternoon: free to wander the stands in the Cloth Hall, boutiques, galleries and museums of the Old Town or relax over a glass or two or try some of the interesting street food.

    Evening: dinner in an atmospheric local restaurant with a drink and water, tea or coffee included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  3. Częstochowa, Jasna Góra Monastery and Black Madonna (B, L, D, DR)

    Morning: day excursion to what is considered to be the holiest place in Poland. Częstochowa and the Jasna Góra monastery complex include the Chapel of Our Lady, which houses the famous ‘Black Madonna’ painting, as well as a Baroque cathedral and grounds. The Black Madonna is said to have been painted by Luke the Evangelist, it is thought to have been painted in the 14th century and features the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus. The painting is unveiled to visitors daily, to a special musical accompaniment called the ‘royal intrada’.

    Afternoon: after an included lunch we are granted permission to worship here. Later, we drive back to Krakow travelling through the ‘Trail of the Eagles Nests’ with ruined castles and fortresses lining the scenic route.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel with a drink and water, tea or coffee included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  4. Wieliczka Salt Mines (B, D, DR)

    Morning: just 40 minutes from the city, discover an underground 700-year-old world of 23 chambers composed of different salt compositions and saline lakes. Admire the 300-year-old religious and historical statues made by miners from salt in the St. Anthony, Janowice, and Holy Cross Chapels. The Chapel of St Kinga will mesmerize you with its unique atmosphere and figures such as Pope John Paul II and a copy of Da Vinci's ‘Last Supper’ — all delicately carved in salt. We are granted special permission to worship together in the underground chapel of St. John Paul II.

    Afternoon: return to Kraków for free time at leisure in this beautiful city.

    Evening: dinner in an atmospheric local restaurant with a drink and water, tea or coffee included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  5. Kazimierz Jewish Quarter & Oskar Schindler Factory (B, D, DR)

    Morning: Kazimierz remains the beating heart of Jewish culture in Poland. A walk-through is a lesson in its part of Jewish history, art, culture, and architecture and of course the tragedy of the Holocaust and World War II, as depicted in Schindler’s List. We also celebrate Kazimierz’s glory; its streets are picturesque with splendid homes and buildings. Restaurants and coffee shops and bars abound, and Kazimierz is also the place where so many of the best artisans in the city today call home. After, continue across the river to visit and tour the Deutsche Emaillefabrik once owned by Oskar Schindler who helped to save over 1,000 Jewish employees from concentration camps by granting them enamelwork in his factory.

    Mid-afternoon: free to explore Kraków at your leisure, wander by the river, boutique shop in the old town or visit one of the small galleries and museums the city has to offer.

    Evening: dinner in the hotel with a drink and water, tea or coffee included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  6. Wadowice & Auschwitz (B, D, DR)

    Morning: travel 40 km southwest to Wadowice the birthplace of Pope John Paul II. Born in 1920 as Karol Wojtyla, the future Pontiff lived in Wadowice till 1938 when he moved to Krakow to study at its ancient Jagiellonian University. He remembered fondly his youth and places associated with it and tried to include the town, when possible, in his visits to Poland. Visit his former home, now a museum and the 15th century baroque church where he worshipped. After, free time will be given for lunch.

    Afternoon: visit and guided tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. The liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp took place in January 1945. However, before that Nazi authorities tried to destroy as much evidence as possible. After the war, the Polish government decided to restore Auschwitz-Birkenau and turn it into a museum to honour the victims and ensuring that the suffering and acts were never forgotten. A moving visit with reflective prayers at the memorial.

    Evening: farewell drink gathering followed by dinner in the hotel with a drink and water, tea or coffee included.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

  7. Depart for the UK (B)

    After breakfast take the short 20-minute drive to the airport to bid farewell to your Tour Manager and check-in for your return flight to the UK. Guests travelling on later flights can store their luggage at the hotel and enjoy the city further before their pre-arranged transfer to the airport.

    Key to symbols: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, AT = Afternoon Tea, D = Dinner, DR = Drink

Essential Information

Included excursions

  • Guided walking tour of Kraków
  • Guided walking tour of the Wawel Castle
  • Entrance and ecumenical worship in St. Mary’s Basilica
  • Day excursion to Częstochowa
  • Jasna Góra Monastery with worship in the basilica of the Virgin Mary
  • Wieliczka Salt Mine tour with worship in the underground chapel of St. John Paul II
  • Guided walking tour of Kraków’ Kazimierz Jewish District
  • Visit and guided tour of the Oskar Schindler Factory
  • Visit of Wadowice and entrance to the former home of Pope John Paul II
  • Visit of the Papal Basilica in Wadowice
  • Visit and guided tour of Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps and memorial with worship

Optional excursions

Classical evening concert. Payable locally to your Tour Manager. Approx £28.

Included extras

  • Hotel porterage
  • Personal audio guiding system
  • All entrance fees
  • All hotel, guide, driver and restaurant gratuities
  • Optional ecumenical worship with our ordained Tour Leader

Included meals & drinks

Meals: breakfast each day is an excellent full cold and hot buffet. All dinners are included, with two being in atmospheric local restaurants and four being in the hotel. One lunch is also included in a local restaurant in Częstochowa.

Drinks: welcome and farewell drinks. With the two dinners outside of the hotel and the lunch we include a beer, wine or soft drink plus water and tea or coffee at the end of each meal. For the four dinners in the hotel water and tea, coffee are included. All other drinks are at your own expense.

Our team in Kraków

This holiday includes a knowledgeable Tour Manager and qualified local guides to bring the stories and history of the region to life. Also, our dedicated McCabe ordained faith leader is there solely for our guests and will arrange optional ecumenical worship, some in the historical locations visited. They will escort all excursions and be available for any queries.

Your journey

The flight is direct to Kraków with easyJet from London Gatwick. Flights to Kraków from other UK regional airports may be available. Please enquire at time of booking and we can research this for you.

Our airport UK representatives will assist you with check-in and on arrival in Kraków you will be met and transferred to the hotel and meet with your Tour Leader, Local Tour Manager and fellow pilgrims for pre-dinner drinks and dinner.

Outbound

Flight EZY 8821 departs Gatwick: 10:20           arrives Kraków: 13:50

Return

Flight EZY 8822 departs Kraków: 11:00            arrives Gatwick: 12:35

Length of flight to Kraków: two hours and 30 minutes

Flight times are subject to change and confirmed with your final paperwork

Your hotel

GOLDEN TULIP HOTEL CITY CENTRE (4*) - Six nights

Situated less than 500 metres from the main square and within easy walking distance from the Old Town, the Cloth Hall and local tourist attractions. This is a great location for exploring Kraków as well as evening strolls to enjoy the atmosphere of local restaurants, bars and street entertainment.

Hotel facilities: restaurant, bar with a comfortable lounge area, 24-hour front desk and room service. Complimentary WiFi is available throughout the hotel.

Your room: double or twin rooms with a large Queen size bed or two singles. All are equipped with air-conditioning/heating, tea and coffee making facilities, satellite TV and safe.

Your bathroom: bath tub or shower cubicle, hairdryer and complimentary soap, shampoo and shower gel are provided.

Practical information

Entry requirements

British Citizen and EU Citizen Passport holders can currently enter Poland freely with no restrictions or other documentation required. Stays within the EU can be up to 90 days (can be spread over multiple visits) within any 180-day period.

Please note your passport must be valid for three months after your return from Poland.

Full details of entry requirements and any required vaccinations will be detailed in your final paperwork 14 days before departure.

For the latest and most up to date travel advice including entry requirements please consult the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office travel advice website.

www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice

Health & wellbeing

For travel within the EU you should ensure that you have the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) which is free of charge.  You can apply for the GHIC card by calling 0191 218 1999 or applying on line at…

www.nhs.uk/ghic

The level of cover offered by the GHIC card varies by country visited and is only applicable in state-run health facilities. In some countries coverage may just be a partial contribution.

Adequate insurance cover will be required for all hospital emergencies and doctors’ visits.

Climate

In Kraków the average minimum and maximum temperatures during your stay are listed below.

 May: 10-21            June: 12 - 23               September: 10 - 21

Weather is similar to an average UK summer and rain falls on an average of six to nine days a month. Temperatures do drop in the evening so do bring some warmer wear so that you can stroll the Old Town that will be right on your doorstep.

Clothing

Dress is casual throughout the holiday. You may wish to take one or two smarter items for the evenings, particularly for the optional classical concert where jeans and casual wear where may not be permitted, however this is not a black tie event, just smart casual. Gentlemen are asked to wear a shirt (no jacket necessary) and ladies a dress or two piece outfit (trousers or skirts are fine). Cool casual clothing is recommended in the day time with evenings in the hotel being smart/casual. As the sightseeing visits require a certain amount of walking, we suggest you take a pair of  good comfortable shoes with a cushioned sole.

Mobility

There is a certain amount of walking (and stairs) involved on a daily basis on this holiday so please make sure you pack comfy footwear for this so that you are prepared. Your Tour Manager will keep you updated on a daily basis with what to expect the following day. If you are finding it difficult to keep up then please make sure you tell your Tour Manager who can help you to find places to rest and relax and then you can re-join the group at a later stage.

Some streets in the city centre, Jewish Quarter as well as on the excursions will be cobbled. We suggest you take a pair of comfortable shoes with good grips or trainers. For your guided walking tours in Kraków, the Jewish Quarter and Auschwitz you must be prepared to be on your feet for up to 90 minutes, walk one and a half kilometres and be able to manage two to three flights of stairs to gain the maximum enjoyment from this tour and take full part in all activities.

The McCabe Educational Trust

The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on some of our pilgrimages. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.

McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £20 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.

Travel insurance

Ensuring that your holidays are appropriately protected is one of our main priorities. That’s why we have specifically chosen Holiday Extras as our *preferred travel insurance provider to ensure that you are protected before and whilst you are travelling. Holiday Extras offer McCabe Travel guests favourable rates for single trip, multi-trip and annual policies.

For more information or to obtain a quote click below for their website

https://www.holidayextras.com/travel-insurance

Or call them on 0800 083 3551 to speak to a friendly advisor.

Please quote AG628 upon calling to receive the best rates

Full financial security

All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.

AITO Quality Statement

McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.

You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website here

 

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Dates

Our Programme Tour Leader Tour Dates Availability
Krakow Pilgrimage of Remembrance Poland Departing From Gatwick Prices from £1749 pp The Very Revd Geoffrey Marshall 09/06/2024 for 7 days Download brochure Book now Make an enquiry
Krakow Pilgrimage of Remembrance in association with The Tablet Poland Departing From Gatwick Prices from £1799 pp Call for Details 14/09/2024 for 7 days Download brochure Book now Make an enquiry

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