Itinerary proposal, Pilgrimage to Poland

From Pope to Saint…
Discover the homeland of Karol Wojtyla

Follow in the footsteps of Pope John Paul II




Day 1 – WARSAW


“Witamy w Polsce!”  “Welcome to Poland!”  Upon arrival at the Frederic Chopin International Airport in Warsaw your tour escort will be waiting to help you outside of the restricted customs area and will accompany you to your coach. After a warm welcome to Poland depart for your orientation tour of Warsaw or check in at your hotel (depends on flight details).

After celebrating mass depart for your welcome dinner at a local restaurant located in the Old Town area.
Overnight at your hotel.

Warsaw, the capital city of Poland since 1596, is beautifully sited on the major Polish river, the Vistula. Founded in  the early 14th century, it soon became one of the most important towns of the Mazovia Region.   In the course of time, Warsaw gradually gained political and social importance and King Zygmunt III Waza transferred the Polish capital to Warsaw from Krakow. Profiting from its position in the centre of the country,  Warsaw became the residential city of the monarchs. Their power and ambition is commemorated by the many palaces and mansions situated mainly on the edge of the Vistula escarpment and along the present Krakowskie Przedmieście Street. Thanks to the last King of Poland, Stanisław August Poniatowski, who was a great patron of culture and science and who left his imprint on many palaces, churches and other buildings, Warsaw became one of the most progressive cultural centres in Europe.

Because of its capital status Warsaw needed to defend itself many times, most of all during the two World Wars. The reconstruction of Warsaw became  for all Poles a matter of honour and was conducted with unprecedented determination.
To this day, Warsaw  symbolises for Poles the hard fight for survival.
The Warsaw Siren, on the coat of arms, holding her sword and raised shield, is a personification of this fight.

Today’s Warsaw is a city of deserved splendor and prestige.
It is an important administrative, political and economic centre as well as the home of internationally recognised cultural and scientific institutions, many historical places and beautiful churches. It is the capital of a country known to have played a leading role in the breakdown of the Iron Curtain and has subsequently become one of the most successful and advanced of post-communist countries. With its modern appearance it is to some extent a new city, but at the same time  an old one with a rich and beautiful tradition formed  over the last 700 years. Warsaw is on the UNESCO list of cultural treasures of the world’s heritage.








Breakfast at the hotel.

After breakfast your tour escort will meet you at the lobby of your hotel and you will depart for your sightseeing tour of Warsaw – get to know the city that refused to die.

Your tour will include sites such as:

Old Town (the Old Town Market Square, the Barbican, the Castle Square with the Royal Castle and statue of King Zygmunt III Vasa – the king who transferred the capital of the country from Krakow to Warsaw over 400 years ago, the house of Madame Curie)

Royal Route (the Holy Cross Church – where Chopin’s heart is kept, Nicolaus Copernicus monument, the Parliament, Presidential Palace, the Chopin Monument and the Palace on the Water in the Lazienki Royal Park – the former summer residence of Poland’s last king)

Other places of interest (3/9 Zytnia street where St. Faustina entered the convent, the Palace of Culture and Science,  Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, area of the former Jewish Ghetto with monument of Ghetto Heroes, historical squares like Bank Square, Theater Square with Grand Opera Building)

After the city tour we depart to Czestochowa with an en route stop in Niepokalanow at the Franciscan Monastery.





The Monastery situated in the municipality of Teresin is one of the greatest sanctuaries in Poland. It is a significant catholic complex because of the devotion of the founder of Niepokalanow, St. Maximillian Kolbe.  He offered his life and work to Mary, Immaculate Mother of Christ and establish editorial house where Catholic papers were printed. During World War II, Maximillian Kolbe was arrested and sent to the concentration camp in Auschwitz. There he died as a hero , sacrificing his life for another prisoner. According to his heroism, the process of Canonization begun and in 1982, Fr Kolbe was proclaimed a saint. Since June 1983, after  the pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II to Niepokalanow, the monastery has become world famous as a very important international Shrine. 


Arrival in Czestochowa.
Dinner and overnight at your hotel.






Breakfast at your hotel.

After breakfast your guide will meet you at the lobby of your hotel and you will depart for your sightseeing tour of the Jasna Gora Monastery, Black Madonna Shrine. Private mass arrangement possible.

Czestochowa is a town with a 700-hundred-long tradition, picturesquely situated among Jurassic hills, which are unique landscape relicts.  Czestochowa is a spiritual capital for the Poles. It is famous for its historic monuments, especially the Jasna Gora Paulite Monastery, which is one of the most important cultural monuments in the catholic world. It is the 5th greatest centre of pilgrimage in the world, just after Varanasi, Mecca, Lourdes and Rome. The Sanctuary in Czestochowa became really famous and known for its role  as a victorious defensive fortress during the Swedish invasion in 17th century. It strengthened the belief in the extraordinary powers of the sanctuary and the celebrated icon of the Black Madonna which is displayed there. The conviction that the Holy Virgin of Czestochowa acts as a royal protector of Poland was emphasized by the fact that in 1920 the Polish Episcopate proclaimed her the Queen of Poland.  For centuries the magnificent painting of Black Madonna, thanks to  numerous miracles attributed to the image, has turned Czestochowa into one of the major religious shrines in the Christian world. Discover and explore the town regarded as “the beating heart of the nation”, where pilgrims from all over the world arrive.



After the tour we depart to Wadowice – the birthplace of Pope John Paul II.




Wadowice is a beautiful town in the Skawa River Valley at the foot of the Little Beskid Mountains. One of the most interesting monuments in Wadowice is the parish church in  the Market Square. It dates back to the 15th century and has a well preserved Gothic presbytery. This  fascinating little town is a very important place to milions of people throughout the world. It is the birthplace of the greatest dignitary of the Roman Catholic Church, Karol Wojtyła, the first Polish Pope, John Paul II. He was born in May 1920 and spent his youth there. The Pope’s former home is situated in Kościelna Street, near the Market Square. In May 1984, on the  Pope’s 64th birthday, the opening ceremony of  Karol Wojtyla’s house as a museum was held. It houses exhibits relating  to his life and work. Wadowice is a charming place where you can trace the footsteps of one of the best-known sons of Poland.



Our last stop before arriving in Zakopane is the Kalwaria Zebrzydowska Shrine - the second largest shrine in Poland. It owes its existence to Mikolaj Zebrzydowski, who was a squire of Krakow. He decided to build a spacious garden with a spectacular Stations of the Cross similar to those in Jerusalem. This place has been visited by very prominent people such as members of royal families and bishops from all over the World, but the most prominent worshiper was Pope John Paul II, who was also the Honorary Citizen of Kalwaria. In 1999, this place of pilgrimage was entered on the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

Arrival in Zakopane. Dinner at a local restaurant or hotel.






Breakfast at the hotel.

After breakfast we depart to discover the beauty of the Tatra Mountains and get to know the rich culture of the Tatra highlanders.
Explore Zakopane  –the Krzeptówki sanctuary, the Hermitage of Brother Albert – founder of the Albertine Order, visit to the Chocholow village, famous colourful Krupowki street and funicular railway ride up the Gubalowka Hill to enjoy spectacular views of Pope John Paul II’s beloved mountains.




Free time in Zakopane. You will have a chance to buy some unique souvenirs from Poland

A visit to Zakopane is a great opportunity to indulge in a culinary experience and taste famous Polish regional dishes such as oscypek

(smoked sheep’s milk cheese) or kwasnica (sauerkraut soup).

Our next stop is Krakow – one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

Krakow, a royal city with a long and rich tradition, is majestically situated on the Vistula River.
Here, history becomes intertwined with the present day.

In 1040 King Kazimierz Odnowiciel (Casimir the Restorer) transferred the capital of the country from Gniezno to Krakow.  Under the reign of King Kazimierz Wielki (Casimir the Great) during what was known as  “The Golden Age”, trade, crafts, art and science underwent their most intensive development. In 1364 the King founded the Academy of Krakow, which later became the Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest universities in Europe. Many eminent Poles such as Nicolaus Copernicus, John Paul II and Wisława Szymborska graduated from this university.

The structure of this city  of culture was largely left unscathed by World War II and it is a living museum of magnificent palaces and historical treasures. There are 300 ancient buildings and 58 churches and palaces in the area of the Old Town. You can walk along the Royal Route starting from the Barbican and finishing at the Wawel Hill, known as the “Polish Acropolis”,  with its Castle and Cathedral. Here Polish kings were crowned and buried. In the Old Town you can explore the oldest and longest mediaeval square in Europe, the Main Market Square. St Mary’s Church is, known especially for its magnificent hand carved altar masterpiece, created by the famous sculptor Wit Stwosz, is in the Main Market Square.

In 1978, in appreciation of the exceptional historic and artistic value of Krakow, UNESCO included it on its first list of the World’s Cultural Heritage. The city is Poland’s cultural capital and one of the most splendid towns in Europe, is a gem of historic architecture.
It was chosen as a “Capital of European culture” for the year of 2000.

Krakow, described as the “Rome of the North”, is an ancient city with a modern spirit.

Check in at your hotel. Time to refresh. Dinner at a local restaurant.






Breakfast at the hotel.

After breakfast depart for your sightseeing tour of Krakow.

Discover the stunning, historic and culture packed city of Krakow. You will begin your tour by visiting the picturesque Main Market Square with the impressive Cloth Hall which has been the local market place for centuries. Visit the St. Mary’s Church with the extraordinary Wit Stwosz wooden altarpiece with more than 200 carved figures and hear the famous silver trumpet of the bugler from the Tower of the Church.
Continue your tour by visiting the charming Gothic courtyard of Collegium Maius (Great College), the oldest building of the Academia Cracoviensis. Stroll along Kanonicza and Grodzka streets to reach the Royal Castle situated on the Wawel Hill. Wawel Cathedral is also a must see Wawel Castle sight. This cathedral was the sight of royal coronations and burial site for Polish kings. Richly decorated chapels, some dedicated to past rulers, contain examples of elaborate art pieces and relics.



Lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch depart for your sightseeing tour of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp – one of the most terrifying and touching places in the world.



Auschwitz. A concentration camp, established by the Nazis in 1940 in the suburbs of the town of Oświęcim, which was occupied by the Germans during the Second World War. The name of the town was changed to Auschwitz, which also became the name of the camp and is a symbol of martyrdom.  Originally the camp was to be a place for the extermination of Poles. In 1942 it became the site for the greatest mass murder ever committed against citizens of many countries. European Jews were especially targeted as part of Nazi plan for the complete destruction of that nation. Some 1.5 million people of 28 nationalities died there as a result of starvation, forced labour, executions, torture and criminal medical experiments. Twenty-eight one-storey brick blocks, surrounded by a barbed wire fence, comprise the oldest part of the encampment. It is entered through a gate topped with the inscription “Arbeit Macht Frei”, meaning “Work Makes Free”. In some of the blocks there are exhibitions of piles of artificial limbs, spectacles, shoes and suitcases that were once the property of the victims. In the second part of the camp, which is called Birkenau (Brzezinka), are situated the ruins of gas chambers and crematoria. It is the largest “cemetery” in the world.
You will see the cell that imprisoned St. Maximillian Kolbe. In 1979 the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was entered on the UNESCO international list of world heritage sites.  The National Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau is one of the most important research sources for the history of the 20th-century humanity.

After the tour return to Krakow for overnight.






Breakfast at the hotel.

After breakfast depart to Lagiewniki - the capital of the Divine Mercy. It was here that the message of the Divine Mercy originated and was passed on through the mediation of St. Faustina.  Visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy with St. Faustina’s convent chapel and Tomb.
Private mass possible at the Chapel. Time to pray and reflect.

Return to Krakow. Free time.

In the evening depart for your sightseeing tour of the stunning underworld of the Wieliczka Salt Mine.





Wieliczka is the oldest European salt mine, situated 13 km from Cracow. It is an impressive underground world of salt chambers, halls, galleries, fabulous salt lakes and beautiful sculptures carved from the rock salt. It offers a fascinating journey through airy chambers carved from the rock salt on three levels between 64 and 135 metres below the ground. Due to its pure clean air, Wieliczka, apart from its role as a most attractive underground site, has been granted the status of a health resort. In 1978, Wieliczka was acknowledged as a monument of national culture and registered in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage list.  On the world scale of sites it is exceptional and is one of the wonders of Poland.
After the tour enjoy your farewell dinner with a live, colourful folklore performance.
Overnight at your hotel in Krakow.






Breakfast at the hotel.

Today we say goodbye to Poland.   “Do widzenia!”  a nostalgic “Until we meet again!”  but a promise to return. 
Your escort and coach will be ready to take you to the Balice International airport for your flight home.



Thank you for visiting Poland