Treblinka memorial and orthodox Hajnowka
Morning: After breakfast we set off from Warsaw to the east of Poland. The first stop is Treblinka, where we will visit the poignant remains of the second biggest Nazi German extermination camp.
Afternoon: Lunch break in Ciechanowiec, a small town that was inhabited mostly by Jews before World Word II. We then continue our journey to Hajnowka, one of the key centres of Orthodox Christian faith in Poland. The town’s Holy Trinity Orthodox Church is an excellent example of the contemporary architecture.
Evening: We reach Bialowieza, a picturesque village located in the middle of Bialowieza Forest and famous for its regional wooden architecture.
Bialowieza National Park and european bison reserve
Early Morning: A walk in the Strictly Protected Area to explore the beauty of untouched nature in a multi-species forest with trees that are more than 400-years old. It is one of the last primeval forests in Europe.
Afternoon: We continue our walking tour in the Palace Park and see a 19th century Orthodox Church. This is followed by a visit to the famous European Bison Show Reserve, where the restituted bison (saved from near extinction) live in semi-wild conditions.
Evening: Overnight stay in Białowieża and dinner at a fine local restaurant.
Feast in the Tatar house
Morning: After breakfast, we drive to Kruszyniany, a village famous for a minor Tatar community and an agritourism cottage run by the Bogdanowicz family. This village was a highlight in Prince Charles’ 2010 trip to Poland. We visit an original wooden mosque and learn about the history of the Tatars in the area. We then participate in a regional cuisine cooking workshop (dishes include pierekaczewnik – pasta layered with beef), followed by a Tatar-Polish lunch.
Afternoon: We start our drive to Lithuania, passing through the scenic landscapes of Suwalki Region and Dzukija.
Evening: On reaching Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, we check into a comfortable centrally located hotel where we will stay for three nights.
Morning: After breakfast, we begin our tour of Vilnius, the capital and the largest city in Lithuania. This enchanting city features a number of unique monuments, in particular the Cathedral built on the former site of pagan temple, the famous Gate of Dawn (the pilgrimage point for many generations of Poles), one of the oldest European universities, the Gothic St. Anne’s Church, and the classical Town Hall.
Afternoon: We wander along the charming, crooked lanes of Vilnius to find lunch and coffee in the idyllic atmosphere of the historical core of the city. Optionally, you can visit the Rasos Cemetery, a touching site and the final resting place of Polish And Lithuanian statesmen.
Evening: A dinner of local cuisine in one of the finest restaurants in the Old Town.
Lithuania through the ages
Morning: We set out to Trakai, one of the main tourist destinations in the Baltic States, to visit a 14th century castle built in the middle of a lake and on the largest of three islands.
Afternoon: We move on to a 3000 sq m bunker, locate 25 km from Vilnius, where the authentic atmosphere of the socialist world has been recreated. Upon arrival, we will be dressed in special Soviet-style clothes and be guided into the underground museum. After this time travel to the Cold War ear, we return to present day by heading north to the Park of Europe. The exceptional park is located in the geographic centre of the continent and it is an outdoor exhibition ground of the international modern art.
Evening: Free time and dinner in Vilnius.
Peasants vs nobility - a flashback from the past
Morning: After early breakfast, we start our journey back to Poland.
Afternoon: We stop in Bialystok for lunch. This is followed by a visit to a local heritage park in Wasilkow, where we will take part in handicraft workshops set in the mood of 19th century villages. We then return to Białystok for a lesson in the extraordinary history of this formerly multicultural city.
Evening: We arrive in the charming village of Kiermusy for a trip back in time to enjoy the sarmatic atmosphere of a traditional Polish court. You will be served dishes made according to old Polish recipes and freshly baked bread. Dinner and overnight stay.
A lazy afternoon in a sleepy town
Morning: Free time in Kiermusy.
Afternoon: On the way back to Warsaw, we stop in Tykocin, a fairly small town with a distinctive shtetl character. Today, Tykocin resembles an ethnographic museum with its charming wooden houses, a 17th century synagogue that miraculously survived World Word II and a majestic baroque church.
Return to Warsaw is scheduled at approx. 16:00.