Arrival to Warsaw
Upon arrival at the Warsaw Frederic Chopin International Airport, your private limousine will transfer you to an hotel located in the city centre.
After check-in: free time.
Shortly after breakfast we will start the full-day tour of Warsaw focused not only on the Old Town and the Royal Route, but also at the historic Warsaw Ghetto area. With a personal guide, you’ll visit the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews, which perfectly encapsulates the 1,000 years of shared history. Then we will visit the Korczak’s Orphanage, the memorial mound on Miła Street remembering the last bunker of the Jewish Combat Organization, the Nożyk Synagogue, the Jewish Cemetery and the Umschlagplatz which was the place of the deportation of the Warsaw Jewish community to Treblinka.
Our private limousine will take you to Lodz. The city flourished during the industrial revolution and used to comprise four cultures: Polish, Jewish, German and Russian. During WWII the infamous Łódź Ghetto was created and put under custody of Chaim Rumkowski. Our guided tour will take us down Piotrowska Street to Poznanski’s Palace, the Silbersteins’ textile factory, the residences of the big factory owners (Kronsztadt, Arnold Stiller, Hertz) , the area of the former Lodz Ghetto and the largest Jewish cemetery in Europe. We will also have an opportunity to visit the Radegast Station – Lodz Ghetto Memorial from where Jewish people were deported to the Kulmhof and Auschwitz death camps. Overnight stay in Lodz.
Following breakfast we will continue towards Krakow. After arrival and check-in at your hotel, we will meet our knowledgeable guide. On the walking tour, he will show us the beautiful old part of Krakow, the royal capital of Poland – the Wawel Royal Castle, Collegium Maius of the Jagiellonian University and the Market Square with its famous Cloth Hall in the center.
This will be a perfect day to continue our exploration of Krakow – after breakfast we will head to the former factory where Oskar Schindler employed 1000 Jewish workers in 1944. The building now houses an excellent museum. Next door is MOCAK, one of the best art galleries in Poland and nearby also Krakus Mound, prehistoric man-made hill with a splendid view of the town. Then we will head to Plaszow district situated on the opposite bank of the Vistula river, where a concentration camp was located during WWII. There are many remnants which remind us of its existence.
Afternoon is reserved for the picturesque Kazimierz Jewish district including the Old Synagogue (now museum) and the four active (Tempel, Remuh, Kupa, Izaak Jakubowicz) out of the 124 pre-war Cracovian synagogues.
Auschwitz-Birkenau & Wieliczka
We will take the opportunity to travel 60 km west of Krakow to see the Holocaust memorial on the premises of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau. This is one of the most gruesome places on earth and the memorial leaves a lasting impression. Your visit will be accompanied by a professional local guide.
In the afternoon we propose a more positive sight, the Wieliczka Salt Mine, one of the most outstanding attractions in Europe. The guided excursion through the mine will lead you through galleries and chambers on three levels 64 to 135 meters below the ground.
Krakow – Lublin– Kazimierz Dolny
Today we’ll need to wake up and have breakfast earlier to cover all the places we have included in the program. First of all: Lublin – The Polish Jerusalem. In 1580-1764, it was the seat of Va’ad Arba’ Aratzot, the council of the Four Lands, in fact Poland’s Jewish parliament. We will also see the building of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva (now an active house of prayer and a planned Hassidim museum), Chevra Nosim synagogue as well as the Old Cemetery with the grave of rebbe Yaahov Yittzchak, known as the Chozeh or the Seer of Lublin. In the afternoon we’ll visit the former Majdanek Nazi Concentration Camp located in the southern city suburbs. Afterwards, travel to Kazimierz Dolny and overnight in this magical place.
Kazimierz Dolny - Treblinka - Warsaw
This is the last day of our tour, but before going back to Warsaw we will briefly enjoy a visit to Kazimierz Dolny – a marvelous Renaissance town which in the past was one of the most important centres of Jewish culture. On the way to Warsaw we will make a detour to Treblinka, a former labor camp and terrible death factory, now a silent cemetery for more than 800,000 innocent people.
There is a possibility to extend your tour (1 night) by travelling NE to visit the beautiful Great Synagogue in Tykocin (Titkin) and the city of Bialystok. Arrival to Warsaw around 17.00.
FOCUS ON GALICIA
The days 1 to 6 are the same like above.
We’ll start our Galician adventure with Bobowa which has retained much of its shtetl character and still is a centre of traditional bobbin lace-making. The renovated synagogue serves again as a place of worship. On the top of a steep hill that there is a very picturesque Jewish cemetery with the ohel of the first Bobover Rebbe, Shlomo Halberstam and tzadik Chaim Jacob. The graves are a pilgrimage destination for the Hasidim of the Bobov dynasty from all over the world. Afterwards, we’ll continue to Tarnow (Torna), before the war home to twenty-five thousand Jews. There will be an opportunity to see the famous bimah which remained of the local synagogue, mikveh, Jewish street and one of Poland’s oldest and best-preserved Jewish cemeteries. Close to Tarnow is Dabrowa Tarnowska (Dombrowa) with the biggest and most beautifully renovated synagogue in this part of Poland. There’s also a small museum.
Evening and overnight in the capital of Subcarpathia Rzeszow (Rayshe).
Galician shtetls II
After breakfast we’ll head for Lancut (Lantzut) to visit the Jewish Museum, the old cemetery which includes the restored grave of Reb Horowitz, the new Jewish cemetery and the old synagogue built in 1761. Once in Lancut we recommend visiting also the beautiful Lubomirski Family Castle, voted as Poland’s best historical residence. The next destination is the nearby Markowa. In 2016 the Polish president opened in this village the Museum of Poles saving Jews to commemorate all Polish people who risked their lives to help their Jewish neighbors. Further on we’ ll make a short stop in Sieniawa (Shinova) to see the cemetery with the ohel of Ezekiel Shraga Halberstam and continue to Lezajsk (Lizhensk), a Hasidic centre established in 1772 by Rebbe Elimelech, one of the first tzadiks. Elimelech’s ohel is a place of pilgrimage for thousands of Hasidim.
Evening and overnight stay in the lovely, UNESCO-listed Zamosc (Zamoshtsh) founded in 1580 as an ideal Renaissance town.
Zamosc - Lublin
After breakfast we we will see the beautiful Renaissance synagogue, the old slaughterhouse, rebbe’s house, mikveh and the building where the future revolutionist Rosa Luxemburg was born in 1871. Then we leave Zamosc and drive to Lublin and this day continues like Day 7 of the shorter tour.
Kazimierz Dolny - Warsaw
See Day 8 of the shorter tour above.