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Between East and West – At the Crossroads of Cultures: Poland, Ukraine, Slovakia (11 days)
Nations and religions that throughout ages have influenced each other have left in the region of the Carpathians a very rich multicultural heritage. You will be deeply impressed by the beauty of Lvov’s monuments, the splendid interiors and golden iconostasis of the Pochaiv Lavra, the powerful, amazing fortresses in Kamyenets and Khotin. Relax in a comfortable Carpathian resort hidden amongst forests untouched by civilization…. Go on an exotic journey in a middle of Europe!
Day 1. Kraków
Arrival in Kraków. Check in. Stroll in the Old Town and welcome dinner.
Day 2. Kraków
Sightseeing tour of the Old Town including The Royal Way with its monuments. Visit the St Mary’s church with the majestic, wooden altar carved by Veit Stoss, and the medieval cloth halls at the heart of the main square. Then a guided tour of the Wawel Hill with a guided visit to the Royal Cathedral housing tombs of the Polish kings. Lunch. Drive to the nearby salt mine in Wieliczka with the underground world of chambers, corridors, chapels and statues carved in salt by the generations of miners – quite unique tourist attraction in the world. Dinner
Day 3. Kraków – Łańcut – Przemyśl – Krasiczyn (260 km)
Morning drive to Łańcut. Visit the famous Łańcut castle belonging to the world largest castle – palace complexes. The castle was built in XVIIth century in early Baroque style, conceived as the palazzo in fortezza. Guided tour through the palace rooms with art collections and the Carriage Museum including more then 50 horse-drawn carriages. Lunch at the palace restaurant. Arrival in border town Przemyśl, famous for its rich multicultural heritage. City tour. Drive to nearby Krasiczyn for dinner and overnight in the splendid Renaissance castle hotel. Night tour by torch-light through the castle’s interiors, caves and crypts.
Day 4. Krasiczyn – Lvov (100 km)
Morning drive to Lvov. Crossing the border with Ukraine. Arrival in Lvov at noon. Check in at hotel and lunch in the old town. Sightseeing tour. Lvov is considered as the western capital of Ukraine and boasts exceptionally rich architectural heritage, strongly influenced by the styles of Byzantine, Gothic, Italian Renaissance, Polish baroque, rococo – with numerous religious buildings from various periods. Dinner. In the evening we recommend a visit to the famous Lvov Opera House.
Day 5. Lvov – Pochaiv – Kamieniec Podolski (360 km)
Departure for Kamieniec Podolski. En route visit to Pochaiv Monastery, also known as Pochaiv Lavra. The monastery was founded by the monks from the Pecherska Lavra in Kiev, who had fled the Tatar invasion. The visitors of the church are impressed by the majesty and beauty of its decoration with plenty of colors and golden iconostasis. Lunch en route. Arrival in Kamieniec Podolski in the late afternoon. Check in. Stroll in the old town and dinner.
Day 6. Kamenets Podilski
Visit the fabulous Kamenets fortress belonging to one of the most powerful and amazing fortresses in Europe (by some called the eighth wonder of the world). The castle was a strategic point on the southern boarder of Poland. It was built around the XIIIth century to protect Poland and consequently Western Europe from the attacks of Turks and Tartars. Lunch. Excursion to Khotyn and visit the powerful Turkish fortress situated on the Dniestr river. The fortress and the area near it was a scene of many great battles between Turks and Slavs. Dinner.
Day 7. Kamenets Podilski – Kolomyia – Yaremche (200 km)
Morning departure for Yaremche. Stop in Kolomyja and visit a charming Museum of Traditional Carpathian Crafts with wood-carvings, wool blankets and leather goods made by hutsul folk. Lunch. Arrival in Yaremche – the most popular spa resort in the Carpathian Mountains. Check in at resort hotel. Dinner
Day 8. Yaremche (day of relax)
Excursion to Dovbush Rocks or Yaremche Waterfalls. The rest of the day at your leisure: enjoy fresh air and view of the mountains and forests untouched by civilization. In the evening a traditional hutsul dinner at a regional restaurant with life hutsul entertainement (music & song).
Day 9. Yarmenche – Uzghorod – Medzilaborce (360 km)
Morning departure for Uzgorod through the picturesque landscape of the Carpathians along the Southern border with Romania. Arrival in Uzgorod in the afternoon. Lunch and stroll in the old town. Crossing the border with Slovakia. Arrival in Medilaborce in the evening. Check in and dinner.
Day 10. Medzilaborce – Kraków (200 km)
After breakfast, visit the museum of the world-wide famous pop artist Andy Warhol. Andy’s parents were born in the nearby village Mikowa. Andy himself never visited this place. When asked about his place of origin, he used to answer: “I come from nowhere”. A brother of Andy Warhol gathered the works of the artist and arranged in 1991 the museum that each year is visited by tourists from over the world. Lunch en route to Krakow. Arrival in Krakow in the late for dinner and overnight.
Day 11. Kraków
Departure after breakfast
Note that Ukrainian visas are required for most countries!