Poland, Prague, Austria & Budapest17 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 2 nights: Radisson Blu Centrum, Warsaw
- ~ 1 night: Mercure Patria, Czestochowa
- ~ 4 nights: Radisson Blu, Krakow
- ~ 2 nights: Barcelo V, NH and Andels, Prague
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Dorint, Salzburg
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Marriott, Vienna
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Korona, Budapest
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s)
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches. Tips to your guide & driver.
Depart for Warsaw
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight(s) to Warsaw. Your meals will be served on board.
Welcome to Warsaw, Poland! Upon arrival, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Transfer to your hotel. Following check-in at your hotel, your pilgrimage will officially begin with Mass. Following Mass, enjoy a delicious dinner and have the opportunity to explore the city of Warsaw before retiring for a restful overnight.
Your day will begin with breakfast followed by Mass at St. James Church, iconic for its tower and square base. This church is where Helena Kowalska prayed extensively upon entering Warsaw. Also, it is where she confessed all that burdened her soul, and asked for the advice of Rev. James Dabrowski which eventually resulted in the Saint entering the convent. Following this prayerful morning, your day of sightseeing begins. Your group will explore the Old Town, comprised of beautiful maze-like cobblestone streets and picturesque architecture that are symbols of Poland's successful rebuild following its destruction during World War II. Some of the sites will include the Market Square (the center of the city filled with restaurants, cafes and shops), the Barbican, defense-like structures that have been rebuilt following World War II, and the Warsaw Ghetto monument that commemorates the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943 during World War II. You will also take in the Lazienski Park, a beautifully landscaped park, the Chopin Statue (a large bronze statue of musician, Frederic Chopin), and the Royal Castle (the official residence of the Polish monarchs). In the afternoon, visit the Stanislaw Kostka Church and view a special exhibit dedicated to Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko. This priest was a great personality of the Catholic Church, and killed by communists in 1984. In 1987, Saint John Paul II visited here to pray in front of Fr. Popieluzko's tomb. Your tour of Warsaw will conclude by returning to the hotel for a delicious meal, followed by an overnight at your hotel.
Warsaw - Niepokalanow - Swinice Warckie - Czestochowa
This morning, you will enjoy breakfast followed a by a transfer to Niepokalanow. This Franciscan Monastery is in the community of Teresin, and was founded by martyr, St. Maximilian Kolbe. This remarkable saint was arrested by the Nazis and died in Auschwitz, giving his life for the life of another prisoner. Following your visit to this Holy Monastery, transfer to the village of Swinice Warckie. In Swinice Warckie, visit the church of St. Casimir. This historically rich parish is the site of baptism for St. Faustina (formally known as, Helena Kowalska). Little Helena received her first confession, and First Holy Communion, at this parish. Additionally, she and her family attended Sunday Mass and other services at this church. After visiting this simple, yet elegant church, we will continue to Czestochowa. Upon arrival in Czestochowa, you will check-in to your hotel, enjoy a magnificent dinner, and a restful overnight.
Czestochowa - Wadowice - Krakow
Today, you will awake in the home of the grandest pilgrimage shrine of Poland since the 14th century! You will begin your day with breakfast and Mass at Jasna Gora Monastery. This hill-top monastery is home to the beloved icon of the Black Madonna. Additionally, Saint John Paul II is said to have made frequent visits to this monastery throughout his life. Tradition tells us that this icon was painted by Luke the Evangelist, discovered by St. Helen, and later enshrined. While here, you will have the opportunity to venerate not only the Holy Icon, but also many other priceless treasures that are contained within. Following your prayerful visit to the Chapel of the Black Madonna, you will continue on to Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla (Saint John Paul II). While in the small city of Wadowice, you will have the opportunity to visit the church of where this beloved Saint was baptized, and attended Mass as a child. Following this historically captivating experience, continue onto Krakow. Enjoy dinner at the local restaurant before resting up for the next day of activities.
Krakow - Zakopane - Krakow
After breakfast, we will drive through the mountains to breathtaking, yet small and remote village of Zakopane. Take a cable car ride to the nearby mountaintop. At the top, you will truly experience God's magnificent Glory when you look out at the magnificent panoramic view. Following the many photos captured atop the mountain, we will head to the Jaszczorowka Chapel. This architecturally distinct chapel was visited many times by the young, Karol Wojtyla (Saint John Paul II). As a young boy, Karol Wojtyla often used the walking paths surrounding the Jaszczorowka Chapel for much prayer and reflection. After you experience this beautiful site that assisted in Saint John Paul II's Holy journey, you will continue your tour to the colorful, Krupowki Street. While on this street, you will have the opportunity to do some shopping at the local bazaar before returning to Krakow. Enjoy a beautiful dinner and an optional stroll through the old city before retiring for the evening.
Krakow - Auschwitz - Krakow
After breakfast, you will explore Krakow's Market Square as the sound of the silver trumpet from St. Mary's Tower fills the air. The captivating beauty of this square is largely due to the fact that it has remained unchanged for almost 700 years. It contains a number of buildings that hold important historic value such as, the Town Hall Tower, the Cloth Hall, and the Burgher's houses. Following your time in this longstanding square, you will make your way to Wawel Hill, where you will visit the beautiful Cathedral, and Coronation Chapel. These are among the most important sites in Poland as the Cathedral has been the coronation site of the Polish monarchs and has held numerous pieces of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicist and Modern art. Also at this site, you will have the opportunity to pray at the tomb of the patron saint of Poland, St. Stanislaus. Short drive to Auschwitz, notoriously known as a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War. Upon arriving at the former camp, you can feel the darkness and sorrow that overtakes the atmosphere as there were numerous unspeakable atrocities that occurred at this site. Additionally, while on this visit, you will have the opportunity to view the cell that imprisoned the Christ-like, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and visit the Martyrdom Museum. After this reflective day, return to your hotel in Krakow for dinner and a restful overnight.
Krakow - Divine Mercy - Lagiewniki - Wieliczka - Krakow
On your last day of touring, after breakfast depart for your excursion to Lagiewniki, the capital of the Divine Mercy. Through the mediation of St. Faustina, Christ passed on the message of Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki. While here, you will have the opportunity to visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy that contains images of the Merciful Jesus, relics of St. Faustina, as well as, the Saint's convent chapel and her Tomb. Visit and celebrate Mass at the Shrine of Divinity, which was visited by Saint John Paul II in 2002. Following Mass, have to opportunity topray by a relic of Saint John Paul II. Continue to Wieliczka to visit Europe's oldest salt mine which has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Return to Krakow for your farewell dinner and last overnight.
Krakow - Prague
After breakfast we depart for our scenic motorcoach ride (or short flight) to the enchanting city of Prague, a city of domed rooftops, soaring steeples, and countless spires. Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, we begin our tour of beautiful Prague. We will celebrate Mass at the Church of Our Lady Victorious and see there the renowned statue of the Infant Jesus of Prague. We visit Old Town by way of Golden Lane and then go to the Lesser Town to see the medieval Charles Bridge that is adorned with many baroque statues. We will also see St. Nicholas Church, the Astronomic Clock, and the Prague Castle district where we tour St. Vitus Cathedral, St. George Basilica, Loreto Church, Strahov Monastery, and Wenceslas Square. Dinner and overnight.
Prague - Altotting - Salzburg
Leave Prague for Altotting, one of Germany's most celebrated shrines and a city whose purpose is pilgrimage. Upon arrival we'll celebrate Mass at the center of the pilgrimage complex, the Chapel of Mercy. The chapel houses a 13th century statue of the Blessed Virgin to which numerous miraculous cures are credited. While there, we have the opportunity to visit the Basilica, the Panorama of the Crucifixion and St. Konrad's Monastery. Continue to Salzburg, the lovely birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg the city of great houses, mansions, Festival Hall, and the Mirabelle Gardens. Hear the bells of the great Glockenspiel Tower, performed to a melody of Mozart's. Dinner and overnight in Salzburg.
After breakfast, our full day tour begins with Mass at St. Peter's Churchyard. Salzburg is compact and best explored on foot. Narrow, winding lanes and secluded passageways are evidence of its medieval roots. The heritage of the Catholic Church is evident in the Archbishop's Residence and the decoration of the State Rooms, available for viewing. Visit the mighty Romanesque Cathedral, the Nonnberg Convent of Benedictine nuns, and the Fortress Hohensalzburg. We stop at Hellbrunn Palace to enjoy its gardens and hidden trick fountains. Dinner and overnight.
Salzburg - Mariazell - Vienna
After breakfast, we motor east through Austria to Mariazell, the most important pilgrimage place in Austria. We will stop and see the miraculous statue, which is housed in the Lady Chapel or Chapel of Miracles, built directly over the place where Magnus established his monastic cell in 1157. We continue onto to Vienna, Austria's capital. Dinner and overnight.
After breakfast we will enjoy a sightseeing of Vienna, home of Strauss and Mozart and one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We see the spectacular St. Stephen's cathedral, where we celebrate Mass. At St. Stephen’s, we’ll see the miraculous image of Our Lady of Mariapocs, tour the Cathedral and its catacombs, and those strong and brave may climb the 343 steps to the top of the Cathedral spire. Visit of the Schonbrunn Royal palace and summer house with 1,441 rooms including a Hall of Mirrors where Mozart performed at the age of six before a young Marie Antoinette. View of the Belvedere palace well known by its beautiful gardens. Back in the city center, we go to Karlsplatz with its Church of St. Charles Borromeo and Otto Wagner's Stadtbahn pavilions. Somewhere along the way we will have a little coffee break to enjoy the famous Vienna pastries such as Sacher cake. Dinner and overnight in Vienna.
Vienna - Budapest
After breakfast, we depart for Budapest., often compared with Paris, this glamorous city has something to offer every visitor. Enjoy free time to explore Budapest or rest before dinner and a restful overnight.
After breakfast, we will tour the older section of the city. After celebrating Mass at the 13th-century Cathedral of St. Matthew, we will see the Citadel on Mount Gellert, the Royal Castle, Fisherman's Bastion, the Parliament, Heroes' Square, and the Church of St. Stephen. Dinner and overnight.
Budapest - USA
We depart from Budapest Airport for our return flights to the USA.
About your trip
About Krakow & Saint John Paul II:
Karol Wojtyla (Saint John Paul II) was born in the Polish town of Wadowice on May 18, 1920. He moved to Krakow with his father in 1938, where he attended Jagiellonian University and began studying for the priesthood. He was ordained as a priest on November 1, 1946 and went on to continue his studies in Rome until 1948. He returned to Poland that same year for his first pastoral assignment in the village of Niegowic, which lasted seven months. He then was transferred to the parish of St. Florian in Krakow, where he also spent time hiking in the mountains and canoeing with young people click here to read more