The Best of Poland
In the Footsteps of St. John Paul II & St. Faustina
Krakow, Auschwitz , Lagiewniki, Prague, Salzburg, Mariazell, Vienna & Budapest
Krakow, Auschwitz , Lagiewniki, Prague, Salzburg, Mariazell, Vienna & Budapest
206 Tours invites you to join us on a pilgrimage through Poland: land of chapels, mountains, and shrines. On this journey, we will follow in the footsteps of three great Polish saints- St. John Paul II, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and St. Faustina- as we embrace the culture of the Polish people centered in Krakow. On this pilgrimage we return to Krakow every night, providing several opportunities to truly get to know one of the oldest cities in Poland. We entrust our pilgrims and journeys to the maternal protection of Our Lady of Czestochowa.
On this trip you will have the opportunity to embrace the homeland of St. John Paul II. Walk in his footsteps from where he was born and baptized, to where he later spent his time visiting as pope. In Lagiewniki we will pray in the Shrine of Divine Mercy and be drawn closer to the life of St. Faustina and Christ’s message of mercy. At Auschwitz we will encounter the reality of the holocaust and pray for the departed souls as St. John Paul II did, while also celebrating the heroic martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe, who gave up his life for another prisoner.
Join us for beautiful mountainsides, magnificent churches, colorful marketplaces, and inspiring stories about the lives of these Polish saints!
Your trip includes
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Day 1: Depart for Krakow
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight(s) to Krakow. Your meals will be served on board.
Day 2: Arrive Krakow
Welcome to Poland! Upon arrival at Krakow Airport, 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. After a warm welcome to Poland, you will be escorted to your hotel. Enjoy a free afternoon to stroll the quaint streets of Krakow before meeting your group for dinner. You will meet your fellow pilgrims over a meal and a show at a local restaurant.
Day 3: Krakow
Following breakfast, your local guide will give you a tour of Krakow as the sound of the silver trumpet from St. Mary’s Tower fills the air. We will start with a visit to Wawel Hill and Wawel Cathedral to see the tombs of St. Stanislaus (patron saint of Poland) and St. Wenceslaus, as well as the final resting places of various Polish kings, poets, and national heroes. Wawel Cathedral and its Coronation Chapel is among the most important places in Poland, as it was the coronation site of the Polish monarchs and has held numerous pieces of Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Classicist, and Modern art. Next we will make a stop at the Deanery, where both Copernicus and St. John Paul II walked as students. Then we will stroll along Kanonicza street, lined with elegant buildings dating from the 9th – 17th centuries, toward the charming Market Square. Here we will visit St. Mary’s Basilica, famous for the stunningly intricate altarpiece by Veit Stoss. After reflecting on this masterpiece, we will continue appreciating Old Krakow. The surroundings of the square have remained unchanged for almost 700 years and contain buildings of great historic value, such as the Town Hall Tower, the Cloth Hall, and the Burgher’s houses. Today you will have a free afternoon in Krakow before reconvening for dinner and an overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 4: Krakow – Kazimierz - Tyniec - Krakow
This morning we will visit Kazimierz: the former Jewish District of Krakow. For centuries it was the center of Jewish life and culture in Europe, but sadly it was heavily damaged during World War II. Of the impressive multitude of synagogues (there are over 120 of them throughout the city), we will visit Remuh Synagogue and Isaak Synagogue. Our tour will next include a visit to Oskar Schindler’s Factory Museum. After free time in Kazimierz for lunch, we will drive to the 11th-century Benedictine Abbey in Tyniec. This abbey was built on a gorgeous hill on the banks of the Vistula River for natural fortification. The Benedictines founded this abbey in an effort to support reconstruction of the Church and state, necessary for the fragile state of Poland. It has survived many attacks since its founding in 1044, and was rebuilt in the 17th century to include a massive library. This monastery still functions as a home and place of prayer for Belgian monks. We will return to Krakow for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 5: Krakow - Czestochowa – Wadowice – Krakow
Today we will make our way to Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa. This hill-top monastery is home to the beloved icon of the Black Madonna. Tradition tells us that the icon was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist, discovered by St. Helen, and later enshrined. St. John Paul II is said to have made frequent visits to this monastery throughout his life. While here you will have the opportunity to venerate the holy icon as well as the other relics contained within the walls of this 14th century monastery. The ornate decor draws the eyes up to the ceiling, and the heart up to Heaven. We will celebrate Mass in one of the chapels at Jasna Gora. Following this prayerful visit, we will continue to Wadowice, the birthplace of Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II). While in the small city of Wadowice, you will have the opportunity to visit the childhood home of St. John Paul II, which has been expanded to be a museum. We will also pray in the church where this beloved saint was baptized and attended Mass as a child. At the end of this exciting and contemplative day, we will return to Krakow for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 6: Krakow - Zakopane - Krakow
Following breakfast, we will venture through the Polish mountainside to the remote yet captivating village of Zakopane. We will take a cable car ride to the mountaintop. At the peak, you will have the chance to take in the magnificent glory of almighty God when you look out at the panoramic view. After many photos, we will head into the Jaszczurowka Chapel. This chapel, with its incredibly distinct wooden architecture, was visited many times by the young Karol Wojtyla (St. John Paul II). As a young boy, Karol Wojtyla often used the walking paths surrounding the Jaszczurowka Chapel for prayer and reflection. After we experience this beautiful site that assisted in St. John Paul II’s journey to holiness, we will continue on to the colorful Krupowki Street. While walking through this fun area, you will have the opportunity to do some shopping at the local bazaar before we make our way back to Krakow. We will enjoy a lovely dinner and an optional stroll through the old city before retiring for the evening.
Day 7: Krakow - Auschwitz - Krakow
This morning we will make a short drive to Auschwitz, notoriously known as a Nazi concentration camp during World War II. Upon your arrival to the former camp, you will feel the darkness and sorrow that overwhelms the atmosphere as you recognize the unspeakable atrocities that occurred at this site. In 1979 St. John Paul II celebrated Mass here and gave a remarkable homily, calling us to renew our dedication to the dignity of the human person. While at Auschwitz we will have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of St. Maximilian Kolbe, who certainly lived this message. Seeing every person as another Christ, this man gave up his life for his fellow prisoner who had a family. We will contemplate his sacrifice while viewing the cell that imprisoned him, and visiting the Martyrdom Museum. After a reflective day, we will return to the hotel in Krakow for dinner and a restful overnight stay.
Day 8: Krakow - Lagiewniki (Shrine of Divine Mercy) - Wieliczka - Krakow
On the last day of our pilgrimage, we will make an excursion to Lagiewniki, the capital of Divine Mercy. Through the mediation of St. Faustina, Christ has shown the world His message of Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki. While visiting the Shrine of Divine Mercy we will pray in front of images of the Merciful Jesus, relics of St. Faustina, the saint’s convent chapel, and her tomb. St. John Paul II also visited this important pillar of the modern Church in 2002. We will celebrate Mass at the shrine and have the opportunity to venerate a relic of the great pope as well. We will continue to Wieliczka to visit Europe’s oldest salt mine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes an “underground cathedral” carved entirely out of salt. We will return to Krakow for a farewell dinner and our last overnight stay.
Day 9: Return Home
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, transfer to the Krakow airport for return flights home. You will leave with a heart and mind full of memories and a faith renewed by your Polish pilgrimage.
*206 Tours Disclaimer:
Occasionally local religious and national holidays, weather, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of events or the missing of certain events/places. Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, it should be considered as an indication, rather than a contract of events and places to be visited.
Special Clergy Discount
A Clergy Discount is available to all members of “Clergy” within the Catholic Church. This includes Seminarians, Deacons, Brothers and Sisters, Priests, Monsignors, Bishops, Cardinals, and His Holiness.
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.