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Treasures of Northern Poland


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Introduction

After the fall of Jerusalem, the Teutonic Knights had to search for new headquarters. They found it in Pomerania. Let’s look at the mighty fortress of Malbork - the heart of the state of iron warrior-moks: rich Gdańsk, Elbląg and Toruń - the hometown of the famous astronomer Nicolas Copernicus. Let us visit the picturesque land of Masurian Lakes and, hidden in the dark recesses of the history of the 20th century, Hitler’s headquarters. Have you ever seen such a variety?

Day 1: Warszawa

Flight to Warszawa. Overnight stay in Warszawa.

Day 2: Warszawa – Mikołajki (approx. 221 km)

In the morning we will show you the Old Town, St. John’s Cathedral and the Royal Castle - once home to the royal family and seat of the old Polish parliament, today houses the Castle Museum. We will then take you to one of the most beautiful parks in Warszawa – Łazienki. It used to be a hunting ground but in the 18th century it was turned into an English-style park resplendent with formal gardens and the neoclassical Łazienki Palace which is built on a lake. One of its most important monuments is the Frederic Chopin statue, around which Chopin concerts are held. You will then move onto the Masurian Lake District, visiting en route Wojnowo, which has historically been populated by communities of Orthodox Old Believers. The Nunnery in Wojnowo was established in the mid 19th century as a centre of promoting faith. The church and the cemetery are also worth visiting.

Overnight stay in Mikołajki.

Day 3: Mikołajki – Olsztyn – Lidzbark Warmiński – Święta Lipka – Wilczy Szaniec – Mikołajki ( 205 km)

Today you will visit the beautiful Masurian region. You will start with the region’s capital – Olsztyn, gorgeously located among forests and lakes. The historic part of the town is enclosed in a small area between the Cathedral and the castle where Nicholas Copernicus worked. You will then head for Lidzbark Warmiński, a small town famous for its Teutonic castle which is a  riverside fortress. Then you will move onto Święta Lipka - the most famous Baroque shrine in Poland and a place of pilgrimage renowned for its curative powers. The present complex was built in the 17th century by Jesuits; the church fresco covers the whole ceiling, and the organs are exquisitely ornamented. You will also see Wilczy Szaniec (Wolf’s Lair) - a huge underground military complex which served as Hitler’s headquarters, and another, satellite bunker complex built for the army and the Luftwaffe.

Overnight stay in Mikołajki.

Day 4: Mikołajki – a boat trip down Ostróda-Elbląg canal – Malbork – Gdańsk ( 220 km)

In the morning you will head for Ostróda-Elbląg canal, a remarkable system of waterways linking several lakes with the Vistula Lagoon. Its originality lies in the ability to overcome differences in water levels thanks to a system of locks and ramps. This historic canal is a world class achievement of hydro-technology. After the trip you will head for Malbork, the home of UNESCO-listed Malbork Castle, which is Poland’s finest fortress. It was built by German Teutonic Knights and with its 4.5m thick walls it is a classic example of a medieval fortification. Travel to Gdańsk.

Overnight stay in Gdańsk.

Day 5: Gdańsk – Sopot – Gdynia

Today you will visit the TriCity region starting with the Old Town in Gdańsk. You will walk along the “Royal Way”, taking in such major sights as the 17th century Golden Gate, the Neptune Fountain, which stands in front of the late-Gothic Artus Court, the City Hall and St. Mary’s Church – the largest Gothic church in Poland. Your next stop is Sopot, and here you can enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of a spa resort and forget about the bustle of a big city. It will help to restore your energy before we continue on your journey to Gdynia. The harbour here is home to many famous ships which are open to the public. The city is also a cultural centre with the best music theatre in Poland and an excellent shopping centre.

Overnight stay in Gdańsk.

Day 6: Gdańsk – Bory Tucholskie – Toruń (approx. 240 km)

Today you will head in the direction of Toruń. On the way you will pass through the picturesque district of Bory Tucholskie forest and visit the oldest open air ethnographic museum in Poland in Wdzydze Kiszewskie where you will find 25 unique examples of regional architecture dating from the 18th - 20th centuries.After you arrive in Toruń you will take a walk around the Old Town. The historic centre survived the War and is now in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city’s showpiece attraction is the house where Nicolaus Copernicus was born. Toruń is also famous for its speciality – gingerbread, which has been produced there since the 14th century.

Overnight stay in Toruń.

Day 7: Toruń – Licheń – Warszawa (approx. 350 km)

Today we visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Licheń, the biggest church in Poland famed for its Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Licheń. Travel to Warszawa.

Overnight stay in Warszawa.

Day 8: Warszawa

Departure.