Poland - The Crossroads of a Continent
With its location between Germany and the old Russian Empire, Poland has been sandwiched between major world powers, as well as playing an important part in European history in its own right.
We start in the city of Krakow, exploring its historic Old Town, with the opportunity to visit nearby Auschwitz for an insight into the country’s often harrowing past. Poland suffered enormously during the Second World War, and while not always easy, it’s difficult to understand the country without confronting this. From this we head to Wroclaw, one of the continent’s best preserved medieval cities with a wealth of impressive architecture and buildings to explore. In Warsaw we learn about the famed Warsaw Uprising, then move on the north east of the country, a land of thick forests and pristine lakes.
At Gierloz we visit the ‘Wolf’s Lair’ – the military headquarters of Hitler during the war – then continue to the Mazurian Lakes, visiting the picturesque old Jewish settlement of Tykocin on the way. In the ancient forests of Bialowieza we look for iconic wildlife including the European bison, and visit the Tatar village of Kruszyniany – a different and little known aspect of Polish culture. We make our way back to Warsaw through the pretty region of Podlasie, with its painted houses and pretty tradtional farms.
A mixture of cities, wildlife and rural traditions, this tour delves into the history and culture of a rather charming, and too often ignored, corner of Europe.