Trip Overview

Travel deep into the heart of southern Poland with AdventureWomen in 2021, a centuries-old time capsule of culinary and folk-art traditions. Divide your time equally between charming Zakopane in the Tatra Mountains and the stunning medieval city of Krakow, where uniquely local experiences offer the perfect backdrop for new friendships. From cooking classes and market visits to a river float trip and salt mine exploration, revel in the colorful customs and boundless hospitality that keep this a truly original corner of Eastern Europe. 

Bring your spirit of exploration, and your appetite, to Poland’s charmed Malopolska region, a tapestry of idyllic mountain landscapes, the old-world traditions of its Highlander (gorale) culture, and the intriguing heritage of its capital city, Krakow. Meet your AventureWomen traveling companions in beautiful Krakow and catch your breath during a relaxing overnight before heading to Zakopane, your home for the next four days. En route, stop for a delicious homemade village lunch, the perfect introduction to the local cuisine and to one another!

Follow your expert, companionable Polish guide into the heart of the culture to learn both its history and unique local lore. You are also accompanied by an AdventureWomen Ambassador, committed to helping make your experience a fun and personally rewarding adventure, and cheering you on as you reach beyond your comfort zone to take on new challenges in your own unique way!

Have your wooden spoons at the ready as you participate in preparing the favorite regional dish, moskole: potato pancakes with meat and mushrooms. Kudos for your delicious lunch! Drive into Pieniny National Park and embark on a scenic float trip aboard a traditional wooden raft once used to move logs down the Dunajec River. Soaring cliffs and the rugged Tatras peaks give way to the splendid 360-degree views of the Dunajec River Gorge. Dinner is at your leisure for two nights in Zakopane offering the chance to explore local dining with new friends. Smacznego – Bon Appetit!

Join the lively local scene during a guided walk through town, and search for the perfect souvenir at the Gubalowka Hill craft market. Nearby, the photographic wonderland of Chocholowska Valley was once the sheepherding center of the Tatras Mountains. Take a scenic hike here, wending your way through forest glades and past picturesque shepherd’s huts. Reward yourself at the end of the day with an optional luxurious spa treatment at your hotel.

In a mountain village near the Slovakian border learn the fine art of painting on glass and create your own precious souvenir. Meet a local celebrity restaurateur for a delicious lunch, then drive along the UNESCO Trail of Wooden Architecture through the mountains, visiting wooden churches, manor homes, and local grocery markets. A special dining and folkloric music and dance experience is the perfect way to savor your last evening in Zakopane.

Turn northward for the return journey to Krakow, stopping at a shepherd’s hut in Bacowa to taste oscypek, the traditional highland smoked sheep cheese. Beautifully preserved Krakow, the medieval jewel that escaped the devastation of World War II, welcomes you for the next two nights. Investigate the nooks and crannies of vast Market Square and medieval Old Town (a UNESCO site) and visit Wawel Cathedral and Castle, Poland’s ancient center of royalty. Explore the fascinating neighborhood of Kazimierz, the city’s former Jewish quarter for 500 years until its destruction during the Second World War. Thanks to Steven Spielberg’s film, Schindler’s List, the neighborhood has been rediscovered and transformed into a lively center of cafes and art galleries.

Your final culinary adventure begins in Stary Kleparz, Krakow’s venerable covered market showcasing traditional Polish food products. Sampling is encouraged! Meet your local chef instructor and prepare to create, and feast on, a sumptuous three-course Polish meal. Next, descend 1,072 feet underground, into the Wieliczka Salt Mine, another UNESCO site, for a guided walk through is tunnels and caverns. Marvel at the chapels, vast murals, and intricate chandeliers artistically carved into the crystal mineral.

Celebrate your adventures with a fabulous farewell dinner in the heart of Krakow’s Market Square. As you savor the flavors you’ve come to love, toast to new friends and culinary camaraderie, to the beautiful landscapes of Lesser Poland, and to the warmth and persevering spirit of its people who so fiercely embrace and uphold their ancestral traditions.

Main Attractions

  • Discover the delicious culinary heritage and colorful Highlander traditions of Malopolska, Poland’s southernmost region
  • In fragrant markets and local kitchens, learn to prepare the favorite recipes of the region
  • Hike through scenic Chocholowska Valley, ride a traditional wooden raft through the Dunajec River Gorge, and descend deep underground to explore the massive caverns of famed Wieliczka Salt Mine
  • Visit the beautiful wooden churches along the Trail of Wooden Architecture
  • Explore Krakow’s Old Town and the city’s old Jewish quarter

What You'll See and Do

  • Architecture
  • Cooking Class
  • Hiking
  • Historical Sites
  • Local Delicacies
  • National Parks
  • Sightseeing
  • Spa Element
  • UNESCO Site
  • Walking
  • Wine Tasting
  • Women-To-Women Exchanges

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Krakow
Malopolska, or Lesser Poland, located in the southeast part of the country, is one of Poland’s most beautiful and delicious regions. In addition to its many unique historic attractions, it is home to the region’s magnificent capital city: Krakow, designated as a European City of Culture in 2000. The Old Town of Krakow was built around Europe’s largest medieval market square, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

During your adventure, you’ll get to know your expert Polish guide, who will help you learn about local traditions and foods, as well as lead you as you explore the lush countryside. You are also accompanied by an AdventureWomen Ambassador, committed to helping make your experience a fun and personally rewarding adventure, and cheering you on as you reach beyond your comfort zone to take on new challenges in your own unique way!

You will be picked up at the Krakow airport and transferred to your hotel. Take the afternoon and evening to get over jet lag. Relax, grab a bite to eat, and get some sleep before your adventure begins tomorrow.
Meals on Your Own

Overnight: Hotel Legend

Day 2

Krakow to Zakopane
Head out of Krakow for Zakopane, a two-hour drive. Stop on the way for a homemade lunch in the village of Dolina Chocholowska, where you’ll get to sample the famous oscypek cheese and highlander tea, which includes vodka!

After settling into your comfortable hotel, relax or head out for a leisurely walk around the town.

Gather for your welcome dinner. You’ll have a chance to continue to get to know the women in your group and to taste some local specialties.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel & Spa Nosalowy Park

Day 3

Zakopane
You’ll drive just about an hour to get to the village where you’ll meet the local women who will be teaching you to cook local specialties today. Learn how to prepare the all-time regional favorite, moskole – potato pancakes with meat and mushrooms, as well as other local recipes.

Drive into Pieniny National Park and embark on a scenic float trip aboard a traditional wooden raft once used to move logs down the Dunajec River. Soaring cliffs and the rugged Tatras peaks give way to the splendid 360-degree views of the Dunajec River Gorge.

Stop at a family-owned inn for a lunch of regional fare and a Polish beer tasting. After lunch, visit Debno Podhalanskie village to explore a timber church which includes unique paintings and precious Gothic sculptures from the 15th and 16th centuries. The church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Hotel & Spa Nosalowy Park

Day 4

Zakopane
Head out on a tour of Zakopane, the winter capital of Poland. Take a leisurely walk along the town’s famous Krupowki Street and stroll a few side streets, learning about the history of the town. Enjoy lunch as a group at a local inn.

Drive to the Chocholowska Valley, the biggest and longest valley in the Polish Tatras at about 6 miles in length. Your hike will be three to four hours, round-trip. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the amazing scenery, local wildlife, quaint shepherds’ huts, and your AdventureWomen friends on the trail!

Enjoy a free evening in Zakopane to shop for locally made handicrafts, experience a luxurious spa treatment at your hotel, or continue to explore Krupowki Street. Enjoy dinner on your own.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Hotel & Spa Nosalowy Park

Day 5

Zakopane

Drive to Bukowina Tatrzanska to the Culture Center & School of Dying Trades. After a brief tour of the Center, take a traditional glass painting class.

Enjoy lunch right in Bukowina Tatrzanska at Schronisko Smakow restaurant, owned by Polish restaurateur and celebrity, Magda Gessler.

After lunch, start driving through Lesser Poland, making short stops at wooden churches, manor houses, grocery stores, and at Chocholow and Witow villages, both on the Lesser Poland Timber Architecture Route. Stop at a local wood carver’s studio for a chance to purchase unique handmade carvings.

Have a dinner of regional specialties tonight complete with folk entertainment and dancing!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel & Spa Nosalowy Park

Day 6

Zakopane to Krakow
Drive to Krakow, which will take about two hours. Visit Bacowka en route, a small mountain shepherd hut, to learn about how oscypek, the traditional local cheese is made. Enjoy a cheese tasting and learn about the unique shapes of each cheese.

Take a walking tour of Krakow, exploring the major sites of this famous city. Visit Market Square, the largest medieval town square in Europe, the 14th century Wawel Castle and Cathedral, and Kazimierz, the former Jewish district.

Drive about 30 minutes to Srebrna Gora vineyard, just outside of Krakow. Enjoy a Polish wine tasting and a delicious late lunch.

Take the late afternoon and evening to explore Krakow. Have dinner on your own at one of the many local restaurants.
Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight: Hotel Legend

Day 7

Krakow
Stop at the fresh food market, Stary Kleparz, a centuries-old Krakow tradition. Locals and visitors come here to shop in an unforgettable atmosphere for fresh, traditional Polish food products. You’ll have the opportunity to taste local breads, cheeses, meats, fruits, and vegetables.

Meet the local chef who will teach you how to prepare a typical three-course Polish meal. The half-day class is both delicious and fun! Feast on what you create for lunch.

Head into the Wieliczka Salt Mine, a virtual underground city with galleries, lakes, chapels, and murals – all carved from salt. Take a three-hour walking tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site; you’ll walk into the mines down many stairs with cooler temperatures in some areas. You’ll want to bring layers of clothing. Don’t worry – you’ll take an elevator back to the surface after the tour. If you’d like to bring your camera in, there is a small fee to take photos.

Go out for a festive farewell diner this evening to celebrate the end of your Polish journey with your AdventureWomen friends!
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight: Hotel Legend

Day 8

Depart Krakow
Say goodbye to your new AdventureWomen friends as you transfer to the airport for your flights home.
Breakfast

If you’d like to continue your adventure, ask us about our extensions to Warsaw and Auschwitz, as well as our hiking extension – details coming soon!

Please note: AdventureWomen will attempt to adhere to the itinerary as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, and cultural) may necessitate changes in the itinerary. AdventureWomen reserves the right to alter any itinerary at any time, if necessary. We will attempt to notify participants of changes as far in advance as possible. Costs incurred by such changes will be the responsibility of the participants. 

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Traveling to Poland



Arrival and Departure Information

May 8th Departure:

Arrive in Krakow, Poland (KRK) on May 8, 2021 any time.

Depart Krakow, Poland (KRK) on May 15, 2021 any time.

October 2nd Departure:

Arrive in Krakow, Poland (KRK) on October 2, 2021 any time.

Depart Krakow, Poland (KRK) on October 9, 2021 any time.

We are happy to help you make your flight and travel arrangements. If you’d like to do anything prior to or following the AdventureWomen trip, we’d be delighted to help you arrange any trip extensions you’re interested in.

Note: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible booking last-minute registrants, we must release hotel rooms two to three months prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Passports and Visas

Citizens of the United States must have a passport valid for six months beyond your travel dates with at least two blank facing pages. If you do not have a passport, please apply now!

Activity Level

We rate this trip as Active. Our Active adventures get you on your feet. You should be in good physical condition and be prepared to hike for up to five hours, multiple days in a row, on uneven surfaces with some steep ascents and descents. Please note that this is a general description of what you might encounter; for specific details about your trip, please consult the itinerary.

We recommend training before your trip (with your doctor’s permission!) to make the most of your adventure. We have a partnership with FitForTrips, a company that will design an individualized fitness plan for you with this itinerary in mind. Best of all, AdventureWomen guests get a 25% discount with the code FITWOMEN. Learn more on the FitForTrips website.

You should come with a flexible, adventurous, and enthusiastic spirit, and a wonderful sense of humor that adventure travel requires.

Health Considerations

Make an appointment with a travel clinic. There are no immunization requirements for travel to Poland, however your local travel clinic may have recommendations for you based on your age, health, and past vaccination history.

For more health information, go to www.cdc.gov/travel and navigate to the page about Poland.

How to Register

Call the AdventureWomen office at (800) 804-8686 to determine space availability and register for this trip. We can complete your registration, including taking your credit card deposit over the phone.

If you prefer, you can register online by clicking “Sign Up for this Trip” on the trip page.

Please be sure to read the AdventureWomen policies before registering!

Preparation and Packing

Once you register for your adventure, we will send you a comprehensive preparation guide including weather information, gratuity suggestions, and a packing list.

As a reference, AdventureWomen typically suggests $200-250 for gratuities on most trips. Detailed information will be provided to you prior to departure.

Forms and Final Payment

The deposit for this trip is $800, and is nonrefundable and nontransferable. Once you book, you will need to fill out and return to AdventureWomen:

  • Information Form
  • Booking Conditions Form
  • Copy of Flight Information
  • Copy of Issuing Page of Passport (Photo Page)

Final payment is due to AdventureWomen in a cash form (check, money order, or wire transfer). A maximum of $1,500 per person can be put on a credit card, which includes your deposit.

May 8th Departure Final Payment Due Date: February 7, 2021

October 2nd Departure Final Payment Due Date: July 4, 2021

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

What's Included

Included

  • Accommodations as per itinerary based on double occupancy
  • All meals as listed in the itinerary
  • All transportation
  • Airport transfers on the arrival and departure days of the trip
  • Fully-guided sightseeing and activities as indicated in the itinerary
  • Bilingual, expert guide throughout the trip
  • Drinking water available in large jugs/from taps to refill personal bottles
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers, hotel staff, and waiters

Not Included

  • International airfare to and from Poland
  • Optional activities
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic beverages (unless otherwise specified)
  • Fees for passport, visas, immunizations, or travel insurance
  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities for head guide

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686

Accommodations

Hotel Legend

Hotel Legend is centrally located in Krakow and features excellent views of the city. The rooms are a comfortable place to kick your feet up after a day of exploring Krakow.

Amenities: Soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer; electricity; Wifi

Hotel & Spa Nosalowy Park

The Hotel & Spa Nosalowy Park has 139 rooms and suites, all designed in Art Deco style with great attention to detail. The former Villa Marilor is incorporated into the hotel; the Marilor was the best-known salon of Zakopane during the interwar period, standing in spacious surroundings and offering an unobstructed view of the Tatra Mountains. Today, the comfortable hotel is the perfect location from which to explore the Tatras.

Amenities: Soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer; electricity; Wifi

Please note that all amenities were current when written and are subject to change at any time.

If you're curious about this trip, we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Call us ~ 1.800.804.8686