Marian Shrines of Europe - Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Bosna & Herzegovina, Croatia (21 days)
John Paul II
Poland, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska
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Visit the most important Marian shrines of Central Europe together with other top attractions of this part of old continent. See one of the world oldest marian shrine of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, or one of the word’s biggest one in Lichen. Climb the Czech Holy Mountain (Svata Hora) or its Austrian equivalent in Mariazell. Pass Esztergom, called "Hungarian Vatican" to reach famous Medjugorje in Bosnia and Herzegovina, well known pilgrimage place related to apparitions of Virgen Mary. One a way discover 5 capitals, many charming towns and beautiful landscapes as well as many valuable monuments of culture and nature listed the UNESCO Heritage sites.
Arrival to Warsaw; welcome dinner. Transfer to the hotel and overnight in Warsaw.
Explore Warsaw, the Polish capital and its main sights. Stroll through the manicured greens of Lazienki Royal Park with its monument of the famous composer Frédéric Chopin, Island Amphitheatre and the neoclassical Palace on the Water. Transfer to the old Jewish quarter and see the remnants of the former Jewish Ghetto and Holocaust memorials like Umschlagplatz and the Monument to the Ghetto Heroes. In the Old Town, a UNESCO Heritage Site, walk along the cobbled streets from the Royal Castle past St John’s Cathedral through the Market Square and Barbican to the New Town, soaking up the medieval atmosphere. Continue onto the Saxon Gardens and Pilsudski Square, the site of John Paul’s II celebrated mass during his first pilgrimage to Poland, when he spoke the famous words: "May the Holy Spirit descend and renew the face of the Earth, this Earth.." – a message which became true after the fall of communism in Poland. Overnight in Warsaw.
Monday Warsaw – Niepokalanow – Lichen
Transfer from Warsaw to Niepokalanow, a franciscan catholic community founded by Friar Maximilian Kolbe in 1927. Visit the Shrine of St Maximilian Kolbe – a great promotor of consecration and entrustment to Mary, who was later canonized as a martyr-saint for sacrificing his life in a Nazi death camp in Auschwitz for a fellow prisoner. Continue the journey towards Lichen Stary. Visit the shrine to the Virgin of Lichen with its famous Way of the Cross (Golgotha), the monument to Pope John Paul II and the shrine blessed by the Pope – the biggest one in Europe, the seventh-biggest in Europe and the eleventh-biggest in the world. Enjoy a stroll with your local guide around the sanctuary. Overnight in Lichen.
Tuesday Lichen – Czestochowa – Krakow
In the morning transfer to Czestochowa, home to the most important Polish shrine of Virgin Mary which attracts millions of pilgrims each year and was also visited by Pope John Paul II. Visit the monastery of Jasna Gora with the famous altar of the Black Madonna, the monument to the parents of the Pope and the inscription on the door in his honour. We continue our journey towards Krakow. Overnight in Krakow.
Wednesday Krakow – Lagiewniki
Krakow, the former royal capital, fully deserves its position on the first everpublished UNESCO World Heritage List. The city has many links to John Paul II who lived here in his youth and later was appointed the Bishop and Metropolitan of Krakow. Visit the Wawel Hill with the XIV century cathedral and the Wawel Royal Castle with an arcaded courtyard – the former seat of Polish kings. Our tour continues through the Market Square in the Old Town with its iconic landmarks such as Sukiennice Cloth Hall, St Mary's Church and Town Hall Tower. Continue onto the medieval fortifications of Barbican with Florian's Gate. In the afternoon visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Lagiewniki blessed by John Paul II. Although it is the newest sanctuary in Krakow it attracts thousands of pilgrims due to the relics of St Faustina buried here. Visit the monastery where St Faustina Kowalska lived and the basilica with the famous image of Merciful Jesus. Free time to attend a mass at the shrine. Overnight in Krakow.
Thursday Krakow – Kalwaria Zebrzydowska –
Wadowice – Wroclaw
Transfer to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska (UNESCO), a unique sanctuary of 42 picturesque chapels scattered around the surrounding hills of Beskidy Mountains, resembling the landscape of the Holy Land. Kalwaria’s chapels symbolize the perfect union of the worldly with the spiritual and religious values. Transfer to Wadowice, the birthplace of Pope John Paul II. Visit Karol Wojtyla’s childhood home and the basilica where was baptized. Continue the journey towards Wroclaw. Overnight in Wroclaw.
Friday Wroclaw – Swidnica – Wroclaw
Explore Wroclaw - a City of a Hundred Bridges. Its rich history and medieval atmosphere attract millions of tourists every year. Start at the main entrance of the XIII century Cathedral of St John the Baptist located on the Ostrow Tumski island - the oldest part of Wroclaw. Crossing the Tumski bridge we arrive in the Old Town with a cathedral and Wroclaw University, famous for its representative baroque lecture hall Aula Leopoldina. The next highlight on our route is the Centennial Hall (UNESCO). Transfer to Swidnica and visit the Evangelical Church of Peace (UNESCO) – built from wood, straw, clay and sand in XVII century. Overnight in Wroclaw.
Saturday Wroclaw – Czermna – Prague
Transfer to Czermna where we will visit the Chapel of Skulls, one in its kind place in Poland and one of only three similar chapels in Europe. It’s a mass grave of the victims of the Thirty Year War and the Silesian Wars as well as of famines and cholera epidemics. Every bone in the chapel is authentic and the skulls of those who created the chapel were placed in its the centre, on the altar. Transfer to Prague. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Prague.
Explore Prague, described as “the golden city”. Transfer to the Prague Castle, the ancient seat of the kings, now housing the Presidential Palace and various museums. Visit the Royal Castle and St Vito’s Cathedral with the funeral chapel of St Wenceslas – the patron saint of Czech Republic. Stroll around Hradcany Hill and its remarkable baroque cloister of Loreto, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Golden Street. Crossing Charles Bridge we continue our walk along the Royal Route until the Old Town with the Market Square and the Town Hall Tower, to end on St Wenceslas Square. Overnight in Prague.
Prague – Svata Hora – Cesky Krumlov
Transfer to Svata Hora - the oldest and most important pilgrimage site of Marian devotion in Czech Republic. Then transfer to Cesky Krumlov (UNESCO Heritage), and stroll through the medieval town located on the banks of Vltava river. Overnight in Cesky Krumlov.
Cesky Krumlov - Mariazell - Vienna
Transfer to Mariazell, one of the most important pilgrimage sites of Marian devotion in Europe, famous for the ‘silent candles’ situated in the side chapel. Each one symbolizes a central-European country which was ruled by the Soviet Union. The candles were lit for the first time in May 1990 when the last of the countries were liberated from the communist rule. Transfer to Vienna. Overnight in Vienna.
In the morning visit the city of Vienna: stroll along Ringstrasse, Vienna’s main boulevard known for such magnificent buildings as the Museums of Fine Arts and Natural History, the State Opera House, the Parliament, the Burgtheatre, the Town Hall and the Votive Church. A short walk will take in the most beautiful parts of the city centre: museum district (Museumsquartier), Hofburg - winter-residence of the Habsburgs, Kärtner Strasse (shopping street) and the Stephan’s Cathedral. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight in Vienna.
Vienna - Esztergom - Budapest
Transfer to Esztergom, called the "Hungarian Vatican”. Visit the biggest and the most important basilica in Hungary with the largest collection of church dowry in the country. In the afternoon transfer to Budapest. Overnight in Budapest.
Visit the Hungarian capital - Budapest. Start in the district of Pest along the Andrassi Avenue to see the Opera House and the Heroes Square. Filled with statues of the most famous Hungarian kings and dukes, it commemorates a 1000-year anniversary of the city. Continue our walk through Deak Square, see St Stephen’s Basilica and the impressive neo-gothic House of Parliament. Visit Buda, the ancient capital of Hungary, to see the Fisherman’s Bastion from where you can enjoy the beautiful panorama. Stop at St Matthias Church. Overnight in Budapest.
Budapest - Zagreb
Transfer to Zagreb – the capital of Croatia. Visit the Upper Town with its gothic cathedral, the beautiful and ornate St Catherine’s church and the impressive St Mark’s church with its famous colour-tiled roof. Continue to the medieval Stone Gate and “Dolac” - an open-air market which is a must-see for all visitors. Take a scenic drive to the Lower Town with its colourful turn-of-the-century architecture. Its best example is the lovely building housingthe Croatian National Theatre and Opera House. Overnight in Zagreb.
Zagreb - Plitvice Lakes - Split
Transfer to Plitvice, one of the most famous national parks of Croatia (UNESCO). A visit to the Plitvice Lake National Park (entrance included) allows us to admire a beautiful landscape of 16 lakes located on different levels and connected with 92 waterfalls and cascades. In the afternoon transfer to Split. Overnight in Split.
Explore Split, a charming city on the Adriatic Coast. Its historical old town with the III century Diocletian´s Palace was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore one of the world´s most impressive Roman monuments within the atmospheric old city walls and a maze of medieval stone streets filled with restaurants, cafes and shops. Overnight in Split.
Split - Medjugorje
Transfer to Medjugorje, a small town in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Visit one of the Christian world´s most famous monasteries with a local guide. Walk up to the Apparition Hill where Virgin Mary appeared to the village children. Overnight in Medjugorje.
Free day to pray in Medjugorje. Overnight in Medjugorje.
Medjugorje - Mostar - Dubrovnik
In the morning transfer to charming Mostar (UNESCO) to see its famous bridge “Stari Most” (“Old Bridge”). This iconic XVI century structure was destroyed during the Bosnian War and meticulously reconstructed, preserving its original beauty. In the afternoon return to Croatia for a panoramic walking tour of the ancient town of Dubrovnik, surrounded by the shimmering waters of the Adriatic. We will see the most important examples of Medieval Art: Onofrio’s Fountain – the first landmark you will see immediately after walking through the grand Pile Gate, Franciscan and Dominican Monasteries, Sponza Palace and Rector’s Palace and the baroque cathedral of Dubrovnik. Overnight in Dubrovnik.
Price per adult