– Auschwitz: The largest concentration and extermination camp created by the Nazis during WWII on the 27th April 1940. Learn about the Holocaust and the harrowing stories of the Jews.
– Riese Complex: A huge underground secret city, built to house up to 20,000 high ranking Nazis, this underground labyrinth is a relic of Nazi ambition during the Second World War.
– Wolf’s Lair: The top-secret military headquarters established by Adolf Hitler during WWII. Hitler spent over 800 days here between 1941 and 1944 and survived an assassination attempt during the failed Operation Valkyri.
Upon your arrival at our hotel Best Western Hotel Felix, Warsaw” we will get you checked in and settled into your room before we meet up as a group for the first time. We choose to hold our welcome meetings in a relaxed environment over some delicious local food, it’s a great way to break the ice and for you to get to know us and your fellow travellers.
Best Western Hotel Felix, Warsaw 3*
Today the adventure begins with a day of sightseeing around Poland’s capital city, Warsaw. Warsaw is referred to as the city of contrasts and paradoxes. During WW2 under Nazi occupation the city suffered massively and was nearly totally destroyed. The Jewish community suffered greatly in the Warsaw Ghetto which was the largest Jewish Ghetto in Nazi-occupied Europe.
Visit the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising, a state-of-the-art museum dedicated to the brave men and women who stood up and fought for what they believed in as they attempted to liberate themselves from Nazi Occupation, the Warsaw Uprising began on the 1st August 1944 lasting a total of 63 days. The museum is really impressive and inspiring.
Next we will visit the area of the Warsaw Ghetto, almost nothing remains of the former ghetto after the uprising and war however it’s still an incredibly important area to visit to understand the hardships the Jewish community suffered. While much of the area is now residential signs of the past still remain such as the monument to the Umschlagplatz, a holding area created by the Nazi’s where the Jewish people were gathered for deportation to the death camps.
We will also visit the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a wonderful museum that tells the story of how the first Jewish people came to Poland and details a timeline of events over the years leading to the Holocaust during Nazi occupation which resulted in around 90 percent of the 3.3 million Polish Jews losing their lives.
Our last significant visit of the day is to the Pawiak Prison Museum. Founded in 1965 the museum was constructed in the original foundations of the surviving underground casemates of the prison which in 1944 was destroyed by the Nazi’s. Little remains of the original prison but the museum details one of the darkest chapters in Warsaw‘s history and is a chilling reminder to the horrors that occurred on the site.
This morning we leave Warsaw en-route to Gdansk, it’s about a 4 hour drive through beautiful countryside including the Masurian Lakes. Our first official stop of the day is in Gierloz as we visit the Wolf’s Lair, the former top-secret, high-security military headquarters established by Adolf Hitler in 1941 during World War II. The Wolf’s Lair is hidden deep within the forest and contains approximately 80 buildings and bunkers, the base was a favorite of Hitler’s with him spending more than 800 days there between 1941 and 1944. On the 20 June 1944 Adolf Hitler survived an assassination attempt at the Wolf’s Lair, part of the failed Operation Valkyri.
Continuing on we have a short drive to the Mauerwald Bunkers, very much like the Wolf’s Lair but on a much bigger scale with over 200 buildings and bunkers. When Hitler spent time at the Wolf’s Lair his high ranking officials would take up residence at Mauerwald. Another striking difference between the two is that Muerwald was not destroyed when the Nazi’s retreated and most of the buildings remain today. You will have the opportunity to explore what remains.
Lastly, we visit the Masurian Canal, an unfinished canal system around 51km long. Construction of the canal began in 1911 for a short period of time before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. Work on the canal would only resume in 1934 with ongoing work up to 1942, a total of 8 road bridges were built over the canal, all of which were destroyed as the Nazi army retreated the advancing Soviet forces. A chilling reminder of Nazi occupation remains with an imprint in the concrete wall where the Reichsadler was once placed.
Hotel Orle, Gdansk 3* – Breakfast
Today we explore the port city of Gdansk, a hugely significant city in the history books as on 1st September 1939 a Nazi battleship fired on Gdansk and the world went to war. This event was the first action of WW2 and the catalyst of mankind’s darkest period in the ultimate battle against Hitler’s Nazi Germany.
Visit the famous Post Office a symbol of Polish resistance and bravery. On 1st September 1939 the post office personnel took up arms and defended the building for over 15 hours against an onslaught of attacks by SS Heimwehr Danzig. Upon surrender, all captives were sentenced to on 5th October 1939. Outside the post office stands a beautiful memorial commemorating their heroic sacrifice.
Next, we visit the Museum of the Second World War, a detailed and thought-provoking museum. The museum itself covers almost 2.5 acres and is divided into three spheres representing the past, present, and future. The museum focuses on three narratives “ The Road to War”, “The Horrors of War” and “The Wars Long Shadow”. In total there are around 2000 exhibits. We recommend two to three hours to see everything.
The rest of the day you are free to further explore Gdansk at your own pace.
Hotel Orle, Gdansk 3* – Breakfast
After an early breakfast we set out for Uniejow our Base for the night. Along the way, we will stop off at Torun, one of the oldest cities in Poland and said to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. The first settlement in Torun dates back to the early 8th century and was later expanded by the Tectonic Knights. The city sustained no damage during WW2 and is beautifully preserved, in 1997 the city’s medieval part was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Visit the Museum of Gingerbread, famous for you guessed it gingerbread! Take part in an interactive show and learn how to make beautiful traditional gingerbread as it was made in the Middle Ages. Guided by a master of bakery along with a gingerbread witch and craftsmen in this fun and delicious activity. Leaving the museum you will have one-hour free time before we hit the road again.
Continuing our journey to Chelmno nad Nerem the site of the first extermination camp in Poland by the Nazi’s in 1941. At Chelmno the Nazis would perform experimental gassings mainly by using vans to poison victims with carbon monoxide/exhaust fumes. Our local guide will tell the horrific story behind Chelmno while guiding us around areas of interest and we will pay our respects at a memorial dedicated to the innocent people who lost their lives.
Hotel Uniejow, Uniejow 4* – Breakfast
This morning we head to Wroclaw which is around a two-hour drive. Wroclaw is a little different from many of the places we’ve visited in the sense the city became pro-Nazi. The Nazi party received 43.5% of votes in the 1932 election, although it was actually part of Germany at the time. Wroclaw was virtually left alone until towards the end of WW2 when the Soviet army besieged the city, Festung Breslau (Fortress of Wroclaw). The city was defended till the end of the war, 4 days after the fall of Berlin.
Accompanied by a local guide we will explore the city taking in many of its sights and learning about its long history.
Hotel LOTHUS, Wroclaw 3* – Breakfast
Today starts with a visit to KL Gross-Rosen concentration camp. Established in 1940 Gross-Rosen was a complex of around 100 subcamps across eastern Germany, Czechoslovakia and occupied Poland. At its peak, Gross-Rosen camps accounted for approximately 11% of the incarcerated across the Nazi concentration camps. Slave labour was carried out at the camp in a huge stone quarry with the Jewish people forced to work for food only. In 1941 over 3000 Soviet POWs were transferred to Gross-Rosen by the SS for execution by firing squad.
Next, we visit part of the Riese Complex, the Underground City of Osowka a relic of Nazi ambition. Construction of this huge underground complex began in 1943 continuing until the end of WW2 in 1945. Some 13,000 forced labourers from nearby concentration camps were sent to work at Osowka and it’s believed 5000 died while digging out the mountain, from disease, hazards of the job and malnutrition. You will venture deep into the underground city experiencing the conditions for yourself and learning about its dark history.
Last but not least we visit the House on the Hill, a beautiful building but hugely significant in terms of history. The house was owned by Helmut James Von Moltek and was the meeting place of the Kreisau Circle, an anti-Nazi resistance movement who opposed the policies of Adolf Hitler.
>Hotel LOTHUS, Wroclaw 3* – Breakfast
Today we head for Krakow as we visit Auschwitz concentration camp, a place of mass genocide that represented the height of Nazi cruelty against mankind. Auschwitz consists of three camps, Auschwitz I which was the main camp and administrative headquarters, Auschwitz II-Birkenau which served as a combined concentration and extermination camp and Auschwitz III-Monowitz which acted as a synthetic-rubber labour camp. Of the 1.3 million people that were sent to Auschwitz, at least 1.1 million died with approximately 90 percent of them being Jews. Around one in six Jews killed during the Holocaust died at Auschwitz.
We will spend approximately 3 .5 hours in Auschwitz I, guided by an expert guide you will learn of the horrors, explore the buildings, view exhibitions and the relics left behind by those sadly lost during this dark time in history. We will also visit Auschwitz II-Birkenau, while a shorter visit we will still visit many areas of interest.
Czarno Na Bialym, Krakow 3* – Breakfast
Today is all about Krakow, a city that came out of WW2 relatively intact in terms of damage and destruction. This is largely down to it being taken early in the war by the Nazi army, with the city surrendering without a shot being fired. Hans Frank was appointed Governor-General of Krakow and continued to develop the city.
First, we visit the Krakow Ghetto, one of five Jewish Ghettos created by the Nazis in occupied Poland during WW2. The ghettos were created to exploit, terrorise and persecute the local Jewish population, as well as being a means to separate “able workers” from those who were deemed surplus to requirements. The Krakow Ghetto was liquidated in June 1942 until 1943 with most being sent to their deaths in nearby extermination/concentration camps. We will walk the streets of the ghetto with our local guide visiting points of interest along the way.
Next, we visit what is perhaps one of the most famous buildings in Poland thanks to Spielberg’s blockbuster “Schindler’s List”, Schindler’s Factory. Oskar Schindler was a German industrialist, he was also a member of the Nazi Party but he is credited with saving the lives of 1,200 Jews during Nazi occupation and the Holocaust by hiring them to work in his factory. Our local guide will accompany us to the museum as there is a lot to take in.
To finish the day off we will enjoy a walking tour around Krakow’s Old Town.
Czarno Na Bialym, Krakow 3* – Breakfast
This afternoon we leave Krakow and return to Warsaw, the morning is yours to further explore this beautiful city. The drive back to Warsaw is around 4 hours. Upon arrival, we will get checked into the hotel and head out for a farewell meal.
Best Western Hotel Felix, Warsaw 3* – Breakfast
Trip ends, checkoutis around 11am.
Best Western Hotel Felix, Warsaw 3* – Breakfast
– Price promise: We have some of the most competitive pricing in the industry, however, if you find a like for like trip cheaper we will match the price. The price advertised is the price you will pay, we will never increase the price once you are booked on and if we reduce the price of your trip we will refund you the difference.
– Small group travel: “Small groups, Big adventure” is our company motto. Travel is all about discovery and unique experiences, sometimes too many people can spoil individual experiences, that’s why we limit most of our trips to just 14 travellers.
– Accommodation: The accommodation used on this trip is classed as “Standard”. The hotels are usually rated between 2* to 4*. We always aim to be within walking distance of the city centre however we can’t always guarantee it.
– Trip pace: Our “Full On” trip pace category is for travellers who like their trips full of daily activities, visiting as many amazing locations as possible. Often these trips involve early morning starts and some long days.
– Detailed trip notes: Are you wondering if this is the right trip for you? For a more in-depth look at the trip please view our Detailed trip notes.
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