• Polish wine for sale at summer festival
  • Grapes at Jasiel winery in Jaslo, Poland
  • Poland Culinary Vacations guests visiting Adoria vineyard in Lower Silesia region of Poland
  • Delicious food shared with Poland Culinary Vacations guests in Gronkow village, Podhale, Poland.
  • Krakow Market Square, Poland.
  • Oscypki sheep cheese sold at Zakopane, Poland open market
  • Poland Culinary Vacations guests cooking in Obidowa village, Podhale, Poland.
  • Poland Culinary Vacations guests at the Culinary Institute in Cracow, Poland.
  • Chicken livers with apples from Wesele restaurant in Krakow, Poland.
  • Musicians playing for visitors heading on their rafting trip at Pieninski National Park.
  • Poland Culinary Vacations guests having lunch in Gronkow village, Podhale, Poland.
  • Poland Culinary Vacation guests rafting on Dunajec river in Pieninski National Park, Poland.
  • Boleslawiec Polish pottery from Lower Silesia region of Poland.
  • Modern Polish cuisine from Ancora restaurant in Krakow, Poland.
  • Poland Culinary Vacations guests posing in traditional costumes in Dlugopole village, Podhale, Poland.
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Lesser Poland

Overview

Cooking Your Way From Krakow To Zakopane

OUR AUGUST 2017 CULINARY VACATION IS SCHEDULED AROUND THE ANNUAL PIEROGI FESTIVAL BEING HELD IN KRAKOW, POLAND. JOIN US IN 2017 AT THE XV PIEROGI FESTIVAL FOR PIEROGI TASTING, LOCAL BEER, LIVE ENTERTAINMENT AND MORE...

Lesser Poland (Malopolska), 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 and resort attractions, it is home to the region’s magnificent capital city: Krakow, designated as a “European City of Culture” in 2000. The Old Town district of Krakow was built around Europe’s largest medieval market square, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

But Lesser Poland is also home to the highlanders, or “gorale,” as they are called in Polish. And, while we’re in the charming town of Zakopane and surrounding areas, we will spend lots of time immersed in highlander culture: cooking,singing and dancing in their homes and restaurants. The highlanders' rich culinary and cultural traditions make this region one of the most exciting Polish destinations to explore in depth.

Outdoor Attractions:  Lesser Poland offers an exceptionally varied and pristine landscape. First-rate hiking and biking trails run through the Tatra Mountains, offering stunning views of gorgeous scenery. Winter sports facilities and folklore events attract travelers here in every season. This region is also famous for its many fine health resorts and national parks that protect its unique environment. 

Urban Amenities: Krakow, the capital of Lesser Poland, boasts many of the best museums, theaters and architecture in the country. Krakow is also home to one of the world's oldest and most distinguished universities, the Jagellonian University founded in 1364. Krakow's Main Square is filled with unique and beautiful cafés, restaurants, and pubs. The square is frequently used for concerts and artistic events. Cultural events or culinary festivals happen during each month of the year, offering residents and visitors many opportunities for fun and entertainment. We'll dine and cook with Krakow's talented chefs in some of the city’s best restaurants. And, we’ll take time to explore its unique architecture and history during our custom-designed city tour.

Main Attractions

7-day/6-night custom-designed, intimate cooking vacation in Poland's Lesser Poland region, immersed in beautiful Krakow and the unique highlander culture.
Elegant and comfortable accommodations at a luxurious: 4-star Hotel Art & Spa in Zakopane and a boutique Hotel Maltanski within walking distance to Krakow's Market Square.
Visits to local markets; opportunities to learn crafts from local artists.
Hands-on and demonstration-style cooking lessons throughout the week.
Delicious regional cuisine: freshly made meals and breads, plus wine, beer and vodka tastings.
Visits to agrotourist farms, famous for warm hospitality and Polish countryside experiences.
Motor excursions into famous cities and towns to see renowned art and architecture, including buildings on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
An excursion by raft through the Dunajec River Gorge.
The option to extend your time in Krakow and further explore this spectacular southern Polish city.


Day By Day Itinerary

Our Exciting Itinerary for "Cooking Your Way From Krakow To Zakopane "

Day 1 - Sunday

We meet in the lobby of the Grand Hotel in Krakow at 10:00 a.m. for a group transfer by luxury mini bus to Hotel Art & Spa in Zakopane, our home for the next four days. This spectacular 4-star hotel was once a small palace and now includes a luxurious SPA and swimming pool. In addition to its beautiful location, the palace offers traditional Zakopane hospitality. On the way to Zakopane, we stop for a sumptuous home-made lunch at an agrotourist farm, Lesniczowka u Zieby, in the village of Dolina Chocholowska where we will sample the famous oscypek cheese and highlander tea – which includes vodka – before we resume our journey to Zakopane. After settling into the romantic Hotel Art & Spa, relax in the pool or SPA, or go for a leisurely walk around Zakopane. This evening we gather for a festive Welcome Dinner at Hotel Art & Spa restaurant and dine on local specialties.

Day 2 - Monday

After breakfast, we attend our first cooking class in one of the highlander villages in the Podhale region. We learn the secrets of preparing the all-time regional favorite, moskole: potato pancakes with meat and mushrooms and other local recipes. In the afternoon, we travel back to Zakopane and tour this beautiful mountain town for the rest of the day. We take a leisurely walk along the town’s famous Krupowki Street, and stroll a few side streets. Later we ride a cable car up Gubalowka Hill to get the best panoramic view of Zakopane, and the Tatra Mountains and other maintain ranges. Dinner on your own. We recommend Restaurant Sabala, on Zakopane’s main street. Watch the world go by from cozy restaurant terrace and celebrate with delicious regional Polish food, drink and music.

Day 3 - Tuesday

This morning we travel to Sromowce-Wyzne village to begin our trip on a wooden raft through the Dunajec  River Gorge. (In the event of inclement weather, instead of the rafting trip we will  learn local crafts at the School of Dying Trades in Bukowina Tatrzanska) The rafting trip is one of the best-known attractions of this region. The daily raft trips have been organized by “gorale”, the highlanders since the early 19th century. After rafting and lunch, we travel to Debno Podhalanskie village to visit a timber church where the interior includes unique paintings and precious Gothic sculptures from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. The church is on the UNESCO List of World Heritage sites. This afternoon, enjoy free time in Zakopane: go shopping for locally made handicrafts, experience luxurious spa treatments at our hotel or go for a stroll down Krupowki street. To celebrate our third day in beautiful Lesser Poland, we dine at Gazdowka u Zajaca restaurant in Dolina Chocholowska, which offers regional specialties with folk entertainment.

Day 4 - Wednesday

Today, we travel to another village in the Podhale region to cook with local highlander women. Using traditional recipes we prepare kwasnica goralsko, highlander sauerkraut soup and other regional specialties, as part of our lunch. On our drive thru Podhale we will be making short stops by wooden churches, manor houses, grocery stores and at Chocholow and Witow villages, both on the Lesser Poland Timber Architecture Route. In the village of Chocholow we'll visit Jan Zieder's art studio. He's a local wood carver and artist and will have an opportunity to purchase some of his unique, hand made, quality carvings. Dinner on your own. We recommend Mala Szwajcaria restaurant in Zakopane, famous among locals and tourists for its outstanding Polish and European cuisine.

Day 5 - Thursday

After an early breakfast, we travel to Krakow, the capital of Lesser Poland, to begin our urban culinary experience. On our drive back to Krakow, we visit Bacowka, a small mountain shepherd hut, where smoked sheep cheese “oscypek” is made in a traditional way by highlanders. Upon arrival in Krakow, we take a guided tour of the city. Krakow is Poland’s third largest city and escaped the devastation that obliterated other Polish cities during World War II. It’s perfectly preserved medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is on the itinerary for this afternoon’s tour. We also visit Market Square, the largest medieval town square in Europe, the 14th-century Wawel Castle and Cathedral, and Kazimierz – former Jewish district. Krakow is full of restaurants that offer memorable dining experiences. Tonight we dine on traditional Krakow cuisine at Biala Roza restaurant. Chef Lukasz Cichy at Biala Roza uses top quality regional products to create modern arrangements of flavors of the past. Smacznego! - Enjoy!

Day 6 - Friday

After breakfast and before we head to our last cooking class of the week, we'll make a stop at the fresh food market called Stary Kleparz, a centuries-old Krakow's tradition. Locals and visitors shop in an unforgettable atmosphere for fresh, traditional Polish food products, which we’ll have an opportunity to taste: breads, cheeses, meats, fruits and vegetables. Once we arrive at our cooking class location, we'll meet chef Marek Widomski who will teach us how to prepare a typical three-course Polish meal. After our cooking class we'll tour the famous Wieliczka Salt Mine, a virtual underground city, with galleries, lakes, chapels and murals – all carved from salt – and a UNESCO World Heritage site. After our Wieliczka tour, you are free to enjoy the sights and shops of Krakow on your own. Krakow offers a good choice of art, crafts, and souvenirs. We recommend Cepelia store, which has a great selection of quality Polish folk handicrafts. Our Farewell Dinner will be at Wesele restaurant, serving old Polish and Krakow delicacies and specialties located in the heart of Krakow's Market Square.

Day 7 - Saturday

Depart for your home country after breakfast, or make your own arrangements to stay longer in beautiful Krakow.


Even though our vacations are leisurely, you may want to consider staying an extra night at the Grand and Maltanski Hotels in Krakow. You may find that the extra time will make your week even more relaxing and enjoyable.

Details

What's Included

Six nights accommodations, double-occupancy, with en suite bathroom (four nights at Hotel Art & Spa in Zakopane and two nights at a boutique Hotel Maltanski in Krakow.)
Arrival transfer from Grand Hotel at 10:00 a.m. to Palace/Hotel Art & Spa in Zakopane
Daily breakfast
Daily lunch
Dinner as outlined on itinerary
Local beer, house wine, tea, and coffee with all included meals (Please note that cocktail drinks and drinks consumed outside of mealtime are not included)
Three hands-on and/or demonstration-style cooking lessons
White cooking apron with Poland Culinary Vacations logo
Excursions to cultural sites, all entrance fees and food artisan visits
Rafting through the Dunajec River Gorge
Transportation where specified
English interpreters
All luggage transfers
Taxes and service charges

What's Not Included

Airfare or other non-specified transportation to the trip starting point, and from the trip ending point
Meals and alcoholic beverages not specified in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry or telephone calls
Passport or visa fees
End of vacation gratuities for guides (not required, but greatly appreciated)
Insurance of any kind


Dates

May 14 - May 20, 2017
August 13 - August 19, 2017


Cost

Normally $2,950 per person, based on double-occupancy ($500 deposit). Single supplement is $350 - program as described above.

ONLY in 2017, as Poland Culinary Vacations CELEBRATES 10TH ANNIVERSARY, we are reducing prices on most trips by $500 OFF PER PERSON and NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT for SOLO travelers! So, your price is ONLY $2,450 PER PERSON!

Offer valid only on direct, online bookings with Poland Culinary Vacations. Not valid with any other offer or discount. 

WE HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US IN 2017 AND HELP US CELEBRATE 10 YEARS OF OUR FUN & DELICIOUS TRIPS TO POLAND!

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Highlander selling oscypki cheese at summer festival in Poland.
Poland - Regions
Podlassia
Pomerania
Mazuria
Mazovia
Silesia
Greater Poland
Lesser Poland
**** Hotel Art & Spa in Zakopane, Poland.
**** Hotel Art & Spa restaurant and it's elegant interior.
Fresh vegetable salads often served with a main meal in Poland.
Dunajec river rafting in Pieninski National Park, Poland.
Highlander cuisine on display in Zakopane, Poland.
The Polish Tatra sheepdog on duty.
Krakow Market Square, Poland.
Wesele restaurant in Krakow, Poland.
Sliwowica - Plum vodka from Lesser Poland region.
Szczesliwej Podrozy i Smacznego! (Happy Travels & Bon Appétit!)
 
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