15:00 check-in at Dublin T1 for Ryanair flight FR1901 to Krakow departing at 16:50 and arriving at 20:45 Coach transfer to hotel for 4 nights, dinner, bed & breakfast.
Sightseeing tour of Krakow by electric Melex cars equipped with audio guides. This is sightseeing on board an eco-friendly, electric vehicle equipped with an audio system which is a convenient and comfortable way to learning about Kraków's history and its monuments. A quiet, comfortable small car is permitted to go through the Old Town and drive its small and narrow streets. You can enjoy sitting in a comfortable vehicle and adore this magnificent medieval city. During the tour the visitors have the unique opportunity to see the most beautiful places in the Old Town and Kazimierz - the old Jewish district, where you can explore traces of the Holocaust by going through the Kraków ghetto to the famous Oskar Schindler's Factory. After lunch we will have some free time for personal leisure. Evening dinner at the hotel.
Morning drive to Lagiewniki and visit the shrine of the Devine Mercy. Visit the beautiful Basilica consecrated by Pope John-Paul II in 2002. In the convent chapel we pray before the original picture where 33-year-old Sr Fauistina died in 1938 and see her tombs and her relics. We celebrate Mass here, and recite the Devine Mercy Chaplet, visit the churches, viewing tower, pastoral centre, cafeterias and shops.
Afternoon visit the Wieliczka Saltmines – resembling an underground town after 700 years of salt extraction. Take in the spectacular subterranean wonders of the Salt Mines at Wieliczka, which include underwater lakes, an extensive network of tunnels and chambers. See the underground salt chambers, statues, and the largest underground church built of salt, in the world. The chapel of Saint Kinga in Wieliczka Salt Mine is one of the wonders of Poland. Hand-carved one hundred years ago by a group of highly gifted miners, it is an awe-inspiring thing to behold.
Morning drive to Wadowice to visit St. John-Pauls house, now a museum, and in the near-by church where he worshiped, we celebrate Mass. Continue to the Auschwicz-Birkenau Museum and visit the terrible concentration camp built by Nazis to exterminate thousands of Jews and where we remember “man’s inhumanity to man”. The choice to visit Auschwitz is a difficult and personal one, but few who do will not be left profoundly affected. The town of Oswiecim (Auschwitz) is about an hour and a half journey by bus from Krakow, and a visit to both Auschwitz and the nearby Birkenau (Auschwitz II) reveals the full extant of the Nazi ‘Final Solution’. The camps are still an indelible part of today’s world, and visiting them is both emotional and educational. We visit the Museum, the Gas Chambers and the holding cells - and see the cell of St. Maximillian Kolbe.
Morning in Krakow for personal time.
Afternoon drive to Czestochowa. Czestochowa is a city in the south of Poland, specifically the Slask region (Silesia), with a religious and important history. The city is known for its famous St Paul’s Monastery of Jasna Góra, which houses the Black Madonna painting, a shrine to the Virgin Mary. Every year, millions of pilgrims from all over the world come to Czestochowa to pay homage to the shrine and enjoy the peace that this holy city provides. It isn’t just Catholic history here though, this city also was home to the Frankism Jewish movement during the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries – after some brief sightseeing we check in to hotel for 1 night dinner bed and breakfast.
Morning visit the Monastery of Jasna Gora – the most important Marian Shrine in Poland. One of the most historic complexes in Poland, and a famous venue to mark the end of a Catholic pilgrimage, is the stunning Jasna Góra Monastery. This huge monastery is a famous Polish shrine to the Virgin Mary and, as mentioned, also houses the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. This place also contains the Nobel Peace Prize medal received by Lech Walesa, the former Polish president and the organiser of the Solidarnosc movement. The church itself holds normal masses and has a memorable and well decorated interior. Pope John Paul II visited over five times, and more recently Pope Benedict also visited Jasna Góra. We will Celebrate Mass, and see the Icon of the Black Madonna, and visit the Monastery Museum.
Mid afternoon depart for Krakow airport, and return Ryanair flight to Dublin departing at 21.10 and arriving Dublin at 23:10.