Join us and our escort, Sarna Rose, president of Poland Culinary Vacations for our 2nd “Culinary and Spa” focused FAM in another amazing region of Poland!
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 regions 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 were 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, well take time to explore its unique architecture and history during our custom-designed city tour.
- 7-day/6-night custom-designed, intimate cooking vacation in Poland’s Lesser Poland region, immersed in beautiful Krakow and the unique highlander culture.
- Comfortable and luxurious accommodations at 4-star Hotel Stamary Wellness & Spa in Zakopane and 5-star Hotel Unicus Palace in Krakow located within walking distance to Krakow’s Market Square.
- Visits to local markets; opportunities to learn crafts from local artists.
- Hands-on and/or demonstration-style cooking lessons throughout the week.
- Delicious regional cuisine: freshly made meals and breads, plus wine, beer and vodka tastings.
- Visits to agrotourism 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 mini bus to Hotel Stamary Wellness & Spa in Zakopane, our home for the next four days. The hotel is located within walking distance to Zakopane’s main street of Krupowki and luxurious Wellness & SPA services and traditional Zakopane hospitality. On the way to Zakopane, we stop for a sumptuous home-made lunch at an agrotourism 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 our comfortable hotel, relax or go for a leisurely walk around Zakopane. This evening we gather for a festive Welcome Dinner at our hotel’s restaurant and dine on local specialties.
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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 chair ski lift 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. 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 at a local inn, 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. Dinner on your own. We recommend Mala Szwajcaria restaurant in Zakopane, famous among locals and tourists for its outstanding Polish and European cuisine.
DAY 4: Wednesday
Today, we travel to a quaint highlander town, Bukowina Tatrzanska, where we take glass painting class at a local Culture Center & School of Dying Trades. After class, we have lunch at Schronisko Smakow restaurant owned by Polish restaurateur and celebrity, Magda Gessler. 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. To celebrate our fourth day in beautiful Lesser Poland, we dine at Gazdowka u Zajaca restaurant in Dolina Chocholowska, which offers regional specialties with folk entertainment
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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!
(B, L, D)
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.
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DAY 7: Saturday
Depart for your home country after breakfast, or make your own arrangements to stay longer in beautiful Krakow.
- Six nights luxury accommodations, double-occupancy, with en suite bathroom (four nights at Hotel Stamary Wellness & Spa in Zakopane and two nights at Hotel Unicus Palace in Krakow).
- Arrival transfer from Grand Hotel at 10:00 a.m. to Hotel Stamary Wellness & Spa in Zakopane
- Daily breakfast, lunch and most dinners as outlined on itinerary
- Local beer, house wine, tea, and coffee with all included meals
- Two hands-on and/or demonstration-style cooking lessons
- One glass-painting class at the Culture House & School of Dying Trades
- 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
- International Airfare or transfers to original meeting point at Grand Hotel
- Gratuities for guides are requested and greatly appreciated)
- Insurance of any kind
Agent Rate: $1949.00 pp
Non Industry Guest Add $200 pp
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