Join this unique tour to go kayaking, hiking, search for European Bison, Elk (Moose) and Beavers. Visit old wooden villages, traditional countryside as well as beautiful Kraków and vibrant Warsaw.
- Visit Warsaw Old Town
- Go kayaking and visit Wigry National Park
- Search for Elks (Moose) and watch Beavers in the Biebrza National Park
- Visit the Primeval Białowieża Forest and search for European Bison
- Go hiking in the wild Eastern Carpathians
- Stay in Kraków, visit salt mines and Auschwitz
Eastern Poland, once the heart of Slavic culture, is nowadays the land of rich traditional heritage as well as unscathed landscapes, pristine habitats and some of the best wildlife in Europe.
We will start this unique adventure with visiting the vibrant Warsaw old town and some free time to attend an outdoor live Chopin music concert or visit some of the numerous museums. Later we will go kayaking along the most picturesque lowland rivers, go birdwatching, search for Elk (Moose), take a boat cruise to watch Beavers, step into the Strict Reserve of the Białowieża Primeval Forest, go out at dusk searching for the wild European Bison, visit traditional wooden villages and a few historical towns and go hiking in the wild Eastern Carpathians. Finally we will visit Kraków – featuring Europe’s best-preserved Medieval old town, take a tour of the famous Wieliczka Salt Mines and Auschwitz-Birkenau nazi concentration camp – a haunting reminder of the terrible World War II atrocities but a must see for everyone. Discover the wild, traditional and modern Poland with locals!
What is more, the eastern Polish traditional landscape with small wooden houses, gorgeous food as well as short visits at local markets and a train ride will add a unique taste to this tour.
Days 1/2: Arrive in Warsaw, visit old town, free day in the city.
Days 3/4: Walking and kayaking in the Wigry NP and Augustów Forest.
Day 5: Wildlife watching in the Biebrza Marshes, Beaver watching boat trip.
Day 6: Visit the Primeval Białowieża Forest and search for Bison.
Days 7/8: Visit Kazimierz Dolny historical town, hiking in the countryside.
Day 9: Transfer to Eastern Carpathians via Zamość and Przemyśl historical towns.
Days 10/11: Wildlife watching and hiking in the Bieszczady Mountains.
Days 12/13/14: Stay in Kraków, visit salt mines and Auschwitz-Birkenau.
Day 15: Train journey back to Warsaw, departure.
HP: hearty Polish breakfasts and plentiful 3 course dinners
You will be able to get your lunch supplies at local shops and markets we visit
5 nights in 3* hotels, 9 nights in rural, comfortable guesthouses. All rooms with private facilities.
On most days this tour requires basic fitness to walk 4-9 km on a flat surface at a moderate speed of 3-4 km/h. In the mountains (days 10/11) we may walk up to 6h with maximum altitude of 1350m and 700m ascent. An ability to swim is essential if you want to participate in the gentle kayaking (days 3/4). Alternative self-guided walks are possible.
Joining & Departure
The tour starts and ends in Warsaw. Participants arrive in Warsaw F. Chopin Airport Okecie (WAW) at their own expense. We pick you up at WAW airport on day 1, no later than 18:00. If you fly into Warszawa Modlin (WMI), you should account for ca. 2 hrs to get to WAW airport.
On day 15 we arrive back at Warsaw main railway station by 14:00 and transfer you to the WAW airport. Your return flight should not leave before 17:00. If you decide to stay in Warsaw we will drop you off at your hotel.
See our How to prepare for the trip › page for more info and many other practicals.
The tour starts and ends in Warsaw. Participants arrive in Warsaw F. Chopin Airport Okecie (WAW) at their own expense. If you fly into Warszawa Modlin (WMI), you should account for ca. 2 hrs to get to WAW airport.
ARRIVE IN WARSAW
The tour starts in Warsaw. Participants arrive at Warsaw F. Chopin Airport Okecie (WAW) at their own expense. If you fly into Warszawa Modlin (WMI), you should account for ca. 2 hrs to get to WAW airport.
18.00 (at the latest) pick up from Warsaw F. Chopin Airport Okecie (WAW) and checking in at a comfortable hotel. After a brief introduction to Poland we will meet down for a traditional Polish dinner and our guide will explain the tour itinerary and plans for the next days in detail.
VISITING WARSAW OLD TOWN
After a hearty Polish breakfast we will take public transport (for more in-depth experience) into the city and our guide will take you for a short walk in the old town of Warsaw explaining the city’s vibrant and dramatic history as well as pointing out the top sites.
Afterwards you will have a free morning and afternoon to visit some of the world’s top class museums, join a guided history tour, attend a live Chopin’s music concert at the Royal Łazienki Park, go up to the 30th floor of the communist Palace of Culture and Science or just chill out at the numerous cafes and restaurants.
In the evening we will round the day off with a traditional dinner at a small restaurant down town.
HIKING AND KAYAKING IN THE WIGRY NATIONAL PARK
We will transfer to the countryside up north east near the border with Lithuania, and accommodate at a small, family run guesthouse in the Wigry National Park. This area has been named the green lungs of Poland for the vast forests, picturesque lakeland and hardly any pollution.
We will visit the Park on foot and have a few hrs long, relaxing kayaking trips on both days. We have selected the best patches of the National Park and one of the most beautiful Polish lowland rivers – Czarna Hańcza. As they say – you learn a lot about the environment when you are up to your hips in it 🙂
WILDLIFE WATCHING IN THE BIEBRZA NATIONAL PARK
Today we will take a full day journey around the Biebrza Marshes top spots. We will do some birdwatching, see a tremendous variety of habitats, unspoiled landscapes, traditional villages and towns. We will also pay a visit at a small town of Tykocin, once an important stronghold of Kingdom of Poland with a vibrant Jewish community and now called the Pearl of Baroque for its well preserved architecture.
In the evening we will transfer to the opposite edge of the NP to try and spot Elks (Moose) at sunset and later, board our stable, flat bottomed boat for a gentle cruise down the river. It is where a few Beaver families live in peace close to one another and we will have some great chances to watch them swimming, grooming and feeding at dusk.
VISITING THE PRIMEVAL BIAŁOWIEŻA FOREST
After an optional early morning trip at the edge of the marsh and a yet another hearty breakfast we will transfer to the Białowieża Forest. This day you may feel like you have travelled back in time as we will visit a few old wooden Ruthenian villages or a local market on the way.
In the afternoon we will go for a walk through the only accessible part of the Strict Protection Area of the National Park in Białowieża, the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site. This trip takes you back in time a few thousand years, when most of Europe was covered with a similar forest. The dense forest of huge, centuries-old trees that host thousands of creatures on the verge of extinction.
In the evening, we will go for a safari like trip in search of wild European Bison before finishing our day in the Białowieża Forest with a typical Polish campfire with traditional local food.
VISITING KAZIMIERZ DOLNY
We will round off the first week of the holid… adventure, by arriving at a medieval town of Kazimierz Dolny, beautifully located in the unscathed Vistula River valley. Your guide will offer a gentle hike in the countryside, through the fertile fruit fields, picturesque loess gorges and breathtaking landscapes.
You will also have some free time to explore the Kazimierz beautiful old town with atmospheric restaurants and cafes, numerous art galleries, the famous Jewish monument, Medieval Royal castle ruins and the picturesque riverside hills.
HIKING AND WILDLIFE WATCHING IN THE EASTERN CARPATHIANS
We will transfer further south through the unscathed Polish countryside visiting a few historical towns on the way and reach Bieszczady Mountains in the afternoon. Being part of Eastern Carpathian range, very remote and completely depopulated after World War II these Mts are now Poland’s wildest area. They are home to European Bison, Brown Bear, Wolves and Lynx in great numbers and offer fantastic wildlife watching and hiking trails.
We will spend one of the days in the San River Valley near the border with Ukraine, birdwatching and hoping to track some Wolves and Bears. Wildflowers are plentiful, wildlife abundant and evidence of former villages and small wooden churches add a unique taste to our walks here. On the second day we plan to go hiking up above the tree line along some of the most picturesque ridges in the whole Bieszczady Mts.
KRAKÓW, SALT MINES AND AUSCHWITZ
After our last hearty breakfast in the wild Bieszczady Mts we will head on towards Kraków, with Poland’s best preserved old town and the largest medieval market square in Europe. On the way we will take a guided tour of the famous Wieliczka Salt Mines and having arrived at Kraków, our guide will offer a short guided walk through the old town, pointing out all the top sites before we meet downtown at a traditional Polish restaurant.
The next day will be free for you to explore on your own. You can either join one of the guided history tours, visit some of Kraków’s numerous museums, galleries or just wander around the old town or the well preserved historical Jewish quarter and chill out at the atmospheric cafe’s and restaurants.
We will also drive to Oświęcim, the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau nazi concentration camp. You will be able to join the deeply moving guided walk reminding us of the unimaginable World War II acts of barbarity and a great lesson for our future generations. We shall get back to our hotel in Kraków early afternoon, on time for you to relax or continue exploring the beautiful city before meeting down at a Jewish restaurant with live Klezmer music concert. ￼
TRAIN JOURNEY BACK TO WARSAW
We will finish the tour with a train journey back to Warsaw to give you an even greater experience of real Poland and everyday life here while on the public transport, in the taxis and at railway stations.
We should arrive by 14:00 and will transfer you to the airport (your return flight should leave no earlier than 17:00 from WAW airport) or your hotel in Warsaw if you decide to stay overnight.
Just a sample of photographs from our previous Grand Tours of Eastern Poland to give you an idea of what it’s like here.
For videos, please visit our YouTube channel here ›
This tour is the perfect introduction to Poland for first time visitors, or those of us who have Polish heritage. Our guide was very professional, went out of his way to ensure our comfort and was full f interesting facts, stories and jokes.
I’d especially recommend this itinerary for people who want to see the real Poland, beyond the typical city centers and for naturalists who love the outdoors. Exceeded my expectations. Five stars!
– Mark Kosiewski, USA, Aug 2017
I feel this holiday was an extremely thorough adventure through Poland. The experiences were the widest variety I have ever seen in a tour, from looking at a bear track to listening to klezmer music to kayaking through reeds & obstacles & everything in between. Perfect.
– Caroline Dudkowski, USA, Aug 2017
Really enjoyed Wigry NP and Bieszczady NP for the kayaking, wild swimming + hiking. Our guide Lukas was excellent and always very helpful + his passion + knowledge for wildlife really impressed me.
– Matt Parkinson, UK, Aug 2017
Opportunity to watch and try and track wildlife in the company of a knowledgeable guide Lukasz put a lot of his personality and passion for Poland and its wildlife into the itinerary.
– Dafydd Perry, UK, Aug 2017
I very much enjoyed the whole experience and was very impressed with how determined our guide Andy was. Very dedicated to giving us the best experience possible. He went above and beyond to allow us to enjoy our trip.
– Keith, UK, July 2016
A good mix of activities. A fantastic guide – a gold medal to him.
– Håkan Petersson, Sweden, July 2016
The tour was well thought out and well organised. Tour leader (Lucas) very knowledgable about all aspects of nature and local history – made the tour most interesting. Thank you once again!
– Lisa Vogel, USA, Aug 2015
We had an excellent tour, well organised, well lead and meeting all of my expectations and more. Really impressed with the scenery and the habitats as well as the wildlife. Food good (I have put weight on!) and plentiful and the hotels excellent. We visited sites that other tours do not visit!
– Geoff Carr, England, Aug 2015
Thanks to you I returned from the tour with a fascinating view into the history and ecology of Eastern and Southern Poland (…) Your intricate knowledge of the wildlife and region made the trip for me.
– Miriam Baines, naturalengland.org.uk
Thank you so much for leading our tour. You were so lovely to all of us, very professional, full of enthusiasm & knowledge. I have come away with fond memories of Poland as a result.
– Laura McGregor, Newbury UK
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