2014 Day-by-Day

2014 Slovakia Heritage Tour
September 4- 14, 2014

Click on the images for each day to get a glimpse of where we went & what we did…

DAY 1:

Thurs. Sept. 4: Vienna – Bratislava
Morning pick-up in Vienna. Travel to Bratislava with a stop at the city’s fortress castle for panoramic views of the city and the Danube.   After an afternoon city tour, explore the narrow central streets and lovely plazas.  Stroll the Danube promenade and watch the ships and barges along this busy waterway.  Enjoy the old world elegance of the Hotel Radisson Blu Carlton, Bratislava in the center of the old city.

DAY 2:

Fri., Sept. 5:  Bratislava  –  Banská Štiavnica –  Banská Bystrica

Morning drive through the rolling Danube plains stopping  for lunch in the old mining town of Banská Štiavnica. Tour the castle and the Renaissance Main Square of this hilly 15th-century town, beautifully situated in a richly-forested valley.  Settle in to our hotel, Pension Amarys,  in the quaint city of  Banská Bystrica . Gather for an evening Welcome Dinner (included) in a 14th-century fortress restaurant to review the travel plans, and have an introductory Slovak lesson.

DAY 3:

Sat., Sept. 6:  Spania Dolina – Banská Bystrica

Step back in time in the ancient mining and craft village of Spania Dolina. Walk the village and forested lanes and visit the lace and mining museums. Afternoon will be free to explore the elegant and historical downtown of Banská Bystrica , visit the National Museum of the Uprising, shop, or relax and enjoy a contemporary spa.

DAY 4:

Sun., Sept. 7:  Banská Bystrica – Orava – Zuberec – Tatry Mountains

Travel through beautiful landscapes of the Mala Fatra Mountains, stopping to visit Orava Castle.  Lunch,  folk activities and music at a traditional Koliba, shepherds’ restaurant.  Drive through the picturesque Liptovsky  lake region. Relax and watch the sun set on the mountains from our Penzion 2004  in Stara Lesna.

DAY 5:

 Mon.,Sept. 8:   Tatry Mountains
Enjoy the beauty of the Tatry Mountains at your own pace. Several options for a day of out-door, scenic adventure in this dramatic small alpine range or relaxing in the resort towns. In the evening,  take part in (or just enjoy the eating ) a cooking demonstration of Slovakia’s national dish,  Bryndzove Halušky.
Optional personal family and village visits can be arranged.

DAY 6:

Tues. Sept. 9:  Levoča – Spiš Castle – Spišská Kapitula-  Košice

Leave the mountains for the rolling hills and valleys of the Spiš region. Explore the ruins of the majestic Spiš Castle one of the largest castle ruins in Europe. Visit the Romanesque Cathedral of St. Martin in Spišská Kapitula, the “Slovak Vatican,” a walled ecclesiastical village since the 12th century. Lunch in the medieval, pilgrimage town of Levoca with visits to see the large exquisitely-carved altar in St. Jacob’s Cathedral by 15th century master woodcarver  Master Pavol.  A late afternoon arrival in Košice, Slovakia’s second largest city.  Stay on the historic central square in the Hotel Zlaty Dukat, Kosice.

Optional personal family and village visits can be arranged.

DAY 7:

Wed. Sept. 10 :   Košice

Morning guided walking tours of Košice’s well-preserved historic center. Afternoon free to shop and explore the thriving downtown. Optional evening special cultural program.
Optional personal family and village visits can be arranged.

DAY 8:

Thurs. Sept. 11:   Sariš Region:   Prešov – Sabinov – Bardejov 

Travel through the lovely stream valleys ringed by high pasture fields and farm land of the Šariš region.  A morning visit to Prešov with its old center square, and excellent Šariš Museum, showing traditional ways and 19th/early 20 century photos of village life when many Slovaks left for America.  Enjoy a lively traditional dinner(included) in Sabinov with a chance to talk with young Slovaks and dance the polka and czardas if you like.  A late afternoon arrival in Bardejov for a visit to St. Egidius and time to relax over coffee and tea in the picturesque medieval square of burgher and guild houses.  Watch the sunset from the Hotel Bellevue Bardejov perched high above the town and beautiful  rural landscape.


DAY 9:

Fri., Sept. 12 :  Bardejov – Pieniny Region – Krakow, Poland

Morning visit to the Bardejov Open-Air Village Museum to see how many of our ancestors were living at the end of the 19th century when many immigrants came to the United States.  Lunch at a traditional Salaš restaurant before heading to the scenic vistas of the Pieniny National Park.  Enjoy a traditional raft ride on the Dunajec river as you watch green fields, forests and mountains peacefully pass by.  Evening arrival in the ancient, but lively, city of Krakow, Poland.

DAY 10:

Sat., Sept. 13:   Krakow, Poland

Visit the Wawel Castle Hill with a morning city tour and explore the narrow winding streets where alchemists and medieval spice merchants still seem to live.  The afternoon will be free to:  visit museums or shop in the vibrant center city; or take an optional afternoon tour to the Auschwitz Concentration Camps or the Wieliczka Salt Mines.  In the evening,  gather together in the large central square for our Farewell Dinner.


DAY 11:

Sun., Sept. 15:   Krakow
Farewell to our Slovakia Heritage Tour travel friends!

day10 modra festival (photo by Pat Snyder)

At the close of the tour, some people will fly out of Krakow; some will stay for a few more days in Krakow;  while others  will  explore Poland and seek out family roots and villages.  All can choose to sign up for the Slovakia Heritage Tour’s extension tour to Prague and the Czech Republic,  or the extension tour to return to Bratislava and Vienna.    Please see details on the  Extension Tours page or call Judy at 978-544-5144 to discuss your personal plans.



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