Day 1: Krakow - Lagiewniki - Wadowice - Krakow
Start your 2-day guided tour by getting picked up at your Krakow hotel and then visiting the Bishop’s Palace right in town. Karol Wojtyla, then a cardinal, lived here in the 1960s and ’70s, before he was chosen to lead the Catholic Church in Rome.
Before heading to Wadowice, stop at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki. The sanctuary is situated some 2.5 miles (4 km) south of Krakow’s central Old Town historic district and is a developing place of pilgrimage where you can pay homage to the holy relics of St Faustyna Kowalska, who was canonized by John Paul II. Admire the impressive modern basilica consecrated by the pope in 2002.
Then travel through the Beskidy mountain range for a visit to Wadowice, childhood hometown of John Paul ll. You will see the house where he was born and pass the parish church where he was baptized and other places that had an effect on him during his childhood and adolescence.
Return to Krakow and your hotel.
Day 2: Krakow - Czestochowa - Pieskowa Skala - Krakow
In the city of Czestochowa is Poland’s national shrine and an icon that has drawn pilgrims from across the globe for centuries. The monastery of Jasna Gora is home to the famous Black Madonna, a painting of Mary, the mother of Jesus, that has made Czestochowa one of the most important Catholic pilgrimage destinations in the world today. Pope John Paul II visited the monastery several times to pray. Your visit to the monastery includes the basilica and the chapel that houses the painting.
Also, you can visit the 600th Anniversary Museum, the Arsenal and the Treasury on your own, if you wish, or take a break to eat lunch and buy souvenirs .
Your journey back to Krakow takes you along the Eagles’ Nests Trail, a historic system of watchtowers and castles. Today most of these are in ruins. However, not all of them have been destroyed completely, and you will see some that have managed to endure. There will also be a stopover in Pieskowa Skala to visit a well-preserved castle. Set high on a cliff over the valley of the Pradnik river, this 14th-century fortification was rebuilt in the 16th century. Today it is home to the Wawel Royal Castle State Art Collection.
Afterward, with the tour at an end, you’ll be dropped back at your hotel in Krakow.