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Journey through Austro-Hungarian Empire History - Private Tour

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 10 - 20 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 7 people
Destination(s): Czech Republic   Poland   Slovakia  
Specialty Categories: Walking Tours   Cultural Journey  
Season: May - November
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1900 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 3500 Euro (EUR)

Private tours are a special opportunity to organize your own group or tour designed up your special inquiries and wishes and dates.

General information:

* Accommodation: We stay in first class 3 -5star hotels. Hotels offer full range of services and are beautifully located. We suggest smaller hotels in historical buildings.

* Meals: Full board or half-board. We will have always breakfasts in the hotel. Picnic lunches are prepared by our guides where we can not stop in suitable local restaurant. Typical picnic includes fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee and tea, bottle of red and white wines (local wines of the best quality), etc.

* Local transport: Transfers by a car, minován or comfortable coach (depends on size of group). The driving is never too long and leads mostly through beautiful and ever changing landscape. Where appropriate, we follow side roads with little traffic and unspoiled countryside.

* Walks: Daily walks vary from 3-6 hours with more options for some days. Different options will be discussed with our guides a day before.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival to Prague airport and transfer to centre-located hotel. Half-day sightseeing tours through Prague’s historical core including Prague Castle, Old Town Square, Lesser Quarter, Old Jewish Cemetery, etc. Concerts and performance in the National Theatre may be arranged on request. Welcome dinner in a traditional restaurant. Extra day in Prague may be suggested.

Day 2: We are going south of Prague. Firstly we visit the castle of Hluboka, founded in the 13th century and rebuilt in the 19th century in a Neogothic style reminiscent of Windsor Castle and walk in beautiful surroundings.

Later we continue to the town of Cesky Krumlov for a one or 2-3 nights stay in centre located hotel. Cesky Krumlov is the best preserved medieval town in the Czech Republic. We may visit the Krumlov chateau, the second to the Prague Castle largest residence in Bohemia. It was built in the 13th century and converted into a Renaissance chateau in the 16th century. The large park, of French design, is another highlight of the town, together with the 18th-century Rococco theatre and the Museum dedicated to Egon Schiele, Austrian painter who moved to Krumlov in 1911. Accommodation in hotel in historical centre of town.

- Optional day: Sumava National Park. Morning transfer to Sumava National Park, the largest national park in the Czech Republic. Most of the area was a military zone during Communist times and closed to the public for 40 years. Because of this it is now an area of almost untouched wildlife. We may visit Boubin forest, one of the first natural reserves in the Czech Republic. The springs of the Vltava river was a popular place of the Czech composer Bedrich Smetana. Transfer back to Cesky Krumlov. (4-5 hours hiking, 5 miles)

Day 3: After breakfast and an hour's drive we stop in another medieval town - Trebon. The area that encompasses town of Trebon is called Trebonsko and is an important Landscape Protected Area with a large network of fishponds dating from the 15th century and interconnecting canals. Fish specialties offered by some local restaurants are really worth trying. Sightseeing tour around the town centre and walk along the banks of fish ponds. A visit of Neo-Gothic chapel of Swarzenberg family. An excursion to one of the oldest Czech breweries Regent, founded in 1379 will be of particular interest. Later we stop in beautiful medieval UNESCO town of TELC. Stay for overnight. Accommodation in hotel in historical centre of city.

Day 4: Brno, Moravia. Morning transfer well-known karst area of Moravsky Kras with many caves. Byci skala cave is European important archaeological site from Early Age. Boat trip on river Punkva and Macocha Abyss (138m deep). On the way back we stop in the village of Krtiny and see the local church. It is one of the best sample of architect Giovanni Santini´s work. Later transfer to capital of Moravia - Brno. Evening for individual sightseeing walks including Gregor Mendel Museum, Leos Janacek Museum, Spilberk Castle, etc. Overnight in Brno.

Day 5: South Moravia. An hour drive to Buchlovice. We can visit Buchlovice chateau (18th century Italian chateau, still containing most of its original Rococo furniture left behind by the family when they fled to Austria in 1945) and surrounding park, we visit Buchlov castle. It is one of the oldest castles in Moravia. The area between the White Carpathians and Chriby Hills is called Slovako and it is here where the most distinctive cultural traditions in the Czech Republic still live. This area is also famous for the ceremonious attire of boys and girls during the largest celebration of every village called Hody. Wine tasting in private wine cellar may be arrange on request. Overnight in Uherske Hradiste.

Day 6: Moravia – White Carpathians. Morning 1,5 hour transfer to the Czech Republic. Visit the White Carpathian mountains (UNESCO biospheric reserve) and take an easy walk through its beautiful orchid meadows. Later travel to the village of Petrov and visit an interesting group of baroque wine cellars from the 18th and 19th century called Petrov, where you may taste local wines. This area is also known for its folklore traditions - the area between the White Carpathians and Chriby Hills is called Slovako and it is here where the most distinctive cultural traditions in the Czech Republic still live. The area bellow Chriby Hills is also known by very good quality of wines. Possibly stop in open air museum in Straznice. Accommodation in the hotel in town of Uherske Hradiste.

Day 7: Lednice and Valtice. One hour transfer to the south and walk on Palava Hills (limestone hills along Czech-Austrian border, an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with unique flora and fauna). A part of local castle in restored in museum of wine. Or we can walk through the magnificent park in the town of Lednice, with its fountains, extensive views, castle ruins, and a lake with 15 islands. Later transfer (1 hour) to capital of Slovakia-Bratislava. Evening sightseeing tour.

Day 8: Sightseeing of Vienna (Austria) or Budapest (Hungary). Optional day – Bratislava give you excellent opportunity to explore two historical pearls of Europe capital of Austria – Vienna and capital of Hungary – Budapest. Boat trip both direction must be arrange in advance. Half-day sightseeing tour around historical centre. Return journey to Bratislava in the evening. Extra day may be designed.

Day 9: Malá Fatra National Park, Slovakia. 3-4 hours drive to Malá Fatra National Park in Slovakia, noted for its unusual alpine flora, orchids, and bird life, and mountains that offer great hikes across open ridges and through deep limestone gorges. Transfer in the morning to western part of Slovakia and visit less known mountains and Slovak smallest national park Mala Fatra.

Walking in Mala Fatra limestone area. Less known than the High Tatras mountains, this is a limestone area which is also one of Slovakia's most important national park. A relatively small area offers a wide range of choices of outdoor activities, in summer and winter. Deep gorges and ridge-paths with panoramic views are highly appreciated by all kind of visitors. You may still see the traditional way of life in the area, and wooden architecture in villages such as Stefanova and Terchova. This area is also known as an important site for its Alpine flora, especially orchid meadows. Overnight in the village of Terchova.

Day 10: Velky Krivan climb or gorge walk. Today we climb Velky Krivan (5,606'), the highest peak in the area, whose summit we reach along a gradually rising ridge. Along the way we may spot some of the local eagles and enjoy the wonderful flora (this ridge walk offers an excellent opportunity for those who love alpine flowers). From the summit we descend to a saddle, then continue down to Stefanova. Return to Terchova for dinner and overnight. (A cable car will be used one way. 6 hours hiking; 3,300' ascent, 984' descent) Overnight in the village of Terchova.

Day 11: Western Tatras. After breakfast we transfer to a lesser known corner of the Tatras, a ridge near the Polish border. This part of the Tatras is called Rohace, or Western Tatras. On the way we’ll stop at the medieval castle of Oravsky Podzamok, one of the best preserved in Slovakia. After a two-hour tour we will continue to the Western Tatras. In the afternoon we may visit the skanzen of Orava village, an open-air museum opened to the public in 1975. The traditional wooden buildings set in a 22-hectare site reflect Slovak rural life through the ages. At the end of day we transfer 1½ hours to our hotel in the High Tatras.

Day 12: Malá Studena Valley. Walk for 30 minutes or take the funicular from Stary Smokovec to Hrebienok and hike up the Malá Studena Valley (Small Cold Valley) to Teryho Chata (6,609'), a hut built more than a hundred years ago and surrounded by five lakes and huge mountains (three hours hiking). Along the way we may see a few young men portaging supplies up to the hut (their loads average close to 180 lbs).

We’ll also see many local Slovaks on the trail. The Slovaks love to 4 hike and this is one of the most popular trails. (They are also very hardy hikers—don’t be surprised if you’re passed by a nun wearing tennis shoes!) Continue along a similar route to Tatranska Lomnica, our next base in the High Tatras. A shorter option may be arranged using the cable car from Skalnate Pleso. (6 hours hiking; 2,624' ascent, 2,624' descent) Grand Hotel, Stary Vsmokovec or Tatranska Lomnica.

Day 13: Local outings. Depending on the interests of clients, we will make one of the following excursions:

- Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Levoca, the lively medieval towns of imbue and Spisska Sobota, both dating from the 13th century.
- Additional excursions may be discussed with your guide, including an extra hike in the Tatras or the limestone gorges of Slovak imbxe National Park.
- For very strong, ambitious hikers is possible to make an optional climb of Gerlachovsky, the highest peak in the Tatras (weather permitting). Gerlachovsky is one of 12 peaks over 8,000 feet that are accessible only with a mountain rescue guide.

Day 14: Zakopane, Poland. Short drive to Poland. Visit of mountain town of Zakopane. French guy would describe as „Chamonix des Tatras“. Center of the Polish Tatras, full of tourists and life day and night. We will firstly take the cable car to Kasprovy wierch and make a short walk before we will enjoy the spirit of this town. An evening transfer to Kracow and accommodation in a hotel.

Day 15: Krakow, Poland. Full day in Kracow, a remarkable city virtually unscathed by the wars of the 20th century. kracow was a royal town for couple of centuries so on the first place we will visit the royal castle – Wawel that dominates upon the Vistula river, its cathedral with the tomb of St. Stanislaus, the patron saint of Poland. Then we will visit the Old town and its main square.

The church of the Virgin with the main wooden altar created and decorated by Weit Stoss, one of the few known masters of the middle ages; the old market hall where the atmosphere of the old market days is still present. Optional visit of the museums and galleries, we recommend the Czartoryski gallery, a small gallery where you can find Lady with Hermine, one of the famous works of Leonardo Da Vinci. We spend the afternoon individual exploring of medieval Krakow and enjoy our farewell dinner tonight. Overnight in a hotel in historical centre of city. Farewell dinner.

Day 16: Kracow. Depart. Transfer to the airport for departure on homeward flights. Extra days can be added.

* Shorter option:

Day 14: Spissky Hrad – Prague. From Slovakia travel to Kosice city(eastern Slovakia) fly to Prague(Czech Republic). En route to the airport at Kosice, we’ll stop to visit Spissky Hrad, a large castle-ruin complex dating from the 11th century. The location attracts many movie makers (one of the last movies filmed here was Dragonheart). Continue to the airport in Kosice (2½ hours total driving) and take a 1½-hour afternoon flight to Prague, a cosmopolitan city with a great history, culture, and beautiful architectural monuments. Transfer to hotel. Dinner in a traditional restaurant. Hotel near the historical center.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Price Includes:
- Accommodation in first class 4star hotels
- Half-board
- All transfers
- Entrance fees
- Service of a guide
- Ground transport
- Wine tasting

Price Excludes:
- Air-fare
- Insurance
- Alcoholic drinks
- Personal expenses

Luxury option on request.