Europe’s Best Kept Secret?
This Tour of Poland.

For every traveller who wants ‘off-the-beaten-path’ Europe served up in one Hans Christian-Andersen-esque super-trip.

Do you know why a tour of Poland like this can get you one of the most under-the-radar experiences in Europe?

Because despite all the blog posts, reviews and awesome exposure Poland’s enjoyed for the last, let’s say 5 years, travellers still can’t seem to make heads-or-tails of how to live it like a local.

It’s not just cobblestones and Gothic architecture. Behind all that hides a wonderland virtually untouched by travellers yet.

Guess what? All the stuff that Polish people LOVE… lives in this wonderland. (And it’s so much more than cathedrals, statues and town squares.)

So if you’re serious about deeply authentic travel and genuine, local experiences (away from the hordes of European tourists), I’m patting the seat next to me.

Why?

Because you’re not ‘any other traveller’ and as an epicure, you don’t get out of bed for less than chin-deep culture:

  • dancing till midnight at village festivals
  • picking your own mushrooms straight from the forest floor
  • getting smooches from award-winning farm goats
  • hand-smoking traditional mountain cheese in a 200 year old hut
  • whispering the password for a secret bar behind a mink-stuffed cloakroom
  • sneaking a ‘taste test’ pierogi with babcia in her pantry (that’s Polish for ‘nonna’, aka ‘queen of the kitchen’)
  • and an experience that no one else has, because no one else has the connections you’ll have.

FYI – we’ve got our cousins, friends and Poland’s favourite food writer itching to whisk you through doors marked ‘private’.

And the four of us would like to personally invite you to come meet it all (including the locals) this year.

All you need to do is show up. Let us take care of everything else.

In A Nutshell:

  • Live in the most underrated European nook with a handful of new friends.
  • Love 12 days exploring goose farms, gifted chefs’ kitchens and behind locals’ doors.
  • Find/see/eat a Poland that makes the internet jealous.
  • Travel with Poland’s favourite native food writer and her secret spots.
  • Walk the cobblestone roads locals hide in.
  • Bulk up your chefing repertoire with national crowd-pleasers.
  • Learn the essentials to decipher Polish menus and impress your waiter.
  • Drink micro-batch vodka you’d have trouble finding beyond the farm gate.
  • Yell “Na Zdrowie!” over the dinner you’ve cooked with our friends and family.
  • Travel without a single selfie-stick or megaphone in sight.
  • Earn street cred as a true European traveller.

Your Dates:

1st – 12th June 2019

Where Are We Going?:

Kraków, Warszawa, and the Lakes District

Bez Gwiazdek Restaurant in Warsaw, Poland
Dyletanci Restaurant in Warsaw
Rozbrat Restaurant in Warsaw
W Kontakci Restaurant in Wroclaw, Poland

Image credit goes to Malgosia [she’s also a special guest host]

Meet The Food Writer Vogue Headhunted
For Their First Polish Issue

You know those people who can skip the line because the maitre d’ knows them?

That’ll be us.

When you’re on a tour of Poland with Malgosia, doors open and people treat you like family (the side they like best). That’s why we invited her to co-host a few days with us. Oh, and she’s bilingual too so you extract every last drop of your trip.

If you also want a few pro tips on how to take the perfect Instagram pic, she’s got 22,000 followers who say you’ll have photos you almost won’t believe you took yourself.

Getting to know Poland like your lover means you have to travel with locals. Not just any locals – the ones with personal connections. We’ve got you covered.

Did someone say, “roll out the red carpet”?

How Do You Make A Tour Of Poland “Wow” Worthy?
Just take a look at your itinerary…

(Some specifics are kept secret because we mean it when we say “private access”.
Once your booking is confirmed you’ll receive an itinerary with all the details.)

Poland Map

Day 1

Welcome to Poland. We’ll meet you at Kraków airport with smiles and a revitalising local vodka nip before whisking you down our favourite side street to a charming hotel – home for the next 4 nights. Spritz up for a cozy dinner with new friends, great conversation and a Babcia-worthy feast. Sigh and melt into your chair… you’re finally here!

View of the Krakow town square from a hotel window

Day 2

Today is a free day to explore Krakow. You can fly solo through the side streets and lean on us – we’re here to help with whatever you need. Or if you’d like more food immersion, we’ll gather in the old town square before midday. Our lunch date? A wild trout farm for a meal locals say is what food in heaven must taste like. On Facebook, this place has one English (tourist) review – the other 471 are Polish (and one person even tried to give it a “million stars”). So we’ll keep the fish coming until you say, “enough”, shall we? Then we’ll return home to curlicued sandstone rooftops, those of us who stayed in town and a secret bar Krakowians love. Cocktails on us. 🙂

Meet Chef Marcin Pławecki on Day 3 of our Poland tour

Day 3

Even after all this, there’s more of Poland you’ll never find in a guidebook, TripAdvisor or even asking the locals. Today, you get to see it. The King Of Geese (as he’s known in the food world) is our chef, guide and host on his biodynamic, hand-tilled farm 65 minutes from our hotel. He’s been featured in industry insider magazines because his care for the land and animals is so unique (almost as much as his menu). You’ll love this as much as we do.

Ed taking a bite of a Polish doughnut

Day 4

Krakow is yours today and its door is open to you. Whether you’re a history buff craving the richness of castle life, a curious mind pondering the realities of the wartime prisoners, or a nature-lover seeking a moment of wonder in the salt mine cathedral, this day is made for you. Of course, if you’d prefer to sample the market square cafes and 30 flavours of Polish doughnut, we can help you with that too.

A flock of sheep

Day 5

We’ll take you to sip on the crisp mountain mist in Zakopane, where the locals hike in spring after the winter tourists clear out. We’ll sample smoked sheep’s cheese churned by calloused, loving hands – in the final days of the season. And we’ll toast champagne on a friend’s balcony overlooking terracotta chimneys. By now you’re practically an honorary citizen and definitely part of our family.

We'll have a sampling of the Polish dumpling in Warsaw

Day 6

How do you traverse a country this stunning? With leather interiors and a private chauffeur, of course. We’ll bring some of our favourite nibbles from the last few days and stretch our legs with vistas that Instagram wouldn’t believe. Don’t forget a knock-out lunch spot hand picked by local growers. We arrive in the golden hour to fully appreciate Warsaw in all her glory and dinner tonight will earn you serious Polish street cred: barszcz (grandma’s beetroot soup), pierogi (Polish dumplings) and bigos (think summer rolls but Polish and in winter).

Meet food blogger Malgosia Minta in our Poland tours

Day 7

Good sleep? Excellent. Because today you’ll get to see Warsaw in full technicolour with Poland’s most intrepid foodie, Malgosia Minta. Feast on the rich architecture as you munch on artisanal Polish doughnuts and wander the streets like you live here. After lunch, we’ll take it up a notch and learn the art of local vodka from the gorgeous Dorda family in Krzesk. First round’s on us!

Meet Maciej Nowicki on Day 8

Day 8

We’ll introduce you to 300 years of Polish history through your hands, your mind and your tummy. Leave the pomp at the door of our Masterclass Villa and bring your curiosity because this is not about glory, it’s about how Polish people have lived and loved their country. Today is a quiet, private door event and your tastebuds are invited!

Goats in a Polish village

Day 9

Today we depart Warsaw and head into our favourite Polish villages. These are places where you’d imagine real life Disney characters grew up – charming, rustic and tiny. Up here in the quiet Mazurian Lakes, you’ll glide into the warm country rhythm instantly. Expect notes of apple orchard and creased oak wood as your setting for dinner.

Lizzie and Alex enjoying the hot tub surrounded by the forest

Day 10

Remember when Diane Lane wakes up to her refurbished villa in Under The Tuscan Sun? That’s us today. After a relaxed, farm-fresh breakfast, we’ll time-travel to an era where lavender and goat farmers use pitchforks, not machinery to make magic on your plate. By lunch it’s time to treat ourselves, so we’ll enjoy an afternoon at the spa that nature built. Whether you soak in a timber-panelled hot tub surrounded by lush forest or infuse your pores on a jetty over a silver-smooth lake, take the time to drink in this gorgeous setting. Tonight we dine amongst friends on local Polish fare. It’s the right thing to do, after all, we’ve filled our minds and soaked our bodies in this land today so we must fuel our bodies with it too.

Forest floor with mushrooms

Day 11

Today is masterclass day. We’ll show you our secret mushroom-picking spots and try our hand foraging for mushrooms (the edible kind!) We’ll enjoy a forest floor picnic cooked by our private chef Alex and cook dinner with the men and women who till the land at the farm. Because we’re like family, they’ll even tuck a recipe or two in our pocket that we can whip out on days we have Poland nostalgia.

The original Epicure Travel Group with friends

Day 12

We’ll take you to the airport with our driver and say ‘until next time’ with warm hugs and a little something to remember your trip by. Unless of course you’re staying on and you can lean on us for expert advice. Whatever you need, we’re here for you.

Your Investment

The trip fee is $9,995 AUD.

Your trip Includes:

  • 11 nights at outstanding hotels and farmhouses
  • Private, stylish airport transfers and internal transport
  • Guided Day Trips to distilleries, family-run farms and mountain ranges
  • 8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 10 Dinners (with new friends, vodka and wine)
  • Forest floor picnic, luxury spa day and cultural monument access
  • Masterclasses with private chefs
  • Authentic market tours and ingredients for the masterclass
  • Hosts and special guests you’ll love and can get you talking to the locals
  • All tips for drivers and restaurants
  • Big Red Phone support for questions and emergencies pre-, on- and post-trip
  • Photos from our photographer to keep the memories in full technicolour always

We also have a small number of private rooms available (please add $1,980 AUD). You can note this when requesting to book.

***The trip fee does not include your flight into Krakow or out of Warsaw.***

Wine bottles on display

ETG Extras

Think “included upgrades”…
on a biodynamic superfood diet

You know… the little things that just make life better.

Polish church

Guaranteed Departure

That’s a promise. No ifs, ands or buts. Once you’re in, the most important consideration for you is “should I celebrate with Veuve or Moet?” Leave the rest to us.

Poetic Accommodation

Did you say, “dripping in character AND the sweet smell of upgraded suites?” Sign me up already!

The “How Did You Know!?”s

If hindsight is 20/20, it’s a good thing we’ve already done it all. A pre-flight check, full dry run and 60 years of travel experience. We’re 3 steps ahead so the only surprises… are good ones.

Human Google Translate

Say ‘no way’ to tourist traps and ‘hello’ to the inner circle because you get bilingual social guests and the 4 of us who speak local too. “Epicures, how do you say ‘this is the best!?’”

4 Personal Concierges

Why 4? Because that’s who we are. We’ve got your back (even at 2.30am). As our guest you’ll have our foreign and local phone numbers, which means access to tips, emergencies and translations from the day you book your trip til your final nostalgic photo swap.

The Moccasin Effect

Because from the minute you request to book, this trip is as comfy as wearing almost nothing at all. We take care of your packing list, customised arrival plan, post-trip re-climatisation guide and even champagne on arrival so all you have to do is… just show up.

Is This For Me?

People walking in the street at night

Famously Asked Questions

Because this is the important stuff YOU need to know to make this your best trip ever.

Hover over each question and make the answer appear.

Polish street performer
Inside Mercedes Sprinter

How Do We Get Around?

You’re looking at her. (In the background). This is our Mercedes Sprinter, with a private driver and presidential window tinting. Legroom for days and padding like you’re little spoon – this is how Susan Sarandon and Goldie Hawn wished they could road trip.

Person reading at home

What If I’m Not Normally A Tour Person?

Oh thank goodness. All of our guests are like you – people you’d invite on a summer vacay. Because that’s what this is: honest travel with incredible people, planned with locals and insider experiences you can’t get anywhere else. Of course, we offer you daily activities, but don’t feel pressured – it’s your trip.

Wine glasses on a table

Can I Extend My Stay?

Is a frog waterproof?! (That’s a yes. A big one.) We’ll give you all our great ideas for onward travel. Just ask in your trip request meeting.

Person sleeping in hotel room bed

Where Are We Staying?

In royal-style castle quarters, a renovated farmhouse and a charming boutique hotel.

Old man drinking coffee

Will I Be Too Old, Too Young?

There is no set age for the best people in life. Our guests are those kind of people… they defy age and are anywhere in their 20s to 70s. (Which also happen to have been stellar decades).

Traditional Polish food

What’s On The Menu?

You’ll get to taste plenty of traditional pickled, potato and meat dishes along with more luxury cuts like goose, boar and deer. If you’re gluten free or have a special diet, we have yummy options for you too.

Ready To Pack Your Bags?

10 places available. Go ahead:

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