During that tour you will admire the rich Jewish heritage while going through the north-east Poland and west regions of Lithuania which used to be a part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth – one of the biggest countries in Europe.
Towns: Warsaw – Treblinka – Zambrów – Tykocin – Białystok – Augustów – Sejny – Kopciowo – Vilnius – Kaunas – Suwałki – Łomża – Warsaw
Duration: 5 days (4 nights in: Białystok, Augustów, Wilno, Suwałki)
Dates: August 11th – 15th, 2018
Starting in Warsaw we will go to Treblinka which is a 90-minute drive from the Polish capital. Treblinka was an extermination camp created by Nazis in 1942 where about 800.000 Jews were killed in gas chambers. Then we will see the remains of a nearby Jewish Cemetery in Zambrów famous for its polychrome, and a plague that commemorates the Jews of Zambrów killed during the Second World War. Afterwards we will pay a visit to a famouse synagogue in Tykocin – the second oldest and one of the biggest Jewish temples in Poland. In the evening we will get to Białystok and overnight there.
We will start the day by visiting Białystok – where the first Jews arrived as early as in 1650’s. Before WW2, the city was called ‘Jerusalem of the North’ as 70% of population was Jewish. We are going to see Ludwik Zamenhof’s family house, one of the synagogues that survived the war, and the cemetery located in the former ghetto. After a lunch break, we will go to Augustów. We will stop by a statue commemorating the Jews of Augustów and go on a boat trip through the Rospuda Valley. We will spend the night in Augustów.
The first stop on our way to Wilno (Vilnius) will be Sejny – where we will visit ‘the White Synagogue’. Turned into a fire station during the WW2, rebuilt in 1980’s now serves as an art galery and a bookshop. Next, we will see the cemetery in Sejny and then cross the Polish-Lithuanian border. Before heading to Vilnius, we will pay a visit to the Jewish cemetery in Kapčiamiestis (Kopciowo). Once we check into our hotel, we will start exploring Vilnius. For that afternoon the Old Town, the Gediminas’ Tower, and the former Jewish ghetto are on our agenda.
We will continue sightseeing Vilnius where you could easily spend a week. The Choral Synagogue, a cemetery in the Šeškinė area, and the Museum of Genocide Victims (KGB Museum) are the must-sees. After lunch, we will head to Kaunas (Kowno) – the 2nd largest city in Lithuania, with a rich mulitcultural heritage. The aron ha-kodesz at the still active ‘Kaunas Choral Synagogue‘ which we are going to see was built in 1872 and was once considered as the most beautiful in the world. In the late afternoon we well start our journey back to Poland and overnight in modern hotel in Suwałki.
We will start the last day of our tour by wandering around the town of Suwałki that was once one of the most populous and significant Jewish religious centers in Poland famous for the the Zionistic movement. Then we will drive to Łomża. We will pay a visit to a local hotel that originally used to be mikvah, a cemetery (which has been rumored to be a wedding venue in an attempt to put an end to an epidemic), and a former Jewish hospital. After lunch we will drive through Ostrołęka to Wyszków to see its lapidarium in memory of Wyszków Jews. Finally, we will conclude the trip in Warsaw.
PRICE: 4800PLN (around $1450 USD) per person, includes:
– Door-to-door comfortable transportation in an air-conditioned mini-van
– English speaking tour-guide travelling with you all the time
– Accomodation in at least 3* hotels in central location including bufee breakfast (1 night in Białystok, 1 night in Augustów, 1 night in Wilno, 1 night in Suwałki)
– All of the entrance fees
– Genealogical support before and during the whole trip