Cultural discovery

Highlights and Hidden Gems of Central Europe

Discover the highlights and hidden gems of Central Europe.
Holiday code: DCE
Countries: Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland
More info
1
Activity level
Guided Groups
Min. age: 16
14days
From 2149 € excl. flights
Dates & Prices
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

Travel through Central Europe and discover the cultural diversity of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and Poland. From pretty Prague, journey through Bohemia to Moravian romantic towns and the Danube. You’ll sightsee historic Bratislava, elegant Vienna, charming Budapest and medieval Krakow. Discover significant UNESCO sites, splendid castles, remote mountain villages, and the High Tatra Mountains’ beautiful scenery on this amazing bucket list. You’ll see how locals still live the traditional way-of-life and enjoy wine tasting at a local producer’s vineyard.

Over fourteen days, you’ll explore:

  • Capitals - Prague, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest
  • Cesky Krumlov and Telc - Czech fairy-tale towns
  • Lednice-Valtice - Moravian Versailles
  • The wine region of Skalica - hidden gem of western Slovakia
  • Kosice - the European city of culture
  • Spissky castle and Levoca - UNESCO sites
  • The High Tatras - Slovakia’s biggest and oldest national park
  • Traditional rafting - in Pieninsky national park
  • Krakow - the former capital of Poland

Map & itinerary

Welcome to Prague, capital of the Czech Republic.

You will be met by your tour leader at the hotel for an introductory briefing. Depending on your arrival time, the rest of the day is free to explore Prague’s attractions.

Prague is a fascinating city, with lots to do. We recommend a couple of extra nights here to make the most of your time. If you want us to find you a well-located hotel, just let us know.

Accommodation
Prague, Hotel Lunik (or similar)

Welcome to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.

Today you’ll enjoy sightseeing in Prague, considered one of the prettiest towns globally. Your local guide will walk you around the historic centre, set to Prague Castle’s backdrop – the largest castle complex in the world.

Follow in the footsteps of Czech kings to Charles Bridge; walk through the narrow streets, medieval squares and dark passages, to the Old Town Square. Here you’ll see the Orloj astronomical clock.

Accommodation
Prague, Hotel Lunik (or similar)

Today, you head to southern Bohemia. Nestled against the meandering banks of the River Vltava is the historic town of Cesky Krumlov, with its small squares, narrow streets and imposing fairy-tale castle. We recommend an evening walk through this romantic town full of cosy coffee shops and traditional Czech pubs.

Meals included
Breakfast

Accommodation
Cesky Krumlov, Penzion Prelat (or similar)

In the morning, we'll continue to the UNESCO town of Telc, where you travel back to renaissance times and imagine the streets full of horse-drawn carriages. After lunch, we then travel to the royal town of Mikulov. Mikulov lies at the heart of the winegrowing area and once ruled by the Liechtenstein family. We take a city tour, taking time to appreciate some of the many monuments and buildings. These include the historic square with its Renaissance surroundings, St Anne's Church which dates back to 1623 and the impressive Chateau, a dominant feature of the local landscape.

Meals included
Breakfast

Accommodation
Mikulov, Hotel Galant (or similar)

This morning we explore the UNESCO World Heritage Centre of Lednice-Valtice, known as the Garden of Europe, or Moravian Versailles. You’ll visit the biggest attractions here, including the Lednice Chateau, built by the Lichtenstein family, the minaret, for stunning views over the chateau and park.

We then cross the Czech-Slovakia border and head to the royal town of Skalica. In the 17th century, it was one of the most important towns in Slovakia, which flourished by wine production, which remains. Here, authentic wine-tasting with a local wine dresser will be prepared for us.

At a local wine cellar, you´ll have the opportunity to taste several locally produced Slovakian wines, including the red wine Skalický Rubín (Skalica´s Ruby), which refers to its specific colour.

In the late afternoon, we head to Vienna, our home, for the next two nights.

Meals included
Breakfast, lunch

Accommodation
Vienna, Hotel Boltzmann (or similar)

Located on the Danube River banks sits the Austrian capital of Vienna. In the morning, explore the Old Town with a guide. They’ll show you the heart of the city in the eyes of a local.

The afternoon and evening are free to visit some of Vienna’s best attractions, such as Schonbrunn Palace, Hofburg castle, Belvedere Chateau and St. Stephans Dom. In the evening, why not visit the Mozart Museum or treat yourself to a show at the theatre.

Meals included
Breakfast

Accommodation
Vienna, Hotel Boltzmann (or similar)

This morning we’ll transfer 1 hour to Bratislava. Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital, is a charming city with an intriguing history. Have a stroll through the Old Town’s narrow streets and a wander along the Danube with its many cafes and restaurants before Budapest, another gem on the Danube river.

Meals included
Breakfast

Accommodation
Budapest, Hotel Lion´s Garden.

Hungary’s capital, Budapest, is a city of two parts – Buda and Pest, which sit on either side of the mighty Danube and are connected by several bridges. Its relaxed and informal atmosphere, together with its plethora of historical and cultural monuments, has placed it firmly at the top of many travellers’ visiting lists.

Some of our favourites are the sprawling Buda Castle, the amazing architecture of the Hungarian Parliament and the Museum of Fine Arts. But one of the most treasured pastimes in Budapest has to be sitting in one of the local cafes, enjoying an al fresco lunch or mid-morning coffee and simply watching the world go by.

Your time in Budapest will be spent on an included sightseeing tour, with free time afterwards to explore on your own. In the evening, why not experience a cruise on the Danube River with great views of the spectacular neo-gothic parliament building.

Meals include
Breakfast

Accommodation
Budapest, Hotel Lion´s Garden.

Heading east, we continue to Kosice, the Slovakia’second biggest city. During a guided tour, explore St. Elisabeth Cathedral, the eastern-most gothic cathedral in Europe, and discover the little streets, alleyways and courtyards of the historic centre. The evening is free to enjoy dinner in one of the old town’s cosy restaurants.

Meals included
Breakfast

Accommodation
Kosice, Hotel Marathon (or similar)

Travel to spectacular Spissky Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the biggest medieval castle complexes in Central Europe. A guided tour will give you an insight into its fascinating history.

Our adventure then continues in the nearby ancient town of Levoca—once a royal town with massive city walls—which is a cultural and historical treasure with many architectural monuments.

The wooden altar in the basilica of St. Jacob is 18.6 m high. It is the highest altar of its kind in the world. Levoca is also one of the biggest and oldest pilgrim sites in Slovakia.

This brilliant day is then concluded with a 25-minute trip to Smokovec, the oldest settlement in the High Tatras mountains, the natural border with Poland, and our home for the next two nights.

Meals included
Breakfast

Accommodation
Smokovec, Hotel Villa Siesta (or similar)

The High Tatras form the natural border between Slovakia and Poland and are the highest mountains in the Carpathian range. The landscape, three-quarters of Slovakia, is crammed with rocky peaks, deep glacial valleys, mountain lakes, waterfalls, pine forests and crystal-clear streams.

This also makes it a haven for flower-filled meadows and wildlife such as Tatra chamois, brown bears, lynx, wolves, marmots, deer and many bird species. Today we explore this stunning area on foot, following some of the easy trails to mountain huts, waterfalls and lakes.

One of our favourite things to do in the mountains is to take a cable car ride to Lomnicky Peak (2,634m) for stunning, panoramic views (optional). You can also visit the stunning Belianska cave or take a mountain tram to Strbske Pleso, Slovakia´s highest village.

Meals included
Breakfast

Accommodation
Smokovec, Hotel Villa Siesta (or similar)

Transfer to Pieniny National Park. Pieniny is often overlooked in favour of the more popular Tatra Mountains, so this National Park will give you a flavour of the peace and tranquillity of Slovakia’s countryside – perfect for floating along on your traditional rafting trip.

After a briefing on the dos and don’ts of the water, you’ll get life jackets and helmets and start your journey down the Dunajec River. Forming a natural border with Poland, the Dunajec was used in the Middle Ages to transport wood to the north – it was a simpler way than carrying it over the mountains.

The river is relatively calm, so it’s a great way to soak up the park’s natural beauty, including rafting through the picturesque Dunajec Gorge with its towering canyon walls. After about two hours of rafting, you reach Lesnica, the perfect spot for a well-earned lunch. Our journey then continues to Krakow, Polish former capital.

Meals included
Breakfast

Accommodation
Krakow, Hotel Benefis (or similar)

Krakow is a UNESCO World Heritage City famous for its beautifully preserved Old Town, which houses three kilometres of city walls, 46 spires, countless historic buildings, narrow streets, churches and Rynek Glowny, Europe´s biggest medieval market square. We’ve included a guided tour that explores the city’s highlights.

The afternoon is free for you to spend time in Krakow - there’s plenty to do in this relaxed and charming city. The square comes alive with performers throughout the day and provides plenty of entertainment.

You may wish to visit Wawel Castle, now a museum, stroll alongside or cruise the Vistula River, enjoy a horse and carriage ride through the city streets admiring the beautiful architecture, or walk the Royal Route - the historical coronation path of Polish kings.

You can also visit the world-famous Wieliczka salt mines or the concentration camp of Auschwitz.

Meals included
Breakfast

Accommodation
Krakow, Hotel Benefis (or similar)

After your last breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye as your adventure comes to an end. Krakow is a fantastic city, so if you fancy spending more time here, let us know, and we’ll help you book somewhere to stay.

Meals included
Breakfast

Dates & Prices

This trip operates daily, so you can pick a date that suits you. Choose a day between April and October, and we’ll make all the arrangements for you. Just let us know when you want to travel.

Dates Status Adult price Child price
Thu 01 Apr 21 - Mon 31 Oct 22 Available -
Guided Groups. Minimum 6 people. Smaller groups are welcome, but the price may be amended accordingly.

Please note that our official rates are in Euros. Other currencies are informative only.

Holiday information

This well-thought-out trip is a great choice for people who like cultural discovery holidays. This trip is classified as easy with no demanding walks, so it can be managed by people with an average level of fitness.

  • 13 nights in three-star hotels
  • 13 breakfasts, one lunch
  • All activities as per itinerary
  • All transfers to/from activities as per itinerary
  • English-speaking local tour leader from start to finish
  • International flights
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Any optional activities mentioned in the itinerary

Single room supplement: 290 EUR

Normally 16 max.

This tour starts in Prague.

This tour ends in Krakow.

To enhance flexibility our holidays do not include flights. This gives you the freedom to choose a local airport that works for you and shop for the best deal.

We recommend booking your flight to Prague as there are various good-value flights available.

You can reach Prague by public transport or book your private airport transfers directly with us. Our fast, reliable and affordable private transfers are the best way to reach your starting hotel quickly and comfortably.

If you prefer travelling by public transport let us know which airport you are flying into and we will find the best option for you.

During this tour you´ll stay in three- star hotels.

If you need to arrive or leave on a different date, then please contact us and we’d be more than happy to arrange extra pre or post tour accommodation in many popular destinations.

Please note, we want to run this trip following the day-to-day itinerary on the trip notes. However, sometimes operational circumstances may sometimes prevent us from doing this. Your tour leader will keep you fully informed of any alternative plans that are necessary on-the-ground. Also, based on feedbacks from past travellers, occasionally our itineraries are amended. Final version of your trip notes will be emailed to you prior to travel.

  1. Check availability online or contact us by email or phone.
  2. Secure your place/s online by clicking the BOOK NOW button or contact us by email/phone.
  3. Your place is secured with a 99 EUR deposit per person and can pay by bank transfer. Once the deposit is received a confirmation email will be sent to your email automatically, and your place/s will be officially confirmed.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions at all. Our knowledgeable and helpful team is here to help, and we look forward to welcoming you to our spectacular country soon!

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Trip notes & FAQs

Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list

To download trip notes, please submit your email address down below.

why book with slovakia explorer?

This holiday is operated by our expert, in-country team at Slovakia Explorer. By booking with us, you’ll benefit from our unrivalled local knowledge, and have 24/7 support during your trip.

Our holidays offer unique experiences, which give you an unparalleled insight into Slovakia. During the planning and booking process, we pay attention to every detail of your holiday to ensure your trip is perfect.

Slovakia Explorer offers great value, high quality holidays.

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Highlights and Hidden Gems of Central Europe