14 Days

Czech Republic

The first annual folk festival, one of the oldest events of its type in Czech Republic, took place in 1946.  Since then people come from all over the world to Strážnice every last weekend in June to see the festival shows and join in the fun with music, singing and dancing. Enjoy the open-air museum that portraits the typical Dutch working class of the past.  Prague, Karlovy Vary, Plzen, České Budéjovice , Český Krumlov, and Brno are also on the program.  In Prague, visit Prazsky Hrad, the largest ancient castle in the world, and savor an evening dinner cruise on the Vltava River.  Stop for a sobering visit to Terezin Concentration Camp Memorial.  Enjoy a spa treatment in beautiful Karlovy Vary, stop in Plzen on the way to Ceske Budejovice, the birthplace of the original Budweiser Beer, and visit the vibrant Moravian town, Brno.  We will help you plan a visit to your homeland, if you have a personal history in the area.  Join our tour manager, Suzi Kostel Showers on this most interesting and fun tour!

Dates Available
  • June 20 - July 3, 2017

Itinerary

Day 1: Tuesday, June 20                 Depart the USA
Meet your tour manager, Suzi Showers, and fellow travelers at the Newark, NJ Airport for our transatlantic flight to Vienna, Austria and a short drive to Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia.  Meals: In-flight meal service

Day 2: Wednesday, June 21                     Arrive in Bratislava, Slovakia
We arrive about 9:00 AM in Vienna, Austria.  After clearing customs we are welcomed by our English speaking Czech guide.  Enjoy a mid-morning Fiaker (horse-drawn carriage) ride through downtown Vienna.  Free time for you to grab a bite at one of the many cafes in the city square and step inside the well-known St. Stephen’s Cathedral.  Now it’s only a short one hour drive to Bratislava, which is located along the Danube River and near the border of Austria and Hungary.  The cityscape of Bratislava is characterized by medieval towers and grandiose 20th-century buildings, but it underwent profound changes in a construction boom at the start of the 21st century.  This city of about 450,000 is one of the most beautiful in the region, and our home for the next two nights.
Meals: In-flight meal service, Dinner

Day 3: Thursday, June 22                           Bratislava
Our day begins with a comfortable ride on a private mini train for a city tour that requires very little walking! Travel in comfort to the city center while listening to our guide’s commentary about the city’s rich history.  Continue exploring Bratislava on foot with its bright colored buildings in the main square, the Old Town Hall dating back to the 15th century, and St. Michael’s Gate, the only remaining medieval tower gate in the city.  On Primatial Square we see the neoclassical Primates Palace “Primacialny Palac” and St. Martin’s Cathedral where coronations for eleven Austro-Hungarian monarchs took place. Also view the Presidential Palace, the Slavin War Memorial, Philharmonic Hall, Slovak National Theatre and Bratislava Castle.  After a two hour visit including free time, we board a vessel for a relaxing Danube river cruise.  Totally exciting and easy breezy!  Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner 

Day 4: Friday, June 23                     Bratislava / Strážnice, Czech Republic
Today we travel to Strážnice to partake in the oldest and largest folk festival in Europe, which takes place annually since 1946.  Since then, it has been attracting travelers from all over the world every last weekend in June.  Enjoy the festival with shows, folk songs, dances and costume parades in the amphitheater of the castle park and Strážnice’s open-air museum. Sing along and dance with people from all around the world.  Oh, and what about the great Czech food?  There is plenty to go around and cooked just the way your ancestors prepared it!  A great festival you are sure to enjoy!
Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner 

Day 5: Saturday, June 24                 Strážnice Festival
Celebrate another great day at the festival with its authentic food, music, costumes and shows. This morning watch the dance contest at the Garden Amphitheatre featuring the best dancers of the Moravian Slovak Verbunk. Take a little break for lunch while enjoying the open air musical performances followed by the big parade featuring local costumes and traditions.  We stay the night in a nearby hotel.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Sunday, June 25                               Strážnice / Lednice / Brno
This morning you may want to attend Mass in Strážnice.  Enroute to Brno we stop in the village of Lednice in the heart of Czech Republic’s wine-growing region, South Moravia.  Lednice is famous for its fairy-tale castle surrounded by extensive parklands. The castle forms part of the Lednice-Valtice Cultural Landscape, which is UNESCO listed, and began life as a 12th-century defense stronghold positioned on the former border between Czechoslovakia and Poland.  Since then it has been transformed over the centuries into a stately Neo-Gothic palace, which was owned by the aristocratic Lichtenstein dynasty.  Visit the lavish private apartments, the vaulted Knight’s Hall and the Puppet Museum. Stroll through the manicured gardens with its vast cast-iron glasshouse built in 1845, which is filled with tropical plants.  In the late 17th century, the Baroque master architect Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach designed the riding school, which still stands almost unaltered today.  Journey to Brno, considered one of Czech Republic’s more modern cities.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner incl. Beverages

Day 7: Monday, June 26                              Brno / České Budéjovice
Tour the beautiful Cathedral of St. Peter and Paul with its baroque altars and 14th-century statue of the Madonna and Child. If you are ambitious, you may climb up to the steeple for a great city view.  Brno has many interesting sites including Europe’s largest display of mummies, located in the vault of Capuchin Monastery.  As one of the top sites to visit in Brno, you will find it very interesting.  Then too, you have not fully experienced Brno without descending into the underground cellars of the “Labyrinth under Zelny trh.”  This array of cellars was established under the city square (Cabbage Market) in Brno and dates back to the early 13th century.  These cellars were established under individual houses during the middle ages and were used for food storage, beer brewing and wine maturation.  In more recent times they were also used as a refuge during the war.  In 2009 the cellars were connected to provide a unique system of historic cellars and corridors.   In the afternoon, we travel via Telc to České Budéjovice or Budweis. Telc is the most fairytale-like little town in Europe. A city square that looks like it has come straight from the stories of Hans Christian Andersen, with a romantic chateau and crystal clear fishponds surrounding the city. Telč is a perfect example of the Italian Renaissance north of the Alps and a town with one of the most beautiful squares in Europe.  Following our visit to Telc, we continue to České Budéjovice, the birthplace of the original Budweiser beer. We check into our hotel and prepare for tonight’s dinner with typical Czech food and fun entertainment at the Budvar Restaurant.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner incl. Beverages 

Day 8: Tuesday, June 27                     České Budéjovice / Český Krumlov
Today tour participants who wish to visit their ancestral homeland may arrange visits on their own, or if possible, we may provide a group tour to several surrounding towns.  We also visit picturesque Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which lies on the banks of the Vltava River and is surrounded by densely forested rolling hills.  On our guided tour we explore the large castle complex and walk along winding cobblestone streets in Old Town Český Krumlov with its more than 300 well-preserved medieval buildings.  If you are a shopper, this is the place for you!  Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner incl. Beverages

Day 9: Wednesday, June 28                          České Budéjovice  / Plzen / Karlovy Vary
Enroute to Karlovy Vary we stop in the city of Plzen (Pilsen), home of the great pilsner beer. In 1375 Bohemian King Charles IV endowed the Dobrow Monastery near Plzen with the beer rights, and it became the oldest brewery to survive into modern times. The officials of Plzen founded a city owned brewery in 1839 and recruited Bavarian brewer Josef Groll to produce the first batch of modern Pilsner beer on October 5, 1842.  Visit the brewery and savor the smooth taste of their Pilsner beer before continuing on to Karlovy Vary, a serene spa town with gracious colonnades and picturesque boulevards.  At the luxurious Grandhotel Pupp, we are greeted with a welcome drink and offers to partake in an included Wellness Package.  Immerse yourselves into the soothing spring waters at the Pupp Royal Spa and get pampered with a classical massage.  Tonight, savor a delicious meal at the hotel.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Thursday, June 29                              Karlovy Vary
Karlovy Vary, better known as Carlsbad, is named after the King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor, Charles IV, who founded the city in 1370 after the discovery of hot mineral springs.  The springs, known for their healing properties, are used to treat all kinds of health disorders and for general wellness.  Famous visitors to Karlovy Vary include the Russian Tsar Peter the Great and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.  Our guided city tour includes a visit to the Jan Becher Museum, where we see the original Becherovka distillery and cellars.  Taste the popular herbal liquor which is still made using the same century-old, secret recipe developed by Jan Becher in the old Karlovy Vary pharmacy in 1807.  Continue on to the Moser Crystal museum and factory and learn about the production and history of this world-famous crystal glass maker.  Watch master glassmakers blow and shape beautiful glassware in the Glassworks, and admire their most spectacular pieces on display in the museum.  This afternoon you may decide to walk the famous Mill Colonnades and sample the mineral spring water.  After tasting the spring waters you might be happily inclined to cleanse your palate with a tastier treat like the famous delicacy known as “Carlsbad plums” or a crispy Carlsbad Oblate.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11:  Friday, June 30                                   Karlovy Vary / Prague
On our way to Prague we stop in Lidice, a village that was fated to be wiped off the map on June 10th 1942, when the Nazis decimated its population in an act of retaliation.  We visit the Lidice Memorial, with its beautiful rose garden and a sculptural group paying homage to the 82 murdered children of Lidice.  Continue on to Prague, an exciting city featuring grand European architecture, stunning views, quiet gardens, hidden courtyards and narrow cobblestone lanes.  The Czech capital is also a thriving modern city with luxury hotels, excellent restaurants offering traditional Czech and international cuisine, trendy clubs and enchanting pubs. Arriving in Prague’s beautifully preserved city center, which is registered as a UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage site, there is time for a short walk around Old Town Square before we check in to our hotel, the Hilton Prague Old Town.
Meals: Buffet Breakfast

Day 12:  Saturday, July 1                                   Prague
This morning we enjoy a guided tour of the majestic Prazsky Hrad, which is the largest ancient castle in the world.  Located within the castle complex, which can be seen from all viewpoints in the city, is St. Vitus Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Prague.  The most outstanding feature in the cathedral is St. Wenceslas Chapel, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.  The lower parts of the walls are decorated with more than 1,300 semi-precious stones from Bohemia and the joints between them are covered with gold.  Ornate Gothic frescoes depict bible scenes and the Passion of Christ.  We walk across the famous Charles Bridge and conclude our tour in Prague’s historical old town which houses the intricate gothic Church of our Lady before Týn, the baroque St. Nicholas Church, and the famous Astronomical Clock.  The afternoon is free to explore Prague with its many unique sights, cafés and elegant shops.  Beware – the goods are very tempting!

Tonight you are in for a treat.  At the restaurant U Marčanů, we are welcomed with a glass of Becherovka (Czech’s original liquor) by our good friend, Zora, and musicians dressed in regional costumes.  Enjoy a typical Czech Duck dinner and all you care to drink beer and wine, along with great entertainment.  This is always a great time and you are encouraged to join in the fun!  Meals: Buffet Breakfast, Dinner incl. Beverages

Day 13:  Sunday, July 2                                       Prague
This morning you may join us for Mass at St. Jacob’s church in Prague.  The balance of the day is yours to enjoy Czech Republic’s capital city.  Shop, have a beer at a pub, and soak up the culture of the real Czech Republic.  Early evening we gather for a wonderful Vltava River cruise, which provides the perfect ambiance for our candlelight dinner and a nice time to bid farewell to our beloved Prague and the Czech Republic.
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14:  Monday, July 3                                      Return to the USA
We say farewell to the wondrous “Old World” as we depart the Prague airport on our intercontinental flight to Newark Airport.   We arrive in the early afternoon which gives you ample time to catch your connecting flight home.
Meals:  Breakfast, In-flight meal service

Rupiper Tours reserves the right to make minor adjustments to the itinerary if necessary

What's Included

Tour Includes

International Airfare from Newark, NJ
International Airline Taxes
Ground Transportation by Deluxe Motorcoach
All Admissions
Four and Five Star Hotels
Most Meals as Indicated
Professional tour manager and local guides throughout
Porterage/Luggage handling - one bag per person

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