- Go canyoning through the hidden gorges and waterfalls of Wadi Mujib
- Take a secret "back door" hike into the City of Petra
- Float in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea
- Cruise over sand dunes by jeep in Wadi Rum before glamping beneath the stars and joining a sunrise camel ride
- Hike the hills and sand dunes of Dana Nature Reserve, passing Bedouin villages and enjoying a fireside lunch
- Star-gaze at an award-winning eco-lodge in the desert
Explore the striking grandeur of Vienna and catch a live opera in the City of Music. Get hands-on in a Viennese cooking masterclass, sample the best brews in beer-loving Bratislava, and bathe in the fortifying hot springs of Slovakia’s Bešeňová. Hike the Low Tatras Mountains and spot wild brown bears, pay your respects at Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, and drive through Kraków’s Nowa Huta district in an Eastern Bloc Trabant.
If you’re looking for an idyllic island escape full of sea, sand and sunshine, we’ve got plenty of those to quench your thirst, but this isn’t one of them. Our Central Europe adventure is for the history buff ready to pack their bags, the culture vulture looking for something more than just awe-inspiring architecture, deliciously hearty food and fine wine—though we’ll tick all those boxes for sure. We’ve planned this epic romp around Austria, Slovakia and Poland for the art-loving escapists who like to put their hiking boots to good use. If you’re keen to uncover the beguiling allure of old world Europe before feeling the wind whip cheeks from the peak of a snow-capped mountain range, have we got the trip for you. Our eight-day adventure kicks off in Vienna, the City of Music and a land famed for its love of the finer things. Marvel at the grandeur of baroque buildings lining epic streetscapes, fill your camera roll exploring the heart of the city on foot, and get hands on in the kitchen with a masterclass in Viennese cuisine (bring on the apfelstrudel). Bus it to Bratislava and treat your tastebuds to sweet honey wine, before sampling the best brews Slovakia’s beer-loving capital has to offer. Head through the rolling hills to north-eastern Bešeňová and bathe in its fortifying hot springs, then hike the Low Tatras Mountains and keep an eye out for wild brown bears. Coach it to Kraków, paying your respects en route at the chilling Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, a vital slice of history preserved. Get up close with the City of Polish Kings, drive through Kraków’s Nowa Huta district in an old school Eastern Bloc Trabant, and tuck into a communist-style lunch in a nuclear bunker, all washed down with a crystalline shot of Polish vodka. Central Europe is equal parts antiquated-charm, urban modernity and rugged outdoors, so grab your suitcase, the adventure is just beginning…
The Flash Pack promise
Here at Flash Pack, we’re committed to unique adventures that deliver great value for money. We pack our trips with epic experiences (unlike other companies, all activities are included), hand-pick stylish hotels and match you with like-minded people.
- Explore the heart of bustling Vienna on foot
- Master signature Austrian dishes at a hands-on cooking class with a Viennese chef
- Sample Slovakia’s best brews with beer tasting in Bratislava
- Bathe in the famous hot springs of Slovakia’s Bešeňová region
- Hike the Low Tatras Mountains and keep a look out for wild brown bears
- Visit Poland’s chilling Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum
- Drive through Kraków’s Nowa Huta district in an Eastern Bloc Trabant
- Tuck into a communist-style lunch in a nuclear bunker, washed down with Polish vodka
Day 1: TOUCH DOWN IN VIENNA
Touch down in Vienna, Austria’s grand capital, and catch a private transfer to your 4* star hotel. Toast your arrival and get to know your fellow Flashpackers over a cold beer, as you prepare for an epic adventure around Central Europe.
After gliding over the magnificent snow-caps of the craggy Alps and, if you’re lucky, getting a birds eye view of the ornate City of Music, touch down at Vienna International Airport. A rich metropolis bursting with architectural grandeur, steeped in centuries of artistic excellence and home to famously delicious hearty cuisine, there’s no better place to start exploring Central Europe than Austria’s capital city. Whatever time you land there’ll be a private transfer to collect you from the airport and whisk you through the city to your 4* hotel in a quiet corner of the Floridsdorf district. Relax and unwind, if you’re early take a stroll to the banks of the Danube river and a get first look at Vienna’s awe-inspiring streetscapes, then join your fellow Flashpackers for a refreshingly cold welcome beer. Get to know your group over a first Viennese dinner, and prepare for an epic European adventure.More +
Day 2: VIENNA BY FOOT & COOKING MASTERCLASS
Wake up in Vienna and explore the heart of the spectacular city by foot. See the stallions at the world-famous Spanish Riding School, master signature Viennese dishes in a hearty, hands-on cooking class, then if you’re feeling the vibe catch a live opera in the City of Music.
Guten morgen, Flashpackers! Wake up in Vienna and tuck into breakfast at your hotel. You’ll be putting your walking shoes to good use today so fuel-up (luckily good coffee is always pride of place on a Viennese breakfast spread), then head out to explore the heart of Vienna by foot. From the spectacular Hofburg palace, home to the powerful Habsburg monarchy until 1918, to Rathaus city hall and Schloss Belvedere, the incredible architecture in this city alone is enough to fill up your camera roll. Imposing neo-gothic towers, flourishing Art Nouveau buildings and opulent baroque decor adorn almost every corner; even if you’re an art scene novice, you can’t fail to be enchanted here. Lunch is yours to explore the local cuisine—try tafelspitz (lean boiled beef) and goulash at a cosy beisl, sample the hearty fare of a würstelstand, street food stalls selling hot, tasty sausage, or indulge your caffeine craving, not to mention your sweet tooth, at a kaffeehäuser. After lunch, we’ll get up close with the city’s world-famous majestic stallions at the Spanish Riding School, before getting to grips with Vienna’s delicious signature dishes, apfelstrudel and wienerschnitzel with all the trimmings, at a hands-on cooking class with a local chef. Later, see what the City of Music really has to offer by hitting the opera, or relax at the hotel and make a beeline for the sauna to ease your muscles. It’s been a jam-packed day.More +
Day 3: AHOJ BRATISLAVA
Say auf wiedersehen to Austria and ahoj Bratislava, as we move on to the Slovak capital. Get to grips with the city by foot, sample sweet honey wine and experience a beer tasting session Bratislava-style, then head out to sample the buzzy nightlife.
Rise and shine Flashpackers, today we’ll have an early start. Make the most of your last few hours in Vienna and fuel up on breakfast at the hotel, as come 9am we’ll be saying auf wiedersehen to Austria and moving on to Slovak capital Bratislava. The journey will take us 1.20 hours, so here’s your chance to get a power nap in the bag or just kick back and enjoy the scenic ride. After checking in at our central hotel, it’s time to lace up your sneakers and explore on foot. Though Bratislava is considered a comparatively young capital (it was crowned in 1993 after Slovakia gained independence), the city is steeped in 18th century history, boasts two striking castles, and was once the reigning hub of the Kingdom of Hungary. We’ll sample the sweet taste of local honey wine, take in St. Michael’s Gate, Main Square and Old Town Hall, while Bratislava Castle has a particularly spectacular view over the tree lined Danube where you can put your photography skills to the test. Lunch is yours to get a first taste of Slovak cuisine; to eat like a local we’d recommend bryndzové halušky, the national dish of gnocchi-like dumplings topped with sheep cheese and a sprinkling of bacon, or a warming bowl of spiced goulash soup. After lunch we’ll head back to the hotel where you can relax and recharge, before heading out for a beer tasting experience Bratislava-style at a local brewery. The rest of the evening is yours to explore the city’s nightlife with your fellow Flashpackers—Bratislava is home to an buzzy bar and restaurant scene with good food, energetic music and dancing aplenty. The boisterous beer halls are a must to toast your adventure so far.More +
Day 4: HOT SPRINGS IN BEŠEŇOVÁ
Coach it north-east to Bešeňová in the Liptov region, famous for its natural hot springs thought to fortify the body and mind. Check in at your spa hotel, kick back in the private geothermal pool or soak up the goodness at Bešeňová’s water park, the area’s main attraction.
Pack your bags Flashpackers, today we’re heading north-east to Bešeňová, a Slovak village famous for its natural hot springs thought to fortify both body and mind. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel then jump aboard the Flashpack coach mid-morning. The drive will take around 3.5 hours, so pack a good book or press play on an epic playlist, this is your chance to relax and enjoy the ride through Slovakia’s rolling green forests and castle-topped hills. After spending the first half of the day on the road, once we’ve checked in at our holistic spa hotel in the heart of the Liptov region, the rest of the afternoon is yours. Make a beeline for the hotel’s sauna temple to loosen those tight muscles, soak up the goodness of the region’s hot springs in the hotel’s private thermal pool, or book yourself in for an indulgent massage. Hop over to Bešeňová water park where you can lounge in the outdoor geothermal pools—the water naturally heats up underground to around 60.5 °C meaning you can bathe nearly all year-round—or embrace your inner child whizzing along the park’s many water slides. Later, join your Flashpack crew for a group dinner and another chance to sample more Slovak cuisine, this time with a healthy and holistic twist, at the hotel’s restaurant.More +
Day 5: HIKING THE LOW TATRAS MOUNTAINS
Rise and shine Flashpackers, today’s an early start. Set off to hike the Low Tatras Mountains, cross the Dumbier and Chopok peaks, and if you’re lucky, spot wild brown bears. Keep your camera handy, today promises spectacular mountain views like no other.
After yesterday’s leisurely pace, we’re taking things up a notch. Rise early and enjoy an energy-boosting breakfast at the hotel, before we head to Low Tatras National Park—an untouched slice of mountainous Slovak wilderness, sandwiched between the valleys of the rivers Vah and Hron. The perfect place to put your hiking boots to good use, the picturesque Low Tatras mountains are home to dense green forests, caves, waterfalls and incredible views across the peaks of neighbouring mountain chain, High Tatras. If you’re visiting in October, we’ll kick things off with an hour’s hike (that’s just the start) to an area in the valley ideal for spotting wild brown bears roaming about their territory—since more than 150 are thought to live in the area, the odds of an encounter should play in your favour. Between November and February brown bears tend to burrow deep into forest dens to hibernate through the coldest months, leaving us the perfect opportunity to don snow shoes and venture deep into the mountains for a hike across the famous Dumbier and Chopok peaks. Whenever you visit, the mountains are sure to put you through your paces as we embark on a six-hour hike through the craggy landscape and take in the breathtaking views—you won’t want to forget your camera on this day. After our descent from the mountains we’ll head back to the hotel, where you can rest your jelly legs in the sauna and muscle-soothing thermal pools, or hit the massage table for a truly relaxing end to an adrenaline-fuelled day. The evening is yours to enjoy dinner at the restaurant, unwind with a glass of wine at the Lobby Bar, or get a well-deserved early night after an epic day’s mountaineering.More +
Day 6: Arrive in Krakow
After yesterday’s epic mountain escapade, rest your legs as we coach it to Kraków, Poland’s cultural capital. Along the way stop-off at Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, a vital slice of history preserved and chance to reflect upon the tragedy of the World War II genocide.
Flashpackers, it’s time to say farewell to Bešeňová, today we’ll be heading across the border to Poland and making our way to Kraków. After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll jump aboard a coach and set off on the 170 km journey. Though the entire drive will take around three hours, we’ll be stopping off en-route in Oswiecimia, to visit the the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. A sombre yet vital historic landmark, the memorial is made up of two parts, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II-Birkenau, which together formed the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps during World War II. A chance to learn and reflect upon the tragedy and horrors that occurred during the genocide, we’ll visit the 13 remaining prison blocks that now serve as the museum and memorial. Afterwards, we’ll board the coach once more and continue our journey towards Kraków. After checking in at your boutique hotel, the rest of the day is yours to explore the city. Though not Poland’s official capital city, Kraków certainly takes of pride of place as its cultural hub, packed full of enchanting architecture, steeped in centuries of Royal history and mythical legend. It’s also bursting with a diverse eating scene and plenty of nightlife, so feel free to venture into the heart of the city for your first taste of Polish cuisine, or pull up a chair at a streetside bar and sip on a crystalline glass of Polski vodka.More +
Day 7: NOWA HUTA & KRAKÓW OLD TOWN
It’s your penultimate day in Central Europe and we’re here to make it an unforgettable one in Kraków. Uncover the magic of the city’s mediaeval Old Town, drive the labyrinth streets of Nowa Huta in an old school Eastern Bloc Trabant, eat lunch in a nuclear bunker, then enjoy a final Flashpack group dinner.
Flashpackers, it’s your penultimate day in Central Europe, and we’re here to make it an unforgettable one in Kraków. Tuck into breakfast at the hotel, and prepare to see the City of Polish Kings by foot—the best way to explore when even the backstreets are layered in multi-faceted culture and resplendent architecture beams from all corners. We’ll begin at the Old Town, a mediaeval area of Poland’s second largest city and now protected as a UNESCO world heritage site. Hit the bustle of Rynek Główny, Europe’s biggest market square, marvel at the imposing baroque towers of St Mary’s Basilica and keep your camera handy to capture the magnificence of Wawel Castle, now a museum and revered national symbol, with its striking turrets and opulent Renaissance decor. Afterwards, head to Nowa Huta, an intriguing district built on Soviet ideals after World War II, originally intended to be a model communist city. Head into a nuclear bunker and tuck into a communist-style cold buffet lunch (expect plenty of Beef Tartare), washed down with a vodka of course, then drive through the time-capsule town’s labyrinth streets in an old school Eastern Bloc Trabant. Later, we’ll head out for a final group dinner at one of the Old Town’s many quaint restaurants, where we’ll feast on tasty Polski cuisine and raise a glass to an epic trip around Central Europe.More +
Day 8: DO WIDZENIA POLSKA
The time has come to say do widzenia to Poland and your European adventure. You’ll need to arrange your own transfers to the airport. What a trip! Can we re-play from the start, please?
Fellow Flashpackers, it’s time so say do widzenia to Poland and auf wiedersehen to Central Europe. It’s been a fortifying adventure and wherever you’re headed next, you’re sure to carry memories for a lifetime. You’ve marvelled at the striking grandeur of Vienna and caught an opera in the City of Music, mastered apfelstrudel and wienerschnitzel under the eye of an Austrian chef, and sampled the best honey wine and beer in all of Bratislava. You’ve gazed upon the splendour of Slovak castles, bathed in the famous thermal waters of Bešeňová, and hiked your way to the peaks of the Low Tatras mountains. You’ve confronted the horrors of Auschwitz and paid respects to its prisoners, uncovered the last traces of Soviet communism in Nowa Huta, and explored the magic of cultural Kraków. All this, and you’ve managed to make a whole team of new Flashpacker friends for life. In our book, that’s an adventure well played.More +
Fly into: Vienna International Airport – Try to arrive before 6pm if you can but we will pick you up anytime on day 1.
Fly out of: Krakow International Airport
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control. From time to time we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh.
We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures, click here to learn more.
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