Day 1. Thursday. Arrival in Prague
Welcome to this gorgeous Central European capital. Upon arrival, transfer from the airport to the hotel. In the afternoon, embark on a tour of Prague, one of Europe’s most charming and picturesque cities. You will see Prague Castle, situated on top of Hradcany Hill, which offers spectacular views of the city below. This imposing castle is now the official residence of the President. Next, walk toward the Lesser Town and its picturesque streets, typical baroque houses, and galleries featuring emerging local talent. Cross the historic Charles Bridge, always crowded with visitors and artists showing their work. Next, visit the Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius. During the Nazi era, its basement became the hiding place for Czech freedom fighters after they assassinated the Reich governor of Bohemia and Moravia, Reinhard Heydrich. Just few hours before these brave men were supposed to change location, they were betrayed — and attacked by the Gestapo and SS. After three hours of fighting, the parachutists used their last bullets, committing suicide in order not to be captured. On the wall of the crypt, you can still see the holes from the bullets, and a memorial plaque with the names and portraits of the heroes. Return to the hotel to rest and refresh before enjoying Welcome Dinner in a local restaurant.
Overnight in Prague at the Intercontinental Hotel. (D)
Day 2. Friday. Prague
Breakfast at the Hotel. Today is dedicated to a Jewish tour of Prague. Begin in its uniquely-preserved Jewish Quarter, known as Josefov, which survived, ironically, due to the Nazi’s demonic intention of making Prague itself a museum of the “Vanished Jewish Race.”The Jewish Quarter is actually one of the principal sights for tourists of all religions when touring Prague. Stroll the charming streets and visit the Maisel, Spanish, Pinkas, and Klaus Synagogues, the Ceremonial Hall, and the oldest existing synagogue, the Old-New (“Alt-Neu”) Synagogue. Prague’s Jewish Museum uses several of these synagogues as exhibits, and boasts one of the most extensive Judaica collections in the world. You will also visit the Jubilee synagogue and the striking Old Cemetery, dating back to the 15th century. This is the burial place for many of Prague’s famous Jews, among them the legendary Rabbi Loew. This evening, enjoy a Kabbalat Shabbat Dinner.
Overnight in Prague at the Intercontinental Hotel. (B, D)
Day 3. Saturday. Prague
Breakfast at the Hotel. Today, enjoy Shabbat Services at a nearby synagogue or a morning at leisure, followed by Lunch. In the afternoon, meet at the JCC for a fascinating and informative talk with members of the community about contemporary life. Next, a fascinating visit to the Kafka Museum, celebrating this brilliant, unique, and somehow most Jewish of European authors. Gain insight into Franz Kafka’s life, work, and relationship with the city of Prague, where he is buried. Most of all, you will understand the meaning of the oft-used word, “kafkaesque.”
Overnight in Prague at the Intercontinental Hotel. (B, L)
Day 4. Sunday. Prague – Terezin – Karlovy Vary
Breakfast at the Hotel. This morning brings a visit to Terezin, also known as Theriesenstadt. This former fortress was, on the order of Heydrich, transformed into a notorious “model” concentration camp, from which Jews from all parts of Europe were assembled while waiting to be transported to their deaths. In this site of unfathomable cruelty, creative artists gave beauty and hope to their fellow inmates in the form of cultural heroism — producing plays, poetry, music, and even literary journals. The tour will include the barracks, crematorium, cemetery, and Ghetto Museum, which contains a unique exhibition of art and poetry created by imprisoned Jewish children. After lunch, continue to the charming town of Karlovy Vary.
Also known as Carlsbad, Karlovy Vary was and remains an internationally famed spa for the gentry of Central and Eastern Europe — including notables like Freud, Kafka, and Chaim Weizmann, Israel’s first president. (Weizmann chaired World Zionist Congresses there, in 1921 and 1923.) Karlovy Vary is also the official site of Moser Glass, a company founded by a proud local Jewish family. Its incomparable hand-blown crystal still graces tables all over the world. After a brief tour of the city, enjoy a meeting with members of the community at the JCC.
Overnight in Karlovy Vary at the Imperial Hotel. (B, L)
Day 5. Monday. Karlovy Vary – Pilsen – Cesky Krumlov
Breakfast at the Hotel. Today, we depart Karlovy Vary for a visit to Pilsen, also known as Plzen. Known worldwide for its local “pilsner” style beer, this city is adorned by the Gothic St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, founded in the late 13th century, whose tower is the highest in the country, and the Renaissance Town Hall. Continuing the tour, see Pilsen’s synagogues, including the Moorish Revival Great Synagogue, the second largest in Europe (after the Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest). Pilsen was also influential in the life of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, who later traveled to America and founded Hebrew Union College, vital to the Jewish Reform Movement. Afterwards, enjoy a meeting with prominent members of the Jewish Community while lunching at the JCC. Continue to Český Krumlov to tour this UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of well-preserved medieval history and Bohemian castle dominating the skyline. During the tour, visit the Egon Schiele Gallery, devoted to the expressionist painter, a protégé of Klimt. His often erotic, always darkly expressive works are unforgettable.
Overnight in Cesky Krumlov at the Bellevue Hotel. (B, L)
Day 6. Tuesday. Cesky Krumlov – Trebic – Mikulov
Breakfast at the Hotel. Today, we embark on a visit to Trebic, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ensemble of the Jewish Quarter, the old Jewish cemetery, and the Basilica of St Procopius in Třebíč combine as reminders of the co-existence of Jewish and Christian cultures from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. This peaceful and aesthetic ambience is the crux of this site’s value to world heritage. You will tour the quaint Jewish Quarter and beautifully maintained cemetery. Lunch. Next, continue to Mikulov. For centuries, a cultural center of Moravian Jewry (known in Yiddish as “Nikolshburg”), here is still the hub of Czech wine production, including a wonderful kosher winery (the only one in this region), which we will visit. Its heritage boasts the legendary scholar, Rabbi Loew — also known as “the Maharal” — who lived here for two decades, composing philosophical and religious treatises. You will also see the renewed synagogue and well-maintained cemetery, which is one of the largest in this country. In the evening, enjoy a kosher wine-tasting, accompanied by Dinner.
Overnight in Mikulov at the Galant Hotel. (B, D)
Day 7. Wednesday. Mikulov – Brno – Boskovice
Breakfast at the Hotel. Today, embark for Brno, second largest city in the Czech Republic, and seat of its judiciary. Jews have lived here since the 13th century, and the synagogue, which you will see during the brief tour of the town, survived WWII with its beauty intact. Next, enjoy lunch at the small JCC, which is the natural center of the community of Brno. Afterwards, visit the well maintained cemetery. Next, travel to Boskovice, once the seat of a large Jewish community (indeed, one third of the population was once Jewish). You will see its newly restored synagogue along the narrow lanes of the ghetto, and well-kept cemetery. For the past few decades, Jewish cultural festivals have been held in Boskovice’s Jewish Quarter, attended by people from all over the Czech Republic. Dinner. Overnight in Boskovice at the hotel Pod Zamkem. (B, D)
Day 8. Thursday. Boskovice – Polna – Prague
Breakfast at the Hotel. Today, we embark on a visit to Polna, a medieval village founded in the 12th century. Polna also achieved a sort of notoriety as the site of an unjust Jewish case much like that of Dreyfus – the Hilsner Affair. At the start of the 20th century, a series of anti-Semitic trials took place here, following an accusation of blood libel against Leopold Hilsner, a Jewish inhabitant. The affair achieved widespread media publicity at the time. See the town’s well-preserved Jewish Quarter and synagogue (one of the Czech “10 Stars” project, along with Pilsen, Boskovice and Mikulov). Afterwards, travel back to Prague for a Farewell Dinner with members of the Prague Community.
Overnight in Prague at the Intercontinental Hotel. (B, D)
Day 9. Friday. Prague – Home flights
Breakfast at the Hotel. Transfer to the airport and check-in for the flight home. (B)
2018 Tour Dates:
July 12 -July 20
Land package price:
$ 2,690 USD per person based on double occupancy
$ 790 USD Single supplement
Land cost includes:
- Accommodation in Deluxe and First Class hotels* (5 and 4 Star) with great locations based on double occupancy in rooms with private facilities
- All transfers, sightseeing & touring in deluxe air-conditioned vehicles
- 8 Full Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 5 Dinners
- In-depth sightseeing program from a Jewish perspective
- Insightful visits and special experiences
- Meeting with local communities
- All entrance fees as per the itinerary
- Professional English speaking tour director and local guides
- Tips (except to tour director, drivers & guides)
Your land cost does not include:
- International flights
- Departure taxes/fuel surcharges or airport improvement fees subject to change without prior notice
- Travel insurance – non-refundable insurance premium
- Documentation including passport fees
- Early check in and late check out
- Single room supplement – a limited number of single rooms is available on payment of supplement
- Optional pre-, post or other private tour arrangements
- Services not mentioned
- Meals not mentioned
- Beverages not specified
- Gratuities for individual services such as laundry and valet service or any other items of a purely personal nature
- Tips to drivers/local guides/hotel and restaurant staff – tipping is at the discretion of the traveler
- E. & O.E.
Prague, 3 nights – Intercontinental Hotel
Karlovy Vary, 1 night – Imperial Hotel
Cesky Krumlov, 1 night – Bellevue Hotel
Mikulov, 1 night – Galant Hotel
Boskovice, 1 night – Pod Zamkem Hotel
Prague, 1 night – Intercontinental hotel
- Although airfare is not included in this program, we are able to suggest economy class round trip airfares. Please note the airfare suggested is subject to change without prior notice and is not guaranteed until such time as the ticket has actually been issued.
- A similar program can be custom tailored for individuals based on sightseeing program by private car.
- No visa is required for travel to the Czech Republic. Always make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the tour ends.
- We can accommodate pre/post tour arrangements in conjunction with this departure.