Escorted holidays can provide a great way to visit parts of Eastern Europe, taking the stress out of planning a trip. On a recent tour of Poland, it was clear that this is one Eastern European country with plenty to offer.
There is so much about Eastern Europe that remains a mystery to those of us from outside the region. Many of the finest cities of Europe were once just names on a map - places that we seemed destined never to visit.
With the political changes that have occurred during the course of the past two decades, we suddenly find that a whole new world of opportunities has opened up. Now is the time to consider visiting some of these glorious places.
Planning a visit to a country like Poland is not necessarily very easy. The Polish tourism industry is relatively new, making it difficult to find other visitors who have previously visited the country and who can offer recommendations on accommodation and places to eat out.
An attended holiday is a good way to avoid such problems. Prices are usually inclusive of your travel to Poland and your accommodation while you are in the country.
Given that many tour operators are heavily reliant on their reputations, you are likely to find that accommodation is of a high standard. This also applies to the modes of transport, which generally rely on executive coach travel or use of the railways.
Once in Poland, the undrawn jewel in the Polish tourism crown is the city of Krakow. While the capital city of Warsaw may be a more familiar name to those of us from outside the country, it is Krakow that provides the center for tourism.
With its large, medieval town square and its beautiful castle complex, the city of Krakow reminds many visitors of the city of Prague. Unlike Prague, Krakow has not been overwhelmed with tourist numbers, ensuring that it remains a very pleasant place to visit.
A touring holiday to Poland is certainly to include a visit to Krakow and to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wieliczka Salt Mines.
This part of Poland also has a darker side, of course. Many attended tours will inclued an optional visit to the notorious Auschwitz camp.
Poland is a country with a rich history - now is a great time to discover this beautiful country.