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Tour Central Europe offers small and custom group tours to select countries in Central Europe including the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, the Slovak Republic, Poland, and Hungary.

Jewish Heritage Tour: The Czech Republic

Tour Details

 Tour Central Europe - Czech Republic map

Join Tour Central Europe on an unforgettable excursion, guided by two sons of Holocaust survivors. This tour is unlike any other available. Allow us a moment to explain the inspiration behind it:

The stories of Holocaust survivors fill millions of pages and thousands of hours of recorded interviews. Relatively few texts, however, have been devoted to the impact the Holocaust has had on the children of survivors. We, the children, call ourselves “The Second Generation.” We were born into a safe, post-Holocaust world but nonetheless shared our families’ experience. We will offer presentations by noted authors and lecturers who have devoted their lives to researching and writing about the Second Generation.

On the Jewish Heritage Tour, we will have the rare privilege of hearing presentations by survivors of the Theresienstadt (Terezin) concentration camp. It is important to note, though, that this is not a Holocaust tour. Instead, it is an all-encompassing adventure into the European Jewish experience. You will discover the richness and complexities of European Jewish history and will witness the renewal of European Jewish life. 

Throughout the trip, you will enjoy the wonderful food and music of the Jewish and Czech cultures. You will marvel at the natural splendor of the Czech Republic, a land of magnificent forests, rivers, lakes and mountains, adorned by fairy tale castles, medieval villages and Renaissance chateaux.

Itinerary | Tour Specifications and Pricing | Photo-Gallery | Reservations


DAY 1:
Arrival in Prague, pick up at the airport and check into our hotel.
"The Mother of All Cities" reads the ancient coat of arms of the capital of the Czech Republic. Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Largely undamaged by WW II, Prague is all magic and romance - red roofs, cobbled streets, centuries old bridges and historic synagogues, charming old beer halls, and street musicians. It is also the home of the richest and best known Jewish history on the continent. The city is known for Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel, the Talmudic scholar and mystic who is the subject of the legend of the Golem of Prague. Franz Kafka, Max Brod, and Franz Werfel made Prague their home, producing works that would become mainstays of the western literary canon.

Depending on your arrival in Prague, you will have leisure time for some initial exploration.
Overnight in Prague

"This was another fabulous trip with interesting activities, sights, food, accommodations, , and friends. Having 12 people was nice sized group and it was even better that we all got along so well. It also say something about the quality of your trips when this was a second or third trip for most of us."
- Rudy and Andie Davison, Durango, CO

DAY 2:

With a professional guide, we will tour some of the most historic sites of Prague, including the Prague Castle District, located on the top of Hradcany Hill, which offers spectacular views of the town below. Next, we will walk down the hill toward the Lesser Town (Mala Strana) and will stroll amidst its picturesque streets and baroque houses. We will walk through the area below the Charles Bridge, where many artists and musicians used to live. It now houses small inns, restaurants, and galleries. We will cross the iconic Charles Bridge, which is flanked with statues of saints and a beautiful view of the Vltava River and Hradcany Hill. Across the bridge, we will reach the Old Town Square with its Astronomical Clock Tower. We will walk along the Vltava River, passing by the National Theater and other historical sites. We will then enjoy lunch at a classic local restaurant.

After lunch, we will have a presentation on the Jewish history of Europe and the Czech Republic.

In the late afternoon , we will return to the hotel and enjoy leisure time before gathering for a welcome dinner with musical entertainment.
Overnight in Prague

DAY 3:jewish-tour
We will dedicate this day to the Jewish history of Prague, beginning in the Jewish Quarter, also known as Josefov. Prague and the Czech Republic were largely spared most of the heavy bombing and destruction of WW II. Hitler decreed that Prague would serve as a post-war "museum of an extinct race." Consequently, the Jewish Town and its synagogues are completely intact. We will stroll the streets and visit the Maisel, Spanish, and Pinkas synagogues. Then we will visit the Ceremonial Hall, and the Altneuschul (Old New Synagogue), the world's oldest existing synagogue. We will also tour Prague's Jewish Museum and the inspiring Old Cemetery.

A meeting with local Jewish community members will be organized.

In the afternoon there will be leisure time and opportunities for personal exploration.
Overnight in Prague

DAY 4:
This morning, we will depart for Terezin Ghetto, also known as Theresienstadt. This former fortress and city was transformed during the war into a notorious "model" concentration camp, intended to promote Nazi propaganda. At Terezin, Jews from the Czech Protectorate and elsewhere in Europe lived under inhumane conditions while waiting to be transported eastward to be murdered, mostly at Auschwitz. Despite the camp's horrible conditions, creative artists, musicians and other prisoners produced and performed theatrical plays, music, poetry, and literary works. Frank's mother and uncle, their parents, grandparents, and other family members were imprisoned in Terezin from 1942-1944. Only Frank's mother and uncle survived. Late afternoon return to Prague. Free time. In the evening opera or concert performance.
Overnight in Prague.

"Your excellent leadership got us all organized in the morning and throughout the day. I especially liked having you explain where we were going and what we were going to see and do each day because as an older person I see that my memory needs reinforcing as to the daily itinerary. And you were so good at answering everyone's questions."
-Rudy Davison, Durango, CO

DAY 5:
Karlovy Vary
After breakfast, we will travel to Karlovy Vary, also known as Carlsbad, a world famous hot springs town. It is literally built on water. There are fifteen hot springs in or near five colonnades along the Tepla River. Karlovy Vary was an internationally famed spa town for the gentry of Europe, including notables like Freud, Kafka, and Chaim Weizmann, Israel's first president. With a tour guide, we will stroll the promenade while sipping therapeutic spring water and will enjoy the grand buildings along the Tepla River. Later on, we will meet with members of the local Jewish community.

Karlovy Vary is also home of the world famous Moser Glass Factory that was founded in 1857 by the engraver Ludwig Moser, who was from a prominent local Jewish family. Moser glass has been acclaimed for its outstanding quality and artistry and is known worldwide as the “glass of kings.” All products are handmade in an array of shapes and Moser signature colors.

Karlovy Vary also produces a popular herbal liqueur called Becherovka (sometimes also referred to as "the 16th spring"). This bittersweet classic is based on a secret recipe originally concocted in 1807 by Jan Becher in a Karlovy Vary pharmacy (now the Jan Becher Museum). Word has it that today, only two people know the recipe. The ingredients are simple and purely natural: Karlsbad water, alcohol, sugar, and a mixture of herbs and spices. The precise combination, though, is a closely guarded secret.
Overnight in Karlovy Vary

DAY 6:
PlzenJewish Heritage
This morning, we continue our travels to Plzen (Pilsen), the capital of the western Czech Republic that was liberated by General Patton’s 3rd Army in 1945. In 1295 A.D., the city of Nova Plzen (New Plzen) was founded by Czech King Wenceslas II on the confluence of the Radbuza and Mze rivers, 6 miles northwest of the original Old Plzen. Plzen is an important cultural, transport, commercial, and industrial center, known primarily for the products of Plzen Brewery (Pilsner Urquell Beer) and Skoda Engine Works.

We will visit the Moorish Revival Great Synagogue, the second largest in Europe (after the Dohany Synagogue in Budapest). Plzen was also influential in the life of Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, who later traveled to America and founded Hebrew Union College, the main seminary for training clergy in Reform Judaism.

Following the Great Synagogue, we will proceed to General Patton's Museum, which includes more than a thousand exhibits from private collections. It documents the advancements and deployment of the US Army in Czechoslovakia until November 1945.

Later on, a meeting with the members of the local Jewish community will be organized.
Overnight in Plzen

DAY 7:
Cesky Krumlov
This morning, will continue due south to the town of Cesky Krumlov. On the way, we will stop in the small town of Klatovy (23,500 pop.) in the Plzen Region. King Premysl Otakar II founded Klatovy from 1260 to 1263. We will explore Klatovy’s central old square with its important historic sites such as the Black Tower, reaching a height of 81 meters (245 feet) and built between 1547-1557 of unplastered ashlar blocks; the Baroque Pharmacy, “U Bileho jednorozce” (At the White Unicorn), a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in business from 1776 to 1966, complete with rococo furnishings and apothecary supplies; and the Catacombs, where 30 mummies are preserved.

Cesky Krumlov is a small ancient city in the South Bohemian Region (UNESCO World Heritage Site). Construction of the town and the castle began in the late 13th century at a ford in the Vltava River. The core of the old town, full of preserved medieval history and architecture, is Located within a horseshoe bend of the river. The famous Krumlov Castle contains a preserved Baroque theater (dated at 1776), complete with original stage machinery, scenery and props. We will have dinner with musical entertainment at a local restaurant.
Overnight in Cesky Krumlov


Jewish HeritageDAY 8:
This morning we will have a guided tour of Cesky Krumlov, followed by a spectacular private tour of the castle, including the Baroque theater. The afternoon is reserved for your leisure to visit the numerous galleries, shops, and museums or to relax by the river or stroll through the narrow streets of this mystical historic town.
Overnight in Cesky Krumlov

DAY 9:
Following breakfast, we will depart for Prague (3 hours driving time). Arriving in Prague early in the afternoon, we will have time to get ready for the next day's departure and for some last minute shopping in town. Early farewell dinner followed by a final discussion.
Overnight in Prague

DAY 10:
Morning departures to Prague airport.

Printable pdf of this Itinerary

Tour Specifications and Pricing

Upon signing up for this tour, you will receive a booklet with important and helpful information, including detailed itinerary, money exchange, what to pack, electrical appliances, cell phones, hotel addresses and phone numbers, medical concerns, suggested readings, information on visiting places, and much more.

This trip has been custom-designed specifically for a small group of just 12 to 14 guests to appreciate unique natural landscapes, cultural and historical sites, culinary treats, behind the scene treasures, and authentic encounters. You will never feel like you are a part of a herd. We like to travel light – smaller group causes little environmental and cultural disturbance, which allows you to get closer to the world you are exploring.

We will be traveling in a private air-conditioned mid-size bus. We realize that hotels are not the main reason for you to select a tour. But great accommodation can improve the tour experience. We are selecting hotels according to our previous satisfied experience or hotels that we believe are the best for our particular trip. European hotels are usually smaller than those in the U.S.A. Also, air conditioning isn't as common as at home and in some country setting hotels elevators may not be available (we'll help you with your luggage). Our goal is to select accommodations that will offer you a nice and clean place, with the usual amenities or better, good service and good location. In larger cities, our hotels are usually centrally located so you can get around easily. In rural areas we will offer unique lodging that will provide local ambiance larger groups never experience.


Note: Round trip air-fare from your point of departure is not included.

All land arrangements as described above:

• Double room occupancy: TBD per person
• Single room occupancy: TBD

Deposit of $700.00 per guest is due with sign up to secure your spot. It is fully refundable if Tour Central Europe cancels the tour.

Limited space reservation to 14 people - first come, first served basis.

The prices are based on minimum of 12 travelers. For a fewer than 12 registered travellers by 95 days prior to departure the tour cost may proportionally increase to compensate for the missing number of travellers. We reserve the right to cancel the tour due to insufficient number of travelers.

We would like to suggest arranging your own round trip air travel from your hometown to Prague and from Prague back home. Please contact us first prior to making your reservation. If you are not able to make your own travel plans we will assist you.

In order to get the full benefit of this trip adequate degree of physical conditioning is recommended due to a good amount of walking and some hiking on our tour. If you need assistance in getting around, our tour may not be appropriate for you. Please contact us prior to deciding on this tour.

We are strongly recommending purchasing a travel insurance to protect yourself and your investment in case you have to cancel or interrupt this tour. In order to provide you with the most effective coverage, the policy exclusion for "Pre-Existing Conditions" will be waived if you purchase a plan within 14 days of making your initial deposit payment for your trip. Please let us help you with securing your travel insurance.

Please consult the “Reservations” and “Terms & Conditions/Travel Insurance" sections for more pertinent information concerning this tour.

In order to secure the best possible air-fair and our reserved hotels please register early! Before securing your flight arrangements, please check with us on the number of registered travelers.

(If there is still space available, late registration is possible).

Photo Gallery


Your reservation for this tour becomes valid after we receive your deposit along with this sign up form. Once you submit this information, you will immediately receive a confirmation email from us. Of course, you can also contact us at anytime with the details provided for you at the bottom of this form.

Electronic Form (all fields are required except additional traveler name):

You need a valid passport (there is no visa needed to the visiting country). Please verify that your passport is valid at least 3 months over the date of the tour beginning, and the name used is the same as the name on your passport!


Tour Reservation Costs:

Additional Traveler?
Yes: No:
Additional Travelers Name (as on passport):
Total Tour Price:
Deposit ($700 per person required):
The balance on your Tour will be due 95 days prior to Tour start date.

Feel free to contact Frank Fristensky directly if you have any further questions!
phone: 970-749-5824

By clicking "Submit" you are agreeing to the "Terms and Conditions" for your Tour.

Payment Options

Make a check payable to Tour Central Europe (or Frank Fristensky if you prefer) with a note on the memo line for bank account # 4906015823.

Mail it to:
Vectra Bank Colorado
890 Camino del Rio
Durango CO 81301

Alternatively, you may pay for your deposit by credit card on the following page. We use PayPal credit card services as our credit card vendor. PayPal accepts all major credit cards.