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Yelnya swamp Ramsar site Belarus birdwatching

One of the most important landmarks of Belarus, Yelnya Swamp, is situated in the north of the Vitebsk Region. It is the largest raised bog in Belarus and the fifth largest in Europe. It is over 9 thousand years old! The total area of the reserve is 25,301 hectares, of which 18,794 hectares is occupied by the Yelnya swamp.

The marshes cover vast areas and fascinate with their special character – landscapes, sounds, smells, a variety of fauna and flora. They attract and at the same time frighten with their unpredictability. Most importantly, they produce far more oxygen than forests, which is of vital importance for the ecological balance of the planet.

” Yelnya ” is one of the most visited natural attractions in the country. Apart from the swamps themselves there are forests and 118 large and small lakes. Remarkably, one can drink water from the lakes. The area is home to 130 bird species, including such rare ones as the black-throated loon, the white-tailed eagle and the black stork.

Every autumn in September you can see an impressively beautiful sight – thousands of Eurasian cranes and tens of thousands of geese of various species gather here before the migration season. This is also the time of year when the most delicious time of the year comes on the moor – the cranberry harvest. Yelnya ranks first in Belarus in terms of cranberry reserves.

There are walking and cycling eco-routes for those who want to get a closer view of the bog. They are made in such a way as to minimize the harm caused by human presence. The routes are designed for people with different levels of experience.

From observation points, depending on the season, you can watch cranes or grouse mating. Apart from these, the marshes are home to many other birds, such as the black-throated diver, the Willow Grouse, the mallard duck, the teal and others.
You can feast on cranberries, blueberries, cloudberries and other berries in the season.
For experienced tourists there are longer trails, including overnight stays. There are many huts on the islands that have been built for travellers to rest, and you can also sleep in tents.

Original excursions and tours (extreme, relaxing, expedition) take place here. As a Ramsar Site and a key area for birds, Yelnya attracts numerous birdwatchers from all over the world.

There are many more reasons to come here: the extreme experience, the ethereal beauty of the landscapes, the intoxicating oxygen in the air, which, combined with the fragrance of the plants, becomes aromatherapy.

Visit Yelnya during your trip to Belarus and you will have an unforgettable experience for a long time!

19/09/2022
Breakfast by the Prypyat Ukha (fish soup) with Horilka (Vodka) Belarus

Gastrofest is a series of gastronomic festivals that develop gastronomic culture in Belarus and bring together all lovers of delicious food and quality drinks.

The festival has been running since 2016. Guests of the festival are offered a variety of themes, adhering to the following rules:

  • Festival participants offer their own tasting sets;
  • A fixed number of participants;
  • A single fixed price;
  • The cost of a set during the festival period is significantly lower than the cost of a set outside the festival period;
  • Gastrofest takes place in the participating venues themselves and is limited in time.

All participating eating venues compete against each other for the title of ‘people’s vote’ on the Festival website and Telegram channel. Thus, guests of the venues have an opportunity not only to enjoy an attractive offer at a unique price, but also to determine the leaders of the festival by casting their vote for their favourite sets.

Coffee, Vegan and Greenline festivals have already taken place this year. The next festival is called “The Fourth National Gastrofest” and will take place from 17.11.2022 to 04.12.2022.

Come to Minsk and enjoy not only the wonderful views of our city, but also the delicious festival sets!

14/09/2022
Minsk City Hall

This year the Belarusian capital will celebrate its 955th anniversary. Although Minsk celebrates its City Day on the second Saturday of September (10 September in 2022), the celebrations in the capital of the republic will begin on 3 September.

The events, celebrating the 955th anniversary of Minsk, will show Minsk’s residents and guests the multifaceted nature of the city, its musical, industrial, economic and educational potential.

On 3 September all the districts of Minsk will host events under the motto “Minsk is a family town”. Also on this day the Belarusian State Circus will open its doors to everyone who wants to get acquainted with the circus art from the inside. Guests will be able to communicate with artists, listen to interesting stories and take part in master classes.

Starting from September 5, Minsk’s museums will give the citizens and guests of the city an opportunity to visit some of the exhibitions and expositions free of charge.

There are 30 km of bicycle lanes and over 250 km of combined bicycle routes in Minsk. On the City Day, September 10, a new bicycle route called ” The Road of Memory” will be presented. It will start in the Upper Town and will go as far as the Minsk-Arena.

On the Day of Minsk on September 10 the citizens and guests of the city will get the chance to visit the historical city of the 19th century: in the Trinity Suburb will be created ” Vernissage”; there will be shopping malls where pictures and pieces of art will be exposed. There will also be a photo zone and musicians will play. The organizers promise to recreate the atmosphere of the century before last.

In addition, on Saturday theatres will hold an Open Doors Day, allowing everyone to find their way behind the scenes and talk to the directors and actors.

Traditionally, the biggest traditional festivities will take place near the Palace of Sports. There will be plenty of entertainment and sporting, musical and culinary events.

The city day ends at 11 p.m. with a festive fireworks show.

02/09/2022

The last weekend of summer 2022 promises to be loud. On 27 August, the Navalnytsa (Thunderstorm) fireworks festival will take place. The organizers offer a new location of the event – a complex “Staiky” for maximum comfort of the spectators this year. It is located near the Minsk ring road, has modern infrastructure for comfortable accommodation of spectators and convenient parking for 5,000 cars. The organizers hope that the visitors will get unforgettable emotions and maximum comfort and “Staiky” will become a permanent venue of the fireworks festival.

The Navalnytsa programme includes three fireworks displays by three professional pyrotechnics teams. This year, the audience will see a new trend in pyrotechnics: a combination of a wide front with a large number of launching pads. This creates a dynamic, constantly shifting pyrotechnics show that is synchronised with the music.

In addition to the pyrotechnics show, the audience at the Navalnytsa will be treated to a number of activities:

  • the main stage with a dance floor;
  • children’s dance floor;
  • food court with the best kinds of beer;
  • lounge zone.

Come to Minsk and enjoy this wonderful show!

23/08/2022
Graffiti in Oktyabrskaya Street in Minsk Belarus

Oktyabrskaya Street (October Street) is located almost in the center of Minsk. Once quiet, Oktyabrskaya Street was almost indistinguishable from other central streets in Minsk. It had a beautiful promenade along the Svisloch River, factories, and no people. Now Oktyabrskaya is one of the main entertainment and tourist spots in Minsk.

The massive red-brick factory buildings make Oktyabrskaya easily recognizable among other streets in Minsk. For a long time Oktyabrskaya was the main industrial street in Minsk. A machine-tool plant, the leader of the Soviet Union, as well as a yeast factory (thanks to which the street has a peculiar smell) and the “Kristall” distillery worked here. Factories and student hostels – that’s all the activity on the street.

But in the 2010s, things started to change and change drastically. The premises of the factories began to be rented out. Creative spaces, start-ups and small IT companies found the former factory halls to their taste. Today, many cultural events in Minsk are held in Oktyabrskaya. Exhibitions open here, international experts arrive, master classes are held.

Oktyabrskaya Street does not have as many cafes, bars and clubs as Zybitskaya Street, but they are all atmospheric and comfortable. Here you can eat a full meal, snack on sandwiches, try delicious pancakes and just have a cup of coffee with dessert.

Oktyabrskaya Street is famous for its graffiti and murals. Giant, sometimes surreal, murals have become an inseparable part of Minsk. Now any tourist should have a picture not only of the National Library, but also of the vivid paintings on the walls of the factories on Oktyabrskaya.

Oktyabrskaya did not just transform Minsk. It showed that industrial zone status is not a verdict. Even seemingly boring and grey factory buildings can be breathed new life into them.

Come and visit Oktyabrskaya Street with one of our tours to Belarus!

17/08/2022
Birch over the Berezina Belarus

On August 20-22, 2022 a unique two-day festival “Way of the Dragon” will be held on the territory of Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve – the most ecologically clean territory of Belarus.

During the festival, mythological characters, spots for various activities, performances of musical groups, theatrical performances, master classes, lectures, excursions, artists’ plein air, quest, thematic exhibitions, food courts, a torchlight procession and a fire show await everyone!

A City of Artisans fair will be held during the festival, featuring a traveling forge, weaving, straw weaving, ritual dolls, crockery, wood and epoxy resin crafts, linen and wool knitting and much more.

Of course, there will be an open-air concert by famous Belarusian bands. And the highlight of the festival is a night excursion along the mythological path of the reserve.

And, of course, you’ll be able to meet the hero of the day at the festival – the Belarusian dragon.

Come to the festival and enjoy great music, entertainment, delicious food and, of course, the unforgettable nature of the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve, which is only 125 km from Minsk.

03/08/2022
Reconstruction of the Battle of Grunwald knights Crusaders ladies Minsk Belarus

The Battle of Grunwald is the decisive battle of the Great War of 1409-1411, which took place on 15 July 1410. The site of the Battle of Grunwald was the plain between the villages of Grunwald, Tannenberg and Ludwigsdorf. The alliance of the Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania under King Wladyslaw II Jagiello and Grand Duke Vytautas of Lithuania gained a decisive victory over the forces of the Teutonic Order.

The defeat at the Battle of Grunwald had taken a heavy toll on the Crusaders. All the elite of the Order – 205 knight-brothers, including the Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen – perished. Eight thousand vassal and ally warriors were killed. Fourteen thousand Crusaders were taken prisoner.

It is difficult to overestimate the significance of the Grunwald battle in the history of Belarus, Poland and the whole of Europe. As a result of one of the most large-scale battles in the medieval world, the balance of power on the world arena had changed and Belarus (then the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) and the Kingdom of Poland came to dominate in Europe.

The Dudutki Museum of Old Crafts and Technology, located near Minsk, hosts an annual international festival of medieval culture and music called “Our Grunwald”. “Our Grunwald” is dedicated to the military and secular culture and traditions of our ancestors. The central event of the festival is a reconstruction of the Battle of Grunwald, which took place on 15 July 1410. The festival traditionally takes place on the last or penultimate weekend in July.

If you come to Minsk in July, be sure to visit this magnificent festival of history, tradition, culture, knights and music.

25/07/2022
Ja, Andrej Iwanowitsch Buchenwald concentration camp film presentation Minsk Belarus

Recently, our team had the great honour of being invited by the German Embassy in Minsk to an evening of historical commemoration and presentation of the film ” Ja, Andrej Iwanowitsch”.

On its Facebook account, the German Embassy Minsk wrote: “On Friday, 8 July, a meeting took place between Ambassador Manfred Huterer and one of the last survivors of the Buchenwald concentration camp, Andrei Ivanovich Moissejenko.
In this context, Ambassador Huterer invited to a viewing of the documentary film ” Ja, Andrej Iwanowitsch (I, Andrei Ivanovich)” (2018), dedicated to the unique life story of the contemporary witness, followed by a joint discussion with director Hannes Farlock.
Getting to know and sharing with Mr Moisejenko was a special honour for the Embassy. Historical remembering and working for reconciliation are an important focus of our engagement in Belarus.”

This is a very impressive film about the incredible strength of the human spirit, its optimism and happiness, unexpected as it may sound.

The film is now publicly available for the first time on our Youtube channel. Enjoy watching it, we would be very happy about your feedback.

You can find more information about the project here: www.andrei-iwanowitsch.com

15/07/2022
Braslau lakes viewpoint Mayak Belarus

This year’s annual Viva Braslav Music Festival will take place on 29-30 July in the Braslaw Lakes National Park. The festival Viva Braslav Open Air 2022 is held at the address Vitebsk region, town of Braslav (Braslau), Central beach.

Viva Braslav is one of the biggest open air festivals in Belarus. This annual music festival on the shores of the Braslav lakes is eagerly awaited by thousands of people who love music and the atmosphere of a beach holiday.

The festival programme includes, as usual:

plenty of music
handicraft zone
play area
lounge area
rides
food courts
partner areas
sports areas
campsite.

Visiting this remarkable festival you will have the opportunity not only to have a great time and enjoy all the activities of the festival, but you can also visit the Braslav lakes with their unforgettable views.

11/07/2022
Forest Belarus

Polish citizens will be able to visit Belarus without visas, the State Border Committee of the Republic has said.

It is also noted that Poles will be able to visit the republic without visas from 1 July to 31 December inclusive.

Citizens of the neighboring country will be able to cross the border without a visa at checkpoints on the Belarusian-Polish part of the state border.

In addition, Polish citizens will be allowed to visit the border zone without a permit. When entering Belarus, one will only need to verbally inform the border guards about the intention to enter the border zone, indicating the settlements and the purpose of the visit.

To enter the country without a visa, Poles will be required to present a passport, a green card (when driving), as well as have a health insurance.

A PCR test and a certificate of vaccination against COVID-19 are not required to cross the Belarusian border.

You are welcome to visit our beautiful Belarus. You can choose one of our tours or make up your own tour.

04/07/2022