Characteristics
several dates 2021/22, see booking formular
The whole country at a glance
12 days
Personal English-speaking guide + local guides
Rental car with driver
3* Hotels / country guesthouses
History, Nature, Country & People
Highlights
Grodno
Belarusian Maldives
World Heritage Białowieża Forest
Brest / Hero Fortress of Brest
Naliboki forests
Price from 2089 Euro per person in a double room
Price includes
Transfer airport-Minsk and back
11 overnight stays
Breakfast and other meals specified in the programme
English-speaking tour guide
Entrance fees according to program
Rental car
Not included in the price
Airline tickets
Tips
Further meals
Health insurance

Minsk- Grodno – Belarusian Maledives – Białowieża National Park – Brest and Brest Fortress – Nesvizh castle – Naliboki National Park – Vitebsk and Polotsk

Discover beautiful Belarus with us. Breathtaking nature, a vibrant cultural life and friendly and relaxed people awaiting you. Thanks to our experienced English-speaking guides, an absolutely safe and unique travel experience.

A journey to a country that has more to offer than its reputation: a long history under a wide variety of cultural and political influences and an eventful 20th century. As an important transit country for the flow of goods between East and West, it is integrated into modern Europe despite current developments. Minsk, a city of around 2 million people, is crisscrossed by the river Svisloch and numerous parks. Not only are there wide boulevards in the Soviet confectionery style, but also evidence of constructivist architecture from the 1920s and picturesque old town alleys. In addition, there is much worth discovering behind the scenes, not least wonderful people who do not want to be forgotten by “Europe”, as they are also a part of it.

The trip will provide you with a comprehensive insight into the country and its people. We will visit vibrant cities like Grodno, Brest and of course Minsk, explore natural landscapes that have become rare in Europe: untouched expanses, vast swamps and impenetrable forests, dotted with small and large bodies of water, crisscrossed by an infinite number of water veins. It will involve tours far off the beaten track, overnights in cosy home-stays in the wilderness of the two most spectacular national parks, Naliboki and Bialowieza, and the chance to see the last free-living European bisons and other rare. You will meet with locals of all walks of life and get an authentic picture of nowadays Belarus.
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Please note that as of 15. July 2021, there is no more quarantine restrictions in Belarus with a valid vaccination certificate (accounts for all vaccines). 

Available dates for 2021/22:

September 4th – September 15th 2021

October 2nd – October 13th 2021

May 7th – May 18th 2022

August 20th – August 31st 2022

Day 1Arrival in Belarus. The city of Minsk

Highlights: Stalinist architecture of the main avenue of the city in the evening illumination, old picturesque upper town, the Orthodox Church of the Holy Spirit and the miraculous icon of the Mother of God

Today you are travelling to Minsk. You will be picked up at the airport by your English-speaking guide. Once you have checked into your hotel, you will go for an evening stroll around the upper town (the old part of the city), where you will have a welcome dinner at one of the local restaurants.

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Accommodation*** hotel “Bonhotel”

Meals: Welcome Dinner at “Pena Dney”

Transfer: minibus

Day 2“Door to the West”, the city of Grodno

Highlights: the Neman River, the Old Castel, Kolozhskaya Church build in the pre-Mongolian period (XII), the Great Choral Synagogue, the Fern Church of St. Francis Xavier.

From the capital of modern Belarus, the city of Minsk, we drive to the city that was called the capital several times during its history: the capital of the Principality of Goroden, the second capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the third capital of the Rzeczpospolita. Grodno is also called the capital of Belarusian Catholicism and the door to Europe, as it is located only 15 km from the Polish border and 30 km from the Lithuanian border.

Grodno has 800 years of history, during which it was part of different states and ruled by different rulers. Thus, different cultures and religions, past and present, have intertwined - this is what makes the city so special.

After arriving in Grodno and checking in at the hotel, you will go to Sovetskaya Street where you will have a wonderful lunch at the restaurant "Rozmarin". After lunch, accompanied by a local English-speaking guide, you will learn about the history of the city during a leisurely walking tour.

The stroll will take you through the picturesque city center, past the theater to the two castles on the banks of the Neman River. You will also visit Borisoglebskaya (Kolozhskaya) Church, one of the five fully or partially preserved architectural structures of the pre-Mongolian period in Belarus, the Great Choral Synagogue, the Lutheran Church, the Fern Church of St. Francis Xavier and the Holy Protection Cathedral, and walk across Lenin Square with the permanent attribute, the monument to the revolutionary leader.

As of late afternoon you can explore the city on your own and your guide can give you further tips, depending on your interests.

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Accommodation*** aparthotel “Semashko”

Meals: breakfast at "Bonhotel", lunch at the restaurant "Rozmarin"

Transfer: minibus

Day 3“Belarusian Maldives”, the village of Krasnoselsky

Highlights: chalk quarries, old cement plant, lunch at Valentina in the village deep in Białowieża Forest, real Belovezha forest moonshine, roaring of the reindeer.

After an abundant breakfast you will leave Grodno for the village of Krasnoselsky.

Krasnoselsky, which population is a little more than six and a half thousand people, was established in 1914 after the construction of the cement plant, which became the city-forming enterprise.

Today it is one of the largest enterprises in Belarus, engaged in the production of a range of building materials, including cement, lime and others. 

Shortly after the construction of the plant, the First World War broke out and the plant had to close. At that time, it was almost dismantled, and soon the idea of blowing up the building came up. But fortunately, these plans did not come to fruition, and the plant was saved.

By the end of the 1980s, however, the plant was considered obsolete and unpromising, and in 1988 it was decided to build a new cement plant.

Today, as then, lime is mined in quarries to produce cement. The used quarries filled with water. However, since there is chalk at the bottom of such an object, the water acquired a turquoise color. This is how the famous chalk quarries were created, popularly called "Belarusian Maldives", which we will visit with a local guide. 

After that we will visit the museum that tells about the history of the company and this region, where you can also see amazing exhibits from the Cretaceous period of the Mesozoic era, discovered during the extraction of limestone in the local quarries. At the end of our tour we will go through the area of the first cement plant, which is being dismantled at this time, but still retains elements of an advanced Soviet company.

After getting quite hungry, we will drive from dusty Krasnoselsky to a small village right in the Belovezha virgin forest, where you will be welcomed by the hostess of a country estate and her friend. They will treat you with a delicious lunch. The Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the most valuable protected areas in Belarus and the last preserved deep virgin forest in Europe.

After lunch you will have time to walk around the village, which is very picturesque. Another option would be to go into the forest accompanied by the hostess to pick mushrooms.

In the late afternoon you will leave one forest village and will go to another one, where you will be welcomed by Alexander Pakach.

Alexander is the son of the forester. He spent his childhood in the Belovezha virgin forest and knows all its secrets. Today Alexander is a park ranger and nature photographer. For his guests Alexander offers accommodation in a wooden house, which he has equipped very cozy and with all necessary comforts.

You will spend the evening around a camp fire to share your impressions. Alexander will prepare a delicious barbecue and treat you with real Belovezha forest moonshine. All this will be accompanied by the roar of the reindeer, which will be heard from the forest, as the end of August and beginning of September is the rutting season.

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Accommodation: wooden house at the edge of the forest (2 bedrooms, a kitchen and a toilet + shower)

Meals breakfast at "Semashko", lunch at the estate “Belowezhye”, dinner at Alexander's

Transfer: minibus

Day 4“Elks and Bison Safari”, National Park “Białowieża Forest”

Highlights: ancient Białowieża forest and marshes, Elks and Bisons in the wild, Breakfast in the forest at sunrise

This will be an early rise this morning. At dawn, together with Alexander, you will go to the forest to watch deer and the bison grazing. 

Alexander will tell you about the habits of the animals, the diversity of the flora and fauna of the forest, as well as the projects that take place on the territory of the reserve. He will also share his dreams about the future of the Belovezha National Park with you.

You will have breakfast right in the woods watching the sunrise. Alexander will treat you with sandwiches with lard and homegrown vegetables. 

Back in the house you will have lunch cooked by landlady.

After lunch and a short rest, there will be a trip to one of Europe's oldest marshes, the “Wild Moor”. It is a low-lying moor, more than 6,000 years old.

You will spend the evening around the same campfire, with the same roaring deer, only today will have many more impressions to share.

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Accommodation: wooden house at the edge of the forest (2 bedrooms, a kitchen and a toilet + shower)

Meals breakfast in the forest, lunch and dinner cooked by a local woman, served in the house

Transfer: minibus

Day 5 “Hero Fortress and the thousand-year-old city”, the city of Brest

Highlights: Hero Fortress of Brest, lanterns and lamplighter, monument to the city's 1,000th anniversary, pedestrian streets in the evening light

Did you know that not only people can be heroes, but also cities and even a fortress? If not, it's time to find out. And the best place to do it is the city of Brest, where we'll be heading right after breakfast.

Our first destination will be the fortress of Brest. With the attack on the fortress on 22 June 1941, the Great Patriotic War began, the war for the liberation of the Soviet Union from the Nazi invaders. You will learn about the tragic events of those days and about the courage of the defenders of the fortress and the motherland.

After lunch in one of the central restaurants the tour continues and you will learn, for example, that Brest is one of the few cities that still has a lantern lighter who lights the lanterns in the evening. Legend has it that if you touch a button of the lamplighter’s jacket and make a wish, the wish will come true. There is a proper lantern cult in Brest – no other Belarusian town has as many lanterns. In Gogol Street, every lantern is a work of art, devoted to a different theme.

You can spend the evening strolling through the cosy streets of Brest or in a restaurant, enjoying the life of the city.

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Accommodation*** Hotel “Bug”

Meals breakfast at Alexander’s, Lunch in one of the restaurants of Brest

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Day 6„The uncrowned Kings of the Grand Duchy and their Legacy“, the towns Nyasvish and Mir

Highlights: the residences of the Radziwill in Nyasvish and Mir, authentic home-stay in the wilderness

Now it is time to leave the region of Brest behind and continue eastwards in order to see two of the most impressive Belarusian buildings of historic importance. The first is the residence of the aristocratic family Radziwill in the town of Nyasvish. Together with the Catholic church, the castle forms an ensemble which is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage. While wandering around the town and the castle you will learn more about the turbulent history of the place. Afterwards we will have lunch right in the palace restaurant.

Just 30 kilometers from Nyasvish is one of the most beautiful Belarusian castles: Mir. It is surrounded by a quaint little town of the same name. The castle was built at the beginning of the 16th century and belonged to various noble families over the centuries. For the most part it belonged to the Radziwill family, under whose influence the castle achieved its greatest magnificence. One is reminded of this even today when you contemplate its grandeur, the thickness of the walls and the surrounding moat. Mir Castle is the most easterly Gothic site and the last architectural example of the vivid Belarusian Gothic. Its walls still hold the secrets and legends of the noble families. You will learn more as we stroll around the courtyard.

Your final destination for the day will be a wooden house in Naliboki National Park. You will be welcomed by Ivan, the owner of the hamlets, a unique man, who restores the wooden houses left by their inhabitants and gives them a second life. He also raises wild bees in the old-fashioned way in wooden blocks high up on trees. He was in the team who applied old tree beekeeping tradition as non-material heritage of Belarus and Poland in UNESCO.

The guest house is an authentic post-war building in the middle of the largest forest in Belarus, with oil lamps instead of electricity and with the toilet outside the house as it used to be. As the area is almost uninhabited by people, the animals such as lynx, wolves, bison, bears etc. often come close to the house.

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Accommodation: wooden house in the forest (one sleeping area with bunk beds with mattresses and choice of sleeping bags or bedding)

Meals breakfast in Hotel “Bug”, lunch in the Palace Restaurant in Nyasvish, dinner at Ivan’s

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Day 7„Immersion in the nature“, the Naliboki forests

Highlights: Kayak tour on the river West Berezina. A camping sauna and grilled mackerel on the bank of the river.

The Naliboki Forests are the largest forested area in Belarus, located in the watersheds of the right tributaries of the Neman: western Berezina and Usa.

The idea today is to get as far away from civilization as possible and immerse yourself in nature. The morning starts with a rustic breakfast, fried potatoes with fried lard (bacon) and onions, accompanied by aromatic herbal tea, cottage cheese and honey.

After breakfast, Ivan will take you to the starting point of the Kayak tour. On the way you will be equipped with kayaks. 

You will raft on the Western Berezina River, which length is 226 km. It is one of the cleanest rivers in the country. The Berezina has a zigzag riverbed, many oxbow lakes and flood lakes and a great diversity of flora and fauna. The overgrown oxbow lakes create perfect living conditions for many birds and aquatic mammals such as beavers and otters. During the tour, their tracks can be discovered everywhere, and with a bit of luck, the animals will even show themselves.

The rafting tour will take about 4 hours with a short break for a rest and a snack.

At the finish point, a heated camping banya (sauna) will be waiting for you on the river bank. This should not surprise you. After the physical exertion during the rafting tour, it is simply recommended to take a steam bath and then a refreshing dip in the waters of the Berezina.

Tasty grilled mackerel, prepared according to Ivan's family recipe, will end the rafting tour.

Towards evening we will make our way back. We will spend the rest of the evening around the fire and surely have a lot to talk about.

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Accommodation: wooden house in the forest (one sleeping area with bunk beds with mattresses and choice of sleeping bags or bedding)

Mealsjointly cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transfer:  Land Rover Defender, minibus, kayaks

Day 8„Beekeeping“, the Naliboki forests

Highlights: Studying UNESCO tradition, making a log hive, testing wild honey with forest tee, getting familiar with local way of sauna.

Today you will learn about one of the oldest crafts of mankind - beekeeping, specifically tree beekeeping (keeping bees in trees and in the log hives attached to trees). 

After a hearty breakfast, Ivan will take you to the tree beekeeper's house - the house where Ivan's connection with the Naliboki forest began.

There you will learn and even take a part in making the log hive in the old traditional way using original instruments. You also will learn when and how wild bees move into their new homes, whether all the honey can be taken from the hives and many other facts about tree beekeeping. The talk will end with a tea ceremony served with fresh wild honey.

Afterwards, you will go together with Ivan to look for the tracks of a cheeky bear that also enjoys eating wild honey.

You will return to the house on the forest trails exploring the habitats of animals and birds. You may come across some forest animals.

For hungry travelers, there will be steaks and bacon potatoes prepared on the fire. A small banya (sauna) will be heated, after which refreshment with water from the well is highly recommended.

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Accommodation: wooden house in the forest (one sleeping area with bunk beds with mattresses and choice of sleeping bags or bedding)

Mealsjointly cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner

Transfer:  Land Rover Defender

Day 9„Belarusian Switzerland “, the town of Braslau and surroundings

Highlights: picturesque lakes and hills of Belarusian Switzerland, a cycling tour around the lakes, Mayak Hill, the town of Braslau, the Church of the Providence of God in Slobodka, the Brasik Cat Museum.

After breakfast, you will leave the Naliboki Reserve to continue your journey to the north of the country to the town of Braslau. During the drive you will notice how the flat landscape changes with picturesque lakes and hills, something quite untypical for Belarus. For this reason, the area around Braslau is also called Belarusian Switzerland.

After checking in our hotel, a SPA and recreation centre, and having a good meal, you will set off on a cycling tour around the lakes (60 km).

The first stop is Mayak Hill, from where you will have a beautiful view of the Belarusian lake landscape. The next stop is the town of Braslau, where you will have a short excursion to learn the legend of the town's origin, see the miraculous icon of Our Lady Braslau and other sights of the town. A cup of aromatic tea or coffee and dessert awaits you at the lakeside café. 

The route will continue through the village of Slobodka. The main architectural attraction of Slobodka village is the Church of the Providence of God, built here in 1903. The church is picturesquely situated on the top of a hill and has a rich interior untypical for Belarus. 

At the end of the trail, you will visit the Brasik Cat Museum. The museum is interactive. You can buy souvenirs, for example, take home one of the Brasiks.

Back in the recreation center you will have a delicious dinner and relax.

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Accommodation: recreation centre "Krasnogorka"

Meals: joint breakfast at Ivan’s, lunch and dinner in the Recreation centre "Krasnogorka", koffee/Tee break in the Café in Braslau

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Day 10 „Lungs of Europe“, the Moorland “Sosnovy Bor”

Highlights: The church in the Flame Gothic style in Sarya, the marshes of Yuhovichy Moss, cranberry fields.

Today we continue our journey and explore the North of Belarus. Right after the breakfast you will leave “Belarusian Switzerland” for the “Krasny Bor” landscape reserve to learn why Belarus is also called “Lungs of Europe”. 

Everyone knows that forests clean the air and release oxygen, but rare people know that wetlands do this 13 times more effectively. Belarus, a unique country in this respect, has 14 % of its territory covered with marshes: tidal salt marshes, tidal freshwater marshes, and inland freshwater marshes. You have already seen the Dikoje Moor, an inland freshwater marsh in Belovezha National Park, now you will get to know the Yukhovichi Moss Marsh. Dmitry, ornithologist by profession and the owner of the estate "Zaimka Leshego" (Wood Manor), will be able to acquaint you with the flora and fauna of the moor like no other. 

On the way to Dmitry you will drop by a village Sarya, where an atypical for Belarus church in the Flame Gothic style with a beautiful history of construction is situated.

After the lunch at Dmitry’s you will go on Excursion to Yukhovichi Moss Marsh.

Perhaps you will be lucky to find and taste the real marsh cranberry during the excursion. The ripening time is mid-September, but individual ripe berries can be found already late summer.

If you manage to pick some, you can make a cooling Mors drink in the evening.

Over dinner, you can continue your conversation with Dimitri and learn a lot about the restoration of the marshes and how this affects the flora and fauna.

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Accommodation: summer cottage "Zaimka Leshego"

Meals: breakfast at the recreation centre "Krasnogorka", lunch and dinner in "Zaimka Leshego"

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Day 11Program to choose:

1) „From the capital of the Principality of Polotsk to provincial town”, the town of Polotsk


Highlights: Convent of St. Euphrosyne, the town of Polotsk

After breakfast you will travel to Polotsk (Belarusian: Polazk), which is the oldest Belarusian city, having existed for more than 11 centuries. In the Middle Ages, Polotsk was the center of one of the most powerful duchies on Slavic territory. In Polotsk you will be met by a nun who will be your guide in the convent of St. Euphrosyne, one of the oldest convents in Belarus. Part of the convent complex is the ancient Church of the Saviour from the 12th century in which partially restored frescoes and relics of the saints are preserved. Euphrosyne of Polotsk (1110-1173) was an important enlightener and patron of the arts and culture in the former Duchy of Polotsk. She is the patron saint of the White Russians.

After this you will visit the old St. Sophia Cathedral (1044-1066), which was built as a copy of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and of the St. Sophia cathedrals in Kiev and Novgorod. Unfortunately, it no longer exists in the original form: it is now a magnificent baroque church.

Wandering further along the banks of the Dvina, you will discover two unusual monuments. One marks the geographical centre of Europe, which – according to the city elders – is supposedly located in Polotsk. The other is dedicated to the letter “ў” (Latin: ŭ, also called a short u), which only exists in the Belarusian language.

2) The cultural capital of Belarus. The town of Vitebsk.


Highlights: Art space “Vitebsk People's Art School”, paintings of Jehuda Pen, the teacher of Marc Chagall, birthplace of Marc Chagall


The name of Marc Chagall is inseparable from Vitebsk. He was born in the town and was a world-renowned member of the Russian avantgarde. Vitebsk was the centre of this art style at the beginning of the 1920s. Many museums, galleries and monuments in the town focus on Marc Chagall’s life in Vitebsk and his contemporaries, such as Kasimir Malevich and El Lissitsky.

Thanks to these famous painters and to the international art festival Slavianski Bazaar, Vitebsk is known as the cultural capital of the country.

Our exploration of the cultural capital of Belarus will of course begin with the origins, namely the Vitebsk People's Art School, which today is a museum, or rather even an art space, as there are few exhibits in the conventional sense. The building is almost the only thing that has survived, but it is alive with the spirit of Suprematism. Each room reveals a different theme or story of an artist in a concise yet precise way. The best part is that the museum talks about its theme not only with words and exhibits, but with artistic images, which have an impact and are more memorable than a simple story.

Then we'll stop by the art museum for a quick tour, to see the works of students from the Vitebsk Art School.

The museum is located in an old historical building (the former court building in pre-revolutionary Vitebsk), so the walls, ceilings and mosaics on the floor are already quite interesting. The museum is famous for the exposition of the classicist J. Pan, under whom Chagall began his studies, and then together they founded the Art School in 1922.

Our exploring of the cultural capital of Belarus ends with a visit to the birthplace of Chagall and the amphitheatre, where the Slavic Bazaar is taking place.

Heading back to Minsk: 

For either option you choorse, after lunch you will travel back to the capital of Belarus, the city of Minsk.

After Checking in at the hotel we will go for a walk in the city center and drop at one of the restaurants on Zybitskaya street, one of the most party streets in Minsk.

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Accommodation: *** hotel “Bonhotel”

Meals: breakfast  in "Zaimka Leshego", lunch at one of the restaurants of Polotsk/Vitebsk, Farewell  Dinner at one of the restaurants on Zybitskaya street

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Day 12„See you, Belarus!”

Today you will bid Belarus farewell. Before your guide brings you to the airport you will have time to buy typical Belarusian souvenirs for your loved ones or just take a last stroll through Minsk.

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