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Belarus - Forgotten Europe

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 9 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 15 people
Destination(s): Belarus  
Specialty Categories: Archeology/History   Cultural Journey  
Season: July - August
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1099 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1099 Pound Sterling (GBP)

Tour Dates:
- 2 July
- 20 August
- 1 July next year
- 19 August.

Put aside any preconceptions that you may have about Belarus. Too often known only for being the last Communist state in Europe, Belarus is one of the continent’s last truly undiscovered nations, with few visitors making it across from better known neighbours such as Poland and Lithuania. Those that do discover a land with a fascinating and often tragic cultural heritage that in many ways exemplifies what much of Europe was once like, before the onslaught of modernity.

Our small group tours and tailor made holidays to Belarus take in historic old towns that hark back to days when Belarus occupied part of an important trade route, and countryside which still harbors creatures long extinct in the rest of Europe. It is in Belarus’s rural landscape that the country comes into its own, revealing its gentle traditions that provide the perfect accompaniment to a trip through this enchanting country. More than any other nation in the region, Belarus is an enigma, its essence often guessed but rarely experienced. Change that and see for yourself the secrets of this hidden land. Belarus is the last bastion of communism in Europe and an intriguing country to explore.

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Minsk. Arrive in Minsk and transfer to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive there may be time to explore the city. Overnight Hotel Planeta or similar.

Day 2: Minsk. This morning we explore some of the key sights of Minsk on a guided tour. We visit Independence Square with its collection of Stalinist buildings, Victory Square and the Island of Tears, a monument to the fallen soldiers in the Soviet campaign against Afghanistan, as well as the old town. The afternoon is free to explore – Minsk has several impressive churches and cathedrals that are well worth visiting. Overnight Hotel Planeta or similar. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 3: Khatyn - Vitebsk. Leaving Minsk we visit first the memorial complex at Khatyn to learn about Belarus’ tragic recent history, before continuing to the charming town of Vitebsk, a center of Belorussian culture and with numerous churches and historic buildings. Overnight Hotel Eridan or similar. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 4: Vitebsk – Polotsk. In the morning we explore Vitebsk, walking through the old town and visiting the house of the famous surrealist painter Marc Chagall. Later we depart for Polotsk, one of the most historically important cities in Belarus. We visit the charming cathedral of St. Sophia, dating back to the 11th century, as well as the 12th century Convent of St. Ephrosinia, superbly preserved and with impressive frescoes. Overnight Hotel Dvina or similar. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 5: Braslau Lakes National Park - Minsk. We drive to the Braslau Lakes National Park, a stunning area of forest, lakes, rivers, streams and hills with a wide array of wildlife including elk and wolves. Explore the park and walk up the ‘Lighthouse Mountain’ for a panoramic view over the lakes, before returning to Minsk for the night. Overnight Hotel Planeta or similar. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 6: Mir Fortress and Njasvizh. Visit two of the country’s most important, as well as beautiful, sites – the stunning 16th century fortress at Mir – a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and the historical settlement at Njasvizh, home to many of its original buildings, including palaces, monasteries and 16th century houses. Later we return to Minsk to spend the night. Overnight Hotel Planeta or similar. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 7: Brest. Drive west to Brest, situated on the border with Poland. We take a tour of the city’s main sites including the imposing fortress, which played a significant part in the Second World War and is an important site in Belorussian history. Overnight Hotel Vesta or similar. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 8: Strochitsy - Minsk. Head back to Minsk, stopping on the way at the fascinating open air museum of Strochitsy, with its collection of traditional buildings that give us a glimpse into how rural Belarus once was. Overnight Hotel Planeta or similar. Includes: (B), (D).

Day 9: Minsk. Tour ends.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

- Single supplement: £135
- Return flights from London to Minsk start at £280.

Price Includes:
- Arrival and departure transfers
- All accommodation on twin share basis
- Services of English speaking guide/tour leader
- Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
- Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary.

Price Excludes:
- International flights
- Any airport taxes
- Travel insurance
- Visas
- Drinks.