Belarus - Forgotten Europe


Belarus - Forgotten Europe

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 9 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

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. (BL)

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 centre of Belarusian culture and with numerous churches and historic buildings. Overnight Hotel Eridan or similar. (BL)

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. (BL)

Day 5 – Polotsk – Disna

A free morning in Polotsk to explore the town further. In the afternoon we transfer to the small town of Disna. We spend time meeting local people, learn about the old customs and crafts that are still practised here and explore the surrounding area for a real insight into rural Belarus – a real highlight of the trip. We stay overnight as guests of local families in their homes and have the opportunity to sample home cooked Belarusian dishes. (BLD)

Day 6 – 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. (BL)

Day 7 – Mir Fortress – Njasvizh - Brest

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 head to Brest, situated on the border with Poland. Overnight Hotel Intourist or similar. (BL)

Day 8 – Brest - Minsk

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 Belarusian history. Later we return to Minsk for the night. Overnight Hotel Planeta or similar. (BL)

Day 9– Minsk

Tour ends. (B)