Forgotten Europe Tour

Please note: Our tours to Belarus are currently suspended. At present we do not have a date to recommence operations there.

Belarus Tour – Forgotten Europe – a 10 day Small Group Tour.

Belarus is the last bastion of Communism in Europe and an intriguing country to explore. On this small group tour, you will take in its superb fortresses such as Mir and Brest, the historic towns of Minsk, Vitebsk and Polotsk, and learn about its tragic history at Khatyn. The highlight will be the farmstead in Polotsk – a great way to meet local people and gain an insight into their daily lives.

On this short tour of Belarus we take in the best of its cities, from the sleepy capital Minsk with its fine churches and imposing Soviet architecture to elegant Vitebsk, laden with history and atmosphere. We also visit the fortresses at Brest and Mir as well as the historic town of Njasvizh, packed full of 16th century buildings.

Delving into the more recent past we visit Khatyn, monument to the suffering endured by Belarus during the Second World War and essential for an understanding of this land. We also spend time exploring the charming Belarusian countryside – one of the last wildernesses of Europe – in the Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, with wildlife that has long since disappeared from the rest of the continent, and we stay in local homes in Polotsk to gain a real insight into daily life. This Belarus tour is a fascinating insight into one of the least understood countries in Europe.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Start the Belarus tour when you arrive in Minsk and transfer to hotel accommodation. Depending upon flight schedules there may be time to explore the city. Overnight Hotel Belarus or similar.

(40 kms, approx. 40 mins driving time)

This morning we take a tour of Minsk, visiting Independence Square with its collection of Stalinist buildings, Victory Square and the Island of Tears, the Red Army Afghan memorial, the State Museum of the History of the Great Patriotic War, as well as the Old Town. The afternoon is free to explore independently, perhaps searching out the city’s impressive churches and cathedrals. Overnight Hotel Belarus or similar. (BL)

Today we travel to Khatyn to learn about Belarusian contemporary history. Later we visit the cultural centre of Vitebsk and take a walking tour through its numerous churches and historic buildings. Overnight Hotel Luchesa or similar. (BL)

(300 kms, approx. 4 hrs total driving time)

This morning we drive to Polotsk, one of the most historically important cities in Belarus. We visit the cathedral of St Sophia, dating from the 11th century, as well as the 12th century Convent of St Ephrosinia, superbly preserved and with impressive frescoes. Afterwards we travel to our farmstead accommodation for the night. Overnight Nalibokskie Vasilky Farmstead or similar. (BLD)

(390 kms, approx.5 hours total driving time)

Please note: The farmstead has shared facilities. Even with a single supplement, single rooms are not always available. We will try and accommodate all requests, but they cannot be guaranteed.

Spend the morning at leisure at the farmstead. After having lunch and exploring the farmstead we leave it and arrive back in to Minsk in the second part of the day. Free time in Minsk. Overnight at Hotel Belarus or similar. (BL)

(70 kms, approx. 1 hour total driving time)

Our Belarus tour continues after breakfast as we set off for Brest. We stop on the way to visit one of the country’s most important and beautiful sights, the 16th century fortress of Mir, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterwards we continue to Brest, situated on the border with Poland. Overnight Hotel Vesta or similar. (BL)

(360 kms approx. 5 hours 30 mins total driving time)

Today we take a tour of the Brest’s main sights, including the imposing fortress which played a significant part in WW2 and is notable in Belarusian history.  After lunch there’s free time to explore the town in more detail at your own pace. Overnight Hotel Vesta or similar. (BL)

We travel into one of the largest forested areas in Central Europe, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Belovezhskaya National Park. Here we’ll visit some of the park’s most scenic areas and appreciate the splendour of the wilderness. We stay overnight in the park. Overnight Hotel Kamenjuki or similar. (BL)

(55 kms approx. 1 hour total driving time)

Leaving the national park, we travel to Nesvizh known for its beautiful buildings, monasteries and 16th century houses. After a short city tour followed by lunch, we visit Nesvizh Palace, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, once owned by the Radziwil famil along with everything else, the town included. Afterwards we return to Minsk for the night. Overnight Hotel Belarus or similar. (BL)

(390 kms, approx. 6 hours total driving time)

The Belarus tour ends with a transfer to the airport. (B)

(40 kms, approx. 40 mins driving time)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

This group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 2 travellers. Please contact us to check on group numbers if a tour is not guaranteed as your reservation may be enough to guarantee the tour departs.

Single Supplement from £175.

Return flights from London to Minsk start at £280 on a direct flight from London Gatwick. Other indirect options are possible. Contact us for a quotation

We know that for many of our destinations flying cannot be avoided. But we believe that for some of our tours, taking the train is a practical, affordable and most of all a very enjoyable alternative. Even flying in just one direction will have a very positive benefit on the environment. To compare the emissions for your next trip take a look at this easy to use emissions calculator –

One-way fares from London to Minsk or vice versa start at £200.

For a quote to travel from a European city other than London please contact us. We will advise you of the options, including routes and fares.

Contact us for further details about how we can help you plan the perfect environmentally friendly addition to your holiday. As well as train tickets, we can arrange stopovers along the way, including hotels and guided tours.

Visa Requirement

Please note that most nationals including UK citizens will require a visa for entry to Belarus when arriving by train. A visa is not required when arriving in Minsk by air. At present the visa-free arrangement does not apply when entering the country via a land border.

For a more in-depth look at this fascinating and little visited area of Europe, perhaps consider combining this tour of Belarus with our Ukraine small group tour.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Belarus Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation (Single supplement available but may not apply to farm stay / homestead depending on availability)
  • Transport throughout
  • 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

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas
  • Drinks

I was very impressed with Irina our guide and Viktor our driver, they were so helpful and knowledgeable. The homestay was excellent – Lilya and co were lovely.

Angela Pater, UK