In two weeks you will enjoy the highlights of Belarus with an emphasis on visits of historic towns and cities, and the inheritage of the Second World War.
You start in the modern and clean capital Minsk, first travel north via the monument of Khatyn to the city of Mark Chagall, Vitebsk, followed by a visit to for Slavic people historically important city of Polotsk.
For two days you will then experience life in a traditional Belarusian farm in the countryside, an important form of tourism in the country.
Via Minsk you will drive in southern direction via the magnificent palace of Nesvizh to the laid-back city of Brest in the far southwest corner of the country. A visit to the heroic fortress of Brest is an absolute must.
Near the city is the entrance to a 600-year-old national park, Belovezhskaya Pushcha (also called “Pushcha”), with some of the last Central European primeval forests, and abundant flora and fauna. You will stay there for one day, and continue through the historic town Ruzhany to the important historical city of Grodno, where you stay a little longer.
Then via the red brick castle in Mir, and the WWII Stalin defense Line you will again arrive in Minsk. A visit to the impressive new museum of WWII can not be missed.
You will have a free day in Minsk before returning home.
It is also possible to make this tour as a self-drive in a rental car. Or even by using public transport, when we will provide for the necessary tickets. In that case however you would need more time to follow the complete program.
Prices for both these two options are considerably lower than with the full-service program.
Arrival in Minsk. Check-in at hotel
We warmly welcome you in Minsk – the capital of the Republic of Belarus, its political and cultural centre. It was first mentioned in the chronicles of the XIth century. Today, it is a dynamic city with expansive boulevards, modern and historical buildings, endless parks and well-developed infrastructure. Being an impressive example of the Soviet planning on a grand scale, Minsk however has a number of outstanding historical sights, proving city’s rich history.
Overnight in Minsk.
Sightseeing tour of Minsk includes the main avenues (Independence avenue, Victory avenue) and the architectural monuments of the XVIIth – XXth centuries (the Upper Town with the City Hall, Holy Spirit Cathedral and the Cathedral of Holy Virgin Mary, old streets of the Trinity Suburb). The Victory Monument and the National Library (included into the list of the most outstanding buildings of the world) are waiting to be explored.
Visit to St. Elizabeth convent, which includes 7 majestic church buildings, icon-making workshop, honey store and even herbal pharmacy.
Visit to the National Art museum, which presents the richest collection of Belarusian and foreign fine art in the country. The unique collection of the Belarusian art includes works of ancient icon painting, sculpture, woodcarving, textile, paintings from the XIXth – XXth centuries.
Overnight in Minsk.
Transfer to Khatyn – a deeply-affecting memorial that commemorates all innocent victims of the Great Patriotic War. The village of Khatyn was burned down and the entire population was massacred by the Nazis in 1943. Today it is a symbol of the tragedy of the Belarusian nation.
Transfer to Vitebsk, which is situated to the north of Minsk and is known today as the cultural capital of the country. It is not only because of the international song festival “Slavanski (Slavic) Bazzar”, taking place in Vitebsk annually, but rather of the city’s rich artistic heritage. Marc Chagall, an outstanding artist of the XXth century, was born here – moreover, Vitebsk became his main source of inspiration for the entire life, the town’s views could be recognizable on lots of Chagall’s paintings. Such world-famous artists as Vasiliy Kandinskiy, Ilya Repin, Kasimir Malevich also once lived and created in Vitebsk.
During Vitebsk city tour you will visit Marc Chagall Home-Museum and Marc Chagall Art-Centre, as well other sights, which give Vitebsk an elegant sense of past: the City Hall, Annunciation Church, Holy Resurrection Church, the Governor’s Palace, the famous Kirov Bridge across the Western Dvina River.
Overnight in Vitebsk.
Transfer to Polotsk, which is one of the most ancient cities of the Eastern Slavs and many Belarusians consider it as the spiritual cradle of the country. First mentioned in the Primary Chronicle of AD862 and tightly connected with the Vikings’ influence within the region, it later became the capital of the Polotsk Principality and one of the most powerful centers of Kievan Rus. Under the rule of the Prince Vseslav Charodey (the Wonder) it gained its maximum prosperity, and the most outstanding architectural monument of those times, St Sophia Cathedral, was constructed. At present this historical site along with the Convent of Saint Ephrosinia are the most honoring and esteemed in the country. Both are included into the Polotsk city tour together with other local sights (Central Square, Epiphany Monastery, Book-printing museum etc).
Transfer to the traditional Belarusian farmstead. Meeting local people, exploring surroundings, tasting Belarusian national cuisine. Folklore show with traditional music and dances.
Overnight at the farmstead.
All day long at the farmstead.
Overnight at the farmstead.
Return to Minsk. On the way visit Museum of Folk Architecture and Rural Lifestyle
This open-air Museum of Folk Architecture and Life shows the authentic character of the typical Belarusain village of the XIXth century. Farmsteads, wooden churches, schools, public barns, mills, smithies, stables – all elements have been brought here from different ethnic regions all over Belarus and were carefully restored. Visitors will also enjoy a wide collection of various household, trade and handicraft items which are all exhibited at the museum.
Overnight in Minsk.
Transfer to Nesvizh – a delightful historic town, one of the oldest in the country. You will visit the magnificent Nesvizh Palace – former residence of the aristocratic Radzivili family, which also includes beautiful park and Farny Roman-Catholic Church of the XVIth century. The complex once numbered around 170 rooms, with a series of underground passages connecting it to the town’s monasteries. Today the exposition of the Palace includes more than 30 exhibition halls, including Prince’s apartments, Golden and Star halls, Hunter’s hall and others.
Transfer to Brest. Overnight in Brest.
Brest city tour. Brest is a traditional “western gate” of the country. It is a calm and relaxed city, with the famous Sovetskaya Street and alike boulevards, which are perfect for promenading. But the main attraction of the city is the Brest fortress, which is of course included into the city tour. The fortress made a prolonged defense against the Nazis in 1941 and was ruined in the result of severe battles. Only a handful of men had survived but citizens all over the USSR had been inspired by the heroism of the Brest fortress defenders. Today it is a giant deeply-affecting memorial.
Visit to the national park Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This world-famous park, which is included into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, has recently celebrated its 600th anniversary! It is one of the last and largest remaining parts of the immense primeval forest which once spread across the European Plain. Some oaks here are really believed to be over 600 years old! The park once used to be a home and playground of Polish princes and Russian tsars, who spent there much time resting and hunting.
Pushcha’s present animal and bird world is very rich and diverse. The reserve is home to around 200 species of bird, including corncrake, eagle owl, white stork, along with 60 species of mammal, including wild boar, wild horses, roaming elk, deer and perhaps most famously, bison, which is supposed to be one of the symbols of the country.
Excursion includes the tour around Pushcha and visit to the Museum of Nature.
Free time for enjoying the beauty of nature. Overnight at Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
Transfer to Grodno.
On the way stop at Ruzhany (tightly connected with the history of Sapiega aristocratic family).
Arrival in Grodno. The name of the city is tightly connected with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. The famous Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytaut was the prince of Grodno from 1376 to 1392, and he stayed there during his preparations for the Battle of Grunwald (1410). In 1793 the last Sejm in the history of the Commonwealth occurred in Grodno. It was in the New Castle of Grodno that in 1795 the last Polish king and Lithuanian Grand Duke Stanislaw August Poniatowski abdicated.
Grodno City Tour includes Roman-Catholic Farny St. Francis Ksavery Church, the Old and New Castles, Castle street, Kolozhskaya (XII cent) church and other sites.
Overnight in Grodno.
This morning You will see the Old castle, and in the New Castle visit the historical and archaeological museum.
It is also possible to visit Grodno State Museum of Religion History.
Transfer to Korobchitsy. (8 km).
Excursion to the agriturismo complex «Korobchitsy», built in the form of the Belarusian-Polish gentry manor of the XIX century. The complex has its own equestrian club “Amadeus” and provides riding on horseback and in the chaise, stagecoach, carriage. On the complex you can see in the cages of wild animals – pheasants, deer, deer, nutria, peacocks, ostriches, wild boars. There are also a hunting lodge and a fisherman’s house, a museum of wood carving, blacksmith shop, a nature museum.
Overnight in Grodno.
Transfer to Mir, which is a small town 90 km to the south-west from Minsk. It is most famous for the fairy-tale Mir Castle, still known today as the “medieval flower”. Castle is an impressive architectural monument, included into the list of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. It was erected at the end of the XVth century and today it is a combination of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture that makes Mir Castle so unique. This red brick castle is also a historical monument, which used to belong to several aristocratic families, who have left their mark in the history of the town and of the country in general.
Overnight in the Mir Castle!
Transfer to Minsk and excursion at World War II museum. It was the first museum in the world to reveal the story of this disastrous war, as it was opened already in 1944, during the Nazi occupation. Among the museum’s first exhibits were the partisan movement chronicles, handwritten and printed books, handmade weapons. Today the museum, which occupies an area of 3,000 sq.m., houses more then 8 000 exhibits, including combat reports, diaries, drawings, flags of military units, military uniforms, military weapons, vehicles and other items.
Transfer to Stalin Line – an open-air museum of military fortifications, including the defensive line with trenches, anti-tank obstacles and ditches, anti-personnel obstacles and machine-gun pillboxes. Visitors can walk around a pillbox and sit in a gun emplacement, stroll along the trench system and clamber over a tank. The guides are dressed in uniforms of the day. To feel the atmosphere of that by-passed war you should also try the sample rations eaten by soldiers of the time.
Transfer to Minsk. Overnight in Minsk.
At two people the price of this program is €2.995 per person, at four people it is €2.095 per person. For other group sizes please send us a mail for an offer.
Included in the offer are:
– Letter of Invitation (LOI) for the visa
– a total of 13 nights of accommodations in 3* hotels in Minsk (5x), Brest, Grodno (2x), Puscha, plus in Mir Castle and in a farmstead (2x). Breakfast included, stay in TWIN rooms
– transfers during days 1-12 and 14 in a car with driver & guide-interpreter (resp. a minivan when 3-6 people)
– services of an English speaking guide during days 1-12
– entry tickets for all museums and sites as mentioned in the program
– two lunches and two dinners
Not included in the offer are the international flight tickets, the visa, remaining lunches & dinners and services not mentioned. Finally we charge €15 per booking as a contribution to the GGTO Guarantee Fund.
We can offer you this program also on the basis of accommodations & self-drive, including a rental car. An indication of the cost of this budget-tour is €995 per person at two persons. Included are 13 nights of accommodation including breakfast, your invitation letter and the rent of a car for 14 days. The exact cost will depend on the exact period for renting the car, and the type of car.
Excursions are not included in this offer but can be booked with us. Please write to us of an offer.
Finally we can offer this program with the option of travelling by public transport in Belarus. In this case however you would require somewhat more time for this program. The cost will be comparable with the self-ride option.