Dear Mr. Langedijk, last Monday we came back from our trip.
It definitely was a nice trip. We find it a surprisingly beautiful country. And compared to the last time we were impressed by the developments (insofar as we can assess this).
Roads are above expectations.
The border formalities were not too bad. The transition in Bialystok was not busy. Filling out the forms is tricky if you’ve never done it, but we have experience and can read a bit of Cyrillic.
For us, given our age, it was a good choice to let us ride.
The program was fairly full. You start early and have many excursions.
About the hotels we were definitely fine. And the food was also above expectations. Guide and driver were extremely nice.
The experience with Irina and Victor was special. Victor has also driven around us, as we are no sauna customers. Irina’s food was quite tasty (and a lot).
We noticed there are many green spaces in cities and good play areas for children. Also, it was all very clean. Furthermore, little military presence (Maybe a prejudice that we thought would be there).Sincerely.
Vera Kleerekoper from The Netherlands on her two week tour ‘Belarus Complete’ for two persons in May 2016.
Dear Ardjan, you have hitherto always corresponded with my companion, but I would also like to thank you for the excellent tour organized by you to Belarus. We had a very good time. It turned out not to be difficult at all making a trip in Belarus. Of course, that was because of your guidance.
In Belarus itself only communication was somewhat difficult, so it was good that I had learnt the Cyrillic alphabet, so I could recognize spaghetti on the menus and could read the signs.
Highlights for me were the monastery in Polotsk, where old ladies crawled under the coffins of saints, the fine hotel in Vitebsk, the food at the homestay, our visit to the Berezina, where we were offered as souvenirs bullets from 1812 , the impressive Khatyn and the insane war museum Stalin Line, where you – if you paid a 100 dollars – could ride on top of a tank.
It was also nice to stay in the castle in Mir. Minsk was a nice conclusion of the trip. We tried to get into the famous tractor factory, but that did not work.
By car (We even got a bigger car, a Renault Logan) it all went fine. Driving in Belarus is not difficult, though it took some time to discover that is expected on two-lane roads of you to go to the emergency lane if someone wants to overtake. And it was crazy to see tractors and pedestrian crossings on four-lane highways. Parking is possible almost anywhere and almost never costs anything. We also liked to ride on the wide avenues in Vitebsk and Minsk.
It’s no problem if you use some quotes from my mails on your website. I do not think that Belarus will please every tourist, but it is also a European country, which is very different than we are accustomed to. If you are interested in World War II and in monasteries and churches, it is quite an ideal country. And it turned out to be very cheap. Occasionally you end up in a hotel or restaurant where the staff is not very friendly, but you should take that for granted. But we were also lucky a few times and ate really delicious meals!
And if you want to visit a country that’s not touristic, you are also at place in Belarus. We certainly haven’t seen a tourist from a Western European country for a week. Only in Mir and at the Stalin Line, we saw a few. Cordial greetings,
Johan Bel from the Netherlands on his 12-day trip for two people, and with a locally rented car, in July 2016.
Dear Mr. Langedijk, the trip was wonderful. I have visited more than 100 countries but this was one of the top countries. Much tranquillity, friendly people and a lot of culture. I’d like to return once more but that’s only possible in a year time. Best regards.
Hans de Haan from The Netherlands on his 11-day organized tour in Belarus for two persons in August 2018.
From Schiphol we flew to Minsk, the capital of Belarus. The airport in Minsk was very modern, funnily we had expected it to be “old-fashioned”.
We were advised as follows: pin cash as soon as possible, because withdrawing money in the country is only possible in a few places … .What a misconception, even contactless payment could be done almost everywhere!
Minsk is a beautiful, clean city with lots of stories. With the help of an English speaking guide we have also taken a tour of the city and the Stalin line, a real must. Our next place to sleep was in Mir, this is a traditional village that has no tourism yet, so hardly any English is spoken. Hands and feet, together with Google translate, provided “conversations”. In most places there are no English references, so it is useful to know what the signs mean in Belarussian writing.
The most beautiful experiences in this journey we have gained in the homestays. We stayed with private individuals twice, they cooked for us and knew a lot about their country and history. With the help of a bit their home-brewed vodka, we spoke better Belorussian and the host and woman spoke better English or German!
We have also been in a primeval forest, the back garden of the ancient Tsars and the rich Poles and in the birthplace of Marc Chagall, the city of Vitebsk. We have experienced so many things, we are so surprised by the country that we hope to go back someday.
The biggest recommendation is: book all the guides before departure, they all speak perfect English and the country is comes to life even more.
Belarussians speak and understand Russian, but the official language is Belarussian! The people may seem stiff, but they are sincere and proud and like to share with you if you are genuinely interested.
Tjitske, Eric and Bauke from The Netherlands on their 17-day Family Tour in Belarus in August 2018.