Belarus tour, highlights of Belarus
Description of Belarus tour, highlights of Belarus
This small group tour of Belarus takes you behind the Soviet era curtain to reveal an altogether more modern example of life in Eastern Europe.
Journeying west, from the centrally-located capital, Minsk, your group will spend the next few days experiencing the highlights and lesser-known cultural sites of Belarus including an overnight stay in a village close to Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park.
UNESCO sites come thick and fast on this tour of Belarus with Nesvizh Castle and the Mir Castle complex providing a couple of historic highlights prior to a nature walk across the bird and berry abundant marshlands and swamps of Berezina Biosphere Reserve.
Almost half of Belarus is covered in forest and as you explore along the Berezina river you'll quickly begin to imagine what the rest of Europe was once like prior to making the return journey to Minsk for one last night on the tiles.
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PlanetAs a global tour operator, we are committed to operating every one of our trips in a way that respects and benefits local people, their culture and economy, while minimising our impact on the natural environment.
Belarus is a rarely visited country, so any visit by foreigners will have a positive economic impact. On this trip we also travel by public transport (trains) and in Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park we embark on a bike ride in search of the European bison. Other operators drive in the park, so our means of transportation are carbon neutral.
We educate our passengers on environmental issues on all of our trips. This includes the reduce, reuse and recycle philosophy. Even though Belarus has no recycling schemes in place, we will educate our travellers on littering in general. On this trip, we will also encourage travellers to bring their own bottles and refill them instead of buying plastic water bottles every time.
We promote small group travelling, therefore maximum group size is 12. This has much less impact when travelling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects.
PeopleWe support local businesses and use local suppliers for all our included activities and optional services. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community and any of the activities done on this trip are helping the local economic development. Working conditions are not dictated by us as a company. Rather, we use local services who in turn employ local people. We use only local accommodation on this trip. For example, on day 4 and 5 we will stay in a homestay where the family will cook traditional meals. This will not only introduce you to the everyday life in Belarus but will also help a small local business to sustain.
On every tour of ours, clients and guides are briefed on local customs and general courtesy (such as asking permission before taking photographs/dress-codes/conduct in places of worship etc.) and behave appropriately. Generally a good way on how to get our travellers involved with the local community is by teaching them a few phrases of local language, so the tour leader will give a lesson on useful Belarusian phrases and how to read Cyrillic letters. Belarus is very open to receiving guests and locals are curious about visitors as in the past the destination was very much off the radar, so there will be many opportunities to practice their newly learned language.
Furthermore, in order to allow our clients to make an informed decision on where a greater proportion of their money should be spent, we avoid including pre-paid full board meals where possible and we do encourage the group to always eat at local restaurants.
We have a Foundation which was set up to empower travellers to have a positive impact on the communities they visit. Our Foundation now supports over 50 local, grassroots projects around the world. Over the past 15 years, The Foundation has distributed over AU $5 million to projects tackling areas such as sustainable development, human rights, child protection, environmental conservation, wildlife protection, education and healthcare. While we do not visit a project during this trip, tour leader will always talk through our Responsible Travel guidelines and will encourage clients to look at other projects running at the moment.