Belarus holiday, small group
Description of Belarus holiday, small group
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As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetOur tour leaders do not use single use plastic bottles and also encourage our customers to use their reusable water bottles. Our local agent provides filtered water on all minibuses and encourages customers to refill from springs or other suitable sources.
On this trip we visit and stay overnight in Nesvizh Castle and our entrance fee helps to preserve this historical building that dates back in part to the 16th century.
During your free time in Minsk our tour leaders recommend that you explore the city by using the electric buses and metro, as well as giving advice on some walking routes.
On this trip we visit Rosy Eco Village which was created by several families who decided to escape hectic city life and get back to a more traditional lifestyle where they live off the land and reconnect with nature by farming their own food and creating a family nest. This type of settlement and country lifestyle used to be common, but was mostly lost during Soviet rule. We'll be introduced to the eco village concept by the families and get the chance to sample their organic tea, homemade bread, honey, and other delicacies.
Belarus has primeval forests and wetlands, great diversity of flora and fauna, and plenty of rivers and lakes, which the Belarusian people rightly consider a national treasure and something that they want to conserve for generations to come. Belarus is among European top ten most forested countries with forests currently occupying about 40% of the country. Whereas before World War II there was only 20% left, so their reforestation projects have been very successful.
Belarus’s wetlands decreased by half in Soviet times due to large-scale land reclamation and the peatlands were largely drained. Starting from 1999 a project began to restore the wetlands and peat, which helps to drain carbon from the atmosphere. On this trip we’ll visit and stay in the Berezinsky National Park where we can see the forests and wetlands. We’ll learn about the efforts to restore bogs and meadows while walking along the ecological trails in the park, and our park stay and entrance fees go towards the ongoing restoration and conservation of these important eco-systems.
On this trip we visit Hrodna and here the local government has a strong focus on reducing waste and littering to preserve the city and the surrounding natural environment.
As a travel company we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key, and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage.
PeopleThe majority of accommodation used on this trip is locally owned. This not only provides direct employment within the hotel, but also has the effect of percolating money beyond to small businesses that supply the hotel and in this way money is spread throughout the region we visit. Other people benefit too from our visit including drivers and local guides.
We use tour leaders, who know the country very well and who will help to give us a unique insight into its history, customs and culture and get us that bit closer to the local people. They also ensure that our customers are aware of the cultural norms that should be observed, dress code, gestures, etc. Our tour leaders are trained by us in the importance of responsible tourism with guidance given on how they can make a difference.
On this trip we visit Ales Los Farm, created by a popular Belarusian musician and artist. Here we learn about his passion for folk music and folklore. He’ll perform almost forgotten folk songs and dances for us. All of which formed an important part of old-time Belarusian culture that were almost totally erased during the Soviet years.
Our tour leaders will make recommendations to clients to use locally owned restaurants, bars and shops. When dining in restaurants our tour leaders also offer advice about what to order based on what’s in season and what has been produced locally.
Our tour leaders also share their experience in responsible tourism with other local guides, students and historians through lectures that they give and on social media to encourage this practice to become more widespread in Belarus.
As a company we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of the UK travel industry body AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.