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Find out just why Minsk and other parts of Belarus are gaining a name as the next big thing in Eastern Europe. A sense of mystery has kept Belarus off the beaten track and the visitor numbers low. This has been a blessing in disguise for those who know and love the real Belarus!
From pretty castles and grand palaces to wild nature and wonderful people, it’s a country full of secret treasures and wonderful surprises. So put these 7 Belarus treasures on your must-see list:
Mir Castle – Are you a history buff? Then you’ll take pleasure in the 16th century UNESCO-rated Mir Castle, 90km south-west of Minsk. Gorgeous Italian-inspired gardens and a large lake surround this magnificent castle, which has gone through several renovations from Gothic to Baroque and Renaissance. It’s also had a number of different owners including Duke Ilinich in the 1520’s and Mikolay Radziwill in 1565. Another claim to fame is being involved in the Napoleonic Wars.
Gomel Palace – Situated just outside the second-largest city of Belarus, this historic 19th century estate is a breathtaking sight both inside and out. Positioned on the Sozh River, the neoclassical 2-storey palace is surrounded by wonderful parks and gardens that make it a beautiful day out. It was designed by the Russian architect Ivan Starov for Field Marshal Pyotr Rumyantsev and his family, and later passed down to his son before being purchased by Field Marshall Ivan Paskevich.
Berezinsky Nature Reserve – If you love the outdoors for hiking, hunting and wildlife then Berezinsky Reserve has everything you could wish for. With more than 200 species of birds and almost 60 types of mammal, a tour through this nature reserve is certain to refresh and revitalize. You can explore 85,000 hectares of flora, trees and fauna that are home to 1,000 elk and wild boar, together with bison, bears, wolves and countless other beasts.
Dudutki Museum – Learn more about the folklore of Belarus and those members you’re chatting to with a visit to Dudutki Museum. Billed as a museum complex of ancient crafts, you can reach this fascinating day out by travelling 40km south of Minsk to the Pukhovichi district. There you’ll find a 19th century village, a windmill, Orthodox Church, museum, farm and zoo, battle reenactments, distillery and a pub! It’s even possible to stay the night in an onsite hotel and enjoy a real banya.
Governor’s Palace Vitebsk – Visit Vitebsk and head to the famous Governor’s Palace where you can imagine the lavish life of an aristocrat. The Governor’s Palace was built in 1772 on the banks of the scenic Western Dvina River. It’s had a rich history including being home to a succession of regional governors and even played host to Napoleon.
Narochansky National Park – Proving you’re spoilt for natural wonders in Belarus, the Narochanshky National Park is a gorgeous area of wildlife and ideal for a relaxing vacation. You can tour over 90,000 hectares of gorgeous landscape, pine forest and 43 reservoirs including the country’s largest lake, Naroch. This romantic lake region is certainly a top place to come and unwind with your newfound companion. Get away from it all in Narochansky!
Minsk – All roads lead to Minsk and the lively capital of Belarus is an amazing base from where to explore the rest of the country. Dating back to the 9th century, the city alone provides enough activities to fill your week of travel. Sights include Belarusian State Museum, Victory Square, Minsk Zoo, and the National Opera and Ballet Theater. Eating out is very affordable in Minsk when compared with other parts of Eastern Europe. We recommend you to try hearty traditional Belarusian food at top restaurants Rakovsky Brovar and Traktir Na Parkovoj.
Find out more from members in Belarus…
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