Newsletter:
Welcome to Belarus

Testimonials

  • I was part of Ann Scolnick's tour from Tallin to Vilnius.  I was extremely pleased and satisfied with our tour. The organization, and hotels were excellent.  Our meals outside of the hotels were better than the ones provided in the hotels.  The best part of our tour was our guide Vaida!  She was exceptional, in fact better than any guide I have had during any of my extensive travels.  I will recommend your company to my friends, and hope they also will be lucky enough to have such a wonderful guide.
    Ginny Hackney, USA, 2015 (G1 tour in opposite direction Tallinn-Vilnius)
  • The cycling trip has been the highlight of the year my life :)  for me. It was 10/10 all the way. I wouldn't change a thing and have told my friends they should go.
    Thank you so much for an incredible experience. I knew little about your part of the world . . . and now I only want to know more. The Curonian Spit is beautiful. It's all beautiful.
    Plus, with the help of Redas and Igor I was able to make a detour and find the house my uncle built where my mom lived in the Kaliningrad Oblast until 1945.
    Kudos to each of you for making me feel welcome and for anticipating and meeting my interests and needs. Seriously, you guys are amazing!!
    Gabriele Goldstone from Winnipeg, Canada, 2019 (self-guided supported cycle tour from Klaipėda to Gdansk, SG18x)
  • My wife and I loved the Baltic self-guided tour of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  The route selected meant each day had a good piece of riding on quiet roads or bike paths through interesting countryside plus stops in all of the major cities and towns.  Our small group got on very well together.
    Simon Flowers, Switzerland, 2015 (self-guided tour of the Baltics: Tallinn to Vilnius)
  • Yes we had a good trip. Saw some nice nature and pleasant villages. The hotels were also good. And the bikes. The driver drove us fast and safe from / to Riga. And we were lucky with the weather. Just a few drops of rain the last day. Mostly sunny. It rained a lot more in Sweden during that week. Best regards,
    Hans Brandtberg, Sweden, 2013 (tour SG1, along the Lithuanian Seaside)
  • Hi Saulius, We had a great time on our trip, and would recommend you to anyone. If you ever figure out how to do a Helsinki - Tallinn via St Petersburg ride, we'd be in!"
    Richard Seton, USA, 2014 (self-guided tour of the Baltics: Tallinn to Vilnius)
  • Our cycling-group has spent 10 days in Lithuania and explored your country on Baltic Bike Travel route “Vilnius-Curonian Spit-Klaipeda" – we all want to thank you again for your efforts and great assistance in planning and organizing our individual intentions to realize our this years cycling idea.
    Ludwig Enser, Germany, 2012 (tour SG2, Lithuania – from the capital to the Seaside)
  • Now we are back from a most interesting and well-organized "Baltic Capital City" guided bicycle tour. We have cycled in France, Italy, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Greece, Germany, the Czech Republic and Ireland in all kinds of landscapes ... so we have some guided cycle tours to compare with. My husband and I are so very satisfied with the whole tour. It was just what we expected except for some extra positive factors...
    Anita Bostrom-Baversten, Sweden, 2011 (tour G1)
  • We have arrived home after the Baltic Bike trip with Ramos from Vilnius to Talinn. It was fantastic, absolutely wonderful. We've done bike trips in Europe and the US with other groups and this trip was the very best. Of course we loved the country side and the weather was an unexpected bonus.
    But the real advantage of this ride was Ramos. He is a leader with knowledge beyond any tour guide.....he offered us information on the history, the culture, the geography, the religion, the botany....everything.....the best teacher/guide possible. But, beyond that, his personality is ideal for this....he understood group dynamics and the group really connected because he drew us together; building bridges between the German speakers and the English speakers, providing humor, music, etc. And the biking was perfect....the distances worked well, the scenery and places he chose to stop were ideal.
    You've done a really good job with the pace of the trip...the 2 days in Klaipedia, 3 in Riga, 2 on the island. Good hotel, simple logistics (for the guests anyway) And, the stops were at interesting places. Albinis was a really good driver and such a friendly, helpful person to have with us. Due to an old injury, I spent one afternoon on the bus. Albinis was informative and made me feel less badly about missing the biking....a really caring man and very careful with the bikes.
    Anne Badanes from USA, 2018 (G1 - guided tour of the Baltics from Vilnius to Tallinn)
  • Wishing to see a part of the world we knew little about, we 6 friends took a chance on BalticBike and were not disappointed. We had great support on our custom trip from Vilnius to Tallinn, including the support we had for an unexpected trip to the emergency room in Lithuania.  The contrast of the capital cities and the rural national parks was visually impressive.  We would not hesitate to recommend BalticBikes, professionally managed from start to finish.
    Marion Leff and co. - USA, 2018 (self-guided supported cycle tour from Vilnius to Tallinn, SG11)

Welcome to Belarus

Belarus is situated in the center of Europe, and has international borders with five countries: Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia. The total land area of Belarus is more than 207,000 square kilometers.

The country doesn't have access to sea, but due to the location Belarus is an important trade and transport corridor between Europe and the CIS.

Minsk, the capital of Belarus, is located in the center of the country. Throughout its history, Minsk has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times. But it was suffered mostly during World War 2, when it was completely destroyed.

Today Minsk is a modern European city and the largest city in the country .More than 1.9 million people live in Minsk today.

The people of Belarus are kind, friendly and good-humoured nation. Patience and peacefulness of the Belarusian people have been determined by the nation's history that has been darkened by endless wars the initiators of which were not the Belarusians. Belarus welcomes all visitors and is interested in sharing its culture, traditions and sense of community with them.

GRODNO REGION

The Grodno region lies in the west of Belarus. It is one of the six administrative regions (or oblasts) which make up the country. The Grodno region of Belarus borders Poland in the west and the Lithuania in the north.

Grodno is the main city in the region. It lies on the Neman River. It borders Minsk Region to the east, Brest Region to the south, Poland to the west and Vitebsk Region and Lithuania to the north. Grodno's existence is attested to from 1127. Two castles dating from the 14th - 18th centuries are located here on the steep right bank of the Nemen. One of the city's surviving masterpieces is the 12th century Orthodox Church of St Boris & St Gleb, which is the second oldest in Belarus.

Main tourist attractions in the region are numerous old architectural constructions such as castles in Mir, Lida, Novogrudok. A part of Białowieża Forest is situated here, but the tourist excursions start from the Brest Region part of the National Park. Zhyrovichy Monastery is also a destination for religious travelers. The Mir Castle Complex and Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park are UNESCO World Heritage sites.

SHORT HISTORY OF BELARUS

In early times, Belarus was inhabited and ruled over by various people including the Slavs, the Mongols and Lithuania. During the 19th century, various people tried to claim Belarus and it was alternately ruled by Poland and Russia. The latter managed to retain control until WWI when Germany claimed Belarus and in 1921, the country was divided between Poland and Bolshevik Russia (which became the USSR the next year). This was a terrible time in their history as the Belarusians in Poland were subjected to mass killing and thousands were executed.

During the next two decades, Belarus was passed back and forth between USSR and Germany, which left the country ravaged by the end of WWII. A quarter of the country's population died during the war, many of them in Nazi concentration camps.

Under soviet rule, Belarus recovered economically and Minsk became one of the industrial hubs of the USSR. But disaster struck in 1986 when the Chornobyl (aka Chernobyl) nuclear power station in Ukraine melted down and Belarus was harder hit than the Ukraine itself. Around one-fifth of the country was seriously contaminated and people suffer the effects until today.

Nationalist sentiment grew in the following years and the Communist Party issued a declaration of full national independence in 1991 during the collapse of the Soviet Union. It has retained closer political and economic ties to Russia than any of the other former Soviet republics.

Since independence, Belarus has had two presidents—Stanislau Shushkevich, a physicist who followed a centrist path between communism and the Popular Front, and Alexander Lukashenko, who runs the country with an iron hand. Internationally, Lukashenko is considered tyrannical and backward and held responsible for the economic decline of what was once a very promising nation.

Partnership & Membership