Victory Day in Belarus

Resisting the hardest of times

Intro

The 20th century brought upon Belarus some of the harshest ordeals one can think of. Human technology showed this small but great nation how destructive it can be.
Practically eradicated from the map on 2nd World War – or the Great Patriotic War, as named to the East – Belarus knew, like a Phoenix, how to rise from the ashes and rebuilt itself.
Little over 40 years after the end of the war Belarus saw itself being again invaded, this time by a silent force: the radioactive cloud emerging from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plan explosion. This led to massive displacements and the closure of a large area in the south of the country.
Now, 30 years passed over the accident, the authorities partially opened the region to organized visits. The Pripyat Radiation Reserve is probably the biggest de-humanized area in Europe and even in the world. For all this time nature, slowly but steadily, regained its rule over man.
Together with Brutal Tours, what we propose is a 1300Km railway trip around the south of Belarus visiting some of the key places of the German invasion and subsequent expulsion, as well of a privileged visit to Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, on Belarus side.

Visa requirement

Entry to Belarus is possible visa free up to 30 days for citizens coming out of a list of 74 countries. The requirements for entry are: an ordinary passport valid for 90 days beyond the planed date of departure, the equivalent of 2 base units (1 base unit is approximately 10.50€) per day of planed stay, a medical insurance policy with coverage for at least 10 000 euros valid in Belarus during the whole duration of stay.

This information is not legally binding. It was extracted on April 7, 2019. For accurate information on visa requirements for Belarus please check the official site from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus.

Tour Plan

Day 1 (May 5) — Arrival

Meet up with the group in Front of the Minsk train station for an evening departure by train to the western city of Brest (345 km).
Check-in at 3-star hotel in Brest.

Day 2 (May 6) — Brest Fortress and City Tours

Breakfast in stylish Belarusian café. Guided visit to the city of Brest with local guide. Lunch break with suggestion to traditional restaurant by our guide.
Visit to the famous Russian 19th-century stronghold fortress of Brest, a strategic key point of the Soviet line of defence during the Germany’s Barbarossa operation. Brest fortress attack by the Reich war machine buried the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact on June 22nd, 1941. Comprises the old barracks and the massive concrete monument to Courage.
Evening departure by sleeper train to the city of Gomel (530 km).

Day 3 (May 7) — Pripryat Radiological Reserve

Early dawn arrival at Gomel. Breakfast in typical canteen/café in the main avenue. Free time to buy supplies for lunch.
Full day tour in the Belarusian Exclusion Zone, the “Other side” of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. We will explore the unsettled villages deserted after the nuclear disaster (April 26th, 1986), on our way through the exclusion zone we will also make a stop at a feeding station for European bison, where we will be able to observe the majestic and wild animals in their now reclaim natural habitat. Lunch is not provided.
Check-in at two-star hotel in Gomel.

Day 4 (May 8) — Gomel City Tour

Breakfast in typical canteen/café in the main avenue. Visit of the city of Gomel, the second in population and one of the oldest of Belarus. Lunch break with suggestion to traditional restaurant by our guide. Free time to buy supplies for train ride. Evening departure to Minsk by train (443Km). Check-in at two-star hotel in Minsk city centre.

Day 5 (May 9) — Victory Day Celebration in Minsk

Breakfast in typical canteen/café in the main avenue (not included in the price).
Victory day celebrations in Minsk. A more detailed program will be published once available.
Night at hotel in Minsk

Day 6 (May 10) — Minsk City Tour and Stalin Line

Breakfast in typical canteen/café. Guided Minsk City tour: We will explore the neighbourhood of independence avenue, from the KGB building, to the Lenin statue of Independence Square, standing in front of the Supreme Soviet of Belarus.
Lunch break with suggestion to traditional restaurant by our guide.
Visit of the Stalin Line an open-air military complex focused in the “re-enactment” of Soviet military stretching from WW2 to cold war area.
Dinner and Evening out in the capital
Night at hotel in Minsk

Day 7 (May 11) — Minsk Museums Day

Breakfast in typical canteen/café.
Visit to of the Museum of Great Patriotic War, one of the largest depositories of historical documents and relics from WW2 (1941-1945).
Visit at the Museum of Azgur studio memorial, the tiny, but impressive, museum dedicated to the Belarusian artist and his work is famous for its many sculptures of Soviet leaders and historical figures.
Farewell dinner in one of Belarus best restaurants. Night out in Minsk.
Night at hotel in Minsk

Day 8 (May 12) — Departure

Transfer to the airport (as extra service)
Departure

Places

Where worlds colide

Between Belavezhskaya Puscha and Brest Fortress, on the border with Poland, stands Brest, a city with rich and complicated history, noisy bars and charming characters like the man who lights lanterns on Savietskaya Street every night. You can always find something new in Brest, and we’ll tell you how to spend some quality time in the city on the river Bug.

Time has stopped here

When reactor 4 of Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, 30-40Km to the south, exploded the winds turned Pripyat Forest into the most radioactive place on earth. During 30 years this woods, and the villages within, lived with close to no human presence. Slowly but steadily nature started to reclaim back what was once hers.

Monument to architecture

Gomel is a city to relax. Walk along beautiful Savieckaja Street with interesting architecture. In winter join locals in sledging in the park and in summer cross the longest bridge in Belarus and bag some rays on the beach. There are lots of cozy parks, small fountains and peaceful corners. Right there, across the border, there’s Ukraine.

Europe’s last hidden jewel

Minsk is a city that doesn’t like to open up to anyone – you need to find a key. This city has dozens of faces, and it depends just on you, which of its masks Minsk will show you. In recent years Minsk started to change rapidly, thanks to dozens, if not hundreds, of various big and small initiatives, and now there’s much more life here than despair.

Price

The price includes the services described in the details section as follows:
Accomodation in twin room in hotels (6 nights)
One berth in 4-berth compartment in sleeper trains (1 night)
Minsk Card (free tram, bus and troley-cars for 3 days; 10 metro trips; museums admission)
Admission fees (where applicable)
Train rides and trasport to guided tour location

The price does not include: fees related to obtaining visa, flights to and from Minsk, mandatory travel insurance, meals, entry fee on museus/attractions other than those stated, personal expenses.

Other services not mentioned can be arranged upon request. Extra payment may apply in that circumstance.

Individual

845€

per person

  • Individual package inserted in group
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Groups of 4

700€

per person

  • Packages for 4 people inserted in group
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Transfer airport

30€

per person

  • Private transfer from airport and to airport
Single room

100€

per person

  • Upgrade to single-room in all hotels
Extra train berth

10€

per berth

  • Reserve extra berth in compartment

” Where do I sign!? “

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This tour takes place with a minimum of 4 participants