Highlights of Belarus

Trip Code: WMSZ

Why we love it

Step back in time in the Soviet time capsule that is Minsk. Marvel at Stalinist brutalist architecture from an era gone by and indulge in the culinary offerings of Belarus' capital city, Embark on a bike ride in Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park in search of Europe's largest land mammal, the European bison, Stay in a traditional village with a local family and enjoy home cooked meals in a cozy environment, Spend the night inside Nesvizh Castle, a 16th-century masterpiece built by the mighty Radziwill family

Is this trip right for me?

As accommodation on this trip is twin-share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same sex. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge. Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, please note that hotels in Europe often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together.

Minsk has surprisingly much to offer to visitors. Please make sure you do your research and extend your stay before or after this trip as applicable, as this trip spends limited time in the Belarusian capital. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you, subject to availability.

Important information

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Days 5 and 6 (Rural Village Stay) where you will be in shared accommodation and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
The price of the single supplement does not include the following nights, where a single room does not form part of the package. In this case you will be matched up with another traveller of the same gender. If a single room becomes available at check-in for these nights, there may be the option for you to upgrade to a single room and pay the surcharge locally for that night.
Please also note that due to the small properties we use in Europe there is only a limited amount of single supplements available per trip departure. If you would like to book a single supplement and enquire about availability please speak to your booking agent for further information.

What to bring/pack

PACKING
On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are lightly to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list., https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light., WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day., IMAGES FROM HOME
During our trip, there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos/postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country, etc.

Physical rating

 
2

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Some trips may have individual inclusions that may be of a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don't want to participate.

Joining your group

Hotel Yubileiny, 19 Pobediteley Prospect, Minsk, BELARUS, Phone: +375 17226903

Hotel Yubileiny is a centrally located hotel just 200 metres from the Svisloch River in Minsk. Guests benefit from a 24-hour reception, and the historic Trinity Suburb, the cathedral and Prospect Nezalezhnosti are just a short walk away. All rooms feature ensuite bathrooms, TV, Wi-Fi and a minibar.

Joining instructions

At Minsk International Airport (airport code MSQ) taxis are readily available and the ride takes about 45 to 75 minutes (depending on traffic). There is a taxi office at the end of the arrivals hall where you can pre-purchase your taxi ride. You will receive a voucher which you will give to the driver. Alternatively, and if you are adventurous, there are frequent regular buses and express buses from Minsk Airport to Minsk Passazhirsky main railway station, from where it is possible to catch the metro (with one change at Kupalovskaya/Kastryčnickaja metro station) to Niamiha metro station. From there it is a 10 minute walk to the hotel.

Pre booked arrival transfer from Minsk Airport (MSQ): If you have pre booked an arrival transfer your transfer driver will be waiting in the arrivals hall, holding a board with the Intrepid Logo or your name. In case of flight cancellations, changes, delays at immigration or baggage collection, or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +375 33 600 41 93.

Finishing your trip

Hotel Yubileiny, 19 Pobediteley Prospect, Minsk, BELARUS, Phone: +375 17226903

If you are making your own way to Minsk Airport the hotel will be able to help you book a taxi or transfer.

If you have pre booked a departure transfer to Minsk Airport (MSQ), you will be collected at the hotel reception 4 hours before your flight departure time. In case of flight cancellations, changes or if you are not able find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly: +375 33 600 41 93.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 8

Lunches included: 1

Dinners included: 2

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

VEGETARIANS
Vegetarians might find the menu selection in Europe less varied than they would see at home. Vegetarianism is not as common in this region and generally the choices are basic, involving vegetables, soups, salads, bread, cheese, fruit, yoghurt, eggs etc. Vegans and those on gluten-free diets may find this region very challenging and may need to supplement meals with their own supplies from supermarkets and markets. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own.

BREAKFASTS
There are some continental breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

Climate & seasonal information

SUMMER
Summer temperatures can be extreme in many of the regions visited (over 40°C), which can be uncomfortable. It’s important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water. Please carefully consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

SHOULDER SEASON
In contrast, weather in shoulder season can be unpredictable, and snow is not unheard of at higher altitudes. If you travel at the start or towards the end of the European season please pack accordingly with warm and/or waterproof clothes (preferably layers). The advantage of travelling during this time is that there are less tourists around.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

If you have booked an arrival transfer, and you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find to the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly on the number listed in the joining point instructions in the section above.

Intrepid's Local Operator: +7 918 615 1572

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

CHECK-IN TIME
Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.

PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION
If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

FACILITIES
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transportation

TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a local train, watching the scenery roll by from the window of a long distance bus, arriving on a high speed train in the city centre of your next destination, or navigating each city's public transport system. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.


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