Minsk – Belovezhskaya Pushcha – Minsk
“Belovezhskaya Pushcha” National Park is situated in the southwest of Belarus, 340 kilometres from Minsk. The Pushcha was first mentioned in the Ipatyevskaya Chronicle of 983. A status close to that of a natural reserve was established here at the beginning of the 15th century. In 1957 the Pushcha was officially proclaimed as a State Reserve and a Hunting Forest, and in 1991 reformed as a national park. This big forestland is one of the oldest forest reserves in Europe.
The flora and fauna of Belovezhskaya Pushcha is rich in various species of plants and animals, many of them enlisted in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus (as in – in danger of extinction). The Puscha consists of mixed and deciduous forests. Trees older than 100 years have been registered here: for example, a pine (350 years old, height around 35 m), a fir (200 years, height 52 m), an oak (500 years, diameter up to 190 cm) and others. There are around 900 tall plants, 260 sorts of moss, more than 290 kinds of lichens and 570 types of fungus. Among inhabitants of the Pushcha are 59 species of mammals (among those red deer, wolf, wild boar, lynx), 227 birds species, 11 species of amphibians, 7 species of reptiles, 24 fish types and more than 9,000 kinds of insects. There are also foxes, badgers, polecats, ermines, weasels, martens, raccoons, otters, beavers, hares and squirrels, white and black storks, and 20 birds of prey. Among amphibians and reptiles are pond and grass frogs, grey, green and cane toads and others. Forest land occupies 88,2%, bogs – 4%, meadows – 5% of the territory of the National Park.
Belovezhskaya Pushcha is the last natural habitat of the biggest European mammal species today – zubr (European bison). Until the beginning of the 17th century, aurochs, and until the beginning of the 19th century, forest tarpons inhabited the Pushcha.
In 1992 UNESCO listed the National Park as a World Heritage Site. In 1993 it got the status of a Biosphere Reserve and in 1997 was awarded a Council of Europe Diploma. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the four most famous and unique original forestlands in the world.
Minsk – Belovezhskaya Pushcha – Minsk
7 days/ 6 nights
Arrival at “Minsk-2” International Airport. Transfer to the hotel with guide assistance. Check-in at the 3-star hotel in the centre of the city. Meeting with “Belintourist” Management. Souvenirs. Spare time. Dinner.
Sightseeing tour of Minsk including architectural, historical and cultural monuments of the 17th – 18th centuries. Historic part of the city – Trinity Suburb
Visit to the Museum of Country Architecture and Life on the open air in Strochitsy (18 km from Minsk) displaying the original pieces of rural architecture from various regions of Belarus as well as numerous domestic utensils, articles of applied arts and agricultural implements used by the rural population in the past
Dinner. Evening entertaining program: Belarusian ballet, opera performance, philharmonic society, circus, etc.
Departure for the “Belovezhskaya Pushcha” (340 km from Minsk). On the way to Belovezhskaya Pushcha visit to Mir, to Zhirovitchy Tour of Mir (110 km from Minsk) The 15th century Castle of Mir offers a unique example of architecture of this period. The architecture of the castle has features of the late Belarusian Gothic. In the 16th century the castle was rebuilt in the style of Renaissance. Today it has features of Gothic, Renaissance, defensive and palace architecture.
Tour of Zhirovitchy (150 km from Minsk). Zhirovitchy has been known since the 15th century. Its monastery of that age is famous for its architecture and is today the centre of Orthodox education.
Visit to the Monastery: Holy Monastery Assumption (17th century), the Convent of the Nativity of the Virgin, the Theological Seminary
Departure for “Belovezhskaya Pushcha”. Check-in at the hotel (village of Kamenyuki, “Viskuli” complex, single-, double- rooms). Spare time. Dinner
Walking tour of territory of BelovezhskayaPushcha. Visit to the Museum of Nature, open-air cages with wide animals. Lunch.
Tour of the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, including all historical and cultural sites of BP, visit to Tyshkevich’s estate, the ancient Tsar road, the ancient man site, “Viskuli“ complex, “Belaya Vezha” old tower, the rare church ensemble and so on.
Dinner or picnic
Tour of the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha: horse-back riding; on-foot routes, carriding, special activities revealing the reach and versatile world of vegetation and animals in their natural surrounding and habitats for amateurs of photo safari may be organized. Spare time. At your service: an open-air tennis court, volley-ball and basket-ball pitches, a field for mini-football, the sauna with a swimming pool, billiards.
Dinner. Folk-show performance
Breakfast. Spare time (one can buy local souvenirs). Departure for Minsk. Arrival in Minsk. Check-in at the hotel. Farewell dinner
Breakfast. Transfer to the airport for the departure