Road trip in South Belarus and a brief visit to Kiev
Highlights of this road trip in Belarus with a visit to Ukraine:
– monuments and museums in and around Minsk connected a WWII
– drive yourself through quiet Belarus, especially when you are not just taking the main roads
– a visit to the dynamic Kyiv
– the unforgettable (and safe!) excursion to Chornobyl from Kyiv
– the castles in Mir and Nesvizh with a stay in the former
– visit to the Fortress of Brest
This is a self-drive program in Belarus with a trip by train to Kyiv. You drive and stay in the countryside, through nature parks, castles and get excursions offered in Minsk, Kyiv and a spectacular (but not dangerous) excursion to Chernobyl! A lot of variety on this trip. It is a program for experienced travelers since not everyone you meet & need will speak English. Of course you can visit places along the way to your own interest and changes in the program are possible.
A Belarus visa is no longer required for stays up to 30 days with arrival and departure at Minsk Airport since July 2018, for most countries.
Ukraine is visa free for most countries.
Read more about the highlights of travelling in Belarus, plus practical advise, here.
Arrival in Minsk. You pick up your car at the airport. Accommodation is arranged at an excellent 3 * hotel in the 40 km away Minsk. Furthermore, you are free today. (You can also choose a different class of hotels, please let us know with your request).
Start of your tour including a road trip in Belarus!
You will be offered a city excursion in Minsk for six hours with an English speaking guide. Minsk is a city with a modern look but also full of many memories of the Soviet era. You can visit the Victory Monument and the National Library (included in the list of the most interesting buildings in the world).
Followed by visits to the St. Elizabeth monastery and to the National Arts Museum, which contains the richest collection of Belarusian and foreign visual art in the country. Interesting and of a very different nature is the enormous and impressive museum about the Second World War, which can optionally be included in the program.
Accommodation in the same 3 * hotel in Minsk.
We have arranged overnight accommodation for you in a fine 3 * hotel in the city of Gomel in the far southeast of the country. The distance is 300 km, the road is mostly new and excellent. In Gomel you can for example visit the Rumyanscev-Paskevichey Palace.
On the way you can visit the little town of Vetka, not far from Gomel, known for the Old Believers who still live here, an old branche of the Russian Orthodox Church. There are two local museums in Vetka to visit.
Warning: this area is in the vicinity of the Chornobyl nuclear reactor, just across the border in Ukraine. There are closed areas here because of radiation. You are shown there with signs. You leave the car at the hotel today and arrange yourself a taxi to the station for the night train to Kyiv.
Around 3 o’clock AM your train leaves for Kyiv. You will receive the tickets from us. The journey takes about 7 hours including a comprehensive border check, and you have a sleeper in the train. Even breakfast is included in this train!
Upon arrival in Kyiv you will be transferred to a hotel on the famous Maidan Square in the city center. You have time to rest and in the afternoon you are offered – per foot – an excursion in the center of old Kyiv by an English speaking guide. After that you are free.
Today a special excursion is on the program, namely to the nuclear reactor of Chornobyl at two hours from Kyiv. The excursion is guided in English and is not dangerous as long as you follow the rules of the experienced guide! On the way in the van you will see images of the fatal accident in 1989 and reactions from those involved, including Soviet leader Michael Gorbachev.
You will visit the town of Chornobyl itself and use lunch there. And of course there are excursions a deserted village and to the notorious ghost town of Prypyat. In addition, the program includes a visit to an abandoned and expired radar system of the USSR from the 1950s, of impressive size and with an intriguing underground structure. Return to Kyiv and accommodation in your hotel.
A day off in the dynamic Kyiv, a city with a completely different atmosphere than Minsk as you will notice. At about 7:30 PM you will be taken to the train station of Kyiv for the return journey to Gomel in Belarus at approx. 21 PM. You will once again have access to a sleeper on this 7-hour journey. In Kyiv today no hotel is reserved, optionally it can be booked.
Arrival around 4:15 am in Gomel. You take a taxi to the hotel where you have parked your car, and where accommodation has been booked for you. From here you will continue your road trip in Belarus.
We have booked you accommodation at the end of the day in the town of Turov. This town is situated in a wetland area that partly floods during certain parts of the year.
Accommodation in an excellent hotel in Turov. It’s almost four hours by car from Gomel to Turov.
Today you have the time to book a group excursion in this water-rich nature reserve with its exuberant flora and fauna, by boat and by car. However, unless you speak Russian, this brings with it the challenge of language, but you may find fellow travelers who have some of the English language and who can help you.
Accommodation in the hotel in Turov has been booked.
The next stage leads to the fortress town of Brest in the southwest corner of Belarus, near the borders with Poland and Ukraine. The journey takes some 4.5 hours. Brest is a pleasant city with many students and a pleasant atmosphere. And like all cities in Belarus it’s well taken care off.
We have booked accommodation for you in a nice 3 * hotel. Brest has an interesting railway museum, but the city is famous above all because of the Fortress of Brest, where in WW2 the brave defenders held out long against the rapidly advancing Nazis. A visit is a must.
Today, completely new experiences are on the program, namely the castles of Neswizh and Mir. First you drive to Neswizh, you can book a tour and see the palace in a beautiful setting.
Not far from it lies the town of Mir with its famous castle. Also here you can visit, or the next day, because this castle has the advantage that it has a number of rooms for the night, and with an excellent kitchen as we found out!
Today you will return to Minsk. We recommend to visit the Stalin Line (museum), where apart from bunkers and other WW2 defenses, real tanks, anti-aircraft guns and airplanes can also be found. You can go for a ride in a tank for a fee!
Much more quiet is the memorial site Khatyn, a village that was completely wiped out by the Nazis during WW2 and now serves as a monument to Khatyn and many other villages that struck this fate. Accommodation has been booked for you in Minsk in the same hotel as 10 days ago.
The last day of this travel program. You bring the car to the airport and hand over the keys. End of your journey.
We can offer this road trip in Belarus with a brief incursion into Ukraine at € 1.050-1.250 p.p. at 4-2 persons. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for other group sizes.
Included in this price are:
– car rental for 12 days including insurance and navigation. Simple model, upgrade is possible.
– overnight stays in 3 * hotels bed & breakfast in Minsk (3x), Gomel (2x), Kiev (2x in a four-star hotel), Turov (2x), Brest (1x) and Mir (1x).
– train tickets Gomel-Kiev-Gomel with sleeper
– Guided tours in Minsk and Kiev in English, and a group excursion to Chernobyl
– transfers train station-hotel-train station in Kiev
– a letter of invitation for the visa for Belarus (for Ukraine you do not need a visa)
Not included in the offer are:
– international flights
– lunches & dinners
– the visa for Belarus
– not mentioned services in the program
– a health insurance valid in Belarus that is necessary for your visa application. You can ask for a letter from your insurer or we will arrange for you a Belarusian health insurance for the period, costs € 14 p.p. plus € 16 per booking.