This 6-day tour invites you to visit two countries sharing a common border, both sister countries, but with many different characteristics that await your pleasure.
Your odyssey begins with you surrounded by the hospitable beauty of Belarus, which will entice you to fall in love with its forests, lakes, traditional farmsteads and ancient castles. In the country’s capital Minsk, experience 400 year-old churches and cathedrals, and narrow XIX streets leading to wide panoramas punctuated with extensive areas of post-war architecture.
See classical Stalinist buildings from the days of the Soviet empire, constructivism and the baroque, side-by-side on the same streets. Then in the city of Brest experience the heroism of the magnificent and acclaimed fortress, the template used for the construction of Fort Goryokaku on Japan’s island of Hokkaido, both of which were to suffer the same tragic fate.
Your journey continues into Ukraine along the symbolic and enchanting Tunnel of Love, a section of old railway covered with arches of greenery, and a favoured place for young lovers to stroll.
Experience the calm and tranquility of the ancient city of Lviv, amble along its narrow streets to find small cafés serving the hot chocolate for which it is famed and enjoy the warm hospitality of local people. And of course, this adventure cannot pass without a visit to Kiev, one of the largest cities in Europe and cradle of Russian and Ukrainian culture, the capital of modern Ukraine and once a hero-city of the former Soviet Union, where contemporary art and creative cuisine eagerly await your arrival!
12:15 - 21:35 Tokyo - Minsk flight. (via Moscow)
Overnight in Minsk.
Minsk city tour.
Sightseeing tour of Minsk includes the main avenues (Independence Avenue, Victory Square) and the architectural monuments of the XVIIth – XXth centuries (Upper Town with the City Hall, Holy Spirit Church and the Cathedral of Blessed Virgin Mary, old streets of the Trinity Suburb). The Victory Monument and the National Library(included into the list of the most outstanding buildings of the world) are waiting to be explored.
Minsk Botanic Gardens morning tour.
The Central Botanical Garden is the largest structural unit of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, which works on the scientific basis for the conservation of the species diversity of plant world. It is also the 3rd largest botanical garden in Europe. There are more than 10,000 names of plants here. During May you can contemplate such plants as lilac, magnolia, forsythia, hyacinths and narcissuses. As well as unusual plant for Belarus - 'Kansas' sakura. Here you can not only observe plants and flowers, but also visit a year-round greenhouse with exotic plants and birds.
*Keep in mind that types of flowers that will bloom during the tour may vary depending on weather conditions.
Evening dinner in traditional Belarusian farmstead.
Transfer to Mir. It is most famous for the fairy-tale Mir Castle, still known today as the “medieval flower”. Castle is an impressive architectural monument, included into the list of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. It was erected at the end of the XVth century and today it is a combination of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture that makes Mir Castle so unique. This red brick castle is also a historical monument, which used to belong to several aristocratic families, who have left their mark in the history of the town and of the country in general.
Transfer to Nesvizh. You will visit the magnificent Nesvizh Palace – former residence of the aristocratic Radzivill family, which also includes beautiful park and Farny Roman-Catholic Church of the XVIth century. The complex once numbered around 170 rooms, with a series of underground passages connecting it to the town’s monasteries. Today the exposition of the Palace includes more than 30 exhibition halls, including Prince's apartments, Golden and Star halls, Hunter’s hall and others.
Transfer to Brest. Overnight in Brest.
Brest city tour.
Brest is a traditional “western gate” of the country. It is a calm and relaxed city, with famous Sovetskaya Street and boulevards, which are perfect for promenading. But the main attraction of the city is the Brest fortress, which is of course included into the city tour. The fortress made through a prolonged defense against the Nazis in 1941 and was ruined in the result of severe battles. Only a handful of men had survived but citizens all over the USSR had been inspired by the heroism of the Brest fortress defenders. Today it is a giant deeply-affecting memorial.
Brest Fortress tour
Belarus and Japan may be two countries separated by continents, with very different cultures and histories, but those ‘in the know’ have long talked about the friendship and cultural ties that bind them both.
One such thread can readily be experienced on a visit to Brest Fortress, the jewel in the crown of the city of Brest, and the template used for the construction of Fort Goryokaku on Japan’s island of Hokkaido.
Both served a very important function as mighty fortresses. But the similarity does not end there, because the construction design of each is in the easily-recognisable form of a five-sided star. Furthermore, both endured a tragic fate, suffering catastrophic damage during brutal hostilities. As such, both are symbols of courage and daring, and by this means are the peoples of the two countries united.
On your tour of Brest Fortress you will visit the iconic monument Courage, the memorial of bayonets, the intensely moving sculpture Thirst, the ceremonial square, three lines of memorial plates marking the graves of some of the fallen, museums, ruins and also the buildings that survive to this day.
Here at Brest Fortress every brick in every wall, every bullet hole and every scar bears touching witness to the memory of the tragic events that occurred in this sacred place, this profound symbol of human sacrifice in warfare.
Tranfer to Lviv via Tunnel of Love. Overnight in Lviv.
Full day Lviv city tour. Situated in the Western part of Ukraine, L'viv, the "City of Lions", is its heart and soul. Founded in the 13th c. by King Danylo Halytckyj, it was named in honor of his son Lev (Leo). Through centuries of Polish, Austrian, and Soviet occupation, Lviv was the gateway to "the East", but with independence in 1991, Lviv is finally free to develop its own Ukrainian identity.
You will visit the most interesting sites - ancient buildings, cathedrals, parks, fortification constructions, walk in the unique medieval part of the city. You will have possibility to enjoy the beauty and majesty of the objects registered at UNESCO world heritage list: Market square, Latin cathedral, Boim chapel, Kornyakt belltower, Dominican cathedral...
Our professional local guide will tell you lots of exciting stories about prominent people, who lived and visited the city of Lion and made its history. You will also hear Lviv legends, fables and historical queer stories. You will visit unique places of the old city - Italian yard, Armenian yard. This tour includes ascent to a 65 meters high Lviv town hall with a panoramic view of the old town.
Transfer to Kiev. Overnight in Kiev
This ancient city is the capital of Ukraine and one of the biggest cities in Europe. It has been standing on steep hills overlooking the Dnipro River for more than 1,500 years. 10:00 – 14:00 Kiev city tour. You will have a tour to St. Sophia Cathedral and Monastery Complex, a real pearl of the world architecture. Inside, you will view the largest frescoes and mosaics collection in the world. Further on you will move to St. Andrew’s Church, the Ukrainian Baroque church designed in 1754 by the Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. You will also see The Golden Gates of Kiev that is a major landmark of the Ancient Kiev and historic gateway in the ancient city fortress, located in the capital of Ukraine and currently serves as a museum. Afternoon tour to the golden-domed Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Monastery, the most famous sightseeing object in Kiev, which has been included in UNESCO World Heritage Register. This twenty-eight hector functioning monastery contains caves, numerous churches, towers, a printing works, miles of maze like underground tunnels containing numerous churches and some of Kiev's riches museums.
From the walking distance from Lavra you can see famous Museum of the Great Patriotic War that is a memorial complex commemorating the German-Soviet War.
21:25 Minsk-Tokyo flight ( via İstanbul)