Belarus is one of Europe's best-kept secrets. Its wide plains, picturesque villages, ancient castles, monasteries, thousands of lakes and ancient forests make this a wonderful destination for those wanting to visit somewhere a little off-the-beaten-track. Belarus is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers and those seeking a little European culture amidst the country's architectural monuments. Russian is widely spoken in Belarus, although the official language is Belarusian. The official currency is the Ruble.
Those seeking cultural things to do will appreciate a holiday rental in Belarus' capital city, Minsk. Attend the Belarusian Ballet or explore the excellent museums such as the National Arts Museum, the National Gallery, the Museum of Old Belarusian Culture or one of the museums dedicated to the Belarusian writers. Sports enthusiasts will find plenty of excellent mountain skiing at Logoysk and Silichy, just 30km (19 miles) from the centre of Minsk. Skating and cross-country skiing are also popular in the area in the winter and hiking takes place along the trails in the summer. Boating is available in the Braslav Lake District which has 30 lakes interlinked by canals. Rent a dacha or villa in Belarus along the lakeside for a wonderful relaxing stay.
Belavexha Wood is one of the last remaining natural habitats in Europe where bison, bears and wolves still exist. The Nature Reserve of Berezinsky is a UNESCO listed biosphere which has long hiking trails and is ideal for wildlife spotting and bird watching. Vitebsk is the birthplace of the artist Marc Chagall. His home is now a museum and there is a Cultural Centre named after him. Although Minsk itself has very few remaining buildings of note, the Troitskoye Predmestye suburb should not be missed. It has wonderful baroque architecture, colourful 19th century houses and the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit and the Maryinsky Cathedral are examples of the wonderful religious inheritance of this area. Those staying in a Belarus holiday rental in Minsk will enjoy a day out at scenic Minsk Lake which is dotted with small islets. The town of Mir is also within easy reach of Minsk. It has the 15th century Mir Castle and some of the most beautiful palaces in the country at historic Nesvizh nearby.
Belarus has a Continental climate influenced by the Baltic Sea. The summers are warm but the winters are very cold. Expect 17°C (63°F) in July on average, and minus 7°C (20°F) in January.
The main airport in Belarus is Minsk (MSQ) International Airport which is 43km (27 miles) outside the city. There are plenty of buses or taxis to transport passengers to and from the city.Minsk Central Railway Station has several train lines from Berlin and Brest, or from Vienna via Warsaw.