It’s February, so you think winter is over? And you can forget about winter sports and fun? Hold on, there is still much snow and freezing temperatures in Belarus!
Here’s a quick guide with outdoor activities to enjoy in the last month of winter – you will see that February is not only about slush and grey skies.
4 Places to Enjoy Winter Outside the City
Winter is a perfect time to wander along forest paths, catching snowflakes and looking for traces of fantastic beasts elusive animals.
1. Belovezhskaya Pushcha is one of the most ancient forests in Europe, mentioned in a chronicle as far back as 983. The average age of the trees here is 100 years, but many of ashes and pines have exceeded 300 years.
The forest is home to one of the largest European animals and a symbol of Belarus – the Belarusian bison. You can see these giants in enclosures for 2.5 BYN (~€1) .
However, a walk in the woods will also be an exciting experience. In Belovezhskaya Pushcha there are hiking trails and cycling tracks. But for the lazybones there are bus excursions, that will take you on a tour of the main natural attractions: the 600-year-old oak, a giant pine and a birch with a build-up in the form of a bison’s head.
The easiest way to get there is from Brest. For a lunch in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, go to a small namesake restaurant and or one of the cafes.
2. Braslaw Lakes is another luring option for nature lovers – here one can climb Mayak ‘mountain’ for a view, walk one of three eco-trails, observe wild animals or meditate during winter fishing.
Prices range depending on the number of people and type of tours – from 4.5 BYN (~€2) to 50 BYN (~€25).
To get to the Belarusian ‘Lake District’ use a bus to Braslaw or go by car.
The journey is likely to last for more than a day, so you can spend a night in one of the accommodations in the national park (prices for a single room start from 25 BYN (~€12), or you can get a house for 130-280 BYN (~€63-135). Some accommodation facilities have saunas and banyas that can be booked in advance.
3. Berezinsky biosphere reserve is a protected area that combines forest, rivers, and swamps.
There are a lot of ways to get closer to nature there – a forest zoo, hiking trails, horse and ski excursions (35 BYN (~€17) for a group of up to 10 people).
Travel to Berezinsky biosphere reserve by bus or shuttle and spend a night in a guest house (from 48 BYN (~€24).
4. One more and the closest to Minsk option is Shishki countryside complex in Uzda district. There, one can ‘get hot’ in Russian sauna or a tub with hot water after active sledging or skiing in the forest. The place reminds Scandinavia – and is offered for 190 BYN (~€92) per room.
5 Places to Do Winter Sports in Belarus
Those who have loads of energy, should definitely try skiing and snowboarding.
Although Belarus is not usually associated with mountain resorts its highest point being only 345 meters, you can still have a good ride!
1. Located some 35km away from Minsk on M3 highway, Logoysk ski complex has five slopes and one training slope. There is a rental of any equipment, tubing, paintball, ice fishing and, of course, a sauna and skiing lessons for beginners.
Open: Mon-Thu 12.00 to 23.00, Fri 12.00 to 02.00, Sat 10.00 to 02.00, Sun 10.00 to 22.00
Prices: Full day ski-pass for adults 32 BYN (~€15) on weekdays, and 45 BYN (~€22) at weekends, for children –16 BYN (~€8), 22 BYN (~€10) at weekends.
1-hour ski-pass for adults 10 BYN (~€5) on weekdays, 16 BYN at weekends; for children – 5 BYN (~€2.5) on weekdays, 8 BYN (~€8.5) at weekends.
2. Keep driving along M3 and you’ll get to the ‘Mecca’ of all Belarusian skiers Silichi. 13 runs of 650 m, 700 m and 920 m, extreme sports park, 2 trampolines, a training slope for beginners and monitoring if you want to check the quality of snow!
Open: Mon-Fri 12.00 to 23.00, Sat 09.00 to 22.00, Sun 09.00 to 20.00
Prices: Full day ski-pass for adults 35 BYN (~€17), 50 BYN (~€24) at weekends; for children – 17 BYN (~€8) on weekdays, 25 BYN (~€12) at weekends.
1-hour ski-pass for adults costs 11 BYN (~€5), 18 BYN (~€8) at weekends; for children – 5 BYN (~€2) on weekdays, 9 BYN (~€4) at weekends.
There are also individual lessons: single for 25 BYN (~€12), 2 people for 40 BYN (~€20), 3-5 people – 60 BYN (~€30).
3. If you are not the most experienced skier or snowboarder, there’s no need to travel outside Minsk for a long training – you can go to Solnechnaya Dolina park. There are training slopes, a small ramp, the rental of skiing equipment and tubing.
Ski-pass is twice cheaper than in Logoysk and Silichi, and there are also individual lessons.
4. The amateurs of winter sports can also practice in Yakutskiye gory active park and Westa sports complex, both in Dzerzhinsk district. There’s skiing, snowboarding, tubing and other facilities to enjoy a weekend outside to the full!
6 Places to Go Skating In Minsk and Around
Remember classic romantic movies? An open rink, knitted mittens, huge snowflakes and a Sinatra in the background…
So why not invite someone you like and go break the ice?
1. The most popular skating place in Minsk is Nemiga rink. It is usually rather crowded but unless you intend to practice skating professionally, the conditions are quite good.
Price: 5 Belarusian rubles (~€2.5) for adults, 4 Belarusian rubles (~€2) for children.
Rental: 3 Belarusian rubles (~€1.5).
2. Chizhovka Arena has a large rink, many lockers and comfortable benches for those who feel tired. Skating sessions vary depending on the day of the week, so we advise to check the schedule on the website.
Price: 4 Belarusian rubles (~€2) for adults, 2,7 Belarusian rubles (~€1) for children.
Rental: 3 Belarusian rubles (~€1.5).
3. If you have time to go skating outside the city, do not hesitate! Besides skating, in Raubichi you can go on a walk in winter woods and have a look at the elegant church. Take into consideration that skating schedule often changes and mass skating is only at weekends.
Price: 4 Belarusian rubles (~€2) for adults, 3 Belarusian rubles (~€1.5) for children.
Rental: 3 Belarusian rubles (~€1.5).
4. Skating rink in Zamok shopping center is the only indoor ice rink in Minsk located in a big mall. So one can also go shopping and watch movies there. There is a food court next to the rink.
Price: 7 Belarusian rubles (~€3.5) for adults, 5 Belarusian rubles (~€2.5) for children.
Rental: 5 Belarusian rubles (~€2.5).
5. The rink of the Minsk Ice Sport Palace is a good option for those who want more space – there visitors skate on a real hockey field. The location is also convenient as the skating rink is situated near Spartyŭnaja metro station.
Price: 5 Belarusian rubles (~€2.5) for adults, 3.5 Belarusian rubles (~€1.5) for children.
Rental: 3.5 Belarusian rubles (~€1.5).
6. Do you like extreme sports? Then you definitely should visit Minsk Arena. You can go skating on 400 m speed skating tracks, or, if you’re not that adventurous, there’s a warm-up track and a hockey field.
Skating sessions are usually held in the evening, and you’d better check the schedule before going to the Arena as changes are possible.
Price: 4.5 Belarusian rubles (~€2) for adults, 2.5 Belarusian rubles (~€1) for children.
Rental: 2.5 Belarusian rubles (~€1).
Winter in Belarus is a good time to do something unusual. Here are three fun activities to help brighten the last winter month in anticipation of spring!
Sledging with huskies: A one-hour ride costs 199 Belarusian rubles (~€95) and you can stroke those fluffy dogs as much as you want!
Zorbing: Have you ever tried to roll down a hill in an inflatable balloon? If your vestibular system is strong enough, fancy giving it a try!
Photo credit: kyky.org, problr.by, onliner.by, tut.by, greenbelarus.info, Instagram