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Places to Visit Details

Vitebsk, Belarus

The Braslav National Park is a unique place. It is the place for passive and active recreation, tourism, fishing and hunting. A number of lakes and pine forest maintain the air amazingly pure.

Braslav Lakes National Park was established on the territory of the Belarusian Lake Area in 1995.

Braslav Lakes National Park occupies about 70,000 hectares; it spans 55km from north to south and from 9 to 29km from west to east.

The national park features 74 lakes with a total area of 12,590 hectares (or 17% of its territory).

Its ecosystem consists of over 1,900 species of plants. Forests occupy about 67% of the territory and encompass several forestlands.

Thanks to a broad variety of ecosystems (forests, lakes, meadows, bogs), the animal world is extremely diverse, with 312 species of vertebrate animals 

The Braslav Lake Area is famous for unusual landscapes and terrain left by the ancient glacier.

There are  about 300 lakes of various sizes, forms, depth, composition, water transparency, flora and fauna. For their unusual beauty they are called “the blue necklace” of Belarus.

Braslav District is a land of islands. There are over 100 of them, including some very unusual ones. For example, the island of Chaichin on the lake of Strusto (Belarus’ second biggest island of 1.6 square kilometers) has its own internal lake.

Defense installations were built on the islands amidst Ikazn and Drisvyaty lakes in the Middle Ages. A monastery stood on the island of Nespish in the 17th-19th centuries.

Fishermen and their families lived on the big islands until the 1940s, nowadays only tourists can be seen here.

Recreation opportunities of Braslav District were discovered back in the 19th century. Local aristocrats had their summer houses there. In the 1920s Braslav was frequented by office workers and students from Vilnius and Warsaw, water lovers and summer visitors. In the 1930s there were summer recreation facilities, children’s camps, three yacht-clubs, and sports grounds. Braslav became the venue of sailing competitions, festivals and exhibitions. During the Second World War, the tourist infrastructure of the district was destroyed and laid in ruins up until the end of the 1950s. A recreation resort Braslav was set up in 1970 and Braslav Lakes National Park was established in 1995.

Visitors to the national park can see wild animals in open-air cages. These animals are the most common fauna representatives of the Belarusian Lake Area.

Hikers and backpackers are invited to have a walk along eco-paths:

  • Belmont Park (an architectural and landscaping monument of the 18th-19th centuries, Belarus’ second biggest park after the park in Nesvizh)
  • Slobodkovsky Esker Ridge (breathtaking landscapes and rare forms of the glacier terrain featuring a mound dating back to the 7th century B.C.- 6th century A.D. and 11th-13th centuries A.D., a firing range of Polish border troops of 1920-1939)

Tourists from Belarus and abroad can choose from four recreation facilities located on the territory of the national park:

  • Drivyaty
  • Zolovo
  • Leoshki
  • Slobodka

The national park offers tours for fishermen and hunters with an opportunity to get unique trophies. International fishing tournaments are held here: Pike’s Luck and Braslav Spinning.

In a warm season tourists are invited to take a cruise ship tour on Drivyaty Lake.

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If you come to the national park, you will certainly visit Braslav. The town has preserved the historical layout, while its downtown features buildings constructed in the 19th-20th centuries. The most famous landmarks of the town include:

  • Castle rock (9th-15th centuries);
  • Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church (1897);
  • Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church (1897);
  • Building of the St. Panteleimon Convent (early 20th century);
  • Mayak Mountain, the best observation place in the area of Braslav Lakes (174 meters).

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