Having survived Soviet dictatorship and frequent wars, Belarus is now an offbeat destination with much to offer.
The capital Minsk, full of neoclassical Soviet architecture, has a diverse cultural scene; visit the KGB building, watch the Belarusian ballet and tour the colourful Troitskoye Predmestye suburb; dense pines surround nearby Minsk Lake whilst Logoysk, Krasnoe and Molodechno, all within easy reach of the capital, contain the best examples of Orthodox church architecture, including the distinctive and iconic onion-shaped domes synonymous with the style. The gigantic Brest-Litovsk Fortress stands as an important Soviet World War II memorial.
Away from the capital are wide plains, picturesque villages, ancient castles and monasteries. The unspoilt ancient woodlands of Balavezskaya Pushcha hide bison and konik, a type of wild horse.