visa free entrance to Belarus in June 10 - July 10, 2019!
Normally, travelling to Belarus by land requires a visa. Because of the II European Games this summer, the authorities have decided to open the borders for citizens of 74 countries - including all the EU states. If you buy a ticket (some 5-10 EUR), you can come to Belarus without a visa. Official page here (in English): https://minsk2019.by/en/news/509
If you travel overland, you’ll need to apply for a visa. Single-entry visa is valid for up to 90 days and costs 60 EUR (25 EUR for citizens of Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia). Information about application procedure can be found here:https://www.belarus.by/en/travel/travel-visas
Belarus offers visa-free entrance for 30 days for citizens of 74 countries, but unfortunately only for those who arrive through the airport.
Some red tape: if you are staying in the country for longer than 5 business days (excluding weekends and public holidays), you need to register the address of your stay.
Starting from 2019, it can be done online for free at https://tinyurl.com/BYregistrationTET
If you plan to stay in hotels/hostels, they will do the work for you. If you have friends who live on Belarus - they can do it for you as well.
BORDER ZONE PERMIT:
TET starts right after the border, that is in border zone. If you want to do it all from the start, you need to apply for a permit (yes, again!). All the information is here: https://gpk.gov.by/en/border-zone-borderline/rules-of-entry-to-border-zone-for-foreign-citizens/
The Linesperson can help with this, if needed. Otherwise, you’ll have to drive at least 10 km on the main road and then turn TET-wards.
I hope all the above mentioned won’t discourage you from visiting Belarus! And if you go on June 10-July 10, 2019 for less than 5 days and without visiting the border zone, you can manage without any bureaucracy at all :-)
Belarus has a lot to offer for the dual-sport traveler - nice gravel roads, sandy man-made trails going through multiple bogs, routes through abandoned villages, ancient forests with wild animals, beautiful lakes and rivers with perfect spots for camping.
Currently the route connects Ukraine and Lithuania and goes through 2 of the 6 regions of the country. It will soon be updated to include 2 more regions.
TET starts right after the border, taking you through the network of agricultural water channels, fields and forests to the free manually-operated ferry over the Dnepr-Bug channel. The route continues through forests to some local sights. You can stay in a motorcycle hostel which is on the TET and has some places for good riding around it. The trail then follows an abandoned road amongst bogs which leads to some abandoned villages. In Grodno region you ride through Lipchansky reserve (obtaining the permit in advance, of course. It’s simple and you can pay when you arrive. http://lip-p.by/online-booking/?lang=en
) The director can set up a camp sauna if it’s not a weekend. TET will then take you along the roads used for local rallies and jeep trophies. Keep your eyes open - there’s plenty of things to see along the route, including wild animals, birds and, if you are lucky, even a rare European bison!