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The first 150 kilometers of EuroVelo come to Belarus!

15.12.2015
Belarus copyright Jens Erik Larsen

The NGO Minsk Cycling Community is the coordinator for development of the Belarusian segment of EuroVelo Route 2. For several years they have researched various routes and localities to find an optimal  track. Finally, this year the NGO managed to get a grant for plotting and marking the first segment of ​​the route, which will stretch from Minsk to the west, in the direction of Poland.

Minsk Cycling Community is not the only organization that is interested in the development of the route. Cycling organizations in the cities of Brest and Lida have also expressed their desire to participate in the further development of the segment closer to the border with Poland.

Now it is difficult to predict the fate of the eastern segment of the route – from Minsk to the border with the Russian Federation. Some scouting of that segment has already been done, but now their focus is on the development of the segment west of Minsk.

In October 2015 several seminars and conferences devoted to Eurovelo 2 were held in Minsk. They were attended by experts from Estonia and Denmark – Rein Lepik and Jens Erik Larsen. Please find the earlier article on eurovelo.org here.

Now Belarus is a blank spot in the minds of cycle tourists. EuroVelo 2 should appeal to  those who are primarily interested in unity with nature. The advantages of the country is its beautiful unspoiled nature with a lot of forests, rivers, lakes, Europe’s largest wetland complexes. Nature in Belarus is more accessible than anywhere else. Here you can freely pitch your tent, in many places it is allowed to build campfires, and there is practically no private land.Belarus 2 copyright Jens Erik Larsen

The highlight for tourists from EU countries could be segments that pass through sparsely populated natural parks – Bialowieza Forest and Nalibokskaya Forest with stretches of more than 40 kilometers each.

The country has a relatively high level of safety. Since Belorussians do not have a high level of income, expenses for cyclists who travel across the country  should be relatively low.

The route will be created not only on the asphalt. Cyclists may anticipate gravel and forest roads. For now Belarus has underdeveloped road infrastructure, lack of small towns bike repair shop and relatively low level of English speakers. So first of all the route may be of interest to those who are ready for the challenges.

The website of the route is www.Eurovelo.by. By the summer there will be an English version of the website which will help to orient visitors from the EU to a new country. The site shows a map of planned route, with the GPS track of all the routes specified infrastructure facilities and places of accommodation. Also on the website there will be given any other information relating to the cycle route and the remaining issues for foreign citizens during their stay in Belarus.

The project for developing the first route segment (150 kilometers) is supported by the  U.S. Embassy in Belarus through the  U.S. Embassy Small Grants Program.

 Pavel Harbunou

More information

www.bike.org.by

http://eurovelo.by/

http://www.eurovelo.com/en/eurovelos/eurovelo-2