We will be in Belarus approximately from Tue June 24 to Sat Jul 16 (23 days). Most of our participants will need a visa to enter Belarus. Please let us know by Mid May if you are joining us through Belarus so that we can make the bureaucratic arrangements.
Visa-free entry to Białowieża Forest
We will cross the border on Thu June 23 and stay on Fri June 24 somewhere in the national park. There is a special regulation that allows staying in the national park for 3 days without a visa. Participants who cannot/don’t want to get a visa for Belarus can thus still join our ride through the park. This involves buying a permission for 100000 BYR (4.55 €), printing it out and carrying it with you in the park. The boundaries of the visa-free zone are marked with yellow signs with exclamation marks.
Citizens of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cuba, Ecuador, Georgia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, Qatar, Russia, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela do not need a visa to enter Belarus, but need a travel health insurance (see below).
Citizens of Macedonia and Montenegro can enter without a visa, but need travel health insurance (see below) and a private invitation letter. We can arrange an invitation letter for you if you let us know by Mid May that you are coming.
Citizens of all other countries will need a visa to enter Belarus. We will apply for a group visa together on the 17th of June in Warsaw. It will cost about 10 € per person, which will be paid by the Biketour community. Being part of the group visa comes with the following requirements:
- You need to let us know by Mid May that you are joining.
- Your passport has to be present in Warsaw on the 16th of June and will be in the Belarusian embassy for about one week (we will already be cycling when the visa is processed, and someone will bring all the passports to us). Your passport has to be valid at least until 3 months after we leave Belarus again, so until about October 20, 2016.
- Additionally, you need to have the following documents in Warsaw on the 16th of June:
- A confirmation letter about travel health insurance (see below) and a copy of it (the original you need to take to Belarus, the copy stays at the embassy). Ideally in Russian, English will possibly work.
- The filled out visa application form (the details about who invited you and the purpose of your travel we will fill out together).
- A biometric photo, size 35×45 mm, not older than 6 months. If your passport is older than 6 months, be careful not to use the same photo as in your passport.
- You need to enter (June 23) and leave (July 16) Belarus together with us. If you are planning to join or leave the tour in Minsk for example (so you will enter or leave Belarus on your own), you can not be on the group visa.
If you cannot be on the group visa, you will have to apply for an individual visa with a Belarusian embassy. For citizens of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland this will cost 25 €, and for everyone else 60 €, which we can most probably refund you. It takes one week to be processed and you need a passport, a confirmation letter about travel health insurance (see below) and an invitation letter. We can arrange an invitation letter for you if you let us know by Mid May that you are coming.
More information about Belarus visas can be found here.
Travel Health Insurance
Every foreign citizen who wants to enter Belarus needs to prove that they have a health insurance that covers Belarus. For most people this means that they need to get a Travel Health Insurance that will cover the days that you spend in Belarus.
A Travel Health Insurance normally works in addition to an existing health insurance / health care system and will pay for small medical treatments, or, in case a bigger treatment is necessary, for your transport back to your country of residence, where your existing health insurance / health care system will pay for the treatment. That is why Travel Health Insurance is much cheaper than usual health insurance. For the days that we spend in Belarus it should be maximum 5–10 €.
Travel Health Insurance can normally be bought online from a wide range of companies. Please verify in advance that the insurance covers all the requirements by the Belarusian embassy (for example covering at least 10 000 €). Ideally, you would get a letter in Russian or Belarusian confirming that the insurance covers the Belarusian requirements.
If you need any more detailed information, feel free to contact us.
Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are part of the Schengen Area, a union of European countries which have a unified visa policy and that don’t have any obvious border checkpoints between them. If you don’t have an EU or Schengen citizenship, you might need a Schengen visa. Please inform yourself here and contact us as soon as possible if you need any assistance getting a visa (such as an invitation letter).