Belarus is a middle-size country in Eastern Europe. The maximum distance from west to east is 560 kilometres (350 miles), while 650 kilometres (400 miles) is the maximum distance from north to south.
While not on most tourists' radar, Belarus preserves beautiful castles, pristine nature, and Soviet heritage.
The country has over 11,000 lakes and 91,000 kilometres (56,500 miles) of rivers, with significant areas of marshland. About 40% of the country's landscape is covered by forests. Most of the country is flat and has vast areas of rolling countryside, but the highest point is Dziaržynskaja Hara at 345 metres (1,130 feet).
Minsk is the Belarusian capital and largest city. It's located in the centre of the country. Minsk is the major cultural centre of Belarus. Its first theatres and libraries were established in the middle of the 19th century. Now it has 11 theatres and 16 museums. There are 20 cinemas and 139 libraries.
The local dishes are generally simple. The most important ingredient in the Belarusian cuisine is the mushroom. Specialties are 'mokanka' (a salad) and dumplings called 'kletski' or 'galushki'. As a drink there is of course vodka, but also worth trying is the very spicy herbal drink 'Beloveshskaya Bitter'.