Google+
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
Travel Nav

Belarus
As other former Soviet states fill with visitors, Belarus only looks on, despite being the straightest line between Moscow and the rest of Europe. The last dictatorship in Europe to fall, Belarus is the place to come if you want to reminisce about all things Soviet – the capital, Minsk, was all but destroyed in WWII and rebuilt to a Stalinist blueprint. For natural grandeur, there is the Belovezhskaya National Park, straddling the Polish border. This is Europe’s largest primeval forest, a Unesco World Heritage site and home to European bison, the continent’s largest mammal.

Kyrgyzstan
Think of great mountain countries – Nepal, Peru, Canada – and Kyrgyzstan will inevitably get overlooked. It shouldn’t. This former Soviet republic, closed to foreigners for much of the occupation, contains the highest and most dramatic mountains in Central Asia; its highest peak is almost 7500m above sea level. Trouble is, Kyrgyzstan has little else, being low on resources and tourist infrastructure. It’s a good thing, then, that most visitors head straight for the relatively developed Lake Issyk-Kul, the second-highest lake in the world and a launching pad for the region’s finest trekking.

Page 2 of 2     First | < Previous | 1 | 2 | Next > | Last
© 2010 Lonely Planet. All rights reserved. The article ‘Must-see under-the-radar destinations’ was published in partnership with Lonely Planet.

Follow us on

Best of Travel

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.