Belarus is rich in various natural tourist places. Here people, who are fond of active recreation are attracted by endless spaciousness of wildlife, peace and freshness of the woods, peaceful smooth expanses of water… Thus, Vileyka reservoir, located near Minsk, is considered to be one of the most popular tourist places. This is one of the largest artificial reservoirs, which is used as a water supply for Minsk. Besides, the Belarusian people and guests like to spend here their holidays or just come on weekends. By the way, this lake is considered the second largest on the whole territory of Belarus, lake Naroch is still a leader. Whereas the Naroch is the largest natural reservoir, then Vileyka reservoir is accepted to be called a man-made natural monument.
The reservoir was started to be built in 1968, earlier this place had been a part of the well-known route from the Varangians to the Greeks. The main purpose of this building consisted in filling water shortage for the capital of Belarus, as already at that time there wasn’t enough water in the river Svisloch. A canal, connecting the rivers Svosloch and Viliya, was created along with the reservoir. The reservoir’s water was directed through canals to Minsk already in 7 years after the beginning of the construction works.
Vileyka reservoir is located in the area of 64,6 sq. km, it is 3 km wide by 27 km long. Its depth consists almost 4 meters on the average, though at some areas you can find 13 km as well. In summer the water warms up to 22 °С, in shallow waters you can swim in warmer water. In winter the reservoir freezes, and the ice depth is in range of 70 cm.
So why is this place so popular among local people and the guests of the neighbouring countries? Vileyka reservoir is a wonderful place for fishing both in winter and in summertime. Amateurs of water sports are the frequenters of this place as well: waterskiing, motor boats driving, rowing and yachting won’t let anyone indifferent.
Amateurs of fishing also know this place very well, there is a good catch of ruff, crucian carp, carp, pike, redeye, bream, perch, roach, pike-perch, sheatfish. The reservoir is rich in large-sized fish, which almost can not be found in other lakes. In wintertime contests among fishermen are held on the reservoir. There is also a popular belief that if you put your ear to the ice surface during religious feasts, then you can hear bells ringing of the church, drowned with the construction of the reservoir.
Vileyka reservoir is an ideal place for recreation in tents. The bank line is very wide, there are specially equipped comfortable summerhouses and designated places for fire making here. There are specially equipped tent townships for tourists as well, places in which it is better to book in advance for summer season.
The reservoir is located not far from the town of Vileyka, where inquisitive tourists can visit other local sights as well. Not far there is late 19th century estate, Holy-Joseph church, 20thcentury water mill and the church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Have a good rest!