Return to the North Caucasus

Return to the North Caucasus

Join MIR on a one-of-a-kind adventure as we return to the fascinating and complex North Caucasus region, today experiencing the very beginnings of a revitalization of tourism. Discover the ravishing mountain landscapes, medley of cultures and overflowing hospitality of North Ossetia, Ingushetia, Chechnya and Dagestan, where ancient mountain tribes have guarded their way of life for thousands of years. Read More


In Search of Nomads & Mountains: Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan

In Search of Nomads & Mountains: Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan

On this adventurous journey, discover the unspoiled mountain landscapes and remarkable living traditions of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, two of Central Asia's least-known countries. Range from alpine Lake Issyk-Kul in the Kyrgyz outback, where the exciting World Nomad Games presents contests in eagle hunting, stick wrestling, and intense Central Asian horse games, to the high, jagged mountains of the remote Pamir Highway in Tajikistan. Read More


Village Traditions of the South Caucasus

Village Traditions of the South Caucasus

Step deep into the cultures of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, experiencing local life in one of the most hospitable regions of the world. Share stories and warm meals in mountain villages, sample natural wines and fantastic local cuisine, and meet craftspeople who work in clay, stained glass, metal and wood — all of it set to a soundtrack of polyphonic singing that can give you goosebumps, and traditional instruments playing the old, old songs of love and heartbreak. Read More


China’s Silk Road & Tibet: Route of Monks & Merchants

China’s Silk Road & Tibet: Route of Monks & Merchants

Retrace the path of ancient traders and adventurers on this comprehensive overland journey across Western China. Experience the legendary Kashgar Sunday Animal Market, where merchants sell everything from ducks to sheep. Make your way east to visit Turpan’s lush Grape Valley, watered by a 2,000-year-old irrigation system, and Dunhuang’s UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves, frescoed and carved with a thousand images of the Buddha. Ride the high-altitude train from Xining to Tibet, and explore the Tibetan Plateau on a splendid route that embraces the sacred cities of Gyantse and Shigatse, as well as Lhasa, “City of the Sun.”Read More


Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

Silk, spices, tea, precious metals and jewels, carefully lashed to pack camels, made their way from one world to another along the old Silk Road. Follow in the footsteps of early explorers who plied these trade routes connecting East with West.Begin this six-country adventure in Almaty, Kazakhstan and from there fly to the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China to visit one of the most exotic cities in the world, Kashgar.Skirt the infamous Taklamakan Desert on camelback, and later admire the breathtaking views across the 12,000-foot Torugart Pass, following the Silk Road through Kyrgyzstan to Lake Issyk-Kul and Bishkek. Visit Tashkent, the Fergana Valley and the UNESCO-listed Silk Road oases of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva in Uzbekistan, and continue overland into Turkmenistan to discover its 2,500-year history.Read More


Bulgaria & Romania:  Frescoes & Fortresses

Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses

Explore the complex history and fascinating culture of Bulgaria and Romania, two Balkan countries whose rugged terrain and consequent isolation have helped preserve their heritage. Discover the luminous frescoes of the painted monasteries, breathe in the fragrance of the Valley of the Roses, and spend an afternoon visiting with villagers in a tiny Transylvanian town.Read More


Essential Caucasus

Essential Caucasus

Armenia’s intricate stone khachkar crosses, the bounteous wines of Georgia and the ancient petroglyphs of Azerbaijan are icons of these three intertwined Caucasus countries, where you can experience five UNESCO masterpieces in ten days.Explore cave monasteries, Zoroastrian fire temples and medieval watchtowers, and feast on the savory cuisine of the imaginative South Caucasus cultures.Read More


Essential Tibet

Essential Tibet

Fly to the holy city of Lhasa high on the Tibetan Plateau. Admire the treasures of Tibetan culture on the “Roof of the World” and respond to the atmosphere of centuries of Buddhist practices.The highlights of this stirring journey are the holy city of Lhasa and the remote monasteries and sacred refuges hidden in the heart of the forbidding Tibetan Plateau.Read More


Essential Georgia

Essential Georgia

Georgia, hugging the shore of the Black Sea in the shadow of the Caucasus Mountains, has a long history of bountiful table traditions. Savor the regional varietals in Georgian wine country, Kakheti, admire the soaring peaks along the Georgian Military Highway, and wander the charming streets and markets of the capital, Tbilisi.Read More


Eastern Turkey & Georgia: Legacy of Empire

Eastern Turkey & Georgia: Legacy of Empire

The rugged sunburnt Anatolian Plateau of Eastern Turkey and the steep-sided green valleys of Georgia are brilliantly paired on this unusual back-road exploration. Begin among the folded hills of out-of-the-way Anatolia, rich with the traces of early civilizations, and continue along the balmy Black Sea Coast to the unfamiliar little country of Georgia, where guests are welcomed at tables laden with some of the finest food and wine on earth. Read More