Essential Tajikistan

Essential Tajikistan

Secluded Tajikistan is wreathed in spectacular mountains and colored with the influence of the Islamic world and Russia. From the country’s capital, Dushanbe, to storied Khujand in the fertile Fergana Valley, discover Tajikistan’s hospitable people, famed archaeological sites and enduring culture. Explore the ruins of the ancient city of Penjikent and share a meal with a family.Read More


Essential Turkmenistan

Essential Turkmenistan

Modern monuments dot Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat, yet tribal culture remains strong in the villages. Crisscross this rarely visited country, connecting with tribal people in the mountains, admiring sweeping landscapes and UNESCO-listed ruins populated by wild camels, and enjoying the cool breezes of the Caspian seashore. Camp at the “Door to Hell,” the burning Darvaza gas crater.Read More


Russian Winter Wonderland

Russian Winter Wonderland

Nobody loves New Year’s Eve like the Russians do – it’s the most festive holiday of the year, with parties, presents, and champagne toasts. This celebratory tour revolves around New Year’s in glorious St. Petersburg, with Moscow merrymaking and a visit to 12th century Suzdal to round out the festivities, admiring ancient churches and enjoying a traditional sleigh ride.Read More


Russia’s Imperial Capitals & Ancient Villages

Russia’s Imperial Capitals & Ancient Villages

Discover where Russian art, architecture and culture began. In between the urban centers of Moscow and St. Petersburg, experience the Russian countryside. The oldest and loveliest churches in Russia, Sergiev Posad’s wooden crafts and Fedoskino’s glowing lacquer boxes all put a shine on Russia’s Golden Ring.Read More


Treasures of the South Caucasus

Treasures of the South Caucasus

Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan share stunning mountain backdrops, powerful stone architecture and a strong code of hospitality. Georgia’s renowned winemaking traditions, Azerbaijan’s Zoroastrian and Islamic background, and Armenia’s multitude of ancient churches combine to make this distinctive journey more than the sum of its parts.Read More


Ancient Kingdoms of North East Turkey & Georgia

Ancient Kingdoms of North East Turkey & Georgia

Discover the meeting places of the ancient world in eastern Turkey and Georgia, on this back-road exploration of out-of-the-way towns and villages. Begin in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, and follow traces of the old Silk Road east through arid valleys and rocky hills redolent of empires and kingdoms – Hittite, Seljuk, Byzantine, Roman, Armenian, Ottoman, Iberian and Georgian. Experience five breathtaking UNESCO Sites, including the exuberant 13th century Great Mosque and Hospital Complex of Divrigi, and the mountain redoubts of Georgia’s remote Svaneti region. Read More


Mongolia & Tibet: Steppes to the Roof of the World

Mongolia & Tibet: Steppes to the Roof of the World

The peoples of the Mongolian steppe and of the Tibetan Plateau have much in common. Both espouse Tibetan Buddhism and unfurl painted silk thangkas on festival days. Both were originally nomads, the Mongolians relying on the horse and the Tibetans on the yak for sustenance. From the “Roof of the World” to the Gobi Desert, dive deep into both enduring cultures.Please noteThis itinerary is currently only available as a custom or independent program.  For a small group tour to this region, see Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival.Read More


Essential Slovenia & Croatia

Essential Slovenia & Croatia

Discover lively, compact Slovenia and laid-back, life-loving Croatia on this 10-day overland adventure. Enjoy both the green and glorious Julian Alps of Slovenia and the white beaches, blue skies, rocky islands, cream-colored limestone buildings and red-tiled roofs of Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. Begin in Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, where traces of Belle Époque Vienna remain, then drive a mere 70 miles to the sophisticated capital of Slovenia, lovely Ljubljana.Read More


Siberian Odyssey:  Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva

Siberian Odyssey: Legends of Lake Baikal & Tuva

Explore South Siberia, a remote and atmospheric land where mounted Scythians thundered across the steppe long ago. Meet the Buryats of UNESCO-listed Lake Baikal and the Tuvan and Khakass people, whose Mongolian neighbors imbued them with Buddhism, shamanism and khoomei, or throat-singing. Read More


Mongolia & Kyrgyzstan: Lands of the Last Nomads

Mongolia & Kyrgyzstan: Lands of the Last Nomads

On this search for Mongolian and Kyrgyz nomads, travel from the vast Mongolian steppe to the jailoo, the Kyrgyz summer pastures, visiting nomadic families in their gers and yurts and getting a feel for a way of life that is rapidly disappearing. Learn about the trusted folkways, traditional methods of grazing animals and hunting game, familiar music, epic poetry and dance, the hospitality of the steppe and the close-knit life of families on the edge – some of the things that don’t change in this precarious, and inexorably changing, way of life.Please noteThis itinerary is currently only available as a custom or independent program.  For a small group tour to this region, see Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival.Read More