Eastern Turkey & Georgia: Crossroads of Ancient Civilizations

Eastern Turkey & Georgia: Crossroads of Ancient Civilizations

The rugged sunburnt Anatolian Plateau of Eastern Turkey and the steep-sided green valleys of Georgia are brilliantly paired on this unusual backroad exploration. Begin in iconic Istanbul, where both continents and cultures collide, and follow traces of the old Silk Road through arid valleys and rocky hills rich with the traces of early civilizations. Then explore the beautiful little country of Georgia, where guests are welcomed at tables laden with some of the finest food and wine on earth. Read More


Albania: Beyond the Guidebook

Albania: Beyond the Guidebook

Experience the abundant natural beauty and hospitality of Albania, a burgeoning Balkan nation ready to step into the spotlight after decades of isolation and obscurity. Discover the country’s communist history, marvel at forgotten remnants of Greco-Roman and Ottoman architecture, admire spectacular vistas in the Albanian Alps, and step into the lives of villagers who still hold tight to ancient traditions. Read More


Kaliningrad & The Baltics

Kaliningrad & The Baltics

This overland journey roves the countryside and urban centers of four distinct nations:  the three independent Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – and Kaliningrad, an exclave of Russia.  Together they form a mosaic of countries ruled over in early years by the traders of the Hanseatic League, and later occupied by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II. Read More


Silk Road Backroads & Byways

Silk Road Backroads & Byways

The fascinating countries of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan encompass some of the most spectacular and absorbing hidden corners of Central Asia. Dive deep into the distinct cultural identities and multi-layered history of these extraordinary lands, discovering ancient desert citadels, dramatic Silk Road fortresses, and surprising Soviet-era remnants, and connect with artists, experts, and tribal villagers who still cling to traditional ways of life. Read More


Essence of the Silk Road & Beyond by Private Train

Essence of the Silk Road & Beyond by Private Train

Traverse four of the five ‘Stans of Central Asia on this private rail journey along the Silk Road. Begin in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city. Continue into Kyrgyzstan to inspect the capital, Bishkek, and take a boat ride on the country’s most beautiful lake, Issyk-Kul. Dip into Khujand in Tajikistan to meet with a local family and hear about their daily lives. Stop in Tamerlane’s UNESCO-listed hometown, Shahrisabz, before visiting three famed Uzbek Silk Road oases – Samarkand, Khiva, and Bukhara – all of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Experience four UNESCO sites in 16 days, with seven hotel nights and eight nights onboard the comfortable Orient Silk Road Express private train. Read More


Remote Russia: Yakutia & Kamchatka

Remote Russia: Yakutia & Kamchatka

Explore the remote corners of Russia, including the wild Kamchatka Peninsula, uneasily perched on the Pacific Ring of Fire, and Yakutia, a challenging northern frontier known for mammoths and diamonds. Meet the indigenous peoples of these far-flung locales, and admire two natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites as you contrast the Kingdom of Permafrost in Yakutsk with the steaming Valley of the Geysers in Kamchatka. Read More


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


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


Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival

Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival

On the rocky ridges overlooking Mongolia’s westernmost province, remote Bayan-Ulgii, a dwindling number of ethnic Kazakhs carry on a 6,000-year-old tradition — hunting with magnificent Golden Eagles, one of the world’s largest predatory birds. Attend the annual Golden Eagle Festival, where the eagle hunters display their birds’ speed, skill and training, as well as the deep bond that forms between bird and human. Along the way, explore Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, with its Buddhist and nomadic heritage, and the fabled Gobi Desert. Read More


Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival

Mongolian Explorer: The Gobi & Beyond with Naadam Festival

Mongolia: The name conjures up images of vast grasslands, wind-swept steppe and endless sky. Here an empire built on horseback galloped across two continents, leaving behind the names Genghis and Kublai Khan. Follow their lead, using the horsepower of modern vehicles to cover the incredible distances at the heart of Mongolia. End in the capital, where the ancient skills of that nomadic army are preserved at the extraordinary Naadam Festival.Read More