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


Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses

Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses

Explore the complex history and fascinating culture of Bulgaria and Romania, two East European 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.Our August 25-September 9, 2020 departure of this tour will feature special host Patricia Schultz, author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, “1,000 Places To See Before You Die.” Read More


Backstreets & Bazaars of Uzbekistan

Backstreets & Bazaars of Uzbekistan

Taste your way through Uzbekistan, the vibrant heart of the Silk Road, during the height of the Uzbek New Year, Navruz. Explore the exciting culinary tastes and ancient architecture of three of the most celebrated Silk Road oases – Bukhara, Khiva and Samarkand – along with the modern capital of Tashkent. Celebrate Navruz with the locals as they welcome you into their homes, and discover the enduring traditions and abundant hospitality essential to everyday Uzbek culture. Read More


Helene Eriksen & ANAR DANA present: Dance Tour Through Uzbekistan

Helene Eriksen & ANAR DANA present: Dance Tour Through Uzbekistan

Join internationally respected dance ethnologist Helene Eriksen on a journey to the heart of the Silk Road, Uzbekistan, to luxuriate in the dances, costumes and music of the Central Asian desert region. This specialized journey is handcrafted for people who are ready to learn the dance movements of the Silk Road and who love the arts and handicrafts of the people who call this region home. Benefit from the knowledge that your host has accumulated throughout 36 years of researching, dancing and teaching the dances of Uzbekistan. Read More


Essential Central Asia

Essential Central Asia

Explore the markets, mosques, minarets and teahouses of oasis towns on the fringes of the Kyzyl Kum and Kara Kum deserts. Here, spiritual beliefs were the greatest commodities to flow along trade routes, and civilizations blossomed amidst austere natural beauty. 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 10 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 Uzbekistan

Essential Uzbekistan

Roam the great Silk Road oases of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva, all of them UNESCO Sites. Admire their mosques, madrassahs and minarets clad in ceramic tiles the color of the desert sky. 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


Essential Kyrgyzstan

Essential Kyrgyzstan

On this journey through the Kyrgyz outback, spend a night with a village family, visit with an eagle hunter and admire dramatic sandstone formations. Visit high-altitude Lake Issyk-Kul and spend the night at a guesthouse in the traditional village of Chon-Kemin, getting to know the locals before returning to the capital for a performance of the Epic of Manas.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