MIR’s Favorite Tours for 2014

MIR’s Favorite Tours for 2014

These are some of MIR’s favorite tours: they’re loved not just by MIR staff, but by MIR travelers as well, year after year.

Journey Through Central Asia: The Five ‘StansOur perennial favorite tour: It’s a complex mingling of foreign cultures, customs, cuisines, and religions on this Silk Route odyssey to five exotic ‘Stans: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and TurkmenistanCamels, carpets, and dazzling architecture are the backdrop to traditional Central Asian music, dance, and epic storytelling of times gone by. UNESCO highlights include Samarkand, Khiva, Bukhara, Shahrisabz, Merv and more in this ancient land.

Registan Square in Samarkand, Uzbekistan <br>Photo credit: Michel Behar

Registan Square in Samarkand, Uzbekistan
Photo credit: Michel Behar

Treasures of the South CaucasusThis top favorite tour pick brings out the best in Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The steep Caucasus Mountains pair well with Georgia’s ancient varietal wines and prolonged feasts, or supra, the bountiful “Georgian table” so tightly woven into the Georgian social fabric.  Add to that Azerbaijan’s Zoroastrian and Islamic history and the multitude of Armenia’s ancient churches, carved khachkar crosses, and stacked stone monasteries.

Ancient towers dot the South Caucasus <br>Photo credit: Devin Connolly

Ancient towers dot the South Caucasus landscape
Photo credit: Devin Connolly

Ancient Persia – Modern IranThe growing interest in Iran and in this favorite tour is self-evident:  Persia/Iran is emerging as a must-see on many travelers’ wish lists.  It’s the easiest time in decades to explore the ruins of ancient Persepolis, take in Yazd’s silk textiles and wind towers, step into Isfahan’s magnificent Imam Square, and marvel at the treasures of Tehran, Iran’s modern capital.

Cooling fountains at Imam Square in Isfahan, Iran <br>Photo credit: Michel Behar

Cooling fountains at Imam Square in Isfahan, Iran
Photo credit: Michel Behar

Kaliningrad and the BalticsIn 1989 Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians joined hands – literally – in a two-million-strong defiance of Soviet rule and secret protocols. Today, fierce freedom and a singing revolution are remembered in Tallinn, Estonia’s appealing capital. Vilnius, Lithuania bares its scars in a retro-KGB Museum, while Riga, Latvia’s once-banned hymns soar in Dome Cathedral, played on its world-famous organ. The Russian exclave, Kaliningrad? Its World War II bunker is now an open-air museum.  Freedom: It’s the Baltic Way.

More than 100,000 crosses fill Lithuania's "Hill of Crosses" <br>Photo credit: Peter Guttman

More than 100,000 crosses cover Lithuania’s “Hill of Crosses”
Photo credit: Peter Guttman

(Top photo credit: Michel Behar)

PUBLISHED: November 10, 2013

Related Posts

Share your thoughts