One of MIR’s Most Experienced Tour Managers Recommends Travel to These Four Remote Destinations in 2019

One of MIR’s Most Experienced Tour Managers Recommends Travel to These Four Remote Destinations in 2019

2019 promises to be an exciting travel year for long-time tour manager Michel Behar. His plans include leading four wildly different MIR tours to wildly different destinations. He can’t wait.

Four Different Tours to Remote DestinationsSome of these special tours may only be offered in 2019. One takes intrepid travelers to an isolated village in western Mongolia, where the age-old art of hunting with eagles is experiencing a revival.

Another is an exploration of the remote mountainous North Caucasus region of Russia – complex, hospitable, and spectacular.

Two others venture beyond the oases of Central Asia into the faraway corners where travelers are fewer and farther between.

Michel is looking forward to these tours and here he tells us one of the many reasons he’s excited about each one.

About Michel Behar

More Than 20 Years Tour Manager Experience Michel Behar has been a favorite with MIR clients for many years. He’s been with us since 1998, and has led tours to every corner of MIR’s realm. A Dutch citizen, he speaks a host of languages, including Russian, Italian, Turkish and Hebrew. Michel‘s vast knowledge of the history and culture of the places he loves helps travelers connect the dots in complicated regions. His wide-ranging interests include photography, and he chronicles his travels with evocative photos of the people he meets along the way (read more about Michel Behar).

Travelers often call us to find out when and where Michel will be leading another MIR tour. Here are the words he lives and leads by, which might explain why:

  • Exceed people’s expectations
  • Crack up from laughter
  • Hear “Wow!” at least once a day

He says, “Hospitality can be found all over the globe, and we can overcome prejudices by meeting other people and studying their civilizations.”


Delightful meals with a family in their home. Photo credit: Michel Behar

Sharing a meal in a family home in the North Caucasus
Photo credit: Michel Behar

1. Return to the North Caucasus

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. (There’s also an optional pre-tour available that extends the journey from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea)

Tour Dates, Details & Photos

One reason Michel is looking forward to this tour…

“I’m looking forward to the incredible hospitality and stunning mountain landscapes of a region that is truly off the beaten track. We’ll share meals in family homes, including one in the mountain village of Botlikh, Dagestan, home to about 1,000 families; we’ll visit a village of goldsmiths, blacksmiths, and jewelry-makers; and we’ll make intriguing stops in remarkable little towns and cosmopolitan cities.”

More photos and information about this tour:

(click on photo to see larger version)


The Golden Eagle festival in Uglii, Mongolia. Photo: Michel Behar

The Golden Eagle festival in Mongolia
Photo: Michel Behar

2. Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival

On the rocky ridges overlooking Mongolia’s remote westernmost province, Bayan-Ulgii, a dwindling number of ethnic Kazakhs carry on a 6,000-year-old tradition – hunting with magnificent gold eagles, one of the world’s largest predatory birds. Attend the annual Golden Eagle Festival, where the eagle hunters display the birds’ speed, skill, and training, as well as the deep bond that forms between bird and human.

Tour Dates, Details & Photos

One reason Michel is looking forward to this tour…

“I just got back from our first departure of this trip, and found the Golden Eagle Festival to be by far the most colorful festival I’ve ever attended. I look forward to returning, and immersing the group in authentic Kazakh culture. People used to live like this in Kazakhstan 150 years ago, and we get to participate in the 21st century.”

More photos and information about this tour:


The Darvaza Gas Crater in Turkmenistan. Photo credit Russ & Ellen Cmolik.

Turkmenistan’s Darvaza Gas Crater, located some 160 miles north of the capital of Ashgabat
Photo credit: Russ & Ellen Cmolik

3. 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.

Tour Dates, Details & Photos

One reason Michel is looking forward to this tour…

“I look forward to traveling deeply into the inaccessible and unfathomable deserts, exploring mud brick fortresses, tent camping at the rim of the burning Darvaza gas crater in Turkmenistan, and discovering the high-and-dry ships at the former shore of the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan. All along the way, we’ll be familiarizing ourselves with daily life in the oases.”

More photos and information about this tour:


Son Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan. Photo: Max Sjöblom

Son Kul Lake in Kyrgyzstan
Photo: Max Sjöblom

4. From the Heavenly Tien Shan to the High Pamirs

Join a fascinating and adventurous journey through two of the most remote and rarely explored countries in Central Asia – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Tour Dates, Details & Photos

One reason Michel is looking forward to this tour…

“On this trip I’m most looking forward to crossing the incredible mountain passes, driving along the Afghan border and seeing life on the other side, and spending the night in a yurt at the pristine high altitude lake, Son Kul.”

More photos and information about this tour:


Travel to Remote Locations with MIR and Michel Behar

Check out these four special journeys led by popular Tour Manager Michel Behar. Some of them may not be offered again, so don’t miss this 2019 opportunity. Intrepid, adventurous, knowledgeable, and fun, Michel takes MIR tours to a new level.

MIR has more than 30 years of experience handcrafting tours to this part of the world. Our full service, dedication, commitment to quality, and destination expertise have twice earned us a place on National Geographic Adventure’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”

Chat with one of our destination specialists by email or by phone at 1-800-424-7289 to start planning your travels today.


Top photo: MIR’s Tour Manager Michel Behar at the Flaming Cliffs in Mongolia.

PUBLISHED: November 12, 2018

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  • Gerald & Jerilyn Kaplan

    Michael Behar added so much more to our trip to the 5 Stan countries. He was so competent and informative. Each day, in addition to seeing incredible sights, we looked forward to seeing his fantastic ties. He is the best.