5 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites to Add to Your 2020 Bucket List

5 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites to Add to Your 2020 Bucket List

Each year, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee considers a new assortment of sites to add to its list of awe-inspiring places around the globe. These sites are carefully selected based on a strict set of criteria determining their cultural or natural significance and “outstanding universal value” to humanity. Some have been on the UNESCO Tentative List for years, waiting for their turn to shine. In 2019, the UNESCO committee added 29 new sites to its list, and significantly expanded an older one. Read More


My 5 Favorite Remote Places and Hidden Gems in Azerbaijan

My 5 Favorite Remote Places and Hidden Gems in Azerbaijan

MIR’s Kevin Testa knows the backroads and corners of so many MIR destinations, having traveled extensively throughout Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Central Asia, and beyond. He recently returned from his first visit to Azerbaijan, where he had an opportunity to experience the country’s ancient culture and village life away from the booming capital. Here, Kevin shares insider information on some of his favorite places and experiences in Azerbaijan’s remote corners. Read More


Doug’s Travel Picks: 10 Places to Visit in 2019

Doug’s Travel Picks: 10 Places to Visit in 2019

No matter how many times I’ve explored MIR’s diverse and dynamic slice of the globe, I’ve always found myself surprised and excited to see how these once-overlooked destinations have evolved since we first began organizing tours. Every year has brought new discoveries and more reasons to return again and again, whether it’s new and noteworthy hotel openings, hidden gems, outstanding cultural opportunities, or unique and memorable experiences you won’t find anywhere else. It’s not easy to narrow down a list of travel recommendations to a manageable number, but I’m giving it a whirl in honor of a brand new year. From the majesty of Moscow's Kremlin and Red Square to the rugged mountain ranges of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, here are 10 of my personal picks for the most intriguing and exciting places to visit in the year ahead. Read More


14 UNESCO World Traditions to Experience in 2019

14 UNESCO World Traditions to Experience in 2019

Every December since 2008, members of UNESCO’s cultural committee meet to decide which of the world’s cultural traditions will be honored for the previous year. This year, 31 traditions were recognized by UNESCO, and 14 of them are in MIR’s destinations. Read More



A Traveler’s Tale: Baku, Azerbaijan and the Shores of the Caspian Sea

A Traveler’s Tale: Baku, Azerbaijan and the Shores of the Caspian Sea

MIR’s Jake Smith recently traveled through Azerbaijan and its highlight, Baku. In his tour diary and photo gallery, discover his favorite finds in this historic city that features both old town charm and modern marvels. Read More


8 Surprising Destinations for Your Summer/Fall Travel Wishlist

8 Surprising Destinations for Your Summer/Fall Travel Wishlist

How will you spend your time this travel season? If you’re ready to step up to something a little different in a place you've never been before, have we got some ideas for you! Beat the crowds and gain outstanding bragging rights in these unusual destinations... Read More


3 Reasons to Visit Georgia Now: Wine, Cuisine & Culture (VIDEOS)

3 Reasons to Visit Georgia Now: Wine, Cuisine & Culture (VIDEOS)

MIR Vice President Annie Lucas has traveled the world, and declares Georgia – an undiscovered travel gem of a country in the South Caucasus – her favorite place in the world. In this video, Annie shares why she designed a small group tour for MIR that highlights so many cultural and culinary treasures of gorgeous Georgia. Read More


6 Offbeat Destinations for Your Next Spring Adventure

6 Offbeat Destinations for Your Next Spring Adventure

Summertime may get all the glory, but why wait until then to set off on your next great adventure? Some of the world's most popular destinations are at their absolute best during the spring season: milder weather, beautiful locales awash in colorful blooms, and the start of outdoor fun and festivals get travelers and locals alike buzzing with excitement about the warmer months ahead. Ready to break free from the familiar this season? Here are six favorite off-the-beaten-path destinations sure to put a little spring in your step: Read More


South Caucasus Travel: Jewish Heritage in Azerbaijan

South Caucasus Travel: Jewish Heritage in Azerbaijan

Jewish heritage is not always easy to trace in an Islamic country; it may have been covered up, forgotten, or forcibly erased. The South Caucasus country of Azerbaijan is different. Though nominally a Shi’a Islamic country, Azerbaijan has had a historic tolerance for its Jewish communities beginning in the 5th and 6th centuries. That’s when people now called “Mountain Jews” began arriving from Persia. Read More