6 Reasons to Visit Svaneti – Georgia’s Undiscovered and Unrivaled Mountain Region (video)

6 Reasons to Visit Svaneti – Georgia’s Undiscovered and Unrivaled Mountain Region (video)

Svaneti is a ravishing mountain region of Georgia, home of the self-sufficient Svan people, whose traditions and culture have survived for thousands of years, thanks to the region’s remoteness. Tell anyone down in the capital that you’re on your way to Svaneti and they get a far-away look in their eyes and admit they wish they could go with you. As untouched as it has been until now, Svaneti is beginning incrementally to change and modernize. The time to visit is now, before these changes sweep away the rituals and practices perfectly suited to an isolated and challenging environment. Here are 6 reasons Svaneti is an unrivaled favorite – in Georgia, and among discerning travelers... Read More


Luxury Travel by Train: A Ride Aboard the Golden Eagle Private Train (VIDEO)

Luxury Travel by Train: A Ride Aboard the Golden Eagle Private Train (VIDEO)

MIR travelers can ride the Golden Eagle private train along the Trans-Siberian Railway, north to the Arctic Circle, or Central Asia or the South Caucasus. And, for a limited time, travelers can save up to $1,000 per person on select rail journey by private train departures aboard the Golden Eagle. No matter the destination, the journey is first class all the way. Here's a video snapshot of a trip aboard the Golden Eagle along the Trans-Siberian Railway... Read More


Russian Reprise: The Bells Toll Again from Moscow’s Kazan Cathedral (VIDEOS)

Russian Reprise: The Bells Toll Again from Moscow’s Kazan Cathedral (VIDEOS)

The bells are back, with Russia's venerable Kazan Cathedral restored on Moscow's Red Square. Demolished by Stalin in Soviet times, it was rebuilt in 1993. Enjoy this video and hear the complex patterns and rhythms ring out from the bell tower, inviting all to pause, and to listen. Read More


Dancing Across Uzbekistan: An Interview with Expert Helene Eriksen (video)

Dancing Across Uzbekistan: An Interview with Expert Helene Eriksen (video)

Every few years, internationally respected dance ethnologist Helene Eriksen leads a group of enthusiasts to a different region of the world to explore its traditional dances, costumes and music. A teacher, dancer and choreographer of women’s traditional dances of the Balkans, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, Helene has teamed up with MIR for her 2016 trip, Dance Tour Through Uzbekistan. This inspired tour is open to anyone who wants to learn about – or already loves – the vivid multicolored garments, graceful dance movements and characteristic music of Uzbekistan. On this tour, participants will: • Attend a presentation of traditional Uzbek silk clothing. • Visit a small private museum to hear typical Central Asian instruments. • Learn to make Uzbekistan’s signature dish, plov, in a family home. • Learn Central Asian dances from a renowned Uzbek dancer and teacher at private master classes in Bukhara, culminating in a public performance, a centerpiece of the program. Intrigued by the itinerary of this one-of-a-kind tour, we sent these questions to her to learn more. Read More



Hot Town, Summer in the City: Irkutsk, Siberia

Hot Town, Summer in the City: Irkutsk, Siberia

Spending a summer day in Siberia, Russia may very well shatter any preconceived notions you may have about this part of the world, thought of as inhospitable, frigid, and forlorn. Here are some of the experiences Irkutsk has to offer on a sunny summer day... Read More


Discovering Georgia (the Country): 7 Reasons to Go Now

Discovering Georgia (the Country): 7 Reasons to Go Now

An ancient land with up-to-the-minute strategic importance, Georgia is a country of superlatives. And it’s not just MIR that’s buzzing about Georgia. Trending now in such publications as Forbes, National Geographic and The New York Times are these articles reviewing the country of Georgia and some of the reasons you will want to travel there – among them, wine, cuisine, landscapes and culture. Read More


Chilly Cheer: Ice-fishing on Lake Baikal

Chilly Cheer: Ice-fishing on Lake Baikal

Not for the faint of heart, ice-fishing is a cold and sometimes lonely pursuit. But on Siberia’s Lake Baikal, it’s often a social activity – something to fill up the long dark hours of winter, as well as to fill up the larder with smoked Baikal omul. Read More


Watch a Fashion Show of Swirling Silk in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (VIDEO)

Watch a Fashion Show of Swirling Silk in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (VIDEO)

A Moscow-trained designer, Valentina Romanenko, has transformed her traditional Uzbek home into a workshop and display area. In this intimate setting, decorated with brilliant Uzbek carpets and wall hangings, she creates and shows her elegant modern fashions made with traditional fabrics and techniques. Enjoy this short clip from Romanenko’s studio, featuring her sophisticated fashions. Read More


What To Know Before You Go: Siberia’s Lake Baikal and Buryatia Region (VIDEO)

What To Know Before You Go: Siberia’s Lake Baikal and Buryatia Region (VIDEO)

MIR’s Insider Tips on Travel to Unconventional Destinations: MIR founder and president Doug Grimes shares a collection of his insider’s tips on what to see, do, and eat in the heart and soul of Siberia – the Lake Baikal and Buryatia region. Read More