Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

Silk, spices, tea, precious metals and jewels, carefully lashed to pack camels, made their way from one world to another along the old Silk Road. Follow in the footsteps of early explorers who plied these trade routes connecting East with West.Begin this six-country adventure in Almaty, Kazakhstan and from there fly to the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China to visit one of the most exotic cities in the world, Kashgar. Skirt the infamous Taklamakan Desert on camelback, and admire the breathtaking views across the 12,000-foot Torugart Pass, following the Silk Road through Kyrgyzstan to Lake Issyk-Kul and Bishkek. Visit Tashkent, the Fergana Valley and the UNESCO-listed Silk Road oases of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva in Uzbekistan, and continue overland into Turkmenistan to discover its 2,500-year history.Trip currently not available. Call for more information.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


Insider’s Russia:  Moscow & St. Petersburg Rediscovered

Insider’s Russia: Moscow & St. Petersburg Rediscovered

Get to know Western Russia from the inside out. Enter into medieval Moscow and imperial St. Petersburg and follow them through the cataclysm of revolution and war, then perestroika, collapse and rebirth. Enjoy intimate conversations with local people, insider perks like a ballet master class and dinner at a private dacha; and soak up the absolute best of Russian culture at superb museums and theaters. MIR first led trips to Western Russia 30 years ago, when it was still the USSR. To celebrate our 30-plus years of travel expertise, we’ve developed this trip that takes us back to our roots – a real and remarkable Russia. 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 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 St. Petersburg

Essential St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, home of the czars and their courts, is a rich repository of extravagant palaces, brilliant museums and renowned theaters overflowing with music and dance. Its fashionable boulevards and serene canals glisten in the “White Nights” of summer and dazzle on sunny winter days. Built by Peter the Great as Russia’s Window to the West, St. Petersburg is one of the world’s great cities.Read More


Essential Russia

Essential Russia

A compact and compelling survey of Russia’s political capital, Moscow, and its cultural capital, St. Petersburg, this tour communicates the character of Western Russia in a succinct and meaningful series of experiences. Begin in Moscow, admiring the classic sights and the Tretyakov Gallery, and take the high-speed train to St. Petersburg to survey Peter the Great’s visionary city and the royal palaces on its outskirts.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 Albania

Essential Albania

Country cousin of Greece and Italy, little-known Albania has 225 miles of coastline, Greek and Roman ruins and vestiges of Ottoman heritage. Beginning in the capital, Tirana, travel overland up and down the Adriatic coast and through the mountains of the south, finding medieval fortresses, beautiful beaches, Byzantine churches, mosques and monasteries. Read More


A Taste of Georgia: Wine, Cuisine & Culture

A Taste of Georgia: Wine, Cuisine & Culture

Join award-winning food and wine writer Carla Capalbo on a culinary and cultural caravan through gorgeous Georgia. Traverse varied landscapes entwined with grapevines, overflowing with wine, and abounding in hospitality, and discover the history and living traditions of this ancient country through its chefs, winemakers, artisans, and musicians. Read More