Essential Albania, Macedonia & Kosovo

Essential Albania, Macedonia & Kosovo

Albania boasts miles of Adriatic and Ionian Sea coastline, as well as spectacular Roman ruins. Land-locked Kosovo has a reputation for fine skiing and mountaineering, sophisticated cafés and shops, and a forward-looking young population. And Macedonia is a compact jewel of a country, blue with lakes and green with forested mountains. Visit all three, from the mountains to the sea, on this 10-day jaunt across the little-traveled, yet fascinating lower Balkan Peninsula. Read More


Essence of the Silk Road & Beyond by Private Train

Essence of the Silk Road & Beyond by Private Train

Traverse four of the five ‘Stans of Central Asia on this private rail journey along the Silk Road. Begin in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city. Continue into Kyrgyzstan to inspect the capital, Bishkek, and take a boat ride on the country’s most beautiful lake, Issyk-Kul. Dip into Khujand in Tajikistan to meet with a local family and hear about their daily lives. Stop in Tamerlane’s UNESCO-listed hometown, Shahrisabz, before visiting three famed Uzbek Silk Road oases – Samarkand, Khiva, and Bukhara – all of them UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Why end might four UNESCO sites in 16 days, with seven hotel nights and eight nights onboard the comfortable Orient Silk Road Express private train. Read More


North Caucasus & South Russia by Steam Train

North Caucasus & South Russia by Steam Train

Discover the arresting natural beauty and spirited cultures of the North Caucasus on this rail journey powered by Soviet-era steam locomotives. Admire mountain vistas on the scenic North Caucasus Railway, making stops in the Chechen capital of Grozny, recently rebuilt after years of conflict, and lively Vladikavkaz. Tour the famed mineral spa resorts of Mineralnye Vody, Pyatigorsk and Kislovodsk, and enjoy a rare opportunity to ride one of Russia’s few remaining narrow-gauge railways through beautiful Gaumsky Canyon. Read More


Return to the North Caucasus

Return to the North Caucasus

Join MIR on a one-of-a-kind adventure as we return to the fascinating and complex North Caucasus region, today experiencing the very beginnings of a revitalization of tourism. 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. Read More


Village Traditions of the South Caucasus

Village Traditions of the South Caucasus

Step deep into the cultures of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, experiencing local life in one of the most hospitable regions of the world. Share stories and warm meals in mountain villages, sample natural wines and fantastic local cuisine, and meet craftspeople who work in clay, stained glass, metal and wood — all of it set to a soundtrack of polyphonic singing that can give you goosebumps, and traditional instruments playing the old, old songs of love and heartbreak. Read More


Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses

Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses

Explore the complex history and fascinating culture of Bulgaria and Romania, two East European countries whose rugged terrain and consequent isolation have helped preserve their heritage. Discover the luminous frescoes of the painted monasteries, breathe in the fragrance of the Valley of the Roses, and spend an afternoon visiting with villagers in a tiny Transylvanian town.Read More


Kaliningrad & The Baltics

Kaliningrad & The Baltics

This overland journey roves the countryside and urban centers of four distinct nations: the three independent Baltic countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – and Kaliningrad, an exclave of Russia. Read More


Essential Balkans

Essential Balkans

Explore seven Balkan countries on this compact overland journey through history. Visit the capitals, the countryside, and the competing cultures of the Balkan Peninsula. This circular driving itinerary begins and ends in lovely Dubrovnik. In between, survey the capitals and classic sites of the meeting point of ancient Greece and Rome, Christianity and Islam.Read More


Essential Georgia & Armenia

Essential Georgia & Armenia

The warm, green countries of Georgia and Armenia are full of fruitful valleys and saw-toothed mountains.  Walk through river-cut canyons, explore magnificent cave towns, enter medieval fortress towers of stacked stone and visit the mountain homes of the Svan people.Read More


Essential Turkmenistan

Essential Turkmenistan

Modern monuments dot Turkmenistan’s capital, Ashgabat, yet tribal culture remains strong in the villages. Crisscross this rarely visited country, connecting with tribal people in the mountains, admiring sweeping landscapes and UNESCO-listed ruins populated by wild camels, and enjoying the cool breezes of the Caspian seashore. Camp at the “Door to Hell,” the burning Darvaza gas crater.Read More