The Puzzle of Plovdiv, Bulgaria: 6 Reasons to Discover This Ancient City

The Puzzle of Plovdiv, Bulgaria: 6 Reasons to Discover This Ancient City

Plovdiv, Bulgaria is one of the oldest cities in Europe – in existence since the 12th century BC, but populated since the early Neolithic age. People settled here on a site protected by three hills, and the many layers of its history begin far below the level of today’s city. Putting together the puzzle pieces of Plovdiv’s splintered history creates a portrait of an enduring and diverse civilization built on layer upon layer of local cultures and connections. Let’s dig down and discover some of the parts that make up Plovdiv. Read More


MIR’s Best of 2016! Your Favorites From Our Blog, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube

MIR’s Best of 2016! Your Favorites From Our Blog, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube

Thousands of clicks, likes, and shares later, the response from our fans has been overwhelming! We're grateful that there are so many intrepid travelers who are open to discovery and share our passion for our chosen off-the-beaten-path corner of the world. Here's a look back at some of your favorites of the year. Read More


Holiday Cookies from Around the World

Holiday Cookies from Around the World

To help you get ready for the holiday baking season ahead, we compiled a list of some of our favorite holiday cookies from several of MIR’s destinations, each with a link to a recipe you can make for your next cookie party, for a family occasion, or as a treat to go with your eggnog. Read More


Birdwatching in Bulgaria: An Interview with Expert Iordan Hristov

Birdwatching in Bulgaria: An Interview with Expert Iordan Hristov

Bulgaria may not be on your shortlist of places to travel, but if you're a lover of the great outdoors, it should be. Stacked above Greece on the Balkan Peninsula, this little-known country is home to some of Europe's most diverse, untamed, and unspoiled landscapes. Since the country has remained relatively untouched compared to the rest of Europe, Bulgaria can boast an exceptionally rich array of plant species and wildlife - in particular, birds. The country's temperate climate offers plenty of year-round opportunities to go birdwatching, and its 11 Ramsar Sites and protected wildlife areas ensure that Bulgaria's wildlife can continue to flourish here for years to come. We caught up with Bulgarian birdwatching expert Iordan Hristov, who's led several birding tours to Bulgaria for MIR clients, to learn more about what makes this country such a boon for birders. Read More


Three Ways to Explore Europe by Luxury Train

Three Ways to Explore Europe by Luxury Train

Central Europe, East Europe, and the Balkans are wonderful destinations, dotted with UNESCO Sites, handsome medieval churches and city centers, ancient ruins, and rustic villages. Hidden from view for much of the 20th century, these fascinatingly cosmopolitan countries claim a wealth of distinctive landscapes and unique cultural heritage. Trying to tackle all of these lesser-known locales can be tricky to accomplish on your own. Luckily, MIR makes it easy to discover Europe's uncommon and incredibly diverse destinations aboard the luxurious Golden Eagle Danube Express private train, allowing you the freedom to explore celebrated classic cities and unexpected treasures while traveling with comfort, efficiency, and style. We have three all-inclusive luxury rail journeys by private train that can take you through the heart of Europe, including two NEW journeys ready to book for 2017. Read More


The Castles of Transylvania: Bran Castle and Peles Castle

The Castles of Transylvania: Bran Castle and Peles Castle

Castles in the Transylvania region of Romania are already high on the imagination quotient, especially in places where everyone has read Bram Stoker’s Dracula, or seen one of the dozens of movies made about the sinister count. In other places, Transylvania is simply a historical region in central Romania. The Romanians called it Ardeal. Bordered on three sides by mountains, it’s a beautiful place. Here in Transylvania are two famous castles that fire the imagination, Bran Castle in Brasov, and Peles Castle in Sinaia (which is technically 31 miles from Transylvania, but close enough). Read More


Hellenic Treasures: Visit 6 Countries and 4 UNESCO Sites on a Luxury Train

Hellenic Treasures: Visit 6 Countries and 4 UNESCO Sites on a Luxury Train

The ancient Greeks had big ideas, ideas that are still impacting the world today. Western philosophy, art, medicine, the study of history and early attempts at making sense of the universe were all initiated in ancient Greece. Spreading out from Athens and Sparta, the Greek civilization ultimately colonized the area between Central Asia and the western Mediterranean. Now travelers can trace the path of the many civilizations that ebbed and flowed alongside the Greeks throughout this complex region, on an exciting new rail journey for 2017, Hellenic Treasures by Private Train, rolling through six countries: Hungary, Slovenia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Greece. Read More


Meet the Masters: 4 Ways to Learn from the Best as You Travel

Meet the Masters: 4 Ways to Learn from the Best as You Travel

A memorable tour is one that widens your horizons, tickles your fancy and gives you something to think about. In each MIR trip you’ll experience at least one moment when you realize you’re learning something you’ve never known before. It might be about the history or habits of a place, or it might be how to make or do something grand. These moments are precious, and they can happen at any time or place. They will surely happen when you travel with MIR. Read More


Hidden in Poland: A Jewish Family Story

Hidden in Poland: A Jewish Family Story

Karen Treiger, a Jewish traveler from Seattle, is standing with her family at the edge of a hand-dug pit in the forests of Poland, looking down at the place where her husband’s parents hid from the Nazis. With the help of a family of Poles who risked their lives to feed and protect them, her father-in-law, Sam, and mother-in-law, Esther, survived the Holocaust. Read More