Beginner’s Guide to Romania’s Painted Monasteries of Bucovina

Beginner’s Guide to Romania’s Painted Monasteries of Bucovina

As a MIR tour manager for more than 17 years, I've led many MIR tours to the Bucovina region of Romania and to its painted monasteries, constructed in medieval times. Bucovina is a remote province tucked in the northeastern corner of Romania near Ukraine. Today the painted monasteries are pilgrimage sites for Romanian Orthodox believers, as well as highlights for travelers from all over the world. Nuns live and work at most of these monasteries, standing out in their distinctive black habits and veils. Here are some notes on what to look for when you visit four of Bucovina's most notable monasteries: Voronet, Sucevita, Moldovita, Humor. Read More


A Monastery Hike at Georgia’s David Gareja

A Monastery Hike at Georgia’s David Gareja

The David Gareja monastery complex, on Georgia’s southeastern border with Azerbaijan, is a long-established site of great significance for Georgians. Founded in the 6th century, the complex is still active today and features numerous cells carved straight into the bare rock face. These caves function as living quarters, refectories, chapels, libraries and rooms for instruction and silent meditation. Read More


Orthodox Christmas: January’s Holy Holiday

Orthodox Christmas: January’s Holy Holiday

Thirteen days after the traditional Christmas in the West, Orthodox Christmas is celebrated on January 7th. It may not be coded into your smartphone or laptop calendar automatically, but it is, indeed, a holiday celebrated by millions around the world, including many MIR destinations like Russia, the Baltics, Balkans, and Eastern Europe. Read More