Ashgabat: Turkmenistan’s Lavish Capital of Marble and Gold

Ashgabat: Turkmenistan’s Lavish Capital of Marble and Gold

A strange and fascinating capital city, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan is a showcase of modernity set in an ancient desert landscape. Soviet-style apartment buildings mingle with modern marble and gold monuments. So many, in fact, that in 2013, the Guinness Book of World Records awarded Ashgabat the record for the highest density of white marble buildings in the world. How did it happen? Read More




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 Iran Photo Gallery Featured in Travel Weekly

MIR Iran Photo Gallery Featured in Travel Weekly

It’s difficult to describe the colors and fragrances of the spices in Iran’s bazaars, the 2,500-year-old majesty of the ruins of Persepolis, or the hullabaloo surrounding a crowd of school kids meeting their first Americans. So we’re not even going to try. Take a look at these photos in the travel industry’s most trusted publication, Travel Weekly. Captured by MIR tour managers and travelers, they afford a glimpse of a few of the highlights of this fascinating, once-forbidden country. 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



The Trans-Siberian Railway In Pictures

The Trans-Siberian Railway In Pictures

Whether you desire adventurous cultural immersion aboard the local trains, or comfort and even luxury aboard private trains, traveling the Trans-Siberian has never been easier. But until you’re ready to embark on an epic adventure of your own, you can satisfy your curiosity and wanderlust with our collection of favorite Trans-Siberian images taken from clients and MIR staff alike, showcasing some of the many sights you can spot along the rails. Check out some of our favorite Trans-Siberian photos! 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


Instagram Roundup: Our Best Travel Photos from the Last Year

Instagram Roundup: Our Best Travel Photos from the Last Year

We’ve had a wonderful time sharing photos of fantastic destinations with you these past two years on Instagram. It also looks like our followers are enjoying seeing a sneak peek at what’s in store on a trip to Central Asia, the Balkans or Siberia. To date, we’ve had over 10,000 likes on more than 200 posts, and it just keeps growing! Here’s a look at our most popular posts from the past year. Read More