5 Favorite Sites on Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal’s Biggest Island

5 Favorite Sites on Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal’s Biggest Island

Lake Baikal in south Siberia stands out from all other lakes on earth: it’s the deepest and the oldest lake in the world. The lake’s biggest island, Olkhon, stands out as well. Shrouded in lore and legend, the island has been spiritually important to the people of the region for hundreds of years and is incredibly beautiful, too. Set in a peculiar rain shadow, it has more sunny days than the Black Sea coast. Here are five of our favorite ways to experience the outstanding natural and cultural beauty of Olkhon Island. Read More


MIR in the News: Conde Nast Traveler, Vancouver Sun, Sunshine Coast Daily, and more

MIR in the News: Conde Nast Traveler, Vancouver Sun, Sunshine Coast Daily, and more

As experts in travel to Central Asia, Russia, Mongolia and beyond, it's always gratifying when word of our tours and destinations is noticed and shared. Here are some of MIR’s recent mentions in the press... Read More


Why Is Yakutsk, One of the Coldest Cities on Earth, the Next Hot Destination?

Why Is Yakutsk, One of the Coldest Cities on Earth, the Next Hot Destination?

Yakutsk is one of the coldest big cities on earth – so cold it’s entirely built on permafrost. Most of its buildings are on pylons or stilts, made of wood or concrete, so they won’t melt the permafrost. Lisa Peterson, MIR Private Journeys Specialist, traveled to this land of extremes on a summer trip. She knew it would be a lark, but it also turned out to be seriously cool. Read More


Doug’s Travel Picks: 10 Places to Visit in 2019

Doug’s Travel Picks: 10 Places to Visit in 2019

No matter how many times I’ve explored MIR’s diverse and dynamic slice of the globe, I’ve always found myself surprised and excited to see how these once-overlooked destinations have evolved since we first began organizing tours. Every year has brought new discoveries and more reasons to return again and again, whether it’s new and noteworthy hotel openings, hidden gems, outstanding cultural opportunities, or unique and memorable experiences you won’t find anywhere else. It’s not easy to narrow down a list of travel recommendations to a manageable number, but I’m giving it a whirl in honor of a brand new year. From the majesty of Moscow's Kremlin and Red Square to the rugged mountain ranges of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, here are 10 of my personal picks for the most intriguing and exciting places to visit in the year ahead. Read More


Our Favorite Ways to Enjoy an Unconventional Winter in Russia, Poland & Europe

Our Favorite Ways to Enjoy an Unconventional Winter in Russia, Poland & Europe

Remarkable Russia, Poland, and the fascinating countries of Central Europe are wonderful destinations to visit during the height of summer, when sun-drenched climes, al fresco dining, and fantastic festivals are in full swing. But those willing to brave the chill and travel here in the winter months are often rewarded with magnificent marvels and unconventional experiences all their own. Make this the year you celebrate an unconventional and adventurous winter holiday with MIR. With more than 30 years of specialty travel experience, we know how to do winter right in Russia, Poland, Central Europe, and beyond. Read More



Doug’s Travel Picks: 13 Favorite Things to Do at Siberia’s Lake Baikal

Doug’s Travel Picks: 13 Favorite Things to Do at Siberia’s Lake Baikal

I first made it to Siberia’s Lake Baikal in the 1980s, when it was even more of a sparsely-populated backwater than it is today. I’ve seen it in all seasons, and I enjoy finding fun and challenging things to do whenever I touch down on either side of the deepest, oldest lake on earth. With a list that includes dog-sledding, ice-fishing, hiking the Great Baikal Trail, and barbecuing on the lake shore, my favorite things can be duplicated by any MIR traveler who wants to experience the best of Siberia. Read More


Interview with Paul E. Richardson, author of Resilience: Life Stories of Centenarians Born in the Year of Revolution

Interview with Paul E. Richardson, author of Resilience: Life Stories of Centenarians Born in the Year of Revolution

Paul E. Richardson, publisher and editor of Russian Life magazine, discusses his latest book spotlighting the stories of 22 Russian centenarians born in 1917, the year of the Russian Revolution. The stories of these elders are told with tenderness and sympathy, and rigorous research and meticulous planning went into their telling. Read More


The Riveting Story of the Trans-Siberian Railway

The Riveting Story of the Trans-Siberian Railway

The fabled Trans-Siberian Railway rolls briskly across seven time zones and 5,772 miles of taiga, steppe, and mountain, pausing along the way in places that bring travelers face to face with the fascinating cultures of Russia. As one of the longest rail lines on earth, it’s no surprise that this legendary railway has an equally legendary history. Our historical rundown features a free downloadable map showing the most significant highlights of the Trans-Siberian’s story. Read More


Traveler Spotlight: Bill Altaffer, One of the World’s Most Traveled People

Traveler Spotlight: Bill Altaffer, One of the World’s Most Traveled People

Bill Altaffer, MIR traveler extraordinaire, had the honor of being named the “World’s Most Traveled Person” in 2005, on the website Most Traveled People.com. The website has calculated that “…the land area on Earth is made up of 875 parts.” Altaffer worked hard for that moniker, chalking up 822 “parts” of the globe by 2018. Here are some of his travel stories and tips for the aspiring world traveler, and find out why these days he’s most interested in getting more granular in his travels. Read More