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


Remote Russia: Yakutia & Kamchatka

Remote Russia: Yakutia & Kamchatka

Explore the remote corners of Russia, including the wild Kamchatka Peninsula, uneasily perched on the Pacific Ring of Fire, and Yakutia, a challenging northern frontier known for mammoths and diamonds. Meet the indigenous peoples of these far-flung locales, and admire two natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites as you contrast the Kingdom of Permafrost in Yakutsk with the steaming Valley of the Geysers in Kamchatka. 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


In Search of Nomads & Mountains: Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan

In Search of Nomads & Mountains: Kyrgyzstan & Tajikistan

On this adventurous journey, discover the unspoiled mountain landscapes and remarkable living traditions of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, two of Central Asia's least-known countries. Range from alpine Lake Issyk-Kul in the Kyrgyz outback, where the exciting World Nomad Games presents contests in eagle hunting, stick wrestling, and intense Central Asian horse games, to the high, jagged mountains of the remote Pamir Highway in Tajikistan. 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


Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival

Mongolia’s Golden Eagle Festival

On the rocky ridges overlooking Mongolia’s westernmost province, remote Bayan-Ulgii, a dwindling number of ethnic Kazakhs carry on a 6,000-year-old tradition — hunting with magnificent Golden Eagles, one of the world’s largest predatory birds. Attend the annual Golden Eagle Festival, where the eagle hunters display their birds’ speed, skill and training, as well as the deep bond that forms between bird and human. Along the way, explore Mongolia’s capital, Ulaanbaatar, with its Buddhist and nomadic heritage, and the fabled Gobi Desert. Read More


Trans-Siberian BAM Explorer with Naadam Festival

Trans-Siberian BAM Explorer with Naadam Festival

The seldom-traveled Baikal-Amur Magistral (BAM for short) rolls through some of the most remote, roadless taiga in the country, through dramatic mountains and over miles of tundra. The train stops at crumbling little towns thrown together in the 1970s for railroad workers, where the few who remain stay for the beauty of the Siberian outback. Then head south to Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, to celebrate the “three skills of man” – archery, horse racing and wrestling – at the country’s favorite festival, Naadam. Read More


New Year’s in Vienna by Private Train

New Year’s in Vienna by Private Train

Enjoy the pleasures of Old World rail travel as you glide in style on a circular route from Budapest, Hungary, where layer upon layer of civilizations have flowered and faded, and on to a date with a brilliant New Year’s celebration in magnificent Vienna, Austria. Continue through the hip Czech Republic and green and friendly Slovakia, stopping in the medieval city of Kosice, declared a European Capital of Culture in 2013, and ultimately arriving back where you started, in beautiful Budapest. Encounter four countries and five UNESCO World Heritage Sites along the rails as you roll from one fascinating city to the next. Read More


China’s Silk Road & Tibet: Route of Monks & Merchants

China’s Silk Road & Tibet: Route of Monks & Merchants

Retrace the path of ancient traders and adventurers on this comprehensive overland journey across Western China. Why end might the legendary Kashgar Sunday Animal Market, where merchants sell everything from ducks to sheep. Make your way east to visit Turpan’s lush Grape Valley, watered by a 2,000-year-old irrigation system, and Dunhuang’s UNESCO-listed Mogao Caves, frescoed and carved with a thousand images of the Buddha. Ride the high-altitude train from Xining to Tibet, and explore the Tibetan Plateau on a splendid route that embraces the sacred cities of Gyantse and Shigatse, as well as Lhasa, “City of the Sun.”Read More