From the Heavenly Tien Shan to the High Pamirs

From the Heavenly Tien Shan to the High Pamirs

Join a fascinating and adventurous journey through two of the most remote and rarely explored countries in Central Asia – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Why end might the proud traditions and hospitality of Kyrgyz nomads in the highlands, enjoy visits with local Tajiks in their timeless mountain villages, and take in majestic and hauntingly beautiful landscapes along one of the world’s most scenic drives, the Pamir Highway. Read More


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


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


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


Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

Chinese Turkestan & Central Asia

Silk, spices, tea, precious metals and jewels, carefully lashed to pack camels, made their way from one world to another along the old Silk Road. Follow in the footsteps of early explorers who plied these trade routes connecting East with West.Begin this six-country adventure in Almaty, Kazakhstan and from there fly to the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China to visit one of the most exotic cities in the world, Kashgar. Skirt the infamous Taklamakan Desert on camelback, and admire the breathtaking views across the 12,000-foot Torugart Pass, following the Silk Road through Kyrgyzstan to Lake Issyk-Kul and Bishkek. Visit Tashkent, the Fergana Valley and the UNESCO-listed Silk Road oases of Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva in Uzbekistan, and continue overland into Turkmenistan to discover its 2,500-year history.Trip currently not available. Call for more information.Read More


Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses

Bulgaria & Romania: Frescoes & Fortresses

Explore the complex history and fascinating culture of Bulgaria and Romania, two East European countries whose rugged terrain and consequent isolation have helped preserve their heritage. Discover the luminous frescoes of the painted monasteries, breathe in the fragrance of the Valley of the Roses, and spend an afternoon visiting with villagers in a tiny Transylvanian town.Read More


Tibet & China Rail Discovery

Tibet & China Rail Discovery

Roll across Western China to discover the teeming Sunday Market in exotic Kashgar, where Marco Polo may have shopped; the ancient karez underground irrigation system in Turpan that caused the desert to bloom; and the Mogao Caves at Dunhuang, where generations of pilgrims carved and painted images of the Buddha. Then hop the special high-altitude train, ascending from the Tibetan Plateau to Lhasa at 12,000 feet, passing the world’s highest railroad station along the way. Explore the “City of the Sun,” with its massive UNESCO-listed Potala Palace, sacred Jokhang Temple, and the lively Barkhor Market. Read More