Travel 2,200 Miles on an Extreme, 18-Day Mystery Tour from Tehran to Istanbul

When most travelers shell out several thousand dollars (or more) for a trip, they like to know essential details like when they’ll be going and, more importantly, where. Intrepid Travel just announced the return of an exclusive, one-off mystery trip that promises a start and an end point, but almost no details on everything in-between.

The 2020 Uncharted Expedition is an exciting, 18-day journey that takes travelers more than 2,200 miles across four of the world’s most fascinating countries. The expedition starts in Tehran, Iran, and ends in Istanbul, Turkey. But the kicker is that travelers have no idea where they’re going or what they’ll be doing along the way. Judging by the map, the trip will also cross into two of these three countries: Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia.

As to the itinerary, Intrepid isn’t offering much, though its website hints at deep dives into every culture along the way. Travelers can expect action-packed days doing things like exploring millennia-old volcanic villages, overnighting in a cave, eating boiled cow hoof soup (allegedly a great hangover cure), and learning ancient languages that don’t involve speech. Some travel days could be long and involve trekking regions with no discernible infrastructure.

uncharted expedition mystery tour intrepid travel drinks
Intrepid Travel

The mystery aspect of such trips appeals to a very specific — and very adventurous — sort of traveler. Although demand for “mystery travel” appears to be growing, it’s certainly not for everyone. This is a grassroots, no-holds-barred method of travel typically reserved for CNN war correspondents and extreme adventure seekers. In a statement, the company’s co-founder, Darrell Wade, said this trip is a nod to Intrepid Travel’s early days. “This is our way of returning to the roots of travel, and how our company began 30 years ago, by being on the frontier of destinations and experiences. Some of the best travel experiences are unplanned. In this case, all the planning has been done by our expert team.” Indeed. Back then, travelers would shop for guided adventure tours in newspaper classifieds that revealed little about the trips being offered.

The company’s first mystery trip sold out last year in less than 36 hours. It’s set to launch June 30, 2019, and will take travelers from Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia over 22 days. New for this year, however, Intrepid Travel will be traveling an entirely new route they’ve never covered before.

uncharted expedition mystery tour intrepid travel monastry valley
Intrepid Travel

This next installment of Intrepid Travel’s Uncharted Expedition will take place April 18, 2020, through May 6, 2020. Per-person rates are $3,740, and that includes just about everything: ground transportation, accommodations, and most meals. Tour-goers will need to book their own international airfare, however.

Only a dozen spots are available for the 2020 trip, and participants will be randomly selected around the middle of July. Interested applicants will need to visit Intrepid Travel’s website by July 9, 2019, and supply some basic contact information and personal details. Then, make sure your travel vaccinations are up to date and get ready for one hell of a ride.

Travel

Yada, Yada, Yada … An Immersive Seinfeld Experience Is Coming to NYC This Fall

This fall, it promises to be real ... and spectacular.
Travel

Trek the Arctic Circle Like a WWII Soldier with Ex-U.K. Special Forces

Because some travelers appreciate doing a hard thing just for the sheer pride of knowing they did it.
Travel

What Americans Need to Know Before Traveling to Cuba

Heading to Cuba? Don't be caught unprepared -- here are the essential things every American should know.
Travel

This New York Hotel Is Actually a 3D-Printed Mars Habitat

We can't yet escape the sea of humanity here on Earth, but this might be the next best thing.
Outdoors

The Most Jaw-Dropping Natural Swimming Holes in the United States

You don't need to trek to Thailand or South America to find sparkling depths and crystal-clear waters.
Travel

Airstream Brings Back 2 of Its Most Popular and Affordable Travel Trailers

These two Kennedy-era Airstream trailers are among the most popular of all time. Even better? They're price tags aren't too steep.
Travel

Norway’s Manshausen Island Resort is a Minimalist Retreat Founded by a Real-Life Explorer

Now that you're getting older, it's time to find a place where you can actually relax. Our choice? Manshausen Island resort in Norway. Yes, it takes 20 hours to get there, but it's so worth it.
Travel

Find the Most Unique, Undiscovered Campsites in the U.S. With Hipcamp

Booking the perfect campsite doesn't have to suck anymore.
Travel

12 Most Over-the-Top Hotel Pools for Extravagant Views

From an infinity pool high above Santorini to a two-story waterhole in the rainforests of Bali, these are the best hotel pools across the globe.
Travel

You Need a Vacation: 5 Midwestern Camp-Style Lodges Where You Can Unplug

Believe it or not, rustic woodland getaways still exist. We've pulled together a shortlist of the finest hotels located within some of the country's most beautiful, largely overlooked natural settings.
Travel

The Best Travel and Adventure Documentaries on Netflix Right Now

If you're reading this, you're staring at a screen. Wouldn't you rather be exploring a different part of the world than the Internet?
Travel

Travelers Can Now Bring Some CBD Products on Airplanes (Sort of)

Technically, the TSA is cool with it, but like everything the government touches, it's not as simple as it appears.
Travel

Sweden’s Viking-Inspired Arctic Bath Is Now Taking Reservations

This retro-future, floating hotel spa is straight out of Westeros.
Travel

Help Wanted: An Idyllic Scottish Island Is Looking for a Sheep Dike Repairman

If you love sheep, idyllic islands, Scottish accents, and mending walls, there's a job in Scotland with your name on it.