Moldova – Moldova Discovery Tour – a 6 day Small Group Tour.
Sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova’s cultural influences borrow heavily from neighbouring states and from a Soviet Socialist past. Indeed, those in Moldova’s self-proclaimed breakaway republic of Transnistria still seem to prefer hammer and sickle communism to liberal European democracy.
The tour visits the country’s capital, villages and main historic sites, and explores its winemaking tradition, in a short but intriguing week that can’t avoid contemporary geopolitics.
Most people are unaware that Moldova exists and are unable to locate it on a map. Sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, this tiny country is home to one autonomous region Gagauzia, and one ‘breakaway republic’ Transnistria, making it one of the quirkiest in Europe.
With influences ranging from the Ottoman Empire to Romania to Russia, Moldova is a fascinating melange of cultures. On this short trip we explore cave monasteries and vast underground wine cellars – with of course opportunities to sample the excellent local wines – and cross the border into Transnistria to explore its capital Tiraspol, and Bendery with its impressive 16th century fortress.
‘Off the beaten track’ doesn’t even come close to describing this trip.
*Our August departure is timed to be in Transnistria for the National Day parade.
Day 1 – Arrival in Chisinau
Arrive in Chisinau where you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival you may have the opportunity to explore the city. Overnight at Jolly Alon Hotel or similar. No meals are included today.
Day 2 – Chisinau walking tour - Gagauzia- Chisinau
(Approximate driving time today is 4 hours – 236km)
After breakfast we embark on a walking tour of the capital, visiting key sites including the Arc de Triomphe, the Cathedral, and the Moldovan Parliament. Continue with a visit to the National Museum of Ethnography, with its collection of archaeological treasures and old Bessarabian carpets. From here we drive to Besalma village, in the autonomous region of Gagauzia, to visit the Gagauzian Museum of History and Ethnology. It contains hundreds of exhibits of artistic and spiritual value assembled over the last two centuries. After lunch in a local restaurant with typical Gagauzian dishes we continue to Comrat, the capital of the region. We will take a tour of the town before returning to Chisinau. Overnight at Jolly Alon Hotel or similar. (BL)
Day 3 - Chisinau - Cricova - Orheiul Vechi- Butuceni- Trebujeni
(Approximate driving time today is 3 hours; 130km)
After breakfast we drive to the vast underground tunnels that house the wine cellars of Cricova, and take a tour by train, with time to enjoy a tasting of some of the wines. There will be the opportunity to buy some souvenir bottles in the on-site shop. We will continue to Orheiul Vechi, an impressive 13th Century cave monastery complex set amidst dramatic scenery, and from there to the traditional village of Butuceni where we will have lunch in a rural pension, which will include Moldovan dishes and home-made wine. After lunch we will visit the village of Trebujeni, where we will be invited into a local home to drink tea with the family, before returning to Chisinau. Overnight at Jolly Alon Hotel or similar. (BL)
Day 4 – Trebujeni – Republic of Transnistria - Tiraspol
(Approximate driving time today is 2.5 hours – 110km)
This morning drive to the border and cross into the breakaway republic of Transnistria. We head to the city of Tighina, or Bendery, where you can explore the 16th century fortress and visit the on- site museum. We will also visit the War Memorial, before continuing onto the capital, Tiraspol. We will have lunch in a Ukrainian restaurant and afterwards embark on a walking tour of Tiraspol, where we will spend the night. Overnight at Russia Hotel or similar. (BL)
Day 5 – Tiraspol - Martha and Maria Monastery - Et Cetera Winery - Chisinau
(Approximate driving time today is 3 hours – 200km)
This morning we begin our return to Chisinau with a visit to the Martha and Maria Monastery, dating back to the beginning of the 20th Century, built in a fine architectural style. We then move onto the small family winery of Et Cetera established in 2003, where we will be given a tour by the winemaker himself, Alexandru Luchianov, with the opportunity to taste some of his award-winning wines. We will enjoy a traditional lunch prepared by the family, before returning to Chisinau, where the afternoon is at leisure. In the evening meet for a farewell dinner at “La Taifas”, a popular Moldovan Restaurant with local music. Overnight at Jolly Alon Hotel or similar. (BLD)
Day 6 – Departure from Chisinau
The tour ends today after breakfast when airport transfers leave to meet onward flights. (B)
Dates & Price.
Return flights from London to Chisinau start at around £320. Please contact us for a quotation.
Airport transfers are included if you are booking pre and/or post tour accommodation at the hotel mentioned in our tour dossier.
Extra night accommodation pre and/or post tour in Chisinau costs from £46 per person, per night sharing a twin/double room and £79 per person in a solo occupancy room.
Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.
Combine Moldova with Bulgaria and Romania
Why not include Bulgaria and Romania to your tour for a more in depth look at this fascinating and little visited part of Europe? Our Essence of Bulgaria tours followed by our Romania – The Land that Time Forgot tours can easily be done as back to back tours before your tour in Moldova starts.
Moldova Discovery Private Tour
If you do not wish to be part of a group tour then you can do the same tour on a private basis. Please contact us for prices.
Kindly note that we can also tailor a similar or totally different itinerary to meet your requirements. Please get in touch so that we can tailor your perfect tour of Moldova.
Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?
Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.
For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Domestic flight from Makassar to Manado
- Transport throughout
- All accommodation
- Services of English speaking guide / tour leader
- Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
- Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary unless otherwise stated
- International flights
- Any airport taxes
- Travel insurance
- Items of personal expenses
- Tips (Discretionary)