An example of how your 10-14 day itinerary may look like with suggestions of places to see and things to do in Moldova and Transdniestr. Most of the trips may be done in one day from Chisinau, where you can stay on budget in our flat in Chisinau center or from our guesthouse in Ivancea village, Orhei district (see Katherine's guesthouse). More places can be visited and explored in one day provided you travel by car and plan your itinerary beforehand. Do not hesitate to email me for a comprehensive advise while making your plan.

Day 1 : Chisinau town tour
Chisinau is the capital of the Republic of Moldova, a very modern green and cozy town in the center of our country. The excursion includes visiting the historical center of Chisinau, administrative and cultural edifices on the main boulevard Stefan cel Mare, the main square of the General National Meeting, Central park, churches and museums of the city, Central Market, market of souvenirs, W.W.II memorial.
Duration : 5-6 hours.
Way of transport : by foot and public transport.
Accommodation : check out our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau center
Day 2 : Visiting the most famous wine cellars of Moldova - Cricova and Milestii Mici
Cricova and Milestii Mici wine cellars are recognize to be the biggest underground wine cellars in Europe. The wine factory and wine collection are located in limestone tunnels and form an underground wine city with motor streets named after the popular wine brands - Cabernet, Shardonait, Feteasca, Sauvignon etc. Cricova tour of the underground tunnels are performed in an electric train with a short wine tasting at the end of it. You will need a car to make the tour of Milestii Mici. The tour ends with tasting of 3-5 types of wine and a lunch, if ordered. Tours from 2 people. Should be booked in advance.
Duration : 2-3 hours at Cricova and 2-3 hours at Milestii Mici with 1 hours drive between the wineries.
Way of transport : by electric train at Cricova and by car at Milestii Mici.

More about Milestii Mici winery
Accommodation : check out our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau center
Day 3: Capriana monastery and Cojusna wine cellar
Capriana Monastery : one of the oldest monasteries in Moldova located in the heart of natural reservation Codru with fantastic views from the upper platforms of the monastery. Some of the greatest names connected to the monastery is the king Stefan cel Mare si Sfint - the greatest king of all Moldova had in its history, a chronicle writer Eftimie and one of the first poems of Moldova Chiprian. One of the legends of the monastery says that Stefan cel Mare was hunting deer in this forest and hit a poor thing somewhere on the spot where the monastery is now located. The views that opened to the king's eye and may be the sadness for the ancient life killed brought him the thought of building of a monastery. Deer in Moldovan is "Caprioara".
Duration : 3-4 hours by car or 6-7 hours by public transport
Way of transport : by minibus from the central bus station or by private car.
Cojusna wine cellar is a smaller cellar in the close proximity of Chisinau town and Capriana monastery. It is located in the village Cojusna in Straseni district. The tour comprise the history of the winery, the tour of its wine collection and of 2 nice tasting rooms underground. They have very friendly and hospitable English speaking guides and can organize excursions for one person only. Should be booked in advance.
Duration : 1-2 hours tour plus transportation time 1-2 hours depending on the way of transport you choose
Way of transport : by public transport or by car
Accommodation : check out our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau center
Day 4: Vadul-lui-Voda river resort
Vadul lui Voda is a public beach on the river Nistru at about 20 minutes from Chisinau. It has a sandy beach on the river and a pretty good infrastructure for Moldova with many restaurants, fast-foods, cafes and night clubs on the beach, local market and loads of cabins and small hotels from very basic and budget to luxury ones. It's a favorite resort for dwellers of Chisinau in summer time and many send their kids to summer camps located in the area. Accommodation site is located in the middle of the foresty area and is
Way of transport : 1 hour journey by bus from Chisinau Central bus station.
Accommodation : check out our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau center if visiting Vadul-lui-Voda for a day or consider staying in one of its plenty cabins on the site from 10 USD per night for very basic accommodation
Day 5 : Soroca town : medieval fortress, Gipsies and their king, 600 steps Candle monument
Soroca town is situated 160 km north of Chisinau on the western bank of the Dniestr river. In the medieval times it had a particular importance for the defense system of Moldova against the invasions of tartars, polyaks, Cossacks, ottomans and Slavs from the East. Nowadays it's a small Moldovan town on the Dniestr river bordering Ukraine and famous for its fortress, the largest Gipsy community in Moldova, sand stone rocks and the candle of gratitude up on a mountain that opens to a traveler a very nice view of the town and surroundings.
Duration : 4 hours one-way journey by bus and 4-5 hours tour of the town
Way of transport : by bus from Gara de Nord (Chisinau) and by foot in Soroca. Wake up early to make it for the 7 or 8 am bus to Soroca, so you can catch the last bus back to Chisinau at 17:00 or 18:00.

Accommodation : check out our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau center or consider staying in one of the hotels in Soroca
Day 6 : Ivancea village and stay in Katherine's guesthouse in the village

Ivancea village is located on the road to Orheiul Vechi settlement, 5 km from the main road Chisinau-Orhei and 11 km from Orheiul Vechi settlement. It is located in the heart of Codru forest reservation surrounded by 7 lakes, beautiful valleys and green fields. The village is populated by Ukrainians that were settled here from the Middle Ages. A dialect of Ukrainian is still spoken by the inhabitants of this village. The village is hosting the XIXth century noble house and a big park with unique conifer trees (in process of reconstruction since 2007, but private tours can be arranged). Here in Ivancea the local Ukrainian woman Katherine runs a small guesthouse at her farm and will host individuals or small groups in her house, cooking Moldovan / Ukrainian meals for you and introduce you to the life in a Moldovan village.
During your stay at Katherine's you can explore the village, beautiful old cemetery and the local Russian orthodox church, go hiking in the forest and beautiful fields, go fishing / swimming / sun bathing in local lakes, explore the tourist sites of Orheiul Vechi settlement, Orhei town, Curchi monastery in the vicinity.
Way of transport : by public transport from Chisinau Central bus station or with Boris by car.

Accommodation : food and accommodation are provided by Katherine here in Ivancea. For more details, please, check out here

Day 7 : Orheiul Vechi settlement, cave monastery, museum of village and village of Butuceni

Orheiul Vechi is an ancient settlement situated on the left bank of the Raut river near the villages of Trebujeni and Butuceni in Orhei district (about 50 km northeast of Chisinau). In the Middle Ages, two medieval towns were set up here. The first one Sehr-al-cedid (New Town) occupied almost the whole territory of the settlement (268 ha) belongs to the Golden Horde (XIVth century); the second one is the ancient Moldovan town of Orhei, which was established here in the XVth - XVIth centuries. Other vestiges discovered on the territory of the settlement : a mosque, two mausoleum, a caravan-seraglio and three bath houses. An orthodox cave monastery dated from XII century is still working nowadays and the English speaking monk will tell you some of its history. Down in Butuceni village is a small peasant house preserved from the XXth century and transformed into a museum. A walk along the narrow street of Butuceni village will let you to discover the hidden pearls of Moldovan rural architecture and design.
Duration : 4-5 hours
Way of transport : by minibus that run few times a day from Chisinau Central bus station or from Ivancea village if staying with Katherine. Hiking could be also an option as it's only 11 km from Katherine's house to Orheiul Vechi settlement.
Accommodation: stay at our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau center or at Katherine's guesthouse in Ivancea . Also, there is a small hotel on the site of the settlement that will charge you 40 Euro per night for a double room. No food offered here though and you will need to bring some of your own or make arrangements in the village.

Day 8 : Saharna &Tipova monasteries and waterfalls

Saharna monastery complex is situated in one of the most picturesque gorges on the western bank of the Dniestr river 8 km away from Rezina town. One of the high cliffs bears a footprint that is believed to belong to St. Mary. An old legend says that a local monk has seen the shinning figure of St. Mary on top of the rock and when he reached that spot he discovered the footprint left by the saint. A truly divine panoramic view of the numerous rocky hills and the forests around the small 16-km river, which runs down 30 cascades and waterfalls, is opened up to the traveler from the cliff-tops. Saharna waterfalls are considered to be the Moldovan Niagara Falls and are most impressive in Winter, Spring and Autumn after the rains.
Duration : 3 hours one way journey from Chisinau plus 3-4 hours browse of the monastery and surroundings (could be more if you enjoy hiking)
Way of transport : there are no good bus connections that will take you to the monastery in the morning and back to Chisinau in the evening. Consider renting a private car for this trip or stay overnight in Rezina. Or book our driver Boris for the job.

Accommodation : stay at our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau center or at Katherine's guesthouse in Ivancea from where Boris can pick you up for the tour. Or consider, booking a hotel room somewhere in Rezina town.

The monastic structure of Tipova is situated near the village of Tipova and is hewn in a rock of about 100 m height. Built in the XVIth - XVIIth centuries, the cave monastery is a complex architectural ensemble consisting of numerous premises made in three levels. Tipova is famous for charming nature and the largest cave monasteries in Moldova and In Eastern Europe. One of the legends of the monastery tells that the king of Moldova Stefan cel Mare got married to one of his wife Maria Voichita in this monastery and the last was burred in the monastery after her death. Tipova attracts visitors by its nature, panoramic view of the Dniestr river and many of its waterfalls.
Way of transportation : bus connections from Chisinau are very inconvenient as they leave to Tipova in the afternoon and there is none to take you back to Chisinau in the evening. Consider renting a car or go on an organized tour to Tipova from Chisinau.

Accommodation : Hanul lui Hnaganu guesthouse in Lalovo village (less than 10 km from Tipovo) offers singles + breakfast from 20 Euro per night and they also cook food on the premises. Tours to Tipovo and Saharna by walk / cart or boat can be booked with them as well.

Day 9 : Tiraspol town the capital of theTransdniestr Moldovan Republic

Tiraspol town is the capital of Pridnestrovie (also known as Transdniestr or Transnistria or PMR) and the second largest town after Chisinau. PMR is self-proclaimed republic on the eastern bank of river Dniestr (Nistru) that is not recognized by the world community, but has been independent of Moldova for more than 15 years. PMR is known by foreign travelers as the museum in the open-air of Communism and Soviet Union, with many Soviet relics on the main streets of its industrial towns and also for being a state that does not exist. Tiraspol is a cozy green town, very clean and friendly with monuments of Lenin on the main street, streets named after communist leaders or events. The town is situated on the river Dniestr and has 2 very big and looked-after public beaches with nice parks and walking alleys along the river. Cognacs factory KVINT is a well-known establishment in the country and abroad producing fine cognacs and spirits. Tours can be organized if booked in advance. Tiraspol has a lively night life with its newly opened modern restaurants, night clubs and discos.
Way of transport : buses / minibuses depart every 30-45 minutes from the Central bus station in Chisinau from early in the morning and until 7 pm. Border crossing may be a challenge for a foreign traveler, so best if you have a local companion who speak Russian to take you through.
Accommodation : stay with Lena in her downtown apartment in Tiraspol or consider renting a bed/room in one of the budget soviet type hotels in town. Or stay in our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau if you are doing Tiraspol as a day trip

Day 10 : Bender town and the old fortress

Bender is the second largest town in Transdniestr, but being situated on the western bank of river Dniestr closer to Moldova. It's an old town, being even older than Chisinau and had a big historical significance in the middle age. The town is well known among our Swedish guests because of their king Carol who in the XVIII century stayed for 4 years here as a guests of Ottomans after being defeated in Poltava battle by Peter the Great. Golden Lion that is the symbol of Carol is still present on the flag of the town.There is a Medieval fortress in the center of the town build by Ottomans (by some historical documents) or Stefan cel Mare (by other historical documents) that served as a military base for Ottomans during the Russian-Turkish wars they led in the XVIII-XIX century. Part of it serves as a base for the Transdniestrian army nowadays and part is opened for public for the tours (an advance booking is required to attend the tour). During the Civil War in 1991-1992 Bender town and its citizens has suffered the most. The War Memorial in the center and the Administration building with bullet holes in it keeps the memory of those bloody days. Local market is a huge indoor/outdoor market selling everything here : food, clothes, household, flee market.
Way of transport : Bender is located only 5 km from Tiraspol and there is a trolleybus / minibus connection between the two. Buses from Chisinau run regularly from the Central bus station.
Accommodation : stay with Lena in her downtown apartment in Tiraspol or consider renting a bed/room in one of the budget soviet type hotels in town. Or stay in our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau if you are doing Tiraspol as a day trip


Day 11 : Comrat town the capital of Gagauzia

Gagauzia (also known as Gagauz-Yeri) is an autonomous republic within the republic of Moldova. It's mainly inhabited by Gagauzi people who are descendants of Turkic Oghuz tribe and speak their own language very similar to Turkish one. Russian is the second largely spoken language in Gagauzia. The capital of Gagauzia is Comrat town which is a very odd provincial town with no much tourist attractions in it. Walk on the main street of prospect Lenina pass the regional baskani (assembly), Gagauz Culture House with a statue of Lenin in front of it and Gagauz University (Komrat Devlet Üniversitesi). Get a minibus to Besalma village with its Museum of Gagauz people their origin, history and traditions and culture.
Way of transportation : there are few daily buses from Tiraspol and Bender and more from Chisinau bus station Gara de Sud (nearly 3 hours journey one way).
Accommodation : stay in one of the budget hotels in Comrat or in our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau if you are doing Comrat&gagauzia as a day trip

For accommodation in Comrat and surroundings check out our Gagauzia page

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