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10 DAY ITINERARY IN MOLDOVA & TRANSDNIESTR
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,
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
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
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
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.
Day 7 : Orheiul Vechi settlement, cave monastery, museum of village and village of Butuceni
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
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.
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.
Day 9 : Tiraspol town the capital of theTransdniestr Moldovan Republic
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.
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.
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.
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