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These are the most popular and worth seeing destinations in Moldova. Most of the trips may be done in one day from Chisinau, where you can stay on budget in my flat or at my friends or from our guesthouse in Ivancea village, Orhei district (see Katherine's guesthouse and soon our hostel in Ivancea). More places can be visited and explored in one day provided you travel by car and plan your itenerary beforehand. Do not hesitate to email me for a comprehensive advise while making your plan.
Day 1 : Chisinau town tour and one of our famous wine cellars
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, two central
parks, churches and museums of the city, Central Market, market of souvenirs,
Duration : 3-4 hours.
Way of transport : by foot and public transport.
and Milestii Mici wine cellars are recognised
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. You need a car to make this tour and an English speaking
guide will be driving you through this underground wine town telling about
the winery, wine production and their famous collections. The tour ends with
a tasting of 3-5 types of collection and ordinary red and white wines and
a lunch, if ordered. Excursions from 2 people. Should be booked in advance.
Duration : 2-3 hours
Way of transport : by car only.
More about Milestii Mici winery
wine cellar is a smaller cellar in the close proximity of Chisinau
town. It is located in the village Cojusna in Straseni district. Its factory
is situated above the ground and its wine collection with 2 nice tasting rooms
underground. They have very friendly and hospitable English speaking guides
and can organise excursions for one person only. Should be booked in advance.
No need of a car and the tour is a little cheaper.
Duration : 2-3 hours
Way of transport : by public transport to Cojusna and then by foot.
Day 2: Orheiul Vechi settlement and noble house / park and museum of handicrafts in Ivancea village
Vechi is an ancient settlement situated in 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 Moldavian 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.
Duration : 4-5 hours
Way of transport : by public minibus from the Central bus station in Chisinau and by foot in Orheiul Vechi.
village is located on the road to Orheiul Vechi settlement, 5 km
from the main road. It is located in the heart of Codry forest reservation
surrounded by 7 lakes. 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. In XIXth century Ivancea was the estate of an armenian noble
Karp Balioz who built a house and planted a big park here. It is transformed
into the museum of Moldovan handicrafts (in process of reconstruction since
2007) from the Soviet times and shows to its visitors the main activities
of Moldovans in the past and present times. Here in Ivancea the local Ukrainian
woman Katherine will cook a Moldovan / Ukrainian meal for you and host
you in her house.
Duration : 2 hours
Way of transport : by public transport or local taxi drivers.
Day 3: Soroca town : medieval fortress, Gipsies and their king, the candle of gratitude
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 : 6-8 hours
Way of transport : by bus from Gara de Nord (Chisinau) and by foot in Soroca
Day 4: Transdniestr Moldovan Republic : Tiraspol and Bender towns, Noul - Neamt monastery
or Transnistria or Pridnestrovie is the name for the non-recognised
Republic on the eastern bank of Dniestr river. 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 and Bender / Tighina towns are the 2 biggest
in the Republic situated in the close proximity on different banks of the
Dniestr river. Nice and cozy towns, second biggest after Chisinau. In the
center of Tiraspol, one can see 2 monuments to the father of the communism
Vladimir Lenin, streets with soviet names, House of Soviets, Memorial to 3
wars (W.W.II, Afghan war and Civil war), nice parks and boulevard. Bender
town is a much older town, being even older than Chisinau. There is a Medieval
fortress in the center of the town that is now served as the base of the Transdniestrian
army. In XVIII century the Swedish king Carol has resided in Bender for 4
years asking support from Ottomans and trying to create an alliance against
the Russians. The symbol of Carol, the Golden Lion, is still present on the
flag of the town. 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.
Duration : 6-8 hours
Way of transport : by public bus / minibus from the Central bus station in Chisinau
Day 5: Saharna or Tipova monasteries and waterfalls
complex is situated in one of the most picturesque gorges on the western
bank of the Dniestr river near Saharna village, 8 km away from the district
center of Rezina, 14 km from the railway station of Ribnitza and at approximately
110 km to the North from Chisinau . The first settlements on the steep banks
of the river of the same name were founded by the Gets and are dated to II
century B.C. At that time also was erected an earth mound with three earth
and one stone bastions and a ditch as well. Covered with forests, the Saharna
river canyon as long as 16 km with a large number of more than 30 rapids and
cascades will pleasantly surprise even a sophisticated traveler, who is looking
for a comparable experience outside Moldova. The largest cascade falls down
from a height of 10 meters and it is as wide as 5 meters. It is Moldovan Niagara
Falls most impressive in Winter, Spring and Autumn after the rains.
Duration : 6 -7 hours
Way of transport : by public bus from the Central bus station in Chisinau or by a cab from 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.
Also, read our suggestion for a 10 DAY ITINERARY IN MOLDOVA AND TRANSDNIESTR
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