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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 a 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.
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 recognized 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 roads named after the popular wine brands - Cabernet, Shardonait, Feteasca, Sauvignon etc. Cricova tour of the underground tunnels are performed in an electric train while those at Milestii Mici by car through the underground tunnels. 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.
Getting to Cricova : Public bus number 2 leaves from Circus stop on Grigore Vieru boulevard (the stop is accross the road from the Circus). Gett off at Cricova town hall and walk north 900 meters (11 min) to the winery. Or arrange a taxi transfer with Marisha.
Getting to Milestii Mici : taxi is the best way of getting there and you will need a car to drive through the winery cellar. Arrange a taxi transfer with Marisha.
Accommodation : the wineries are located in close proximity from Chisinau. Check out our Negruzzi flat for stay in Chisinau

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 - on of the greatest king of Moldova, a chronicle writer Eftimie and one of the first poets 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".
Getting there : 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 of Cojusna in Straseni district. The tour comprises the visit of the production area, storage and wine collection and finishes at the tasting halls with the wine tasting and lunch. The “Chateau Cojușna” tower opens an amasing view of Cojușna village and the vinyards.
Getting there : best way is by taxi / private car hire. Can be combined with the visit of Capriana monastery. Please, book with Marisha
Accommodation : both can be visited as a day trip from Chisinau. For accommodation in Chisinau, please, check out our Negruzzi flat in the center

Day 4: Vadul-lui-Voda river resort

Vadul lui Voda is Chisinau's local riviera. A holiday village with a long stretch of public beach on the river Nistru at about 20 km / 30 minutes from Chisinau. It has a sandy beach on the river and a very good infrastructure with many restaurants, fast-foods, cafes and night clubs on the beach, local market and loads of cabins, lodges, holiday parks and hotels from budget to luxury. 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 which in summer months is mosquitoes aplenty, so do take your antirepelants if intending to stay overnight.
Getting there : Bus 31 from Tighina street near the Central market. Under 1 hour journey by bus bus. Also, minibuses available and run more frequently. Last bus is at 9 pm.
Accommodation : visit as a day trip from Chisinau or stay in one of the challets/camps in Vadul lui Voda. Booking required in summer period. Plenty of cabins on 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.
Getting there : 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 : visit Soroca on a day trip from Chisinau or stay overnight in one of the hotels in Soroca . For accommodation in Chisinau check out our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau center

Day 6 : 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 Golden Horde town Sehr-al-cedid (New Town) occupied almost the whole territory of the settlement (268 ha) (XIVth century); and later one - 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.
Getting there : the site is located about 1 hour drive from Chisinau. You can get a minibus from the Central bus station in Chisinau. Buses from Chisinau leave at 10:20 & 15:00. The return is at 12:00 & 16:45.
Accommodation : stay in Chisinau at our Negruzzi flat or at Katherine's guesthouse in Ivancea.

Day 7 : 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.
Getting there : 3 hours one way journey from Chisinau plus 3-4 hours browse of the monastery and surroundings (could be more if you decide to hike into the woods). There are no good bus connections that will take you to the monastery and back in a day. Consider renting a private car for this trip or stay overnight in Rezina or Soroca . Book our driver Boris for the day.
Accommodation : stay at our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau center or consider staying in Rezina or Soroca.
The monastic structure of Tipova is situated near the village of Tipova and is hewn in a rock at 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 wifes Maria Voichita in this monastery where she was burred after her death. Tipova attracts visitors by its nature, panoramic view of the Dniestr river and many of its waterfalls.
Getting there : one bus to Nistreni leaving Chisinau Gara de Nord daily at 10:30 am. Very unreliable connection if you are thinking of getting back same day. Consider renting a car or use our driver services for this journey.
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 8 : 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 a self-proclaimed republic on the eastern bank of the river Dniestr (Nistru) that is not recognized by the world community, but has been an independent state 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. The cognac 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.
Getting there : buses / minibuses depart every 30-45 minutes from the Central bus station in Chisinau from early in the morning and until 7 pm. Train to Odessa runs on the weekends and stops at Bender and Tiraspol. There is less hassle with the immigration if traveling by train.
Accommodation : stay with Lena in her downtown apartment in Tiraspol or consider renting a bed/room in one of the hotels in town. Or stay in our Negruzzi flat if visiting Tiraspol on a day trip.

Day 9 : 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 older than Chisinau which played an important role in the middle age history of the region. The Swedish connection of Bender features the Swedish king Carol who in the XVIII century stayed here for 4 years 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 Bender 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 in the XVIII-XIX century. Nowadays, part of it serves as a base for the Transdniestrian/Russian army and another part is opened to the public for tours. During the Civil War 1991-1992 Bender town and its citizens have suffered the most. The War Memorial in the center and the Administration building with bullet holes in the walls keeps the memory of those bloody days. Local market is a huge indoor/outdoor market selling allsorts : food, clothes, household, flee market.
Getting there : 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 : Can be visited as a day tour from Chisinau. Stay with Lena in her apartment in Tiraspol or consider renting a bed/room in one of the hotels in town. Or stay in our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau if you are doing Tiraspol as a day trip

Day 10 : 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.
Getting there : 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 : take a day trip and stay in our Negruzzi flat in Chisinau or book yourself in one of the hotels in Comrat. For accommodation in Comrat and surroundings check out our Gagauzia page