10 DAY ITINERARY IN MOLDOVA
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
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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