Saharna monastery view from Grimidon hill

Tour “Discover Moldova”

Discover Moldova and stay with locals, enjoy overnights in countryside!

 

8 days/7 nights

Period: April – October

Type of tour: Individual and group

With overnights in different localities!

 

What the tour can offer: good knowledge of history, religion, culture, customs and traditions, way of life of Moldovan people; visits to the famous wineries and wine-cellars; stay with locals in countryside, in boarding houses and family guest houses.

 

Program of the tour and itinerary:

Day I  Arrival at Chisinau (Chisinau International Airport). City Tour of Chisinau.

Transfer and hotel check-in.

Evening Chisinau – Panoramic City Tour.

The capital of the Republic of Moldova, Chisinau is a modern city situated on 7 hills and was mentioned for the first time in  1436. Nowadays this is an European city that is worth seeing.

During this excursion you will get acquainted with the city history,  visit the historical part of our capital-Chisinau. You will make a stop at the monument Stefan the Great and Saint, the Bell Tower, Central Cathedral, the Triumph Arch, the Parliament, the Central Square and will have a pleasant walk along the Alley of Classics with busts of Romanian Literature Classics, visit the souvenirs’ shop.

Welcome dinner at local restaurant of traditional cuisine, home-made wine and live music.

Overnight in Chisinau.

 

Day 2   The North of Moldova – find out the history and a mix of cultures.

  Soroca town: Soroca Fortress, the Monument “The Candle of Gratitude”, “The Gypsy Hill”. Pokrovka village. Overnight in Soroca.

After breakfast, check-out from hotel in Chisinau and morning drive to the North of MOLDOVA for sightseeing Soroca and its surroundings.

North of Moldova is very diverse and colorful: Moldovan, Russian, Ukrainian traditions are all mixed up. 

You’ll visit such important sites as Medieval Soroca Fortress, “The Gypsy Hill” – Roma people quarter with their glorious mansions, the monument “The Candle of Gratitude” which rises above the Nistru River and has the shape of a candle.

Soroca fortress was built in 1499, on the Nistru river bank. The fortress is the only medieval monument in Moldova, which has been preserved entirely as it was designed by its builders. Above the entrance gate the tourists can visit the small military church.

Later we’ll proceed on to the Lippovan village Pokrovka – a village of Old Russian Believers. Here you’ll learn the Russian cuisine and feel the atmosphere of Old Russian Believers.

A place where you can enjoy the beauty of the nature, rest and get acquainted with the ethnical environment of the North of the country is the boarding house Pokrovskaia Usadiba” that will serve you traditional Russian cuisine, as well as several specialties of the house, which are very delicious. It is the only place where you can taste an aromatic hot cup of tea served in a real samovar, heated on coals.

Back to Soroca. Check-in hotel in Soroca. Free time for personal discoveries. Dinner at hotel.(optional)

Overnight in Soroca.

 

Day 3  Exploring the Enigmatic Nistru River. Saharna, Tipova.

After breakfast at hotel in Soroca check-out from the hotel for driving to the North-East of Moldova in search of new feelings that can be gained while visiting rocky monasteries Saharna and Tipova on Nistru River.

Tipova and Saharna situated on bank of the Nistru (Dniestr) river boast very rich and picturesque nature and numerous waterfalls and cascades that the river Saharna forms on its way. Tired of travel, you can rest at the bottom of a cascade in the shadow of high hills and calmness.

The monastery Saharna  is surrounded by hills, partially covered with woods.

In Saharna complex are kept the relics of Saint Cuvios Macarie.

 On the top of the Grimidon rocky hill in Saharna area you can see a little chapel, where, as the legend says, you may see the footprint of Mother of God who appeared in front of Saint Varfolomei. 

 Before driving to the other cave and rocky monastery Tipova we’ll make a stop in a nearby village Lalova for having a rest and taking lunch in a local boarding house where you’ll enjoy the delicious lunch in Moldavian style, the wonderful view on the river Nistru and the hospitality of the hosts.

Check-in this boarding house for a night.

Later, visits to Tipova Monastery which is one of the oldest monasteries in the Republic of Moldova. The monastery is spaded in stone on the bunch of Nistru River.

 The monastic complex portrays an image of an impressive museum.

According to historians, Stefan cel Mare si Sfint frequently was visiting these lands during his battles against Tatars. An old legend tells that the great lord (Stefan cel Mare) married to one of his wives in the Tipova monastery, who after her death, was buried at this holy place.

Back to Tipova village. Free time. Dinner. Overnight in Lalova village.

 

 

Day 4  Searching for civilizations and beliefs. “Orheiul Vechi” Museum Complex. Chateau Vartely Winery.

 After breakfast on fresh air in a boarding house check-out and departure to Orhei region for further discoveries.

First stop will be a nice winery that boasts precious wines where you’ll have a good possibility to sample some of them. “Chateau Vartely” –is a young but ambitious, in the good meaning of the word, wine making company, placed directly in the Orhean region, where up to now live rich national traditions of cultivation and producing of the  “beverage of the Gods” – wine.

At last, we leave for an impressive open-air museum that is known as Orheiul Vechi (Old Orhei). It’s a museum complex that presents the remnants of different civilizations established between Nistru and Prut rivers. This is a cave complex comprising caves, grottos, churches, and hermitages. The open air museum represents a true natural fortress, inhabited since ancient times.

You’ll witness the unique 13th cent. Cave monastery with one monk created by Orthodox monks and will see the ruins of the Old Turkish bath. Also visit the Moldavian village of Butuceni with a typical 19th cent. Moldavian house-museum and have a perfect possibility to take lunch in a local guest house and sample traditional dishes of the locality and home-made wine.

Check-in a local guest house to spend one night in a countryside surrounded by hills and cliffs that take your brief away.

Dinner and Overnight in BUTUCENI village.

 

Day 5  Learn for yourselves the remnants of the USSR. Transnistria: cities Tighina and Tiraspol, village Chitkani.

Breakfast in the guest house in Butuceni and check-out. Morning drive to TRANSNISTRIAself-proclaimed independent and unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic that has its own currency, border guards and policy.

After crossing the border you will explore the 16th century Tighina fortress and visit the on-site museum and the War Memorial in the city of Bender. The first documentary mention of “Tighina Fortress” was in 1408.  Its walls have survived to the present and offer an example of classic Moldavian defensive construction.

Further we will continue onto the capital of Transnistria-Tiraspol for a city tour. Tiraspol is the second largest city in Moldova. The city is located on the Eastern bank of the Dniester River. It was founded by the Russian general Alexandr Suvorov in 1792 whose statue is rising on the central square in Tiraspol. During this tour you’ll see the Drama and Comedy theatre, the Lenin and Suvorov Monuments, the Parliament, the House of Sovjets and have a walking tour along the river Dniestr.

Later you will have a lunch in a local restaurant of Ukrainian cuisine “Kumanek”.

After lunch you’ll leave for a nearby village Kitkani for visiting its monastery. There are 4 churches on the territory of the monastery which house 18-20th century icons. A real pearl of this monastery is the bell tower.

Return to Tiraspol for overnight. Free time. Dinner at hotel. (optional)

 

Day 6  Gagauzian region – GAGAUZERY: city of Comrat, village of Besalma.

Breakfast at hotel in Tiraspol and check-out. Departure to the South of Moldova to learn the history, culture and traditions of Gagauzian people – people of Turkish origin but confessing the Orthodox faith.

Comrat is situated in the southern zone of Moldova. It is known for production of red wines and sweet red wines. During the city tour the tourists will visit the Central  Cathedral, the History and Ethnography Museum, and the Turkish Library, The Central Market.

After city tour you’ll have a lunch in a local restaurant that offers national cuisine in Gagauz style.

In the afternoon drive to Besalma village to visit a valuable Museum of History and Ethnography featuring the unique Orthodox people of  Turkish-Gagauzian origin.  In 1966 the writer D. Cara-Ciobanu founded a museum in Besalma of the culture of the Gagauzian population.

Optional: folkloric performance, 3 short movies about Gagauz nation.

Back to Comrat for check-in hotel. Free time in Comrat town. Dinner at hotel or local restaurant. (optional) Overnight in Comrat.

 

 

Day 7 Wine, Religion, Resort: Milestii Mici Wine Cellars-Capriana Monastery-Hincu Convent.

After breakfast at hotel in Comrat, check-out and drive to underground wine city of Milestii Mici to see their rich wine collection and an underground wine gallery. The wines stored here are made of various years’ crops, beginning with the 1968 to 1991. The “Golden Collection” of Milestii Mici contains over two million bottles of harmonious wines dating from the period of Moldavian wine making prosperity “Pinot”, “Traminer”, “Muscat”, “Riesling”, “Feteasca”, “Codru”, “Negru de Purcari”, “Trandafirul Moldovei”, “Auriu” and others. The Mileştii Mici wine was repeatedly awarded.

You will have a pleasant excursion in the cellars followed by wine tasting and lunch. 

You will pass by car some of these these 200 km of natural lime galleries.

 In the afternoon we head to the forests “Codrii” for visiting the14th cent. monastery “Capriana”and the convent “Hincu” that is hidden in a dense forest. First stop will be village Capriana with one of the oldest monasteries in Moldova –Capriana. For a long period of time it was the headquarters of Moldova’s bishop. It was founded by the great Moldovan Ruler Stefan the Great. Closed and dilapidated during the post-war period, it was only reopened again in 1989, becoming a symbol of national revival. Then we continue to the convent “Hincu”. Convent was founded in 1678 and firstly it was a women’s hermitage. Its founder is a Moldovan nobleman Mihai Ginkul (Hincu), who built the nunnery at his daughter’s will: there she took the veil. During the 18 th century it was destroyed for many times by Tatars and was totally neglected. On the Hinculs’ insistence in the 19 th century the cloister was reconstructed and inhabited by monks. At the same time both stone churches (Assumption and St. Paraskeva) and the storages were built.

Drive to Chisinau for check-in, dinner at hotel and overnight at hotel.

Day 8  Farewell to Chisinau. Cricova wine cellars. Flight back home.

 After breakfast, before flight home-visits to the famous winery of Moldova – Cricova winery.

You will have a tour along the underground tunnels of the wine-cellars, and take a train through the tunnels. You’ll see a large collection of exclusive wine and get acquainted with the process of wine and wine sparkling production. The Integrated Factory Cricova is the only factory in Republic that produces sparkling wine through the classical French fermentation method – aging in bottles for up to 3 years.

 All Cricova wines can be tasted in luxurious tasting halls, which are a veritable masterpiece of exquisite architecture. You’ll have light tasting with a snack –Moldavian Pies.

Transfer to airport Chisinau for flight back home.

Reservations and tour details are available on incoming@solei.md.