Explore secluded Moldova, mysterious Transnistria and chic Odessa and taste its superb wines
Chișinău - 2 nights
Tiraspol - 1 night
Odessa - 2 nights
Chișinău - 2 nights
The tiny nation of Moldova, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, is one of the least-visited countries in the world. The capital, Chișinău, is not a traditionally pretty European city, but its communist relics and friendly people more than compensate.
Moldavia is a historical region, corresponding to the territory between the Eastern Carpathians and the Dniester River. Initially an independent state, it existed from the 14th century to 1859, when it was united with Wallachia to form the modern Romanian state. The eastern part of Moldavia eventually formed what is now the Republic of Moldova, after a period being part of the Russian Republic and later a Soviet Socialist Republic.
The breakaway territory of Transnistria, not recognised internationally and still considered part of Moldova, sits on a strip of land between the Dniester River and the eastern Moldovan border. The visitor will be greeted by Soviet-era monuments and murals and the hammer and sickle emblem.
A sortie to the vibrant Black Sea city of Odessa in Ukraine is part of the itinerary.
Cultural & Countryside Tour
Jules Verne Sightseeing
Local Expert Guides
Group Size: 6 – 18
Day 1 Fly from London Stansted to Chișinău. Transfer to the 4-star Zentrum Hotel for two nights.
Day 2 Tour of Chișinău includes a walk on Stefan cel Mare Boulevard, viewing the Presidential Palace, Parliament and the Orthodox Cathedral. Visit Orhei Vechi Complex on top of a cliff with a cave monastery carved into limestone and an Orthodox church. Enjoy a tour and wine tasting at Cricova, the second largest wine cellar in the world. (B, L)
Day 3 Travel to Soroca to visit the medieval fortress, which played a key role in the battle against the Turks. Continue to the small village Clisova Noua and visit the Museum of Handicrafts and Carpets ‘Arta Rustica’. Transfer to Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria, for overnight at the 3-star Russia Hotel. (B)
Day 4 Tour of Tiraspol including the House of Soviets, with a statue of Lenin guarding its exterior, monuments of Suvorov and Raevski, the Dramatic Theatre and Shevchenko University. Cross the border to Odessa in Ukraine. Spend two nights at the 4-star Hotel Continental. (B, L)
Day 5 Morning tour of elegant Odessa, the gem of the Black Sea, including the famous Opera House, Primorsky Boulevard and the Potemkin Steps, spilling 500 feet down from the boulevard to the sea. Afternoon visit to the Archaeological Museum. (B)
Day 6 Tour of Odessa’s catacombs, a labyrinth-like network of tunnels under the city, the result of stone mining. Travel to Château Purcari in the south-eastern part of Moldova. The legendary Purcari wine cellars remain unchanged since 1827. Enjoy a tasting! Continue to Chișinău for two nights at the 4-star Zentrum Hotel. (B, L)
Day 7 Travel to the west to visit the ‘House of Honey’. Learn about the bee-keeping tradition and taste some honey. In Dolna visit the former residence of the rich Greek Zamfirache Ralli family. The house was frequently visited by the famous Russian poet Alexander Pushkin, while being exiled to Moldova. Continue to Capriana and visit the 15th-century monastery, once the residence of the archbishop and the first monastery that re-opened in 1989. (B, D)
Day 8 Return flight. (B)
This is a full itinerary with many visits on foot including some uneven surfaces and inclines.
On occasion alternative hotels of a similar standard may be substituted.
A modern 4-star hotel in the centre of Chișinău, close to National Museum of Archaeology. Restaurant, bar and WiFi (free). 35 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-fridge, tea/coffee making facilities and satellite TV.
An elegant 3-star hotel, five minutes’ walk from the Theatre Square in Tiraspol. Restaurant, bar and WiFi (free). 60 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe and satellite TV.
A modern 4-star hotel, close to the Opera House. Restaurant, bar, gym, sauna and WiFi (free). 55 air-conditioned rooms with hairdryer, safe, mini-bar and satellite TV.
per person in a twin/double room
Air Moldova from London Stansted
Supplements per person
Single supplement £285
Air Moldova Business Class from £485
Arrival or departure transfer £20
Air travel and taxes, transfers, 7 nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, 3 lunches and 1 dinner, itinerary as described, services of guides and local representatives. If our specially negotiated airfares are unavailable at the time of booking, a supplement may apply.
Travel insurance, optional excursions, tipping, any government taxes or compulsory charges introduced after publication.
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