Moldova and Eastern Romania

Butuceni, Moldova - © Alan Heywood
Chisinau, Moldova - © Alan Heywood
Iasi Vintage Tram Tour - © Alan Heywood
Moldovita Railway, Romania - © Alan Heywood
Autumn in Romania - © Ramona Cazacu

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore an almost undiscovered part of Europe
  • Visit Odessa’s main attractions
  • Cricova Winery and wine tasting
  • Painted Monasteries
  • Moldovita narrow gauge steam railway
  • Iaşi tram charter
  • Comfortable “homestay” village accommodation
  • 11 Days from £2,425pp
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Tour Dates:
Friday 9 October to Monday 19 October 2020

UK’s Leading Specialist Operator to Romania

From Odessa (Ukraine) we travel into Moldova to explore its capital, Chişinau, and rural villages, then cross into Romania to Iaşi, Bucovina and the Painted Monasteries. We ride three different rail gauges from the USSR broad gauge to the small Romanian former forestry steam line at Moldovita and enjoy magnificent autumn colours.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Flight to Odessa, Ukraine

Morning flight from London for a late afternoon arrival in Odessa. 2 nights in a centrally located hotel.

Day 2 – Odessa

Morning tour of Odessa including a visit to the large, famous Privoz Market followed by lunch and an excursion to the Shustov Cognac Museum for brandy tasting.

Day 3 – By Train to Chişinau

Free morning followed by an afternoon visit to the Catacombs, the world’s largest labyrinth of tunnels which includes a former Soviet atomic shelter. Evening train to Chişinau (Moldova) for 2 nights.

Day 4 – Rural Moldova

We drive to the remote village of Butuceni, nestling deep in a river valley and dominated by its tiny monastery on a cliff top. Lunch here (included), then drive to the Cricova winery for an underground tour of this vast complex. Wine tasting included.

Day 5 – Across the Border

Explore Chişinau before catching the late afternoon train to Romania. At the border, our train is lifted to replace the Russian broad gauge bogies with those for the European standard gauge. We reach Iaşi in the late evening. Transfer to our hotel.

Day 6 – Iaşi by Tram

Iaşi is a tram enthusiast’s paradise as the entire city network is operated by second hand trams of the 60s, 70s and 80s from various German cities. We hire a tram for the morning to tour the system followed by some free time to explore in the afternoon. Dinner this evening is at a local traditional restaurant (included).

Day 7 – Moldovita Painted Monastery

Today we continue our journey by train to Vama for a 2-night stay. Afternoon visit to the Moldovita Painted Monastery nearby. Evening meal at our guest house.

Day 8 – Moldovita Railway and Sucevita Monastery

Ride the scenic Moldovita narrow gauge steam railway, visit the Sucevita painted monastery and enjoy a stunning drive through mountain scenery.

Day 9 – Across the Carpathians to Transylvania

After a short visit to Voronet Monastery and the regional market town of Gura Humorului, we catch the main line train for the very scenic journey over the Carpathian Mountains to Lunca Ilvei. From here we have a short drive to the remote Valea Mare near Sant where we find an evening meal ready at our guest house.

Day 10 – Cluj Napoca

Morning drive to Cluj with a free afternoon to explore the city before a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 11 – Cluj Napoca to London

Transfer to the airport for the flight to London, arriving mid-afternoon.

Due to the limited number of rooms in “homestay” accommodation, this tour will be limited to 12 persons.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Alexandrovskiy Hotel, Odessa

Hotel Jazz, Chişinau

Unirea Hotel, Iaşi

Bucovina Lodge, Vama

Pensiunea Roua de Munte, Sant

Grand Hotel Napoca, Cluj Napoca

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airline
  • Rail travel as specified
  • Other travel by private mini-coach
  • Hotel accommodation in Odessa, Chişinau, Iaşi and Cluj
  • Other accommodation in good quality guest houses with en-suite facilities
  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 5 evening meals
  • Admissions to all venues listed above
  • Airport and other transfers
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour plus local professional guides within Ukraine, Moldova and Romania

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,425
Single room supplement: £290
Deposit for this holiday: £200

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