Moldova and Eastern Romania

A typical 'homestay', Butuceni, Moldova - © Alan Heywood
Butuceni's 'main street', Moldova - © Alan Heywood
Hancu Monastery - © Alan Heywood
Hancu Monastery - © Alan Heywood
Tiraspol, Transdniester - © Alan Heywood

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore an almost undiscovered part of Europe
  • Visit breakaway Transdniester
  • Painted Monasteries
  • Moldovita narrow gauge steam railway
  • Iaşi tram charter
  • Comfortable “homestay” village accommodation
  • 12 Days from £2,095pp
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Tour Dates:
Saturday 7 October to Tuesday 17 October 2017

UK’s Leading Specialist Operator to Romania

For such a small country, Moldova offers an amazing diversity both in terms of culture and political outlook. This is where the ideologies of Lenin and the democracies of Western Europe still face each other across the Dniester River and where the standard gauge trains of the west meet the broad gauge of the east.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Flight to Chişinau

Afternoon flight from London for a late evening arrival in Chişinau. 3 nights in a centrally located hotel.

Day 2 – Chişinau and Wine

Morning tour of Chişinau, a pleasant city with a surprising number of parks and other green spaces. Visit the Cricova winery for an underground tour of this vast complex. Wine tasting and lunch (included). Our visit also coincides with the annual Chişinau wine festival.

Day 3 – Back in the USSR

Day trip by train to Tiraspol, capital of the breakaway region of Transdniester, a country within a country and with its own government, currency and traditions.

Day 4 – Rural Moldova

Via the Capriana Monastery to the remote village of Butuceni, nestling deep in a river valley and dominated by its tiny monastery on a cliff top. Here we find a lovely “homestay”, specially converted for tourist use with en suite facilities. Lunch here (included), then visit the monastery with its underground chapel opening onto the side of the cliff face. Evening meal (also included).

Day 5 – Tipova

Visit the village of Tipova where the River Dniester has carved a deep wide valley offering superb views across to Transdniester. Lunch here (included). Here also is Eastern Europe’s largest cave monastery which we visit before returning to Butuceni in time for evening meal.

Day 6 – Across the Border

We return to 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 and transfer to our hotel.

Day 7 – Iaşi by Tram

Iaşi is a tram enthusiast’s paradise as the entire city network is operated by second hand trams of the seventies from various German cities. We hire a tram for the morning for a tour of the system, then take the local train to Hirlau and transfer to the Polizu Manor House for evening meal (included) and overnight.

Day 8 – Probota Painted Monastery

Visit one of Bucovina’s famous painted churches at Probota (lunch included) followed by train from Dolhasca to Vama. Transfer to the village of Moldovita, for the next 2 nights on full board.

Day 9 – Moldovita and Sucevita

We ride the scenic Moldovita narrow gauge steam railway and visit the Moldovita and Sucevita painted monasteries on a scenic circular drive.

Day 10 – Gura Humorului to Cluj Napoca

After a short visit to the regional market town of Gura Humorului, we catch the main line train for the very scenic journey over the Carpathian Mountains to Cluj, arriving mid-evening.

Day 11 – Cluj Napoca to London

Transfer to 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.

A blog of the research trip for the Moldovan section of this tour including the excursion to Transdniester can be found here.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Hotel Jazz, Chişinau

Agro Pensiunea, Butuceni

Grand Hotel Traian, Iaşi

Polizu Manor, Maxut

Pensiunea Crizantema, Moldovita

Hotel Victoria, 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 Chişinau, Iaşi and Cluj plus Manor House at Maxut
  • Other accommodation in good quality guest houses or family homestay with en-suite facilities
  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 evening meals
  • Admissions to Cricova winery with wine tasting and painted monasteries
  • Airport and other transfers
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour plus local professional Romanian guide within Moldova and Romania

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £2,095
Single room supplement: £190
Deposit for this holiday: £200
   
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2016

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