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Moldova and Eastern Romania
Moldova and Eastern Romania OverviewFor 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.
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).
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. 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, visit the Moldovita and Sucevita painted monasteries and enjoy a stunning drive through mountain scenery.
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.
- 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, five lunches and five 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