East European Discovery – Romania and Moldova’s Transnistria and Gagauzia

East European Discovery – Romania and Moldova’s Transnistria and Gagauzia 980 , 9 Days

If you want to follow Count Dracula steps, uncover the secret of one of the least visited countries in Europe and face the truth about communism’s inheritance in East Europe - this trip is a chance to make it all at once. Romania and Moldova invite you to an adventure through past and present.

Romania, with its nature, preserved medieval castles, ancient churches and vivid culture is one of the most interesting countries in Europe. The beauty of the Carpathian Mountains and the ancient Dracula’s castle in Transylvania are widely known, but the country has much more to show.
Moldova is the least visited European country with less than 12 000 visitors per year.  Moldova offers also unspoiled nature and great wine for every taste.
Become one of the few travelers stepping into Transnistria - a breakaway republic in eastern Moldova, where Soviet values are still upheld and people fight for independence. 
 
Highlights: 
Dracula’s castle - the best-known castle in Transylvania and one of the most popular attractions in Europe
Peles Castle - an exquisite piece of architecture, served once as Romanian Royal family’s residence
The Black Church – the biggest church between Istanbul and Vienna
The city of Brasov – is one of the most beautiful and visited cities in Romania. It has a rich mix of history, culture, urban fun, and impressive Carpathians' surroundings. 
The Sucevita monastery - the largest of the monasteries in the Bucovina region, listed in UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites
Milestii Mici - the largest wine "underground city" in Europe, which takes place in Guinness World Records
Tiraspol – the capital of Transnistria a thin strip of land wedged between Moldova and Ukraine

Itinerary:

Day 1. Bucharest - Sinaia - Brasov (Romania)
Meeting our guide in the lobby of our hotel in Bucharest at 09.00 am and drive to Sinaia. We cross the Carpathians toward Sinaia where we visit the fabulous Peles Castle, an exquisite piece of architecture and one of the most spectacular castles in Europe, with its arm and armory collection, unique for its richness and diversity. The Castle served as the summer residence of the Romanian Royal family. Continue to Brasov. Arrival at Brasov, formerly Kronstadt, founded by the Saxon colonists, as the South gate of Transylvania. Walking tour through the old town center, including the Black Church – the biggest church between Istanbul and Vienna; the Council Square, the Hirscher House/16century, - the baroque style buildings from the Austro-Hungarian time and Ekaterina Gate of the Old Citadel. It is also worth mentioning one of the oldest Orthodox Churches in Transylvania, where you can admire the beautiful frescoes of the chapel. Hotel in Brasov. -/-/-

Day 2. Brasov - Bran - Lacu Rosu
Lunch in a local restaurant in Bran and visit to the famous medieval castle (the “Dracula's" Castle) built as a fortress for the citizens of Brasov in 1377, as a defense to the city. Prince Vlad used the Castle as a general headquarters during his incursions in Transylvania. In 1922, Queen Mary of Romania changed the castle into Royal residence, the best known castle in Romania. Stop at Prejmer for visit to the fortified church, also included in the UNESCO World Heritage. B/-/-

Day 3. Lacu Rosu - Voronet
We visit the jewels of Bucovina: Voronet also called “the Sistine Chapel of the East”. Drive through the Moldavian villages, visiting Tarpesti – the home of the delightful “Neculai Popa” Museum, unique in the world, where colorful masks and folk costumes are displayed. B/-/-

Day 4. Voronet - Suceava - Iasi
Drive to Bucovina –the “upper land” with the unique painted monasteries, belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage. We include a visit to Sucevita monastery, the largest of the monasteries in the Bucovina region, with massive towers and stone walls protecting the inner buildings, which are decorated with portraits of historical legends and biblical scenes. Arrive Iasi, walking tour to Roznoveanu Palace, Vasile Alecsandri National Theatre, Saint Nicholas Church (built by Stephen the Great), Metropolitan Cathedral and Church of the Three Hierarchs/ B/-/-

Day 5. Crossing Moldova border to Chisinau (Moldova)
Drive to the border with Moldova, and continue to Chisinau. If time permits you can enjoy a walking tour of the city's main sights including the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ's Nativity, Presidential Palace, Parliament building and the Holy Gates, which are known as Moldova's 'Arc de Triomphe'. Excursion and wine tasting at Milesti Mici - the largest wine "underground city" in Europe (length - 200 km), which is listed in Guinness World Records. It has more than 200 km of limestone tunnels, 55 km of which are used for storing wine. Overnight hotel in Chisinau. B/-/-

Day 6. Chisinau - Tiraspol (Transnistria)
Drive to Transnistrian “capital” - Tiraspol. Stop at Bender Fortress on the way. Continue to Tiraspol where you will have the opportunity to travel back in time to USSR. Transnistria is a thin strip of land wedged between Moldova and Ukraine. It is home to more than 500,000 people and has a parliamentary government, a standing army, and its own currency. It has all the trappings of an independent nation—but isn't. you won't find it on many maps, and not a single member of the United Nations recognizes its existence. You will start by visiting the Lenin monument and tanks left from the Second World War. The city seems to be a ghost of the Soviet past. B/-/-

Day 7. Tiraspol – Comrat (Gagauzia)
After a comprehensive USSR-heritage walk we’ll then move southwest past traditional Gagauz and Bulgarian settlements, reaching Comrat, the national capital of Gagauzia. Gagauzia or Gagauz-Yeri, officially the Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia is an autonomous territorial unit of Moldova. Its autonomy is intended for the local Gagauz people, a Turkic-speaking, primarily Orthodox ethnic group. Overnight in Comrat. B/-/-

Day 8. Comrat – Chisinau
Drive back to Chisinau. In the afternoon we visit the world-famous wine cellars of Cricova. Cricova is like an underground city with obscure streets that are carrying the names of wines kept here: Aligote, Riesling, Codru, and Feteasca. The wines from this collection have an old history with bottles over 100 years old. Back to Chisinau and enjoy a special dinner with wine tasting. Overnight in Chisinau. B/-/D

Day 9. Departure from Chisinau (Moldova)
Additional information: Тhis tour can be changed to the possibility to travel by train directly from Bucharest to Chisinau, thus skipping the Romanian part of the tour.


Price Includes:
8 nights in standard hotels 3*** - rooms with private facilities and breakfast
wine tasting on day 5 and wine tasting with dinner on day 8
all transport as per program in AC coach
tour leader from Penguin Travel (at min 8 people)
local English-speaking guides
meals according to the itinerary (B-breakfast L-lunch D -dinner)

Not Included:
International flight tickets
travel insurance
entrance fees
tips and personal expenses
drinks and meals not mentioned
visa fees if applicable


Gallery


East European Discovery – Romania and Moldova’s Transnistria and Gagauzia (Rated 4.81 / 5 Based on 7 Reviews.)
Price
980 EUR
Duration
9 Days
Single Supplement
210 EUR
Status
Open for booking
Price
980 EUR
Duration
9 Days
Single Supplement
210 EUR
Status
Guaranteed departure
Price
980 EUR
Duration
9 Days
Single Supplement
210 EUR
Status
Open for booking

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

Group Size
6-16
Reservation System Code
BLKNORTH
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