Bangkok, Thailand, as seen from Benjakitti Forest Park.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Khao Yai National Park, Thailand on December 13th.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Moldova Tour Guide

Moldova is a very small country, but we recently spent two full weeks there and wanted to condense our experiences into a single blog post so that people who want to visit can have a single reference source.

Despite the fact that we were there for two weeks, we still felt there were areas we didn't see that we would have liked to. So we'll have to return someday.

Most people will arrive in the capital city of Chisinua. It's definitely worth a two day visit, although we could easily have found things to do for a couple more days than that.

It's handy to have a guide while you're there. We would recommend Gloria Jigau. She's a professional translator, fluent in Romanian, English, and Russian. And she's also a freelance tour guide, experienced in Moldova and Transnistria. She seems to know just about everybody in Moldova, which is certainly handy in a country that doesn't get many tourists!

They have a good public transportation system in Chisinau, and it's very inexpensive. Taxis are pretty reasonable too. And that's all great for when you're in the city, but to explore the rest of the country you're going to want to have your own car.

We used these guys for our car rental in Moldova. They were good to deal with, communication was excellent, and the car and prices were just fine for our needs. They also allowed us (for a 20 euro charge) the paperwork to take the car into Transnistria.

Of course wine tourism is a big part of any visit to Moldova. Although there are 45 wineries open for public tours, there are three that are the most popular. Cricova and Milestii Mici are the two most popular because they're located close to the city of Chisinau.  They also contain the two largest wine cellars in the world, so it's really something to see.

The underground wine cellars at Milestii Mici.

We've been to both of them, but there's no need to do that. Cricova is quite expensive for what you  get, but it's easy to do because they take you on a trolley through the tunnels. Milestii Mici is a little more laid back and a lot less expensive. However, you need to have your own car to do the tour. This can still be worthwhile and less expensive, even if you hire a taxi and pay the driver's entrance fee!

The third one we went to is Purcari Winery. It's a smaller winery in a beautiful area. If you get  chance, book yourself into one of the nice rooms at the chateau for a special treat. We were there in December and enjoyed our time, but I think it would be best to visit in September during the harvest.

We did several day trips while we were there. It's worthwhile to go to Orheiul Vechi Cave Monastery, and it doesn't cost anything. There's a wonderful restaurant in the village where you can stop for lunch. And while you're in the area, it's not much further to go to get to the fabulous Curchi Monastery.

The other worthwhile place we went to was the northern city of Soroca. Really enjoyed it there. For our two night stay, we have no problem recommending the Hotel Central. Enjoyed our stay there.

Ruth at the town of Soroca and the Ukraine border.

On the way back to Chisinau from Soroca, we made a detour to the cave monastery in the village of Tipova. A little out of the way, but another worthwhile stop, with some beautiful views. 

Speaking of wine, how about this deal? 40% off, and 1 cent shipping!

Naked Winery Dirty Dozen Box


  1. Amazing, I am reading James Patterson's new book "Cross the Line", and Moldova is mentioned, along with Chisinua! I wouldn't have even done a double-take if not for your recent travels there. You have expanded my world, even virtually!

    1. So glad that we were able to open up the world to you. Now we are going to have to get this book so that we can read about Moldova as well.

      Happy New Year, Emily!

  2. Nice to know about this small country. Wish, you posted more pictures.

    1. Lots more pictures in the daily blog posts between December 2nd and Dec 14th!

  3. The Spain trip is sneaking up on you. It looks like you have an interesting 3 1/2 months lined up. We look forward to reading all about it. Sue and I would like to wish you both a very Happy and Safe New Year as you continue your travels. Hope to see you in the Spring.

    1. Our Spain trip is just a day away now! It's incredible how quickly the time flies by.

      Happy New Year to both you and Sue!


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