Off the beaten path, undiscovered, underrated, stunningly beautiful, a land rich in culture and history. All of this and more describe Moldova as we know it today…and we haven’t even got started on the wine!
Want to learn more about Moldova?
Where is Moldova?
Moldova is a small, landlocked country located in Eastern Europe. It is nestled between Romania (to the west) and Ukraine. The disputed territory of Transnistria separates part of Moldova proper from Ukraine.
When is the best time to visit Moldova?
Late spring to summer (May to August) is the best time to visit Moldova across the board. July especially is when you’ll find the most wine tours and best hiking.
Getting around Moldova
Hiring a car is the best way to see the country and get from point A to point B with as little hassle as possible. It’s not a large place and most of the country is easily reachable from the capital.
Language in Moldova
Romanian is the official language and the most widely spoken (though it is sometimes called Moldovan within the country). A sizable minority speaks Russian as well. More are learning English as a foreign language, however you should not count on being able to fully get by with just the Queen’s.
The capital and largest city is a great first place to get a taste of the modern Moldova. While the Soviet era architecture might not be anything to write home about, the lively streets and green parks provide a great walking experience. There are bars, restaurants, museums, cafes, and more throughout the cityscape. Overall it’s a classically Eastern European mid-size city that is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
When it comes down to it however, the main reason to visit Moldova these days is the wine. Across the bucolic landscape are some of Europe’s preeminent vineyards, wine cellars, wine tastings, and, well…wine. The country is home to the world’s largest wine cellar – Milestii Mici – that stretches a mind-boggling 200 kilometres! If you know of a cooler place to sample some of Moldova’s finest, do tell. Beyond Milestii Mici, Cricova and Purcari are also worth visiting while nearly every village makes their own wine. It’s a way of life here, and you can’t say you’ve experienced Moldova without seeing what the industry has to offer. All in all, Moldova is one of the obligatory ‘feathers in the cap’ for wine aficionados.
Beyond the capital and the wine, Moldova is home to some other interesting cities (such as Soroca), picturesque landscapes, and old monasteries. The Emil Racovita Cave in Criva is out of this world while the historical complex at Old Orhei brings visitors back to a different era while surrounding them with stunning scenery. There are plenty of other monasteries and hill covered regions worth exploring, and much of it far from the throngs of tourists you’re used to throughout Europe.
Flights to Moldova
Flights between Toronto and Moldova generally start around the $1000 Canadian mark. If you’re already in Europe, more and more budget airlines are expanding into the country – so take a look and see what cheap flights are on offer!
Prices in Moldova ($$)*
A standard budget in Moldova can range from anything between $70 and $170 Canadian. If you’re thrifty you can keep costs down towards to lower end. You might have to fork out a little more for some wine tours but we promise it’ll be worth it!
Is Moldova safe?
Moldova is a mostly safe country with normal security precautions recommended throughout. That being said, all travel should be avoided to the de-facto independent region of Transnistria according to the Canadian government. The security situation can be unpredictable and tense while the ability of the Canadian foreign office to render assistance is severely limited. There is petty crime, especially in cities at night. In addition violent crime has been reported in some cases, so be careful. Organized crime is widespread, especially in casinos and nightclubs, so use caution. If you plan on driving, be aware that some roads can be in poor condition or not well lit.
For more on travel safety, check out the Canadian Travel Advisory for Moldova.
For more information, check out the official Moldova tourism site.
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