Tucked between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is a hidden gem that we feel deserves your attention. Moldovan wine is the focus of most visits but take time to explore the capital, Chisinau, and make sure you visit the Soviet throwback self-proclaimed republic of Transdniestr.
Chisinau hasn't quite shaken off its heritage with its 20th-century Soviet architecture but this is tempered by tree-lined boulevards and numerous parks. Don't be fooled by the severity of the architecture though as the Moldovans know how to party and the night life is legendary.
Transdniestr is an enigma where the Soviet Union lives on. But in Tiraspol, where Socialist banners and monuments to Soviet heroes abound, smart shops and chic restaurants are making an appearance so go soon before it loses its quirky nature.
On your Moldova holidays, use Chisinau as a base and venture out of town to the fortress at Soroco, home to a large gypsy population who live in lavish mansions.
Join the monks at the spectacular Orheuil Vecha cave monastery carved into a limestone cliff, tour the vineyards on the Wine Route and then settle back to enjoy the mud treatments and thermal springs at Cahul.
As the poorest country in Europe, Moldova has limited resources to care for its disabled children. British charity, ChildAid, works with Hippocrates rehabilitation centre in Chisinau to provide free treatment to over 200 children from the poorest families each year. We can arrange visits to Hippocrates where you can meet the staff and learn more about their work. Any gifts, clothes or toys for the children are gratefully appreciated. ChildAid is running an appeal to raise vital funds - to find out more, make a donation or sponsor a child please visit their website www.childaidrr.org.uk