|30 Aug - 04 Sep|
At Regent Holidays, there’s nothing we love more than creating pioneering trips to uncover intriguing and alternative destinations – unless, of course, the destination is a breakaway state. Bonus points are awarded if that tour also coincides with a one-off event or national celebration. Our brand new Independence Day in Transdniestr tour rather ticks all of those boxes, so if you’re looking to visit somewhere really off-the-beaten-track this year, Moldova and the self-declared independent state of Transdniestr should have you fumbling for your passport.
Celebrate the Independence Day of a technically non-existent country in Tiraspol, a capital city known as one of the last living relics of the Soviet Era, before spending a few days exploring Moldova and sampling local wine in Chisinau. During this tour, visitors have the opportunity to meet lots of local people over delicious meals. and learn about their culture and history.
Arrive in Chisinau, Moldova. Transfer to a hotel in Chisinau and check in for 2 nights. Enjoy a welcome dinner in a local restaurant. (D)
Today learn how to cook Moldovan food. At "Casa Parinteasca" Craft Centre in the village of Palanca, see traditional Moldovan costumes and customs, as well as learning how to cook the best known Moldavian dish – “placinte” (a delicious pastry). After we prepare everything, the lady of the house will put them in the oven for 3 hours at least, and whilst they cook, visit the Honey Museum from Raciula, learn about the life of bees, taste different kind of honey and other honey products. Later visit several families who produce different kind of liquors, a family who produces different kind of cheeses, and the third family, who produces different products made from the apples of their own orchard.
Returning to ”Casa Parinteasca” Museum enjoy a very special lunch, sampling your earlier cooking. Traditional dishes will be served with the best local wine, while the organic herbal tea, accompanied by quince jam is a delicious end to the meal. After lunch visit Frumoasa Monastery before returning to Chisinau. (B,L)
This morning embark on a city tour of Chisinau. The tour will visit the open markets, the Unic Shopping Centre, the Ciuflea Monastery, the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History. Many of Chisinau’s major highlights are concentrated in the central part of town so a walk around the city’s main avenue visits the Organ Hall, the City Hall, the Cathedral Complex, the Grand National Assembly Square and the impressive House of Government.
Continue to Transnistria and after crossing the border, which the Moldovans do not recognise, stop in a local village for a special lunch in a private Moldovan family home. They will share their problems living in an unrecognised country and how frustrating it is not being able to speak their native language. We also include a visit to Aquatir, a large sturgeon-breeding and black caviar-processing industrial complex near Tiraspol. In the late afternoon, arrive in the capital and enjoy a brief city tour before checking in the hotel for an overnight stay. (B,L)
Transnistria - is a breakaway territory within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova. Although not recognized by any other official country or international organization, it is de facto an independent state named the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic. The country’s national coat of arms still includes the traditional hammer and sickle and the Lenin statue hasn’t yet been pulled down. The Pridnestrovie today may still retain the look of a Communist state and it’s called “the last remaining Stalinist dictatorship in Europe”.
This morning visit the Museum of Local History of Tiraspol, which gives a fascinating insight into the history of this break away republic. Begin the day with a morning tour of Tiraspol to orientate yourself with a city still housing Lenin statues and Soviet posters, before attending the great September 2nd Procession with military units and retired folks parading in the city centre. In January of 1990, the citizens of Tiraspol passed a referendum declaring the city as an independent territory and on September 2nd of the same year, Tiraspol was proclaimed the capital of the new Pridnestrovian Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic – the area to the east of the Dniester River now known as Transnistria. Head north along the Dnister River , a route that takes you through small towns and villages still littered with statues of Lenin and other Communist monuments. Return to Moldova and stop near Old Orhei, Old Orhei houses a stone fortress and the centuries-old St. Maria Dormata, a preserved orthodox cave monastery. Enjoy a traditional dinner and accommodation in Eco Resort Butuceni. (B,D)
Visit Curchi Monastery, founded by a local man called Jordanian Curchi in 1765. The monastery ensemble consists of two churches and nine other buildings containing the living areas of the monks and abbots. On the way back to Chisinau visit Cricova Winery. Moldova has a growing reputation for its wine produce so no tour to the country is complete without a tasting tour; Cricova hosts one of the biggest underground wine cities in Europe. Over 120km of underground tunnels sit up to 100m below ground, once excavated when the limestone was used to build Chisinau and converted into a wine storage facility in the 50’s. More than a million vintage wines are kept in these tunnels and there are even said to be bottles owned by Vladimir Putin amongst the rare collections.
Transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK. (B)
30 Aug 2018
04 Sep 2018