The Republic of Moldavia, home to unparalleled, rare, and exquisite sights and experiences merits its separate trip and offers destinations of astounding beauty and historical significance.
Begin in Gura Humorului in northeast Romania, from where you will head east for the capital city of Moldova, Chisinau.
On the way, stop in Iaşi for a city tour of this prominent center of academia, culture, and the arts. You’ll have the chance to view the monumental 17th-century Trei Ierarhi Monastery, the site of the first book printing in Moldavia and Romania’s first-ever community clock. You’ll also visit the Palace of Culture, Cuza Palace, the Vasile Alecsandri National Theater, and the Metropolitan Cathedral.
At the end of an exciting day, arrive in Chisinau for a two-overnight stay. You’ll experience a panoramic city tour of this capital of a half-million people, which will include all of its significant sights, right down to the colorful, eclectic local market. The next day, you may choose to visit the 13th-century Orheiu Vechi Monastery, a fantastical place of seclusion and worship carved into a high cliff face amid superb views of the surrounding countryside. The complex is only 10 kilometers from Old Orhei, a prominent city in antiquity. You’ll witness layer upon layer of civilization at the modern-day archeological complex, most notably from the Paleolithic and Iron Ages. Ancient forts made of earth and wood documenting Dacian and Golden Horde history are still in evidence, bringing thousands of years of history to light. Alternatively, you may choose to tour the Cricova Wine Cellars, a veritable underground labyrinth of intertwining roadways filled with wine casks. The cellars rank among the most extensive in Europe, but they are not open daily.
The following day, return to Gura Humorului via Suceava, home of Romanian princes in the 14th and 16th centuries. Visit the medieval Suceava Citadel, now in a spectacular state of ruin but formerly one of the most intimidating and impenetrable fortresses in the greater region, despite near-constant Ottoman attacks. Its construction and subsequent fortification comprised the royal residence, a chapel, ammunitions storage, circular walls four meters thick, a deep moat, and a drawbridge with a built-in trap. You’ll also visit the 16th-century UNESCO World Heritage St. George Church, also known as the painted monastery of Voronet, a spectacular masterpiece of brilliant frescoes dating from the 15th century.