Visit Moldova – a small nation nestled between Romania and Ukraine – that’s rich in unspoiled countryside, beautiful wine tours and boasts an off-the-beaten-path charm.
As European holiday destinations go, Moldova doesn’t top many lists, but it’s a hidden gem that everyone should see at least once.
Here are just a few of the reasons why you should visit Moldova and add it to your list of European must sees.
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The food and wine in Moldova is incredible and it’s one of the true highlights. Moldova has been a wine growing country for thousands of years and even has the largest cellar in the world, Milestii Mici, which reaches an astonishing 55km.
Moldova is now the 20th largest wine producer in the world and produces some truly spectacular wines. In the capital, there are countless wine bars to enjoy and beautiful wineries dotted around the countryside.
Moldovan wine is perfectly complemented by the fantastic food. This beautiful destination offers classic Eastern European fare with a host of different influences.
From the plăcintă, a tasty fried bread filled with various fillings, to sarmale, a local spin on dolmas using cabbage leaves filled with meat and rice, there are plenty of delicacies to explore.
A host of activities
This magnificent destination has more to offer than just beautiful scenery and delicious food. Moldova has a diverse range of things to do for visitors, from rafting down rivers and rock climbing along the cliffs, to hiking through the Codrii forest and cycling through the villages.
Moldova is also a practical location as it’s easy to get around and explore everything the country has to offer. From the Roma mansions of Soroca to the cave churches of Tipova, there’s plenty to discover.
A budget-friendly location
Despite being Europe’s least visited country, Moldova offers countless activities for a budget-friendly trip. It’s also one of the least expensive countries in Europe, with low prices for everything from food and accommodation to souvenirs and travel fares.
If you’re seeking a holiday destination where your money will go further, Moldova is the perfect choice. Entrance fees to museums and galleries are incredibly cheap, as is transportation. And while central hotels are a little more expensive, hostels and hotels on the outskirts are even more affordable, costing as little as €5 per night.
Moldova’s largest city and capital, Chișinău, is one of the highlights of the country. Chișinău is filled with picturesque parks, charming Parisian-style cafes and a thriving nightlife. It’s also centrally-located which makes it ideal for a day trip visiting the neighboring wineries and countryside. The city has a charming French style that makes for a unique escape, fusing Brutalist architecture with Parisian touches.
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Most Moldovans are Orthodox Christian, which means the country is filled with stunning old monasteries. Many of these buildings can be found in forgotten locations that are fascinating to explore.
Moldova also has one of the oldest monasteries in the world, situated in a remote location. Orheiul Vechi is over 2,000 years old and a must-see, not just for the monastery itself but also for the quaint villages, cute farmhouses, and incredible views over the cliff-top architecture.
A forgotten language
The people of Moldova are incredibly welcoming and friendly, and the more you get to know them, you’ll realize how much their culture revolves around singing, dancing and festivities.
While most people in Moldova speak Romanian or Russian, there’s also another language spoken here; Gagauz. This Turkic language is actually considered endangered by UNESCO, so it’s a unique element of this already rich culture.
Stunning natural scenery
There are incredible landscapes to see in Moldova. It’ a destination filled with vibrant green forests, cliffs and caves, making for spectacular vistas as you’re travelling around. The seasonal shifts in Moldova are beautiful, particularly in autumn when the colors change.
For a small country, Moldova doesn’t disappoint where flora and fauna are concerned, whether you take a trip to Beleu Lake, Codru Reserve, or Duruitoarea, just to name a few.
Moldova may not be a particularly well-known destination, but it provides plenty of opportunities for an incredibly rich experience. From the fun culture and incredible dining experiences to the amazing vistas and beautiful architecture, Moldova is an off-the-beaten-path gem that offers something for everyone.