Victory Day in Transnistria Group Tour

About Tour

How about celebrating 9th of May – the Victory Day with military parade in a non-existing soviet country? Strange, isn’t it? Strange but possible… Transnistria is one of the former Soviet Union's original "frozen conflicts", and a template for later Russian-backed disputes including Eastern Ukraine. It has remained unrecognized by any states other than Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia after its 1992 war of independence from Moldova. Using Soviet rituals for its legitimacy rather than its governing ideology, the territory is ruled by a nationalized mafia and guaranteed by the Russian military.  Each year on 9 May Transnistrians stage an elaborate Victory Day celebration in the capital Tiraspol to remember the victims of WWII, known as the Great Patriotic War. So let’s go and see how they celebrate, meet locals and talk to them, visit their capital Tiraspol, understand their religion - Russian orthodox, see their country, history and see for yourself how they live and what they have to offer.

1 st Day

Arrival Chisinau

May 06 st , 2021

Included highlights:

You’ll meet your local guide and driver at the airport. Check in at a 4* Hotel and free time. Independent dinner as guests will arrive with different flights.

2 nd Day

Chisinau – Calarasi area– Chisinau

May 07 nd , 2021

Included highlights:

After breakfast you’ll have a city tour about the capital of Moldova – Chisinau. It includes: The Central Park and the Alley of Moldovan literature classics, the monument of Steven the Great and Saint, Great National Assembly Square, the Triumph Arch, the “Nativity” Cathedral, the Organ Hall, the Market of souvenirs.

For lunch we will drive to "Casa Parinteasca" Craft Centre from Palanca village, where you will also discover the Moldovan traditional costumes and ethnographic customs. Traditional dishes will be served with the best local wine, while the organic herbal tea, accompanied by homemade jams will surprise you with their amazing taste. Next, we will visit the Honey Museum from Raciula, learn about the life of bees, taste different kind of honey and other honey products. Back to Chisinau. Same accommodation.

Included meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
3 rd Day

Discovering Transnistria

May 08 rd , 2021

Included highlights:

After breakfast we shall visit the Military Museum from Chisinau and learn about the fate of this country during the Second World War and about its Soviet Heritage. Next continue to Transnistria and after crossing the border we shall stop in a local village for a special lunch in a family-run Guesthouse. They will share with us their problems living in an unrecognized country and how frustrating is not being able to speak their native language. We will continue with a visit to Aquatir, a large sturgeon-breeding and black caviar-processing industrial complex. Late afternoon arrival in the capital - Tiraspol and city tour. Check in - 4 * hotel. Independent dinner

Transnistria - is a breakaway territory within the internationally recognized borders of Moldova. Although not recognized by any state 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”.

Included meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
4 th Day

Tiraspol – Chateau Vartely

May 09 th , 2021

Included highlights:

Today we invite you to enjoy the military parade in the city of TIRASPOL, organised in the memory of all the victims of World War II. We will admire the festivities of the Victory Day and enjoy this unique atmosphere. After the parade - some free time for lunch, to meet local people and interact with them.  We advise you to try diferent kind of dishes and sweets freshly cooked in the market.

Later in the afternoon, we shall do a Treasure Hunt – but because we are in Transnistria, off course, the main treasure will be the Lenin Statues that they inherited from the Soviet time. We will drive towards the north, along the Dniester River. You will be amazed about the communist monuments still to be seen in villages and small towns like Grigoriopol and  Dubasari. Going back to Moldova and drive to Chateau Vartely where we will also overnight. Wine tasting and dinner. Chateau Vartely is one of Moldova’s newest wineries. They produce a range of fine wines that have obtained a considerable amount of appreciators all over the world.

Included meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
5 th Day

Curchi Monastery – Old Orhei - Cricova winery - Chisinau

May 10 th , 2021

Included highlights:

After breakfast let’s stop at Curchi Monastery, a real pearl of our religious life. Here you’ll visit some churches, and among them - the “Virgin’s Assumption” Cathedral, built by the drawings of genius architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli. Later we shall drive to Old Orhei, Moldova’s most picturesque and fantastic historical site. Old Orhei is famous for the cave monasteries located there. This zone was ideal for the primary monasticism of early Christian community. It was isolated from the outer world. At the time when Christians came here there should have been smaller and bigger caves in the calcareous rocks cut by pre-historic tribes living on this territory. Today the monastery is inhabited by only one monk. Here we will have a typical Moldovan lunch in a nice cozy Moldovan house. Our next stop for today – at the world famous Moldovan Cellars - Cricova, which is a real underground wine city with wide streets, warehouses, tasting rooms. The total length of its galleries is 120 km. The constant annual temperature of + 12ºC and 82–95 % humidity are perfect conditions for aging quality wines there. Cricova is also well known for brilliant sparkling-wines produced by the classic French method. Excursion in the underground winery and arrival in Chisinau. Same accommodation and independent dinner.

Included meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
6 th Day

Chisinau– Gagauzia - Chisinau

May 11 th , 2021

Included highlights:

Today we drive to Comrat, the capital of the smallest Autonomy in the world - Gagauzia. In order to understand who, the “gagauz” are we shall pay a visit to the Museum of History and Ethnography from Besalma village. There we will learn about the history, culture and daily life of the Gagauz from ancient times to the modern days. Next we head to Copceac to visit the last working “colhoz” from Moldova - a type of run by state farm. Here we will have a traditional Gagauz lunch, and experience the old communist life. The “Victory” collective farm was founded in 1947 and now is the leader in producing and exporting fruits and vegetables in the southern area of Moldova. It is the only surviving collective farm after the collapse of USSR. Return to Chisinau. Same accommodation. Farewell dinner in a local wine bar specialized in promoting quality Moldovan wines produced by small producers.

Included meals:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
7 th Day

Departure

May 12 th , 2021

Included highlights:

If time allows we shall visit more soviet sights of Chisinau, pay a visit to the Lenin Statue that is kept nowadays in a local park etc. Transfer to the airport. Departure back home.

Prices and services :

  • All services as mentioned in the program
  • MiniVan with A/C
  • Professional English speaking guide at your all days

Partner Price:

  • Price in double room/twin:                  1098 Eur
  • Single supplement:                                218 Eur

Included meals:
  • Breakfast

What People Say

More reviews ›

Have you ever wanted to go on a culture-wine-food tour? In California? France? Italy? Please, have some imagination! Be a little adventurous and go on one in Romania and Moldova. 

It was my good luck to participate in a tour organized by Ways Travel, during which i checked out the many wonders of Romania and Moldova. 

Our group on the bus was an international gang of nine – a Belgian, a German, a Norwegian, an Australian, a few Americans of interesting ethnic alloys and me, dual Dutch and American citizen. What can I say, it was an experience just sitting on a bus with these people and hear their war stories and get initiated into the workings of the behind-the-scenes travel industry. 

Leader of our tribe was the fabulous tour guide Victoria, who speaks four languages, English, German, Russian, Romanian, one of those people who makes a simple bilingual person such as myself feel humble and uneducated. 

The trip was a symphony of history, food, drink, music and dance. Dancing with the Gypsies no less. I tell you, it was fabulous, it was intoxicating. We got history – a dizzying whirl of wars and battles and bloody strife. Of conquests and annexations, of armies rampaging through the countryside, raping, pillaging and impaling. We heard colorful tales about Dacian tribes, the Roman Empire, the Red Horde, the Saxons, the Ottoman Empire, the communist era under Ceausescu. And let’s not forget to mention good old Count Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, who hailed from Transylvania. Really, we deserved every drop of hootch we got along the way to recover from all the tragedies we vicariously suffered through. 

In Romania we loved the beautiful towns of Sibiu and Sighisoara. In Sighisoara we missed seeing the house where Dracula was born because a movie was being filmed and they’d closed it off for visitors. Fortunately, we had a liqueur and brandy tasting to cheer us up. We hadn’t had lunch yet and our stomachs were empty, which helped raise the mood quickly. 

A highlight was our visit to the home of a Roma family in Transylvania and learning more about their culture and lifestyle. (You can read a story about this on my blog here.) Not all Gypsies are beggars living in the streets of large cities. It’s always a good thing to be disabused of your prejudices and preconceived notions. 

We stayed in excellent hotels and lodges, as well as in a humble hostel run by a monastery. We ate fancy restaurant food as well as simple village fare. We saw exquisite as well as cheery architecture, visited opulent cathedrals as well as the modest underground monastery chapel in Orhei Vechi, not far from Chisinau. The vino flowing across the miles was a charming mix of the good, the bad and the holy. The holy being the wine we tasted in a monastery, blessed by the priests. Unfortunately, the blessing did not transform it into nectar of the gods, but the dinner there was quite gourmet, all prepared from food grown by the monks without chemical assistance. 

We also visited Transnistria, which is a rather unique place, as most of you will already know. It is also home to the famous Kvint brandy factory and would you believe, we went there for a brandy dégustation – seven varieties of brandy. It was very informative, interesting and intoxicating. It was also lunch time, but fortunately there was food. We eventually struggled out of there, back on the bus, across the border that is not a border, and traveled down to the Purcari wineries in the south of Moldova where we were treated to . . . you guessed it . . . a wine tasting. Of ten types of wine. Not just any old village plonk, either. No, we got to sip the wine of kings, queens and tsars. Our livers got a workout that day. 

I’m going to stop here. There was more, much more, but I don’t want to give away everything, because what you should do, really, is check out Ways Travel’s website at www.ways.md .

Dear Natalia, we want to thank you sincerely for your expert and skillful guiding during our trip to Moldova. Our experience in Dumbraveni – as we told you – will prove unforgettable for us always. You have a wonderful way with people which will take you far.

Dear Victoria!

There are not enough adjectives in the world to describe adeguately the experience of doing a visit with you! You certainly have enhanced my appreciation of your country. I learnt a lot from you on many different levels. Your organizational skills are extraordinary and Explore will definitely receive extremely positive feedback. We were very lucky to have you with us during this short trip.

Thank you once again for all you did so beautifully with grace, humor and smile. I wish you all and only the very best for now and for the future.