During this tour you'll be accompanied by local guides devoted to their countries and ready to share the most cryptic secrets of these states.
Arrival in Romania
Arrival to Bucharest, Romania
Departure to Brasov, located in the Carpathian Mountains.
If time allows we shall stop in Sinaia to admire from outside the famous Peles Castle - former summer residence of the Hohenzollern King’s family in Romania.
Visit to the Dracula castle from Bran, designed in the Gothic style and built on the top of a rock.
Accommodation in a 3* Hotel downtown Brasov.
Dinner in one of the famous restaurants of the city.
City tour of Brasov
The Black Church,
The Piata Sfatului,
The Schei District that is said to be the oldest part of Brasov.
Departure to Sighisoara.
Stop in Viscri, the village where Prince Charles has several houses,
Have lunch there.
Continue to Sighisoara - the most beautiful medieval citadel from the Eastern Europe.
The Guild Tower,
Wooden Covered Staircase,
Check-in at the local hotel.
Leave Transylvania and head towards Bucovina region
Drive through the Hungarian villages, famous for their particular type of gates.
Stop at the Bicaz Gorge – the connection between Transylvania and Moldavia.
See the Murder Lake (or Lacu Rosu), a wonderful natural beauty.
Lunch next to the lake.
Continue to Bucovina, known for its gorgeous painted churches.
Visit the Neamt Monastery, one of the most beautiful monasteries build during the reign of Stephen the Great.
Arrival in Gura Humorului and accommodation in La Roata Pension.
Dinner on your own.
See the house of a local artist and find out how the painted eggs are made and what are the symbols used to manufacture these eggs.
Visit to Moldovita monastery.
Lunch on the way.
Visit to Sucevita monastery, with its outstanding and rather sobering Staircase of Virtues fresco.
If time allows, visit to the painted monastery from Voronet, one of those five monasteries of the UNESCO Heritage and learn about the religious traditions of Bucovina.
Arrival back to Gura Humorului,
Free time and dinner on your own.
A blessed day
Departure to Iasi, the Cultural capital of Romania.
City tour of Iasi
Visit the Metropolitan Cathedral,
Lunch on your own and free time.
Surprise!! In a monastery we will enjoy a blessed wine... and have the opportunity to listen to the Byzantine church music sang by a student’s choir from the Iasi Theological University.
Dinner in the Monastery.
Check-in at the local hotel.
Adventure about the Republic of Moldova
First town to be visited is Soroca, known for its sizable Roma minority.
Visit the fortress of Soroca - a unique monument of defensive architecture of Europe
Visit “Gypsy Hill” from Soroca, one of the most interesting “points of tourist attraction”
Lunch in Soroca
Arrival in Chisinau – the capital of the Republic of Moldova
Check-in at the hotel
Dinner on your own
Visit Old Orhei (Orheiul Vechi) - a natural reserve in the open sky.
Visit to the cave monastery “St. Maria Dormata” expanded and modified inside the cliffs by the monks over the centuries and has been preserved in a functional state.
The Curchi Monastery, the 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.
For lunch we will stop at one of the biggest underground wine cities from Europe “Cricova” -opened in the ‘60 - mainly the only good thing left after the soviets. Wine tasting + lunch.
Arrival in Chisinau and accommodation in Hotel Flowers 4*.
If time allows we shall do a walking city tour of the capital of Republic of Moldova.
Back in USSR
City tour of Tiraspol, where the old USSR is still alive and well
If time allows - visit to the Museum dedicated to the Transnistrian conflict
Departure to Et Cetera Winery. The winery was built in 2009 and at the moment it is surrounded by 50 ha of vineyards, giving a picturesque view to the visitors.
Have nice lunch at the winery and then enjoy its wonderful wines.
Dinner on your own.
Experience the USSR life
Depart to Comrat, the capital of the smallest Autonomy in the world.
City tour about Comrat
Visit St John the Baptist Cathedral
The park Black Horse,
the Government building,
Visit the “colhoz” - a type of run by state farm. 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.
Have lunch in the “colhoz”, and experience the old communist life.
Return to Chisinau.
Free time for last shopping and same accommodation.
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 .
Wendela Kilmer, Netherlands
The trip was really organized to the fullest. Facilities, vehicle, driver and above all the guide Cristina really good! Moldova is very pleasant, especially the monasteries. We have come back indeed from a gastronomic journey a little tipsy. The wines and cuisine really good!
Antonio Porcelli, Italy
Natalia, a very knowledgeable guide, has beaten my expectations by far!!! I am a frequent traveller, always trying to find good guides. But up till now Natalia is my absolute favorite. It's the information she gave us in between you never can expect from a normal tour guide. Everything was well organized. One can feel that she loves her job. She has wide-ranging skills. Thank you!