The main attractions of Moldova are ancient monasteries and vast vineyards, the latter not only for the production of wine, but also attract literally crowds of tourists as part of the extremely popular wine tours in the country.. A standard wine tour, in addition to visiting vineyards and producing and tasting drinks, includes visiting rock monasteries, ancient and medieval fortresses, ethnographic villages, nature reserves and national parks, as well as being in nature – near waterfalls and among the picturesque valleys of Moldova. Wine tours take place in the north, center or south of the country – each region has its own specialization: on “divins” (cognacs), sparkling, table wines, etc. During such excursions, you can visit truly unique places, for example, the longest in the world the wine cellars of Cricova and Lesser Milesti (more than 200 km underground) or the oldest winery in Europe, Purcari, whose wine was appreciated by Nicholas II and Queen Victoria.
Note: according to allcitypopulation, the population of Moldova is 2.574 million (2021).
An example of a wine tour: a visit to the National College of Viticulture and Winemaking – the Museum of Folk Crafts of Moldova – the cellars and tasting rooms of the Branesti cellars – the archaeological complex “Old Orhei” – the winery “Cricovo”.
The most famous archaeological park in Moldova is “Old Orhei”, located 60 km from Chisinau. Here you can see caves carved into the rocks by prehistoric tribes, early Christian cells, the fortress of the Geto-Dacians, the ancestors of the Moldavians, the medieval rock monastery of the Assumption of the Mother of God.
Moldova has an extremely rich and colorful history with the spirit of gypsy barons and dedicated kabbalists in the air, as well as simple and tasty cuisine and good opportunities for treatment.
The monasteries of Moldova are the famous rocky Tsypova on the banks of the Dniester, founded in the 8th-10th centuries, the Holy Trinity Monastery in the village of Saharna, the place of Orthodox pilgrimage to the relics of St.., the oldest monastery of Kapriyan (15th century).
In the village of Soroca, known as the gypsy capital of Moldova, it is worth visiting the quarter of old gypsy houses with richly decorated facades and climbing up to the citadel built by Stefan cel Mare in the 15th century. to protect against Turkish raids.
In Chisinau, we recommend visiting wonderful museums: the Museum of National Archeology and History, the Pushkin Museum, located in the very estate where the poet spent three years of his Bessarabian exile (it was here that The Prisoner of the Caucasus was written), the Museum of Ethnography and Nature and the Museum of Plastic Arts. You can breathe fresh air in any of the 23 parks of the Moldavian capital – named after Stefan cel Mare, Riskani, the Rose Valley and the Valley of the Mills, the Arboretum, La Izvora and in the square of the Cathedral. Chisinau has a rich Jewish history, thanks to which there is a synagogue, a yeshiva, a monument in memory of the Jewish ghetto and a Jewish cemetery. Of the modern architectural monuments, the Arc de Triomphe, the statue of Stefan cel Mare, the buildings of the Government and Parliament stand out.
Traditional Moldovan souvenirs are cotton and linen products with national embroidery, rag dolls, decorative woven rugs, items of national costume – skirts, shirts, scarves. The products of local potters are very nice – a little “clumsy”, but very cozy jugs, bowls and bowls, both covered with colored glaze and in natural color. Pay attention to leather products – outerwear, bags, shoes – they are traditionally of high quality here – and wicker products – baskets, bedding and even furniture. And of course, you should definitely bring wine from Moldova with a well-known emblem from Soviet times – a stork with a bunch of grapes in its beak. Dry “Rara Neagre”, “Riesling”, “Muscat”, “Pino”, “Negru de Purcari”, semi-sweet “Minoc”, pink and white ports and dessert vermouths, the famous “Bouquet of Moldova” and finally.
A popular “alcoholic” souvenir from Moldova is a set of 30 small bottles, each of which contains a separate variety of local cognac.
Cuisine and restaurants
Moldovan cuisine is simplicity, satiety and “soulful” goodness, a mixture of Russian, Ukrainian, Balkan and Turkish gastronomic traditions. The main component of the dishes is vegetables and legumes, which are consumed raw, boiled, stewed and fried, often mixing seemingly incompatible components in a fantasy way. The most commonly used vegetables are tomatoes, sweet peppers (including the popular Moldavian variety “gogoshar”), zucchini, eggplant, and leeks. Meat in Moldavian cuisine is presented in all its diversity: beef, veal and pork, lamb and poultry. The main cooking method is stewing and frying on the local grill “gratare”; rarely fried in oil. Among the first courses, you should try meat “chorba” and “zama” with chicken, greens and sour cream beaten with egg. A frequent component of soups is bran kvass “bors”. For the second, be sure to order stuffed cabbage “sarlale” – here they are delicious like nowhere else in the world, “tokan” – stew with meat and vegetables, pork sausages “kirnetsey” and beef “mititey”, grilled pork “bone”, smeared with garlic and watered traditional mudge sauce. You can have breakfast with thick corn porridge “mamaliga” or scrambled eggs. Finally, “vertuta” are a popular addition to any meal – dough rolls with a variety of fillings – cottage cheese, onion, pumpkin and, of course, wine.