Moldova, Ukraine & Romania holiday
Description of Moldova, Ukraine & Romania holiday
This Moldova, Ukraine and Romania holiday tours the remote land of Bessarabia, where tourism barely exists. Spend 13 days travelling from Bucharest into eastern Romania, exploring Moldova and the Black Sea Coast of Ukraine. as you go. This is a real adventure, taking in some of the least visited parts of some of Europe’s least visited countries!
Begin with time in Bucharest, celebrated for its Belle Epoch architecture, then discover the biodiverse Danube Delta, a region that includes 30 different ecosystems, on a full day boat excursion. You’ll also see how life is lived here for the remote communities that make the Delta home.
Travel into Moldova, which is Europe’s least visited country. You’ll visit one of its most remote regions, an autonomous strip of land called Gagauzia, home to Turkic speaking peoples. Shop in the markets of Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, and visit archaeological sites that lie a short drive away. Moldova also produces wonderful wine, though few people know about it, and you can taste some on a guided tour of Miletii Mici, which has a staggering 200km of underground cellars, and is the largest collection of quality wine in the world.
The tour also takes in the breakaway republic of Transnistria in eastern Moldova, steeped in its Soviet past and in places little changed, before visiting Chernobyl, where the world’s worst nuclear disaster took place in 1986. You’ll have a guided tour here, discovering its eerie streets and abandoned buildings, where wildlife has taken over and wolves have been seen strolling down the empty roads.
This is a chance to see some of Europe’s least visited places and, during local lunches and market trip, to meet the people who make this remote corner of the continent home.
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PlanetOur small group size allows us to stay in family-run hotels and pensions throughout this trip. We also support small restaurants and cafes, serving locally sourced produce.
All our tour leaders are passionate about responsible travel, so the message is consistent at all times in regards to environmental issues. In Eastern Europe the main issue is littering, and our leaders address this issue on the ground.
Especially in Moldova a lot of businesses are not yet across environmental responsibility, however we are trying to educate them by giving them business and delivering our message to them as well. The main environmental issue in Moldova is littering. We actively educate locals by showing an example, such as picking up rubbish others have left behind.
PeopleThe local train and bus journeys on this trip are excellent examples of travelling like a local, with locals.
•Bucharest to Tulcea – local bus
•Tiraspol to Bender return – trolley bus
•Tiraspol to Odessa – local bus or train (depending on schedule)
•Odessa to Kiev – overnight train
The remaining parts of the trip are done by private transport, the operators of which are always sourced locally.
This small group tour has a maximum of 12 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people.
This tour actively encourages guests to chat with local people, visit local cafes and bars, purchase local produce, gifts and crafts and discover what life is really like in this part of Europe. In the Danube Delta we visit a local home for lunch and all ingredients are sourced from within the delta.
In Valeni (en-route from Tulcea to Comrat) we stop at a local family’s home for lunch, and our guests are treated to a folklore music show while having lunch. The lady of the house is known as “the grandma” throughout Moldova. She is playing the drum, her husband plays the flute, and both sing.
In Chisinau we visit the local market where our guests are encouraged to buy local produce to create a picnic lunch. Our visit supports the local economy and it allows our passengers to have local integration with the vendors.
On our day trip from Chisinau to Old Orhei we visit yet again another family in a village for lunch. Ingredients are sourced locally, and our clients have the opportunity to partake in a cooking lesson for traditional Moldovan sweets. While the group eats lunch the sweets are in the oven, and the group then eats them as a desert after lunch.
Our accommodation on this trip is very varied, but all are in small locally owned hotels or guesthouses.
We employ local leaders as much as operationally possible. Guides are always local (e.g. the included guide in Bender Fortress is a local who studies tourism at Tiraspol) and they set their own rates. Leaders are always European, and wages are standard salaries as found elsewhere in the tourism industry.
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From £1140 6 days excluding flights
A cultural tour through the fascinating country of Moldova