After lunch in Iasi (or any other city) drive to the Republic of Moldova in search of new discoveries (around 3 h). Crossing the RO-MD border (at Albita) and drive to Chisinau-capital of Moldova. Upon arrival in Chisinau, check-in the hotel. Time at leisure.
19:00 – Welcome Dinner at restaurant “Propaganda” placed in an old one-floor apartment building of one of the Jewish families-it’s a restaurant that offers some relaxing art atmosphere with cute decoration.
Back to hotel and overnight in Chisinau.
Chisinau– the capital of the Republic of Moldova was a flourishing Jewish center in the 18th century and had witnessed many events connected with the Jews since then. By the end of the 18th century the Jews were owners of most of the factories of those times with Jewish employees.
09:00 – 13:00 – Jewish tour of Chisinau
Sites to be visited in Chisinau:
13:00 – 14:30 – Lunch at restaurant “La Taifas” offering nice traditional Moldavian cuisine.
15:00 – 18:00 – Tour of Chisinau to be continued. Tour to Jewish sites to be followed by other Moldavian sites and peculiarities: Central Square Stefan the Great and Saint with Monument to Stefan the Great and Saint; the Bell Tower; Lord Nativity Central Cathedral (from outside, no enter); the Triumph Arch; the Parliament; the Presidency; the City Hall; the Memorial Eternity; the Souvenir’s shop and market; the Alley of Classics with sculptures of Romanian Classics; National Museum of History and Archeology /or Ethnography (enter).
18:30 – 20:00 – Dinner at restaurant of traditional cuisine “Acasa la Mama” in Chisinau.
Overnight in Chisinau.
09:00 – After breakfast morning drive to the town of Orhei.
10:00 – 12:00 – Visiting the Jewish community in Orhei. Meet the local representative who will reveal the Jewish history of the area, visit to the Jewish cemetery (it’s considered to be the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe-more than 400 years old with unique monuments to Jewish soldiers and victims of Holocaust, monument to the victims of Nazism), and the synagogue built in the 20th cent.
13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch in traditional style in a typical Moldavian village – Butuceni, Orhei Vechi area. Enjoy Moldavian cuisine in a local boarding house “Eco-Resort Butuceni”, dishes prepared from eco-products of local farmers. Feel the real Moldavian atmosphere.
14:30 – 16:00 – Sightseeing Orheiul Vechi Complex –Archeological Museum Complex (Old Orhei open-air museum) representing rich historical and cultural value situated between the villages Butuceni and Trebujeni. It’s an impressive monastery complex that presents the remains of different civilizations established between Nistru and Prut rivers. This is a complex comprising caves, grottos, churches, Geto-Dacian fortress and hermitages. The open air museum represents a true natural fortress inhabited since the ancient times. And nowadays attracts many tourists by its incomparable landscapes, rocky surroundings, historical monuments, and grottoes, ruins of the old town and medieval fortress Shehr-al-Jedid and Turkish baths. The highlight of the locality is the unique orthodox 13th cent cave monastery with one monk that was very good isolated from the outer world.
Another interesting place to be visited on the route is the Moldavian village Butuceni where the style and traditions of the Moldavian architecture of the 19th century are preserved and carefully maintained – ornamentally decorated houses, gates, fences, wells with potable water, old cellars and others.
17:00 – 19:00 – Drive to Cricova wine cellars for the underground tour, wine tasting and dinner.
Visit to the underground wine city and winery CRICOVA that lies under the town of Cricova and partially under the capital of Moldova, Chisinau. The cellars represent 60 km of labyrinths and galleries having constant temperature +10 – +12 C and the relative humidity of 97-98 %. Namely these natural and favorable conditions make possible the keeping and aging of wines. Cricova winery is proud for their excellent wines and famous for its collection, underground signs, streets having the names of the precious wines “Feteasca”, “Chardonnay”, “Cabernet”…..
Note: Dinner in Cricova cellars can be offered only fro the groups from 5 pax, for the individuals there will be offered only light snacks as traditional pies “Placinte”. Otherwise the group up to 5 pax will have dinner in Chisinau, in one of the restaurants or at hotel.
19:30 –20:00 – return to Chisinau
Free time. Overnight in Chisinau.
After breakfast you’ll have some free time for the last purchases. Check-out before 12 am. Departure to Romania.
As a suggestion, before crossing the MD-RO border at Albita, we could visit Milestii Mici Winery (20 min drive from Chisinau) or Manuc Bei Estate in the town of Hincesti (50 min drive from Chisinau) (that’s on the way to the border).
The wines stored in Milestii Mici are made of various years’ crops, beginning with the 1968 to 1991. The “Golden Collection” of Milestii Mici contains over two million bottles of harmonious wines dating from the period of Moldavian wine making prosperity “Pinot”, “Traminer”, “Muscat”, “Riesling”, “Feteasca”, “Codru”, “Negru de Purcari”, “Trandafirul Moldovei”, “Auriu” and others. The Mileştii Mici wine was repeatedly awarded and enters a Guinness Book for its large wine collection. The excursion around the wine galleries is done either by car or by a minibus depending on a number of people in a group.
Or Visiting the estate and manor of MANUC BEI who was a prominent and wealthy Armenian merchant and inn-keeper during the Ottoman Empire. In 1812 he played an important role in helping to negotiate the signing of the Treaty of Bucharest between the Russian and Ottoman empires.
In spite of the fact he lived on the territory of Moldova for a rather short period of time, he managed to bring French wine-making technologies to Moldova. The mansion of Manuc Bei represents a castle in French style which houses hunting house, winter garden, present museum, parks and some watch towers. In 1970, Manuc Bei residence was transformed into a museum, which displays more than 20,000 artifacts.
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