The abandoned Soviet Bunker

Seeking adventures in a place like Moldova ain’t that hard. Being a former soviet state you can still find loads of curious things. One of the main ones that still raises a lot of interest in the area is the Soviet Bunker in the forest of the village Olișcani. It’s original name being “Strategic Military Objective nr. 1180”, started as a top secret project in 1985 during the Cold War and ended it’s fate at the end of the fall of Soviet Union in the winter of 1991 which left the state of the bunker unfinished to this day.

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It is not just the bunker itself that raises the curiosity of the people, but also it’s whole story. Originally when the project was approved, people in the village were informed that a tractor and technical repair factory would be built in the forest. The access was forbidden from beginning and only authorised people were able to access it. Little did they know that behind the trees a grandious vision was being unfolded: 2 bunkers with a diameter of 32 square metres and 60 metres deep, administrative buildings, housing, medical centre, canteen, hotel, a fire station, a car park and boiler room all spread out over a territory of 196 hectares.

The construction of the 2 bunkers named as A and B, was not easy in itself as it was built to withstand even atomic bombs during wars. With 12 levels in the ground deep, both were connected between each other with tunnels underground, but also with 4 tunnels each leading to the administrative buildings. Inside they were equipped with ventilation systems, electricity, heating and even lifts in order for the military personnel to survive up to half a year under. The locals say that the soil was frozen in order to be able to dig deep into the ground, so even in the summer with high temperatures the workers were wearing winter clothes. The amount of work force was around 2000 people, including many being brought from all over soviet Union with their eyes covered in order to not know their location.

The real reason for it’s construction is not known to this day, for the documents of the project were destroyed after the fall of the Soviet Union. However there are a few versions. One of the main ones is that this was a result from the Warsaw Pact which forced the Soviet Army to fortify their defences against a potential conflict with NATO. Curiously 3 more similar in shape bunkers were built in Belarus, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, creating the second version that this was a “false target” – in case of attack, the enemy would have difficulty in identifying the actual location of the launch, for they all looked similar. And last but not least, that this was supposed to be a nuclear rocket launch station.

Today, visiting the bunker it is not difficult, however there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Since the fall of soviet Union the bunker was under the ruling of a few companies with the aim to break it down and allow the nature to take over. To this day, the territory of the bunker is private property, so technically stepping there is trespassing. However this doesn’t stop people to visit it anyway and you will not be arrested (don’t panic!), for it is known about the interest people have about it. Some encounter a guard on their trip, some do not. Unfortunately there has been no interest from the local authorities to turn it into a museum or touristic activity.
  • It’s not 100% safe. Despite the structure might look indestructible, the stairs are quite rusty and fragile and a lot of the metal has been taken or melted, so some parts are missing from the construction. The first floor is absolutely fine to visit, but if you wish to explore the lower levels, then please take caution. Access to certain floors is missing (usually the locals bring a wooden ladder to access there) and some floors are super muddy or even flooded. From the 10th level it’s all under water. There is no mobile service and there was actually a death incident at the bunker. A 16 years old boy from the village fell and died, so please do not test out any silly decisions or even selfies!
  • Dress appropriately if you want to explore it more. Throughout most of the year, the surrounding is a wild area so there are many plants and insects that can cause some sort of irritation, be it mosquitoes or very tall thorns. Some paths have been taken over by the plants, and it can be quite muddy during or after rain. Same goes for the interior of the bunkers, where you’ll find water and mud, even on the first floor. The lower you go, the lower the temperature drops. Even in the summer you will find ice at the bottom of the bunker.
  • Have some water and maybe some food/snacks with you. Travelling all the way there is a bit of a distance and you can end up spending hours in the forest exploring. Hydration is important in the summer heat and there are not really many food options in the villages or cities nearby.
  • Getting there is not difficult, however going by car is preferable. There is a direct local bus which goes to the village Olișcani, but you’ll have a bit of distance to walk to get to the bunker and also you’ll depend on the timetable of the buses. By car you can drive all the way to the bunker or you can just park near the boom barrier. Please keep in mind that other people use the entrance road, so do not park in the middle of it. The turn for the bunker is the first left once you’ve passed the Olișcani village. You can see it on the map here:

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Duruitoarea – the treasure of the north

In the north of Moldova, around 212km from Chișinău there is a magical place that has been enchanting everyone that been stepping on that land. A region full of history and beauty, but also great touristic potential for hiking and camping activities. Despite the potential of the region stretches over few villages, in this article we will explore specifically the Duruitoarea Veche village which is famous for it’s cave, cliffs and the beaches at the Costești lake with pristine waters.

The journey in this village starts with the cave called “căsoaia”, meaning “the big house” due to being a shelter for the pre-historic man during the stone age. The grotto is situated 33metres high above the village and it stretches over 49m with 3 big rooms. Archeological searches have found bones of cave bear, bizon, deers, cave hyenas and even rhino besides the paleolithic jewellery, tools and human remains which stretch all the way up to 300.000 years ago.  Due to these important findings, the cave has gained its recognition internationally, currently still being protected by the state since 1962. The most recent discovery in the area happened in 2004, when the skeleton of a female mammoth was uncovered and for those that are curios, it can be seen in the museum of the village Costești.

Following the “defileu” sign next from the cave, you can reach the cliffs which offer a stunning view over the village. It is not a difficult climb, but it is recommended to have hiking shoes as it can get slippery at times, especially after rain. The cliffs are separated by the little spring Duruita from which the village has got it’s name. There are various other little caves in the cliffs, but are much harder to reach. Climbing down you will be impressed by the rich flora and the quiet that surrounds you. Every now and then, you will hear the sound of the shepherd and his herd of sheep making it’s way home.

If you’re seeking to stay overnight, at the bottom of the cliffs there is a camping ground where you can stay with your tent or rent one of the housing options available. Duruita, camping la grote was set up by Adrian Musteață, a doctor which had a passion for the region. Initially he bought the land for his family to use it as a summer house, but due to the increase interest of his friends, he opened it to the public. Nowadays he hosts people from all over the world, also organising various artistic art camps and little festivals to celebrate the local culture.

Staying here it is like traveling back in time, in a place where human and nature were co-existing harmoniously. All the little details are creating a magical atmosphere which remind you of childhood – a place with unlimited creativity and unbound possibilities. Starting from the design of the houses, some still keeping the old traditional style to the art stage where you can create your own stories or concerts. Witnessing Adrian’s canvas in his own creation you understand the love that he has for this place. All the sculptures that are scattered around the territory are made by talented moldovan artists, celebrating our most treasured findings – the Cucuteni civilisation goddess figure, the pendant from Branzeni Noii and the walnut, a symbol of strength and love.

And as you step into this play, you can choose your role. Will you be a passerby, a camper, a guest or an artist that finds it’s muse? And this role you can decide through these options:

The first housing option available is of course camping – with your tent, car or even camper van – although do keep in mind, the ground is not straight so it can be a bit tricky to park your camper van. The price per tent/car/van is 100 lei per night (5 euros).

But if you lack any of these things or the weather turns against your plans, you can stay in the little cabins which can host 2 people in them. Each cabin is accessed with a key from the little box next to the door. You get the code for the little box once you’ve booked your place. The price per night is 500 lei (25 euros).

In the case that Duruita is fully booked, do not despair! You will be given the option to stay in a local’s house from 100 lei (5 euros) per night.

Other two options which will be available soon will be individual houses for rent. One of the houses has space to accommodate one person for those that seek to spend some time alone or work on their writing (or project perhaps), while another one will be fully ensuite and will accommodate 2 to 3 people.

In regards the amenities, everything is set up! There are toilets, showers, electricity and free wi-fi available. The water is heated by solar power, so don’t be surprised if it ain’t hot on a cloudy day. There is also a kitchen area outside for those that wish to cook themselves some food, with a stove, some cooking tools and tables available.

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But if you wish to discover the local cuisine, then have some food prepared by the neighbours Liuba and Gheorghe which will more than gladly assist you. Mămăligă, baked peppers or fish soup will be one of the options you will be given to try out. During the summer season they will spoil you with fresh fruits from their garden. You can arrange the food with them on the spot, but preferably mention it upfront when you’re booking your place.

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And while you wait for the food to be prepared, why not have a swim at the Stânca – Costești lake? Only 5 mins drive. One interesting fact is that this is the biggest lake in Moldova and is actually a protected area due to it’s biodiversity. The water is clean, but do have some swimming shoes with you as the bottom is rather rocky and to avoid the potential of getting hurt. This lake is used a lot for fishing or by locals as a weekend getaway, but during the week is completely empty. One thing to keep in mind is that the lake is bordering with Romania, so if you wish to go on a boat – the frontier has to be announced upfront through a phone call (which the locals can organise for you) or have an ID on you in case you will get approached. No need for special permits.

As for the rest of the time, pour yourself some glass of wine, read a book from the viewpoint hut or just breathe the life that is all around you. Allow it to transform you in ways you cannot imagine. And why not at nighttime warm up by the fire, connect with the stillness of the place just like all the people did through thousands of years in the region. And who knows, maybe you will hear their stories through the songs of the flames, the grasshoppers and the flickering of the stars in the clear sky.

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To book your stay at Duruita, camping la grote check out the following links:

Facebook/ Website/ Airbnb – for booking the cabins

PS: There are no signs in the village for the camping ground, so do set up the directions on your map upfront. 

10 reasons why you should visit Moldova

1- It’s the least visited country in Europe

Yes, it’s true! Statistics say that in the year of 2018 only 20,000 tourists have visited Moldova, which in comparison to other countries it is rather low. But for you this is great news as you will not have to suffer from long queues or bumping into tourists at every corner.  And it is a great benefit because Moldova is somewhat of a mystery to most people as they have never even heard of it, so you’ll come here with no expectations but pure curiosity.  Due to lower number of visitors you can experience the place most authentically and enjoy the hospitality. As most locals are curious about why are you even coming to Moldova, you will experience mostly positive encounters. And hey, who doesn’t like to walk on the less beaten path? You’ll sure make an impression on your friends for having courage to explore such an unknown territory!

2 – Good quality

One thing that impresses most people when visiting is not actually the price, but the quality – of the food, wine and accommodation. Being an agricultural country with a lot of fertile soil such as cernozem, the care that is put into growing food is not just essential, but hereditary. Generations of wine makers and land workers are keeping the tradition alive by growing rich crops and turning them into delicacies. The rapport quality-price is undebatable when compared to the European market and even if there is still some room for the improvement of certain services, many of the hotels and apartments will provide great accommodation options. From big spaces and modern repairs, up to comfort and spa options, if you’re looking to pamper yourself up you will not be disappointed.

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3 – The food

Putting aside the price and quality factor, the local cuisine is also another great reason to visit the country. Historically as the region was mostly romanian, but also under the turkish and the russians, the influence can be felt in the variety of dishes. The most famous traditional dish is Mămăligă, a type of polenta (corn porridge) which is eaten with fresh local cheese and sour cream, but also can be served with scrambled egg or meat. Then the “sarmale” or also named “găluște”, like the turkish dolma are cabbage or grape leaves stuffed with a rice, carrot and meat filling. Stuffed peppers are also easily found, alongside a variety of meat balls “pârjoale” and “cighiri” and vegetable stews “tocană”. And let’s not forget the famous pies “plăcinte” which can be sweet or savoury with pumpkin/ apple/ sour cherries/ potato/ cabbage/ cheese fillings. Diving into soups you can discover “zeamă de pui”, a local chicken soup, but also can easily find the russian borsch, soleanka and okroshka (a cold summer soup). Ukranian dumplings which we call “colțunași” and russian salads such as shuba and olivie are plenty alongside the homemade fruit drink compot . If you wish to try more of the local delicacies, then have a go at the local dishes with rabbit meat or test your test buds with some pickled watermelon.

4 – We have the biggest wine cellars in the world (and also great wine!)

We might not have an Eiffel tower and fame like the french wine, but we have the biggest wine cellars in the world. Yes, that’ s right – Mileștii Mici winery is registered as the biggest in Guinness World Record Book for it’s underground cellars that stretch over 200km’s, but also for having the biggest wine collection. Cricova winery comes in second, with over 60 km’s and over 30.000.000 litres of wine produced. With a strong wine culture, over 140 wineries and 8% of the worldwide wineyards being situated in Moldova, it was bound that we would hold a unique record in regards this. Visiting these two wineries is possible alongside the others by booking a tour with them at least 1 day upfront. But the love of wine does not end just here. Each year on the first weekend of october moldovans celebrate National Wine Day in Chișinău and with a growing wine tourism industry, various other festivals and wine tasting events are popping up across the country. There is no lack of wine on the shelves of the bars, shops or even locals home cellars.

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5 – The soviet vibes

Despite being independent for 28 years, the soviet past can still be felt. It’s influence still vibrates through the socio-economical and political sector as the country is trying to recover and stabilise itself in a healthier manner, but the wound is still fresh. From soviet monuments, mosaics, museums, architecture and cars, the remains of the fallen regime can still be seen when visiting. You can find some Lenin statues, soviet post offices and shops in villages, books and memorabilia at flea markets and also an abandoned soviet bunker besides the brutalist architecture.

6 – We have a country within the country

For those that like to travel to “spicier” places, we’ve got it for you- Transnistria – the country that is not recognised, but has it’s own currency, border, military, government, anthem, bank and phone service. Being a frozen conflict area since the fall of Soviet Union, the territory has become quite a curiosity for most tourists when visiting Moldova, especially that most countries do not advise people to visit it. Enmeshed in a lot of scary stories about Russian military, difficult border crossing and bribery myths, visiting it is actually much simpler than expected. If you do plan on coming here, do your research right and make sure to register at the border!

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7 – No tourist tax

As silly as it may sound, it is a valid reason. There is no tourist tax around due to being a small industry but also due to the low number of tourists . So you won’t be needed to pay extra 3 euros or more just for visiting or staying in a specific area/ hotel. The fewer expenses, the happier the wallet!

8 – It’s the best place for recharging your batteries

Have you seen how green the country is? It’s the perfect place for a relaxing break! Just take a walk through the city’s parks and you will be amazed by the sensation of being out in nature. And with the laid back atmosphere, you will not feel like in a busy and tiring metropolitan city. Seeking a more outdoors getaway? No problem! Plenty of lakes and rives, hills and cliffs for walks, biking, hiking, camping, swimming or fishing. You will find various places across the country where you can relax with a glass of wine, some bbq or just tan under the sun. The natural reservations are easy to visit and if you’re lacking vitamin D, you can fix it here because Moldova was actually the sunniest state from the former Soviet Union countries! We might not have mountains or seaside, but we have a bundle of good energy and the treasure of the piece of land that we’re on – abundance of trees, beautiful landscapes and delicious fruits.

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9 – Internet friendly

Surprisingly to some, Moldova actually ranks in top 10 countries with the fastest and best internet speed in the world. So if you’re a digital nomad or just work remotely for your job, this place should be suitable for you. Not to mention finding easy internet access even on the street or cafes, not having to buy a coffee somewhere just to get the wi-fi password which a lot of us let’s face it, find it very annoying when traveling! And if you’re afraid that you’ll get lonely, not a problem! Across the capital you can easily find co-working spaces or IT hubs which you can join and they are very english friendly. So combining with the other benefits of cheap living expenses and being in between Europe and the Eastern world in case you wish to travel around, I see no reason why you shouldn’t give it a go here!

10 – It’s cheap

One of the greatest benefits of visiting Moldova is that it’s quite cheap. Despite not being everything for 1 euro cheap, there are a few things that are under that price. For example most of the museums in the capital have an entrance fee of 10 lei (50 cents), while public transport 2 lei (10 cents) for a trolleybus ride.  For 1 euro you can have 10 trolley rides in the city! A ride with the bus to the Transnistrian capital Tiraspol is 40 lei ( 2 euros), while to Orheiul Vechi even less. While in most European countries you will pay from 25 euros for a bed in a hostel, for the same amount (or less depending on location) you can rent a room in a hotel or an apartment. Hostels are priced from 5 euros per night, while an average meal out will be between 5 to 10 euros.  And to quench your thirst, a 0.5L water bottle starts from under 50 cents, while a beer one from 60 cents and for 2 litres you’d have to pay 1,50 euros in the shop. Now for wine, vodka, brandy… you got the message I think 😉

Wine bars in Chișinău

Some people unfortunately do not have a lot of time when coming to Moldova, visiting for only 1-2 days. With such a short time span, booking at wineries can be difficult if not done upfront. So what is another option to discover the local wine without stressing yourself?  Of course exploring the local wine bars! Not only are they set up specifically for wine tasting, but also offer you a wide range of wines and gifts up for sale. A majority of them have a sommelier on the spot, but also organised wine tasting events on weekend days. So here’s a list of the wine bars where you can go to tickle your wine taste buds!

 

Invino Enoteca

Invino is the first collection of high quality wines in Moldova chosen by a professional sommelier. They have in their collection over 200 wines, with more than 20 being available for wine tasting by glass. Altogether they store over 10.000 bottles of wine from small boutique and lesser known wineries. They have available an english speaking sommelier.

Website/ Facebook

Address: Bănulescu Bodoni 41, Chișinău

Open: 11:00 – 21:00

 

Vinoteca Wine.md

This isn’t just a wine bar, but a full encyclopedia of wine culture offering organised wine tastings, excursions at wineries, history, notes and expert assessment. The shop has a wide variety of wines with advice on hand for those that get lost in choices.

Website / Facebook

Address: Pușkin 15, Chișinău

Open: 09:00 – 21:00

 

DEN Food & Wine House

The uniqueness of this select wine house is that they concentrate on the small wine producers of Moldova, having over 25 brands in their collection with over 250 various wine labels. To complement the wines they have even reinterpreted the national cuisine in a way to harmonise the tastes together. Currently Den Food & Wine House is the restaurant with the widest variety of wines available for serving the guests, but also open for wine tastings or sale at their wine bar.

Website / Facebook

Address: Mitropolit Gavriil Bănulescu-Bodoni 17A, Chișinău

Open: Daily from 08:00 – 23:00

 

Embargo

A cozy wine bar and shop with a variety of wines to taste which change daily according to availability. The specialisation is in unique and affordable wines. On various occasions they organise wine games and specific wine tastings. Besides the traditional platters of cheese and meat for wine tastings, they also offer oyster.

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AddressAlexandr Pușkin 56, Chișinău

Open: Mon – Thu 08:00- 21:00, Fri 08:00-22:00, Sat- Sun 10:00- 22:00

 

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem is the first opened wine collection in Chisinau which nowadays has a selection of over 160 local and international wines. You can taste between 10 to 15 local wines by glass in their bar, but also order online in Moldova the ones you prefer.

Website/ Facebook

Address: Columna 136, 3A, Chișinău

Open: 11:00 – 23:00

 

Barbar

Unlike other wine bars, this one is suitable for nightlife due to it’s opening hours but also the events they organise. Besides a vast choice of wines, they have dj nights on weekends and a summer terrace which is very handy during warmer season.

Facebook

Address: Mihai Eminescu 56, Chișinău

Open: Mon – Thu 11:00- 23:00, Fri 11:00- 05:00, Sat 14:00- 05:00, Sun 14:00- 23:00

 

La Nobiltà del Gusto

A collection of the highest quality wines and hard drinks won at auctions from all other the world. You will find the best wines from Moldova alongside the famous ones of Spain, France, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand and Italy. A sommelier will guide you in your choice, while the rest of the shop will inspire you to dip in the delicacies on display.

Facebook

AddressSfatul Țării 59, Chișinău

Open: 10:00 – 20:00

 

Wine Gogh

Branding themselves as a wine restaurant, they provide not only beautiful atmosphere, different kinds of wine but also high quality food which will not disappoint. Every sunday they have an offer of -20% on selected wines and foods.

Facebook

Address: Pușkin 35, Chișinău

Open: 10:00 – 23:00

 

Purcari Wine Bar

Although being mainly a branded wine bar of the local winery Purcari, the selection of wine does not disappoint and limit. Their events host wine tastings with the best wine of Moldova, but also a selection of wines from abroad. The relaxing atmosphere and the gourmet menu guarantees an enjoyable time.

Website/ Facebook

Address: Calea Iesilor 8,  Zity Mall (3rd floor)

Open: Mon – Sun 10:00 – 22:00

 

C51

Not only a wine bar, but also a co-working space and restaurant. Working with specific wine brands, vegetarian menu and a variety of events in a very english friendly atmosphere.

WebsiteFacebook

Address: Columna 51, Chișinău

Open: Tue – Fri 18:00 – 23:00, Sat – Sun 00:00 – 23:00

 

AVA 1727

One of the most exclusivist restaurant and wine bar in Chișinău aimed to create a bohemian experience. Not just a place to taste signature dishes by their chef, but also to relax or have fun on a night out as they organise music nights on weekends.

Website/ Facebook

Address: Vlaicu Pârcălab 43, Chișinău

Open: Mon – Thu 09:00 – 00:00, Fri – Sat 09:00 – 03:00, Sun 11:00 – 00:00

 

Taste of Blu Wine House

A celebration of generations of winemakers in a comfortable atmosphere with a wide range of wine choices and events. Sommelier available on the spot, also english friendly.

Facebook

Address: 77 Mitropolit Varlaam, Chișinău

Open: 10:00 – 22:00

Alternative activities in Moldova

Everybody knows that one of the biggest treasures of Moldova is wine and it’s tourism is based a lot on it. But what about other things to do here besides wine tasting and sightseeing, activities which require more physical movement or a more firey spirit? For those seeking adventures or different ways to discover this country, I’ve compiled a list of alternative activities to do in Moldova. Despite camping being very suitable in the list, it will be written in a separate article with all the details that need to be kept in mind.

Hiking

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If you’re searching for some daily trips out of Chisinau to explore the local nature, then hiking is the best option for you. There are a few people that offer such experiences for a fee in various beautiful points of the country. Despite most of them providing all the information in romanian or russian on their pages, you can contact them and find that they can also provide in english by request. The most local famous hiking trips are organised by Outdoor Moldova and by High and Low Adventures, set up on specific dates. Hiking Moldova are very english friendly and provide fun options, while Alex Hoinaru offers hiking experiences in Pohrebea village and nearby.

Vespa Tours

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One would not expect to find a Vespa in Moldova, but due to the lover of these little gems a unique ideas has popped up – Vespa Tours in Moldova. They organise tours on these beauties in Chisinau but also outside of the city, to Orheiul Vechi or much further in the south or north. Some of these tours can even be customised, including overnight camping stays. Other than tours they also rent their Vespas for photoshoots, videos or just a few hours to discover the city by yourself. To contact, ask questions or check them out you can here.

Kayaking

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For explorers of water, kayaking would be an interesting option. In Moldova there are two main companies that offer this activity organised as tours with guides or self-guided. Kayaking.md are mostly concentrated on russian speakers offering daytrips along Nistru river, but also kayaking trips abroad. Their options are more suitable for groups as they require that they have at least 6 canoes for a trip. The other option which is very english friendly is the Kayakingtours.md, offering a variety of daily guided and self guided tours. They are situated in Vadul Lui Voda and provide experiences in south and north of Moldova on Nistru, Prut and in Danube Delta from 1st of april until the 30th of october. Besides canoes, they also provide bicycles and camping gear. Children get in for free if both of the parents are present and they require at least 2 people per booking. To discover their offers check them out here.

Ural Tours

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For those that are seeking to still experience some of the soviet vibes and impress your friends with crazy ideas, Ural Tours provides a great offer – tours on the legendary russian sidecar motorcycle. Organised for individual or group trips, per hour or daily with a great guide and enthusiasm. Mihai Cecan being an avid lover of motorcycles, will make sure to tell you why the famous Ural motorcycle is so special. To book an Ural tour, you can do it here.

Paragliding

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If you love adrenaline and beautiful views, then paragliding is for you! Costing only 20 euros, a flight lasts 10-15 minutes and it takes place in a variety of beautiful landscapes, such as in Orheiul Vechi, Anenii Noi and Dubasari. There are over 30 professionals around the country that can provide such experiences, but the easiest to reach is Vasile Fornea from Parapanta Moldova or directly at the Paragliding Association in Moldova.

Cycling

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Being widely used abroad, cycling is still trying to make it’s way into mainstream in Moldova. With more and more enthusiasts, it popped up even in the tourism scene, now offering tours in the city, at wineries and even across the country by bicycles. One of the main companies that provides this is Velopoint, which also allows hourly rental of bikes and bike equipment. You can find biking routes and customise your trip by contacting them directly here.

Parachute jumping

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Skydivers do not have to seek far as in Vadul lui Voda is based the most famous point for that. Every weekend they provide these opportunities, with prices starting from 55 euros according to the Parachutism Asociation of Moldova. You have options for jumping by yourself or with an instructor, also a variety of specific techniques and equipment, including such as the wingsuit. The best in this in the country are the guys from Skydive Moldova which attend to foreign tourists also.

Hot Air Balloon Rides

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We may not compete with the stunning sights of Cappadocia in Turkey, but we’ve got our own beauty to be discovered. A ride with the air balloon is easily organised, but a lot depends on the availability of your wallet. A trip with the balloon per person is 99 euros in a mixed group, with the date and time of the flight being set up by the company. If you have a better financial possibility, then the 349 euros package is more suitable, as you decide the date and time of the flight and it requires of a group of maximum 4 people. There are two companies which you can contact to provide this experience for you: Aerobis and Aerolux.

Rock climbing

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Despite not having mountains, we still do have a few places where rock climbing is possible. Butuceni in Orheiul Vechi area is the most common one, with X-Style company organising often such events there. If you’re looking into booking such an experience, check out their events page for the next one or contact them directly here.

Birdwatching

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Not usually the most searched activity, but still available and very off the beaten path. National tourism board has recently opened a trail in Orheiul Vechi for it, but overall Moldova has a variety of birds which can be spotted in specific locations which are known only by those who practice this. To help you organise a birdwatching trip can the local organisation Birdwatching Moldova.

Pohrebea Village

Many have heard about the moldovan hospitability, but few know where to search for it when they plan to visit Moldova. A place with such a treasure can easily be found towards the north-east of the country, just 38 km’s from Chisinau on the left side of Nistru river. The village is named Pohrebea and it hosts a population of 700 people. Despite sounding like it is part of Transnistria due to being on the left shore of Nistru river, it actually is part of Moldovan territory. But only a very few kilometres from it’s entrance it has the Transnistrian border control and a fair share of history.

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The history of the village starts from the 1769, the year when it was first recorded. The first settlers where refugees of the Moldovan principality which were under tumultuous times due to various wars and constant changing of rulers. The name of the village can be traced from a legend saying that the settlers were moved from the Pogrebeni village during the war. As a majority of them were of russian origin and they had the tendency to build their houses in the shape of cellars (cellar being called “pogreb” in russian), the name came up from their building style, initially “Pogreba” and then later turning into Pohrebea. Nowadays the village has a variety of styles in regards its houses, with some having even a cellar in the hill accompanying the village.

The two things that this village is mostly famous for, is the destroyed church and the island in the middle of the river. The church is named Saint Aleksei, in the name of the son of the russian tsar Nikolay II. It is said that his son was sick from a young age and he was seeking ways to cure him. Upon visiting a monk he was told to build a few churches across certain locations, Pohrebea being one of them. Despite not curing his son, the church has survived to this day including two major wars.

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In august 1944 during World War II Moldova was a major battle front. During the operation Iasi – Chisinau, the church was used as a fortress by both the nazi and the russian troops. To this day the scars of the battle can be seen in the walls of the church as many bullet holes are left. The top of the church was also blown leaving it up to this day an open space. As in Soviet Union religion was forbidden, the church was transformed into a deposit and then later in 1992 during the Transnistrian war it was used again as a fortress. The only difference was that this time the bullets were coming from the other side of the shore! With no money for restoration the church has been left in the same condition since these bloody events, reminding the villagers daily of them.

Looking at the brighter side, Pohrebea has something unique – an island in the middle of the river. But it’s not the island itself that makes it special, but the inhabitants on it! It ain’t called the “Cow’s Island” for nothing… and yes, you’ve read that right! This island is inhabited by the cows of the villagers throughout the warmer seasons. Just as the water gets warmer in spring, the cows are taken to the island by swimming and are left there until mid-autumn. Then three times a day, every single day the women are rowing the boat to the island in order to milk the cows and bring it to the village. They are more than happy to do this as they claim that the milk comes out much better and the cheese much tastier. This curious activity has even raised some interest in the local filmmakers which are shooting a documentary at the moment about it.

But besides these things it is the atmosphere of the village that makes this place special. A quiet journey into the moldovan village life where everyone will greet you on the street despite seeing you for the first time in their life. A peek into the local shop will take you in soviet union as nothing has changed since, except the currency and the food products. While exploring the paths around various courtyards, you will end up either up on the hill or down by the river shore where you can watch the locals working on their fields.

And if you wish to experience a local way of life, you can stop by at Alex’s house, the warmest person who is open to receive guests including overnight. Unlike most of the young people that move away from countryside, Alex choose this lifestyle consciously. Alongside his two dear dogs he is spending most of his time here working for the community, but also pouring his love into the Earth growing a variety of  vegetables, fruits and herbs. Hikes along the river, seasonal plant picking, working in the garden, local homemade wine and food tasting or even milking a cow are things that he can offer if you come to visit him. Not to forget discovering the local fauna and specific night time tours are also available! From july also happily providing overnight stays in his traditional moldovan house. In order to find out about the availability or to get in touch with him, you can do so through our contact page or reach him directly on this facebook page.

In regards reaching Pohrebea, there isn’t much of a difficulty as there is a direct minibus that leaves from the central bus station in Chisinau every hour from 8am until 6pm. The return route towards the capital is narrower, with the last bus leaving at 4pm from Pohrebea. The cost of a ride is 20 lei (1 euro) and it takes around 45 minutes drive. Ofcourse hiring a tour guide, driver or renting a car is also possible. In case that you choose to go by public transport, go a bit earlier to get a seat as the bus can fill quickly and it may not be most comfortable to be standing, especially in the summer heat!

ATU Winery

If you’ve ever wondered if an urban winery exists, well seek no further! ATU Winery is the answer. Situated at the entrance of the city, the first glance over the building indicates that there is something different about this place. A passion for wine, aesthetics and art have created this interesting combination into the brand that seeks to promote artisanal wines with an urban feel.

The history of ATU Winery starts with the founder Victor Vutcarău, who’s family has always been involved in viniculture. From 2001 they started growing a variety of grapes, currently being the best producer of wine plants on the moldovan and eastern european market. With this involvement and the gathered knowledge, the decision to open up a winery came naturally. From 2016 alongside his wife Vlada, the brand came to life under the name “ATU” which is a romanian word signifying “a strong point”. Besides the vast experience with plants, they are also the only winery in Moldova with it’s own wine nursery which they consider to be one of their main strength.

The production of this winery is a selective one, concentrating on dry and semi sweets wines, including the local moldovan Fetească Albă and Fetească Neagră. The main aim being creating high quality wines, they are limited edition with each type coming up in a batch of only 2000 bottles which allows them to give their full attention to every single drop. This is seen also in their production as everything is manually manufactured, from the grape picking all the way up to the bottle labelling. Not to mention the artistic detail that is invested in their brand, a way to promote local talents and urban culture.

Being mostly found on the moldovan market, their wines can also be purchased in a few shops in Austria, Luxembourg, Germany and Romania. But the best way is to visit the winery itself, where Victor or Vlada will take you through the journey of their wine production and the wine tasting experience. They offer 3 options for their visits, packages which give a variety of explorations of their main wines, but also when it’s the season – the young ones. Prices for the tours including wine tasting are in between 10- 18 euros per person. Booking upfront is required, a process easily done through a call, their website or social media. Also you can find them throughout the year at various events and wine exhibitions either in Moldova or in Europe.

To book a visit or find out more about them, check out the following links:

Website/ Facebook/ Instagram

 

LaBREWtory Craft Beer

For those questioning whether local breweries in Moldova exist, the answer is yes! One of them is LaBREWtory, an american style brewing company which is actually co-founded by an interesting mix of people: 2 moldovans and 2 americans. Despite they turned only 1 year in february 2019 since their production began, their story starts way before that.

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In 2011 Bill and his wife DeEva came to Moldova for work, being sent by Bill’s company. After the 4 years the contract was up and they were faced with a choice to make, move back to US or somewhere else. In the end they decided to stay in Moldova and try make his dream come true – owning a brewery. This passion began in the 90’s when he was gifted a home brew kit by DeEva. In 2016 they set up the company along with 2 other moldovan beer craft enthusiasts, but only in winter 2017 they managed to start their beer production.

 

If you’re wondering what makes them special, well they are the first craft brewery to brew the new beer style Brut IPA and also a Cream Ale style in Moldova. Nowadays they produce around 4000 litres of beer a month, with a variety of tastes. Their beer malt is imported from Belgium, while the hops from Europe (such as Slovenia, UK and Germany), also from USA and New Zealand. The beer choice consists of 2 flagship ales, and then the special edition, rotational and seasonal ale depending on the available ingredients. Their rotational beer lasts around every 1-2 weeks (depending on the selling demand) and the seasonal can be somewhat “experimental” for some, such as the Christmas version which contained whole cranberries.

 

The main focus of LaBREWtory is the quality of their beer and the satisfaction of their customers. They do not export abroad, being concentrated just on their main market – Chișinău. Their most popular place is actually at their brewery, where the production takes place. Besides the tanks where all the magic happens, they have also set up an area for entertainment where locals can enjoy their beer. As they believe that beer is for community, they also allow people to bring in their own food and during the warmer seasons to make BBQ’s outside. Buying beer by litres is also possible and for those that fall in love with it, they also have a branded glass for sale as souvenir.

 

Other services they offer are a free tours available in english, romanian and russian language on most of their working days. The tour includes a view of their production, loads of information and a small taster of their beers. Booking upfront is not a pre-requisite, but it is useful to give a call (or a message), especially for bigger groups of people so that they are prepared and have enough time to answer all your questions. For those that like their atmosphere, they also rent the space for various events and parties.

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Visiting the brewery is easy, especially by public transport from the city centre with the trolleybus nr.5 stopping nearby.

For more information, a list of locations where you can find their beer and booking a tour you can make through the following links:

Website / Facebook/ Instagram

KaraGani Winery

Down in the south of Moldova in the city of Vulcănești you can find a treasure. Only 200km’s from Chisinau, near the Ukranian border, the KaraGani Winery has it’s place. A name rather new on the Moldovan wine map, but not one to be missed that’s for sure.

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The tradition of winemaking in the Cerven family comes all the way from their găgăuzian ancestors, an ethnic group with turkic roots that settled in the area. As the craft for wine was passed down over 4 generations, the wife Lora and husband Gheorghe took their passion a few steps further, developing it into a business. Although they started producing their wine for the public only 2 years ago, they have already gained various recognitions and awards at local and international wine contests.

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Each year their produce only 10.000 bottles for public consumption which can be purchased in a few shops across the capital, in Comrat and also directly from them at the winery. The production process can be seen during an excursion as they take you through the whole process and a visit in autumn guarantees you to watch and even participate in their production.

Besides winemaking, they also offer a peek into Găgăuzian traditional life in their own self made museum which consists of objects gathered throughout the years of their families. From pictures of their relatives, to old irons, lamps, Găgăuzian furniture, handmade carpets and a trunk full of grandmother’s wedding dowry will leave you impressed and gasping for more stories.

Winetasting at KaraGani is a must and the basic tasting package comes with 3 wines, including one white, one red and one rosé. While you’re enjoying the wines, Lora or Gheorghe will tell you various stories about each wine and their history. The price for the excursion which includes the wine tasting of 3 wines costs only 150 lei (~7 euros) and it lasts for 1 hour.

For those wishing to immerse themselves deeper into the Găgăuzian culture, Lora offers the option of tasting their national cuisine with delicacies like homemade cheese, gozleme and their famous lamb dishes – kaurma, shurpa, etc. Such experience lasts 3 hours and it costs 25 euros, including the excursion and the wine tasting of 4 wine types. Master classes are also available for those that wish to learn both their cooking and winemaking crafts. Such options need to be discussed and booked upfront at least 1 day before your arrival.

Visiting such a small winery will be something memorable as you get to experience the authentic Moldova – a local family producing wine in their own yard. And how does their wine have a Găgăuzian accent (as they state in their company slogan) will be something that you will have to discover by yourselves.

To book your visit, get in touch with them at least 1 day before your arrival through their KaraGani Winery page or at the number: +373 69124996

 

 

Festivals in Moldova

Disclaimer: All the events will be updated with links, dates and pictures when they will be announced for 2019. All pictures in this article have been taken from the events facebook pages.

February

 

 

Underland Wine & Music Fest

Underland Festival is one of it’s kind in the whole world because it fully takes place in underground, inside the Cricova wine cellars. The festival features over 100 artists from Moldova and abroad spread out on different stages, offers a variety of wines, food, activities, music, crafts and even tours inside the winery. This year the festival takes place on 23rd of February and the ticket prices are 250 lei. More information, videos and tickets can be found on their website. (has english version)

March

 

Mărțișor 

Every year from the 1st of March until the 10th the city flourishes and celebrates the coming of spring. For 10 days there are various concerts and events across the city and The Mărțișor Festival takes places across the National Palace “Nicolae Sulac”, The Organ Hall and the National Philharmonic Hall. The concerts are a variety of national and folk music, but also pop and foreign.

 

French Film Festival

Towards end of march every year the Alliance Françaie de Moldavie and French Embassy organise the French Film Festival where they showcase the best films of the year. Films are shown in original french language with romanian or russian subtitles. The entrance is free and it takes place at the Odeon Cinema.

 

Moldova Fashion Days

Between 23rd and 24th of March, the 15th edition of Moldova Fashion Days will take place. An event to promote the spring -summer collections of local designers, also the “see now, buy now” method, purchasing directly the pieces after the show on the spot. For more info, check out the event.

April

 

 

Jazz’n Chisinau

International festival of Jazz music already at it’s 7th edition brings artists from all over the world in order to take you on a musical journey. The festival takes place for 3 days at the National Philarmonic Hall “Serghei Lunchevici”. Ticket prices and the program will be announced soon on the event page.

 

American Film Festival

Towards end of april for 3 days there are free screenings of films at the “American Film Festival”. Each year the festival has a different theme and takes place at the Odeon cinema. A few weeks before the event the programme can be found on facebook. Films are shown originally in english with romanian and russian subtitles.

May

 

Mai Vin

This is the first picnic of the spring taking place at the wonderful Asconi Winery in the village Puhoi right on the 1st day of may. During this celebration the guests can do tours of the winery, eat delicious food including BBQ and traditional, drink loads of wine including wine tasting of 10 types, join activities and listen to good music. Entrance is 400 lei on the day (300 early bird) and the event can be found on their here.

 

Marele Picnic

The famous Milestii Mici Winery which is in the Guiness World Record Book is organising it’s own spring picnic! Entrance is 200 lei on the day, there will be loads of food, free unlimited sangria, masterclasses, market with artisanal objects, free visits in the cellars and music with the famous romanian band “Taxi”. Also there will be organised public transport towards the winery and back, with a fee of 5 lei one way. You can check out their event here.

 

Chesnok Festival

ЧЕСНОК is the first Documentary Film Festival in Transnistria which has been going on for the past 3 years, including a filmmaking workshop and a documentary competition. Organised by a lively young team, every year they show international documentary films in 5 cities: Tiraspol, Bender, Rabnita, Dubasari and Chisinau. The festival takes place for a whole week between 13th and 19th of may and the entrance is free.  In Chisinau the festival takes place in Odeon Cinema. More about the festival can be seen on their facebook page.

street-food-wine-festivalStreet Food & Wine festival

Starting it’s first edition is this fresh festival aimed to combine delicious food with local wine, music and fun. The event will take place on the pedestrian street Eugen Doga situated right in the centre of the city behind the National Cathedral. Entrance of the day will cost 50 lei. More info you can find here.

 

International Documentary Film Festival “Cronograf”

Cronograf is the only documentary film festival in Moldova that has won it’s name as an international festival after it’s first opening in 2001. Every year for 6 days films from various countries, including in the region are being showcased on different topics. Various people from the international documentary film industry are attending helping the local industry to flourish. Besides films there’s also music involved and a party. Entrance to the festival has a fee. This year the festival takes place between 22nd and 28th of may at Odeon Cinema. For more details at their facebook page or their website.

 

No Rest Om Fest

Have you heard about a festival dedicated only to fitness? No Rest Om Fest is such a festival. 8 hours of exercising in any way, from yoga, pilates, to arm wrestling, weight lifting, box, kickboxing, crossfit, slack line, training and even dancing. Besides all the hard work, nutritious food, lectures and classes are held. The event culminates with a concert. The event is taking place on 25th of may 2019 and entrance is 100 lei. Check out the event here.

 

Mai Dulce 

The sweetest festival from Eastern Europe takes place every year in may, this year being on the 26th. A festival aimed to those who have a sweet tooth or just wish to sweeten their life a bit. Plenty of live music, activities for children, booths with sweets – cakes, chocolates, ice cream, drinks, but also with various things for sale. A great event for families or those young at heart. The festival takes place in the centre of the city and it has a fee. More information, including about how to get tickets you can see at their event page.

 

Pot Music

For those that love rock music, this is your place to be. Pot Music is a local festival aimed to allow the freshest bands in the country to make their first steps into the music world. This is a contest with 3 semifinals where the guests vote and decide which bands go to the final. Besides the newcomers, also bigger bands perform, including international ones. As currently the selection phase is going on, the dates of the concerts will be announced here. Entrance with a fee.

June

 

Bunkasai – Japanese Culture Festival

First weekend of june Bunkasai takes place, a little festival organised in the square of the National University of Moldova. You can find from japanese food, to language lessons, dances, martial art, origami, cosplay, tea ceremonies and many other fun activities to introduce you to japanese culture. Entrance is free.

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SUMMER Fest

Summer Fest is already becoming a tradition. Each summer for a whole weekend the music blasts to the maximum in the Dendrarium Park. National and interenational music, a variety of food, children’s area, loads of beer and fun. Tickets are from 250 lei for 1 day and 350 lei for the whole weekend. More details about the event and for ticket purchase can be seen here.

 

Young Artisans Festival

An event specifically organised to promote the works of the young artisans from the age of 14 to 35. Happening on the pedestrian street Eugen Doga behind the National Cathedral, the festival offers you to find handmade works made out of clay, wood, metals, jewellery and traditional ethno-folkloric crafts. Free entrance.

 

DescOPERĂ

DescOPERĂ is an unique event in Moldova as it’s two days of open air classical concerts happening in village Butuceni, the natural reservation of Old Orhei area. The event takes place for 2 days offering the most famous opera’s played by local and international orchestras. Besides the beautiful melodies, guests have the opportunity to discover local traditions at the pensions nearby. Activities such as pie making, learning traditional dances, wine tasting, boat rides and excursions in the area are available. The dates of this year’s festival are between the 14th and 16th of june. Entrance for the concerts is from 200 lei up to 650 lei. More details and to book the tickets you can do at the following link.

 

Sun Dă-i Fest

Every summer SUN Dă-I Fest takes place in order to raise awareness about eco lifestyle, but also to bring loads of fun. Taking place directly in the central park of Stefan cel Mare, it offers a variety of activities for kids but also for adults, food and drink stalls, a market, informative booths and talks about alternative and ecological technologies, but also lifestyle. And most importantly a concert with local and international bands which is all provided with electricity from solar panels. Entrance is free and everyone is invited.

 

Lavender Fest

Have you ever been to a festival in a field of lavender? If you haven’t, look no further. A day full of sun, music, delicious food, talks, massage, local market, photoshoots and the calming smell of lavender. Entrance with a fee. To find out when the next event takes place, check out the organisers facebook page.

 

Art Labyrinth Summer Festival

A one of a kind festival in Moldova, Art Labyrinth has gained quite a following due to it’s nature. It always starts around the summer solstice and lasts for a week. A festival made for raising awareness, spirituality, connection with nature, spirit and music. The location of the festival takes place every year in different nature spots across Moldova and is camping only. Entrance fee is 200 lei. They organise transport to the festival, camping gear for rent for those that don’t have it, workshops on spiritual topics, yoga, tai chi, dance classes, vegetarian, vegan and raw food, dances around the fire and live music. If you’d like to experience the nature in Moldova or to meet the local free spirits, then check out Art Labyrinth facebook page for information about the festival.

 

Piano Nights International Festival

With 16 editions in it’s repertoire, this festival has been enchanting people with the beautiful piano music that it brings. Organised with the help of French Embassy and the French Alliance in Moldova the event has been recognised as one of the main classical music festivals in Moldova. It features the best local but also international musicians. The concerts take place at the Organ Hall and at the National Philharmonic Hall “Serghei Lunchevici”. Entrance is free and the festival takes place between 21st of june and 6th of july. You can view the schedule here.

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O seară în parc

Every end of june in the Green Theatre of the Valea Morilor Park takes place “O seara in parc”, translated as “an evening in the park”. The aim of the event is to gather people to enjoy a variety of music compositions with famous composers from Moldova and Romania. Tickets start from 110 lei up to 300 lei. The event page is here.

 

July

 

 

IA Mania

In the village of Holercani takes places the IA Mania Festival, an event specifically created to showcase the traditions and art of Moldova. Originally named after the taditional “Ie”, a handmade shirt worn in the region. From stalls with crafts, clothes, to food, a fashion show and live music. Plenty of space for various activities and enjoyment.  The festival has gained it’s name over the years and is visited happily by foreigners also. The festival this year will be on the 6th of july and entrance is with a 50 lei fee.For all the details check it out here. When buying 4 tickets, the forth will be for free!

Festivalul Frumos covor Basarabean

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Translating as “beautiful Bassarabian carpet”, already at it’s 6th edition this Festival brings to celebrate the craft of carpet weaving. Happening in an artisanal studio with over 60 carpets, 30 national costumers, bags and other wrks of art which will be available for sale but also for viewing. Little workshops will also take place for those that wish to learn the craft. Entrance is free and is happening here.

 

Tiff Chisinau

TIFF is the Transilvanian International Film Festival which has gained quite a recognition in the film world and part of it’s circuit is happening in Chisinau also. Four days of best films in Odeon Cinema with an entrance fee of 20 lei, but also free screenings in the city centre. As it’s an international festival many films are in english, but also other languages with romanian translation. On the last day of the festival there’s a closing party with live music. This years date is not announced yet.

August

 

 

Gustar Music Festival

The biggest and most famous music festival in Moldova happening in the most iconic place – the Old Orhei settlement. Two days of live music with famous local and international singers and bands, loads of delicious food and drinks, market stalls, activities, excursions in the area and camping! There’s transport organised to/from the festival and entrance is with a fee. This year the festival will take place between 17-18 august.

 

Cucuteni Festival

A festival aimed to celebrate the art of ceramics, but also the Cucuteni civilisation which was settled here in the region even before the period of Ancient Egypt, being one of the oldest civilisations in Europe. Taking place in Ivancea village, the festival provides live music with local and international bands, clay workshops, exhibitions, an auction, loads of food, activities for children but also adults, drumming and a fire show.

 

Purcari Wine Run

Purcari Wine Run is a unique 10 km trail race, which lies through the cross-country track of Chateau Purcari – one of the largest wineries in Moldova. The event includes running, thematic seminars, master classes, excursions, Moldovan dishes and wine tasting, as well as recreation in an eco zone. Purcari Wine Run 2019 will be held on August 24. Both professional athletes and amateur runners can participate in this event and more info, including registration can be found here.

 

Festivalul Tineretului

A festival for the youth organised to raise awareness about the organisations and clubs they can join for their own development or in helping to make a change. The festival takes place each year in various locations across the country, but also in Chisinau on the pedestriat street Eugen Doga where they have stalls. Daytime and mostly in the evening there is alo a live music concert. No entrance fee.

September

 

 

Moldox

In the beginning of september in the southern city of Cahul takes place a loved documentary film festival – Moldox which is aiming to raise awareness for social change. A week of workshops for those that wish to study the art of filmmaking, screenings of various international documentaries, talks, exhibitions and live music. Entrance is free and transport is organised to/from Chisinau. This years edition will take place between 10-15th of september and more info can be found at www.moldoxfestival.com

 

Festivalul Maria Bieșu

Every year at the beginning of september starts the Maria Bieșu Opera and Ballet Theatre Festival, an event that has been going on since 1990. Named after the most famous moldovan opera singer Maria Bieșu, this festival offers the opportunity to watch the mot famous opera and ballet pieces from international stages. Entrance with a fee, tickets can be purchased at the box office of the Opera and Ballet Theatre.

 

MUST Fest

MUST Fest is the festival of young wine organised by the Cricova Winery in the centre of Chisinau. 2 days of the best live music with international bands, food, activities and various young wines for tasting. Tickets can be purchased upfront or directly on the spot.

 

Bostaniada

A festival specifically created to promote the autumn crop of pumpkins! This is a etno gastronomic festival which provides various talks, activities, music, local food and wine, also a contest for the biggest pumpkin! Foreigners but also locals get the chance to discover local treasures. Entrance with a fee, children under 12 have free entrance. Follow their facebook page for the next event.

 

Etno jazz Festival

One of the most loved festival in Moldova. Three days of the best music from the world. International artists with deep passion. Entrance with a fee and it takes place at the National Philarmonic Hall “Serghei Lunchevici”, also in Tiraspol or Soroca whenever possible. For more info, check them out here.

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Moldova Festival Contact+

The only festival in Moldova for Contact Improvisation and performance, this year taking place between 16-th and 22nd of september. A rich programme with workshops, performances and jam sessions. Due to having foreign participants, this festival is very english friendly! More details can be found here.

 

Cheat Meal Fest

For those that love to cheat their meals this festival brings loads of yummies and information. Dedicated to healthy nutrition, Cheat Meal Fest provides free talks, masterclasses, delicious foods and drinks, live music and kids zone. The entrance is free and if you wish to see when the next festival will take place in September, check out this link.

October

 

 

National Wine Day

The most famous holiday in Moldova which has gained international recognition is the National Wine Day. Two days where the whole country is thinking only about wine! The centre of the City Chisinau is transformed in a platform for celebration: a big stage is filled with national performers playing traditional folkloric music joined later by famous national and international guests, over 60 stands of different brands and wineries for buying and tasting brandy and wine, workshops, tours to the wineries, delicious traditional food and local handcrafts. Some of the wineries themselves offer little events on this day besides the tours.

Entrance at the event is free. Mark your calendars as the next National Wine Day will be on 5th and 6th of october 2019!

 

Romanian Film Days Festival

Already passed it’s 4th edition, this festival brings the latest best romanian films on the screen of Odeon Cinema. After every screening there is a session of Q&A with the directors or actors from the film. Entrance is free and all the films are screened in romanian, no english subtitles. Check out their facebook page here for the next event.

 

Anim’est 

Anim’est is the only festival in Moldova dedicated to international animation film, having already 8 successful editions. For a few days Odeon Cinema hosts this event, showcasing feature animation films, as well music videos, experimental, short and horror films, as well screenings for kids. Each edition featu res a live music concert too. There is a small entrance fee at each screening or event which usually can be paid directly on the spot. This event is english friendly. Check out Anim’est facebook page for next events, information or just pictures from last editions.

November

 

 

Gagauz Șarap Yortusu Wine Festival

Every year on the first sunday of november in the city of Comrat “Gagauz Șarap Yortusu Wine Festival” is organised. A festival aimed at promoting local gagauz culture and wine. The festival takes place right in the centre of the city, so there is no entrance fee. You can see folk dances, traditional clothing, try out delicious gagauz food and wine. An experience to discover an ethnic group with turkic roots.

 

CinePolska – Polish Film Festval

Every year in the beginning- mid november the latest and best polish films are being shown in Chisinau. The entrance is free and the films have romanian subtitles only.  The event takes places for about a week. To check out the next event (usually they are posted in october) and the list of films that will be screened, go at Odeon Cinema facebook page.