EUROPE’S FORGOTTEN FRONTIER
Chisinau – Comrat – Tiraspol – Bendery – RYBNYTSA – SOROCA
This tour is offered on a regular monthly basis. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the learn-more button below: we will match your preferences with the next relevant scheduled group departure. If you are still unsure about your desired departure date, then simply tell us a period or a season of the year and we will provide you a range of scheduled group departures: just pick up yours!
Our scheduled group departures don't suit your plans? If you are travelling with more than 4 friends, you can set your own departure date: we will arrange a bespoke tour just for you for the same price per person advertised below. If you are travelling solo or with less than four companions, we will then organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.
Please note: this tour has a strong focus on Soviet Heritage. If you are more into classic attractions (i.e. monasteries, ruins, churches, fortresses and museums) and/or natural wonders (gorges, lakes and gentle slopes alike), we can easily design a bespoke itinerary according to your own specific preferences. Get in touch for more details on our tailored routes in Bessarabia.
Bespoke tours to Transnistria, Moldova and Gagauzia: the following itinerary refers to our most popular route across Soviet Bessarabia. In case you are interested in a particularly remote area, secretive ethnicity, unusual activity and/or off-the-beaten-path attraction within Gagauzia, Moldova and Transnistria or if you are just looking for an hit-and-run visit to Chisinau and Tiraspol and its surroundings, we will easily meet your needs with a unique tour individually designed according to your preferences. Get in touch for more info on our private tours to Gagauzia, Moldova and Transnistria!
DAY 1 - Chisinau
In the morning you will meet your tour guide in the lobby of the designated hotel (exact hotel address and meeting time will be communicated well in advance per email; private airport pickup and shuttle service available for a small additional fee).
Introductory briefing about the region, the route and the set of rules to observe while travelling in unrecognised countries or contested regions.
Chisinau Soviet sightseeing: Brutalist shapes, Soviet Modernist architectural gems, Soviet mosaics, authentic, multiethnic and chaotic food markets, Soviet memorials, gargantuan apartment blocks and dusty backstreets.
Lunch, dinner and overnight in Chisinau.
DAY 2 - Southern Moldova and Gagauzia
We'll leave Chisinau in the morning and head to Cahul, an important commercial hub in Southern Moldova and the backdoor to Gagauzia, a Turkish-speaking autonomous region within the country.
On our way to the Moldovan deep south, we’ll make several off-the-beaten-path photo stops to admire hidden Socialist gems and Soviet-era mosaics.
After a quick Soviet tour around Cahul, we’ll pay a visit to the tiny traditional village of Rosu, a truly unique and absolutely non-touristic hamlet where we'll have the chance to enjoy some locally produced delicacies.
We'll then drive northeast past traditional Gagauz settlements before eventually reaching Comrat, Gagauzia’s national capital.
Comrat Soviet tour: Lenin's Square, Gagauz National Museum, Gagauz Bazaar, Gagauz National Theatre and Gagauz House of Culture.
Dinner and overnight in Comrat.
DAY 3 - Gagauzia and Transnistria
In the morning we will visit the pretty traditional rural villages of Congaz and Beshalma and learn more about Gagauz culture and traditions before eventually heading to Tiraspol, the capital of the breakaway Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic aka Transnistria.
Border Crossing: after lunch we will cross the border into Transnistria. Unrecognised states are much safer and friendlier than you might think and we will take care of all the border formalities; however, this is a very sensitive area and you shall strictly follow the (rather simple) instructions your guide will brief you about.
After entering Transnistria we'll head straight towards its capital: surprisingly cosmopolitan Tiraspol.
Afternoon stroll around Tiraspol and its plethora of Socialist architectures, Soviet monuments, Lenin statues, smelly markets and nostalgic atmospheres.
Dinner and overnight in Tiraspol.
DAY 4 - Central Transnistria
Full day devoted to Tiraspol and central Transnistria.
We’ll start the day with a full-scale tour to the country’s capital: offbeat sights, local encounters and a short photo-walk focussed on Soviet heritage.
After lunch we’ll visit the archetypical Soviet villages of Chobruchi and Kizkany, as well as the historical town of Bendery, home to a large Turkish fortress from the 16th century.
In the late afternoon we’ll head back to Tiraspol and enjoy the hidden cultural side of the city in the company of local musicians and artists.
Dinner and overnight in Tiraspol.
DAY 5 - Northern Transnistria
We'll start the day early in the morning to set off for a long tour across Transnistria.
First stops will be bustling market town of Dubossary and the nearby village of Grigoriopol, a tiny Soviet urban construct famous for its ethnic diversity.
We’ll then go deep into Transnistria’s heartland in search for Soviet leftovers: architecture, public art (mosaics and bas-reliefs), bus stops, abandoned factories, Jewish graveyards and crumbling concrete buildings.
In the afternoon we’ll eventually reach Rybnitsa, a large industrial town in Transnistria’s little-known northern region.
Dinner and overnight in Rybnitsa.
DAY 6 - Northern Moldova
After a quick Soviet tour around Rybnitsa, we’ll head to Kamenka, a cosmopolitan little town at the crossroads between Transnistria and Ukraine.
We’ll then re-enter Moldova and head to Soroca, the unofficial capital of Romanistan, the long-sought and never-realised Gypsy homeland.
In Soroca we’ll tour the eclectic Romani neighbourhoods, meet the locals and delve into the the hidden aspects of this secretive and much misunderstood culture.
In the late afternoon we’ll finally arrive in Balti, a largely ignored former industrial town full of Socialist architectures and Soviet nostalgia.
Dinner and overnight in Balti.
Day 7 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
After enjoying a last Moldovan breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.
For those flying out: transfer to either Chisinau International Airport or Lvov International Airport (Ukraine) for your flight back home.
For those wishing to take the train/bus to reach further destinations: transfer to the local train/bus station.
End of the tour.
3 to 8 participants: 950 € per person
The price includes: double/twin room accommodation (breakfast included; single supplement: 18 euro/night), private transport in the region (car or minivan), entrance fees to the attractions listed in the itinerary, guiding and translation service.
The price does not include: international flights and any other flight not explicitly included in the tour price and itinerary, meals, drinks and tips, transport to and from the airport of arrival/departure (35 euros/ride), visas if required, entrance fees to attractions not listed in the itinerary, insurance.
The route of this tour has been carefully designed after several research trips in the region. It is, however, always possible to slightly modify the itinerary according to the needs and the suggestions of the participants. Our motto is flexibility.
Airport pickup/transfer in Chisinau is available for just 35 euros per ride.
Disclaimer: the designations employed and the presentation of the material on this website do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of our company concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. The territory of the Administrative Territorial Unit of the Left Bank of the Dniester is internationally recognised as integral part of Moldova. Regardless of your/our position on the issue and for all travel-related intents and purposes, however, the territory of the Administrative Territorial Unit of the Left Bank of the Dniester is no longer under the control of Moldovan authorities.