nestled between romania and ukraine lies a forgotten country where the spirit of the soviet union lives on
Chisinau – Comrat – Tiraspol – Bendery
Regular monthly departures: this tour is offered regularly once a month. Let us know your desired departure month by clicking on the ask-us button below and we will match your preferences with the relevant scheduled group departure. If you are unsure about the month you wish to travel in, 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 friends and there are 5 or more of you, you can set your own dates and we will organise a tour just for you without charging any additional fee. If you are travelling solo or with less than 4 companions we will organise a slightly more expensive tailored tour according to your time schedule and specific geographical preferences.
Bespoke tours to Transnistria and Gagauzia: the following itinerary refers to our most popular route in Bessarabia. In case you are interested in a particularly remote area, secretive ethnicity, unusual activity and/or off-the-beaten-path attraction within Gagauzia and Transnistria or if you are just looking for an hit-and-run visit to 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 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 unrecognized countries or contested regions.
- Chisinau sightseeing Cathedral Park, Central Bazaar (highlight), Republic Square and plenty of Brutalist Buildings.
- Traditional Moldovan lunch.
- In the afternoon we'll pay a visit to the impressive WWII Memorial in the outskirts and then head back to the city centre to shop around the bustling Flea and Art Market, the very place in Chisinau to find all kind of Soviet paraphernalia: start honing your haggle skills, you'll need them!
- Dinner and overnight in Chisinau.
DAY 2 - Orhei and the Countryside
- In the morning we will drive around the bucolic Moldovan countryside.
- Morning tour of local wineries and traditional farms such as the ones in Milestii Mici, Vartely and Cricova.
- Lunch and wine tasting in Cricova.
- After lunch we'll visit some old orthodox monasteries (Orheiul Vechi, Capriana) and small rural settlements full of Soviet nostalgia (Orhei, Calarasi).
- Dinner and overnight in Chisinau.
DAY 3 - Cahul and Comrat
- We'll leave Chisinau in the morning and head to Cahul, an important commercial hub in the south of the country and the gateway to access Southern Gagauzia, a Turkish-speaking autonomous region within Moldova.
- On our way to the South we will stop in Rosu ecovillage, a very unique place in Moldova where we'll have the chance to enjoy some locally produced delicacies and learn more about organic farming in the region.
- We'll then drive north past traditional Gagauz settlements before eventually reaching Comrat, the capital of this remote semi-state.
- Comrat walking tour: Lenin's Square, Gagauz National Museum, Gagauz Bazaar and Gagauz National Theatre.
- Dinner and overnight in Comrat.
DAY 4 - Gagauz Country and Tiraspol
- In the morning we will visit some pretty rural villages such as Congaz and Beshalma and learn more about Gagauz culture and traditions before 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.
- Tiraspol walking tour: House of the Soviet, Central Bazaar, WWII Memorial, Suvorov Equestrian Statue, Christmas Cathedral, Sheriff Stadium, Lenin Statues and tons of Soviet Monuments.
- Dinner and overnight in Tiraspol.
DAY 5 - Kizkany, Chobruchi, Bendery, Grigoriopol and Dubossary
- We'll start the day early in the morning to set off for a long tour across Transnistria.
- In the morning we'll visit the archetypical Soviet villages of Chobruchi and Kizkany, with their disproportionately large Lenin monuments, and Bendery, the second biggest city in the republic and home to a large Turkish fortress from the 16th century.
- Traditional Transnistrian lunch in Bendery.
- After lunch we'll visit the bustling market town of Dubossary and the nearby town of Grigoriopol, a tiny Soviet construct famous for its ethnic diversity.
- Dinner and overnight in Tiraspol.
Day 6 - Flight back home or transfer to further destinations
- After enjoying a last Transnistrian style breakfast together we'll take care of your transfer to the airport/train station of choice.
- For those flying out: we will arrange transfer to either Chisinau International Airport or Odessa International Airport (Ukraine) for your flight back home.
- For those wishing to take the train/bus to reach further destinations: we will arrange transport to the local train/bus station.
- End of the tour.
4 to 9 participants: 750 €
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.
Please note: It’s advisable to arrive in Chisinau one day before the actual tour begins. You should notice, however, that you’ll have to take care of your accommodation for any day and night preceding the actual start date of the tour. Without any additional charge we will readily and gladly reserve a room for you at our hotel of choice and you’ll be able to pay for it by cash or credit card once you check-in. If your flight lands on the same day as the tour begins and you prefer to rest a bit before going out sightseeing, you will then meet your tour guide and the rest of the group at the designated hotel in the late afternoon.
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.
where the heck am i travelling to?
BELOW you can see the different tour stages marked on a map of the region you are going to explore with us
POSSIBLE TOUR COMBINATIONS FOR THIS ITINERARY INCLUDE
Soviet Belarus and/or Balkanistan