Moldova

Moldova

If ever a swathe of land could be called ‘wine country,’ Moldova would be one of the most deserving to wear the label. Situated between Ukraine and Romania, the country is abstractly shaped like a cluster of grapes. And from neighborhood winemakers of the hobbyist sort, to sumptuous, state-run operations, quality Moldovan wine can be enjoyed seemingly everywhere.

Moldova is often dubbed one of the least-visited nations in Europe, but with its friendly folk, pretty countryside, and untouched culture, I found Moldova to be among the most ‘authentic’ countries I have visited.

Below, you’ll find my clickable Moldova index, as well as destination-specific tips, accommodation, and transportation resources.


Click the index button below to see all my posts from Moldova.

moldova-index

Table of Contents

General


Places


Wineries

Et Cetera Winery Vineyards Moldova
Shawn, posing with two of the matriarchs at the Et Cetera Winery.

Et Cetera Winery Moldova

Chișinău

  • Watch the world go by near the city’s landmark Arcul de Triumf (Triumphant Arch). We spotted a wedding party, as well as locals playing with gargantuan chess pieces.
  • Admire the golden-domed, blue splendor of the St. Theodor Tiron Convent.
  • Take a day trip to the opulent and historic Curchi Monastery, about a one-hour drive from Chișinău.
Cars drive past the Triumphal Arch in Moldova's capital city, Chisinau.
Moldova’s capital city, Chişinău.
The exterior of St. Theodor Tiron Convent in Chisinau, Moldova.
During our autumn visit, it was almost as if the trees and golden domes of St. Theodor Tiron Convent had coordinated their color palettes.

The Countryside (Old Orhei, Cahul, etc.)

Old Orhei Moldova
Magnificent Old Orhei. During the last few hundred years, the area has been contested by many, including the Slavs, Romans, Hungarians and Tatars.
Woman walking on street in Moldova, alongside a blue car.
A vintage Eastern European car chugs along in the village of Roșu.
People harvest grapes, using plastic buckets, in a vineyard in Moldova.
Harvesting grapes in rural Moldova.

Accommodation

In total, we spent about three weeks in Moldova: a few nights in capital Chișinău; two weeks in Roșu, a village near Cahul; one night at a wine resort; and a handful of days near the Ukrainian border.

A listing of properties we would happily revisit follows. (Some are affiliate links.)

  • Cahul (in the village of Roșu) – For about two weeks, we stayed at the Costel Hostel, actually a family home run like a bed & breakfast by a young man named Constantin. The experience proved to be just what we’d hoped. Constantin arranged for us to help harvest his neighbor’s grapes, and also visit an elementary school. One day, he accompanied us into the larger town of Cahul, walking us through the fresh market, and showing some of the town’s main attractions. He was eager to share his passion for gardening and permaculture, as well as his desire to help others in his community.

  • Château Vartely Wine Resort – Our ‘home away from home’ for one night was the Château Vartely, a wine resort complex which opened in the city of Orhei about one decade ago. From fluffy white robes in our cottage-like accommodation, to the convenience of having wine-tasting and dining facilities just footsteps away, we had a relaxing stay. We were lucky that our September visit coincided with the grape harvest, allowing us to watch as red grapes were pressed just around the corner from our room.

  • Chișinău – Wanting a genuine experience in the capital city, we stayed at Marisha’s Flat in the Ciocana district of Chișinău. The lodging was basic and clean, and situated inside a Soviet-style block building, offering a fascinating look into what life might have been like behind the Iron Curtain. The apartment was within walking distance from a modern supermarket, but I wouldn’t advise taking the elevator. (Because it seemed as though it hadn’t been serviced in a while, Shawn and I exclusively opted for several flights of stairs instead. On our last morning there, we spotted a man trapped inside the elevator. Our Moldovan acquaintance called the authorities; here’s hoping someone had the elevator promptly serviced thereafter.)

  • Et Cetera Winery – Back in 2014 when we spent a few days enjoying the Et Cetera Winery, the family articulated their dream of someday opening an on-site guest house. Since they could not yet offer lodging on the Et Cetera premises, they arranged for us to stay at the apartment of a family friend. As of 2017, I’m delighted to see that their dream has been realized and that they now offer accommodation on the grounds of their winery.

A bottle of Molodovan wine on display at the Chateau Vartely Winery.
This Taraboste wine was among our favorites at the Château Vartely. The winery is about an hour’s drive from Chișinău.

Transportation

Chisinau Train Station Moldova
A train passes through Chişinău’s main railway station.

Additional Moldova Resources