If you're a fan of delicious wine and breathtaking natural beauty, then taking a trip to Moldova is an absolute must. This landlocked country in Eastern Europe is fringed by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south. Even though, Moldova is still overlooked by the travel buffs out there. It's gorgeous historical wonders, urban and modern outlook along with the varied wine tours makes this European country a must-see.
Kick-start the trip by heading over to the dynamic capital - Chisinau. It is perched on the banks of the small River Byk. Do make it a point to visit the Pushkin House - the place where the great Russian poet lived when in exile. Head over to the two old cemeteries in Chisinau - the Armenian Cemetery and the Jewish Cemetery. The latter is known for being the burial location for the victims of the Chisinau Pogrom in 1903. Do swim at the man-made Chisinau Lake which features scenic bathing beaches and boats for hire.
Do drop by at the Tipova Monastery for being a well-known refuge for Christians in the 13th century. The site is located along the banks of river Dniestr and the spectacular waterfalls within the Tipova River. The Church of St. Nicholas and The Church of the Feast of the Holy Cross are featured there. One ought to visit the Manastirea Curchi and the 'magnetic hill'. This cave monastery rewards visitors with incredible panoramic views of the lake as well as the well-maintained gardens.
Wine connoisseurs ought to pay some attention now. Love some sparkling wine? Then do stop over at the Cricova winery. Housed about 15 kms north of Chisinau, it is the globe's 2nd biggest underground winery. It houses over 1.25 bottles of tasty wine. The tunnels lie over 100 meters below ground and expand for another 125 kilometres. As per the Guinness Book of Records, Milestii Mici is the biggest underground winery in the planet. Housed 20 kms south of Chisinau, the site has tunnels that run as deep as 40 to 85 kilometres underground and stretch for an incredible 250 kilometres.
Head over to Cahul to relax and rejuvenate yourself. It is a town popular for its thermal spas and mud treatments. Hirjauca is a famous spa in the area. When it comes to museums, one of the most important one is the National History Museum of Moldova. Housed in central of Chisinau, it comprises of 3 elegant rooms for exhibitions. The collection comprises of over 17,376 items. The objects come from the Palaeolithic, Bronze & Iron Age, Neolithic, Roman Era, Pre-Feudal Periods and also the Middle Ages.
When it comes to shopping, be on the lookout for brightly-coloured costumes, handmade carpets and locally-produced wines and brandies. As for cuisine, do try out their local fare such as Mittiteyi (small grilled sausages with onion and pepper) and Mamaliga (thick, sticky maize pie) which is accompanied with brinza (feta cheese).
The stay options in Moldova are abundant with the best luxury hotels, cheap accommodations and rental apartments available for the tourists to decide which kind to opt for depending on their budget and taste.
Moldova experiences moderately continental climate. The best time to visit would be between April and September for the temperatures are pleasant during this period.