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Bespoke holidays, private tours & small group tours since 1999

Overview of Moldova

Moldova is one of the least visited places by tourists, in Europe. Having been there several times we are amazed at how many people are missing out on this beautiful gem of a country - Moldova is a wonderful place to visit.

Formerly known as the ‘vineyard to the Tsars’ it has several world class wineries including Milestii Mici with 50km of underground tunnels – a ‘city of wine’ that you explore by car before enjoying a splendid food and wine tasting.

The capital Chisinau is friendly, walkable, and bustling with excellent restaurants and lively bars.

Moldova’s countryside is truly stunning – you can visit cave churches carved in rock with precipitous views, medieval fortresses, beautiful monasteries, and a chance to enjoy some very special rural homestays in unspoiled peaceful countryside.

Within easy reach of Chisinau is Transnistria - the only 'country' in the world that is not recognised as such by any other country, and a fascinating place to visit. Our local guide will ensure you have a memorable experience here, from the fascinating architecture of the capital, Tiraspol, to a tour of the internationally acclaimed brandy distillery, Kvint.

So if you’re looking for somewhere new and undiscovered prepare to be happily surprised. Expect the unexpected. Be a Moldova pioneer with Baltic Holidays.

We recently organised the Financial Times' trip to Moldova:
Read the Financial Times' MOLDOVA article here

When to go & Weather

Moldavian summers are wonderfully warm, the perfect place to spend a sunny yet affordable holiday. One of the best times to go is in April, when the weather is pleasant but not stifling. Although Moldova has excellent summers the other half of the year is also a good time to visit. September and October are especially exciting, as that is when Moldova’s big jazz and wine festivals take place.

Festivals in Moldova

ART- NIGHT OF MUSEUMS:On these nights museums are transformed into stages for theatrical performances, readings, singing, tasting sessions, and other forms of entertainment. Access to the museums is free between 12:00 and 22:00 hours. The National Museum of Archeology and History organizes a series of activities to celebrate this event. Other museums organize special exhibitions and activities such as Coffee& Art vernisaj. The “Night of Museums" is held under the auspices of the Council of Europe and is organized in parallel with the International Museum Day celebrated by the International Council of Museums.14-15 May.

FESTEI Theatre Festival (May)

The International Festival of Scenic Arts of «Eugen Ionesco» Theatre is a well-known and anticipated event in Moldova. For 10 days in May, on several theatre stages around Chisinau theatre groups from many countries perform dramatic, musical, and dance spectacles. Most active countries involved are South Korea, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, Japan, Russia, Romania, Spain, Israel, Moldova and other countries. Admission is open to the public upon purchase of a ticket; prices vary between 50 and 500 lei.

Moldova Wine Festival (October)

The Moldova wine festival, officially named "National Wine Day", takes place in Chisinau during the first weekend in October at the end of the grape harvest. The festival celebrates Moldova's rich winemaking traditions, which date back to the 15th century.

During the festival, Moldovan wineries proudly display their wines in individual stands, often richly decorated in national style, and offer wine tastings to visitors. Guests can find a vast range of wine, from dry wines (reds, whites, and rosés) produced following the latest trends; to sparkling wines; to sweet, semi-sweet, and fortified wines; to rare "collection wines", produced 10-20 years ago and stored in Moldova's famous underground cellars. While wine is the main attraction, dozens of local restaurants and cafes offer traditional foods: grilled meats, placinta, other national dishes, fruits, and desserts. The festival also has plenty of local color, with traditional music and dance and people dressed in national costumes. Many vendors sell Moldovan handicrafts. Admission is free.

Independence Day (27 August)

On Independence Day events are organized throughout Moldova, with the largest and most important in Chisinau, where the day is celebrated with an open air festival. The national military orchestra gives a concert, and many cultural activities (e.g. folk music and dancing) take place. Dozens of local restaurants and cafes offer traditional foods: grilled meats, placinta, other national dishes, fruits, and desserts. The day also has plenty of local color, with traditional music and dance and people dressed in national costumes. Many vendors sell Moldovan handicrafts. In the evening, there is concert performance by some of the best Moldovan artists. The celebration ends with a fireworks display. Admission is free.

Maria Biesu Opera and Ballet Festival (September)

During the annual Invită Maria Bieşu festival famous orchestra conductors, opera singers, and ballet dancers perform on two stages in Chisinau. Artists come from Austria, France, Romania, Russia, Switzerland, Ukraine and other countries. The festival was organized by, and now commemorates the life of, Maria Bieşu (August 3, 1935 – May 16, 2012) who was a Moldovan opera singer and the chief vocalist of the Chisinau Opera and Ballet Theater. Her artistic excellence brought her international recognition and invitations to sing in other countries.

Cities & Towns

Further reading:

History of Moldova

Moldova was founded by DragoÅŸ of Transylvania in 1352. Legend has it that he was hunting an auroch, a type of extinct ox, beside the river Moldova and decided to settle there. One of his hounds is said to have died on the hunt, so DragoÅŸ named the country after him: Molda. Whatever the reason it was founded, Moldova has flourished to become an interesting little country with a fascinating past.
Moldova, rarely but occasionally called Moldavia, is situated on what was formerly known as Bessabarabia. The country is situated between Ukraine and Romania, and thus has close links with Romania. The Moldovan language is officially considered a branch of Romanian, but there is conflict about what this means for the nation’s identity. When Moldova first gained independence, its anthem was the same as Romania’s. The Moldovan flag is red, white and yellow- the traditional Romanian colours- and Moldova’s coat of arms is an eagle similar to the Romanian one, and an auroch.
After WW1 and the Russian Revolution, Bessabarabia became independent. The nation was relatively weak and young, so it requested a union with Romania for stability, in 1920. Romania then ruled Moldova for another 22 years, until the beginning of WW2. In 1940 and 1944, Moldova was annexed by Russia and the USSR formed the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1991 Moldova became independent.

Press article about Moldova

We recently organised the Financial Times' trip to Moldova:
Read the Financial Times' MOLDOVA article here

Client testimonials on Moldova

" I must give the highest of praises to Valery, my lovely guide through Moldova who met me at the airport, took me around the capital and its surrounds, and the fascinating step into the USSR time-capsule that was Transnistria. He was well-organised, knowledgeable, friendly, and not only had an excellent taste in music, but was quite an accomplished singer-songwriter himself. Quite a multi-talented guide! The staff in the hotel Olsi were also friendly and thoughtful:
I had a great time in Moldova, and Valery saw me without issue onto the international train onwards to Romania on the last day... Highlights were Chisinau itself, the Capriana monastery, and the Milestii Mici winery - and, of course, the daytrip into Transnistria." Adrian July 2014

Videos of Moldova

Chisinau 5* City Break

  • 3 nights
  • 5* boutique hotel
  • Private transfers
  • Chisinau city tour
  • Wine cellars day trip
  • From £450.5 pp

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    Chisinau Radisson City Break

  • 3 nights
  • 4* Radisson hotel
  • Breakfasts
  • Chisinau city tour
  • Day trip to wine cellars & monastery
  • Private transfers
  • From £468.5 pp

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    Chisinau Radisson City Break

  • 3 nights
  • 4* Radisson hotel
  • Breakfasts
  • Chisinau city tour
  • Day trip to wine cellars & monastery
  • Private transfers
  • From £468.5 pp

    Read more

    About Baltic Holidays

    We are a small team, with vast experience, very strong local connections, and we love what we do!

    Meet the Baltic Holidays team here!

    What our clients say...

    • "The all over result of what you provided was exactly what we were after and we had a great time with lots of memories to look back on. Thank you for your service and both Maureen and I would be happy to recommend Baltic Holidays to anyone travelling to the Baltic states." Mr & Mrs McDonald, tailor-made Baltic tour, June 2016

    • "We want to thank you for planning a terrific vacation for us. Everything happened as planned.  Pick-ups, hotel reservations and tour guides.  The only thing you didn't deliver was sunshine every day!!  It was an incredible experience for us.  The guide who took us to Ukmerge and Sesuoliai had done lots of research and made it a very meaningful visit for us. We will definitely urge any of our friends who want to visit the Baltics to contact you." R. Aaron, August 2016 

    • "We have just returned from our holidays and must inform you that it was brilliant in all aspects. We have travelled far & wide, & I don't think we have encountered any better drivers or guides. They were simply great! The Hotels too were absolutely fine. All in all, a great trip and thanks to Baltic Holidays for it. Keep it up!" Mr & Mrs Manecksha, Malaysia, private Baltic tour, May 2015

    • "We returned home yesterday, and would both like to say a huge “Thank you” for everything you did to make it such a wonderful holiday for us. Indeed, all the members of the Baltic Holidays team were so helpful and kind, and we would be very grateful if you could pass on our thanks to them too." Mr & Mrs Maybury, September 2015

    • "Just a quick word to get back to you after our very enjoyable and successful Baltic Holiday - thank you! We had a really great holiday and enjoyed very much the variety and interest which the 4x capital cities offered us. All our local guides and drivers were extremely personable, spoke superb English, and provided very interesting informative commentaries." Mrs Gross, August 2015

    • "Just got back from a really excellent holiday. We would like to thank you for organising such a great holiday- the hotels were very good, the guides and drivers were well informed, very polite and friendly and very punctual! We would certainly recommend your company to our family and friends." Mr Gayton, August 2015

    • "The custom itinerary planned by Baltic Holidays was well-done: informative guides, well-located hotels, and safe, timely transfers. Thank you for your attention to all of the details that made our experience an excellent one. There is nothing we would change. Our trip was perfect in every way." B. McLaughlin, July 2015

    • "Everything was so well organized. The guides were excellent and always on time. Never rushed us when we were visiting the sights. I think they all went beyond the "call of duty". Please give our best to all who were a part of making this tour one of the best I have ever been on." B. Hair, July 2015

    • "Finally some time to send you a note thanking you for a wonderful vacation. You were so patient with us as we planned our vacation in Russia, Finland and Estonia. The trip was excellent." T. Dowling, July 2015

    • "We had a marvelous time, absolutely fantastic and we could not have imagined it any better. The driver/guides were very flexible and patient with us, as we had many questions and needs. Your advice on what to do, together with Jurga's help later on, was invaluable. The itinerary turned out to be a model of how to do three Baltic states in a week. Thank you, I know you invested a lot of time in our itinerary." S. Lin, June 2015

    • "'Faultless’ just about sums it up. Added to the abundant attractions of Lithuania and its people, it is difficult to see how Baltic Holidays could have arranged things any more smoothly or provided better guides each day. The latter, in particular, were friendly, knowledgeable and always willing to ‘go the extra mile’ to tailor the trip to our particular interests – in this case, the ‘Soviet Legacy Tour’. Both country and company are therefore highly recommended." J.Whitbourn, July 2015

    • "We found the holiday (Moldova private tour) most interesting and Valery is an excellent guide." M.Taylor, July 2015

    • "Riga was charming and we really enjoyed walking the streets and discovering little alleys, cloisters and getting to know our bearings." D.Fitzherbert, April 2004

    • "Just thought we’d let you know that our holiday in Latvia was a great success and everything (taxi, walking tour guide) worked extremely well. The food everywhere was excellent and such good value. Riga was very interesting and Jurmala relaxing – a beautiful sandy beach and dachas everywhere being refurbished or falling down." Mr & Mrs Clunie.

    • "Tallinn was great, and the apartment beautiful and very well located. There is plenty to do for families - not just the city sights that tend to leave little children a bit cold, but the zoo, the open air museum, trips to the islands and even the chance to visit Helsinki." Mrs Hutton, family holiday.

    • "Sally, we had a great time and it really was a fascinating holiday. It was so refreshing to visit countries where you have to try local food, because the usual chips-with-everything doesn't exist. We hardly met any English tourists in Estonia - more in Latvia. We feel totally refreshed and as if we had experienced a very different culture. Overall, we hope to return to Latvia and perhaps this time visit Lithuania too." Mrs Hutton, family holiday in Estonia & Latvia.

    • "Everything was beautifully organised; the hotel was splendid - the staff were incredibly helpful and friendly. Riga itself is a delight, and the walking tour was exactly what we needed - it gave us a taste of the town and made it easy for us to do our own sightseeing afterwards, and the guide was fantastic.  The transport arrangements were perfect, and indeed exceeded our expectations! The weather was fantastic, and indeed we spent a couple of hours on the beach on Monday afternoon!" Mr & Mrs Toller, June 2013

    • "This was our 3rd trip with Baltic Holidays and everything went like clockwork. The flight was on time, the taxi was waiting for us at the airport, and the Albert Hotel was very good with friendly and helpful staff." B.Solloway, Riga city break

    • "Our memories of the three Baltic countries are happy ones, and we were full of admiration for the people and the cities, and we would most certainly recommend Baltic Holidays to anyone who was considering visiting these countries." Mr Sullivan, July 2015

    • "We really liked the trip. I thought the itinerary was great. It was a good pace. Everyone's English was good." K.Beebe, June 2015

    • "In general, the trip was excellent – one of the best organised we have done and we do travel a lot." S.Williams, June 2015

    • "Such good experiences, memories and appreciation of you and your thoughtful work for us. The trip really was so special in our lifetime travels. All of the schedule was accurate, prompt, hotels just fine and drivers there when expected, even handled like lost sheep by Oleg in Moscow. You just did a wonderful, careful job with excellent choices for us and such appropriate well selected tours and staff and hotels. What a job you did, so we are most grateful to you." M.Litwiller, June 2015

    • "Thank you very much for all the arrangements and we all had a great trip. We ate a lot, saw a lot and laughed a lot. We enjoyed the trip very much and for sure we will recommend Baltic Holidays to our friends." B.Tse, June 2015

    • "We'd never had private guides before, but it's an excellent way to do it; not just the wealth of information in respect of cultural and historical things but also chatty insight from a local as to how they live and what they do. Also, in St Petersburg it took away the headache of working out how to use public transport, where to queue, language issues etc. Overall St Petersburg was the highlight, what with all the history and things to do. Your earlier guidance was helpful.... rest assured we are two very satisfied customers. "
      <i>Mr & Mrs Mauger, May 2011</i>

    • "It was an excellent holiday, all the arrangements worked like clockwork and the guides and drivers were truly excellent - having Valentin waiting for us on the platform at the door to the carriage when we arrived at St Petersburg at 11p.m. was a definitive moment."
      Mr & Mrs Wilki, September 2010

    • "We had a great time. Having local guides for several hours for just the two of us meant these were not just group type city tour guides. We learned a lot by asking them questions outside their direct briefs"
      <i>Roger, May 2012</i>

    • "We had a great time. Having local guides for several hours for just the two of us meant these were not just group type city tour guides. We learned a lot by asking them questions outside their direct briefs"
      <i>Roger, May 2012</i>

    • We have just returned from yet another trip brilliantly organised by Baltic Holidays.  This time we went to Vilnius. The Hotel was superb, and in an excellent location, the private guides were very good with understandable English, and everything was meticulously planned and on time. Absolutely marvellous.  We had a truly wonderful time, all thanks to Philip and his team, and would not hesitate to recommend Baltic Holidays to anyone, indeed we already have, to several friends and family! Judy & Stanley Lester, February 2016

    • Can't thank Baltic Holidays enough. We have just had one of our best family holidays. Skiing in Jasna. It was absolutely perfect. Exactly what we wanted and needed. Brilliant! Lucy Pitman, February 2016

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