Situated between Romania and the Ukraine in Central Europe and formerly part of the USSR, Moldova became an independent country in 1991. Historically, the country has been invaded by successive waves of people from the Tartars through the Turks to the Russians.
At its peak, the country provided half of the wine for the USSR. Now, the Moldova wine industry is key to the country’s economy and tourism. Trips to Moldova’s wineries are extremely popular not least as the country has possesses the two largest wineries in the World. Perhaps surprisingly, in addition to have vast vineyards, the country also has sophisticated wine bars in the capital Chisinau.
The country’s capital Chisinau is a pleasant enough place to visit, especially if you time it for the National Wine Day celebration in October. We recommend that you hire a Moldova travel guide to ensure that you maximise your time here.
In addition to sampling its fine wine, tourists to the country can take a step back in time and visit the state of Transnistria, which claims an independence from the rest of the country that is not recognised by the UN, and harks back to the glory days of the Soviet rule. If you can, visit during the Victory Day celebration in May. Another appeal of the country is an excursion to one of the rural villages where you can experience the local hospitality, fare and folk music, or to visit one of the country’s monasteries.
Traditionally, the country has close ties with Romania, with the majority of the population being ethnic Romanians. The Moldova language is basically the same as Romanian. The closeness of the two countries is also demonstrated by the fact that the neighbouring province in Romania is called Moldavia.