The Moldovan Wine & Transnistria Victory Day Tour 2019
"Thanks for organising such an enjoyable trip!"
Join us for a long weekend visiting two of the least visited countries in Europe! Our tour will venture to the beautiful undiscovered winemaking country of Moldova as well as the unrecognised country of Transnistria. If you haven't heard about this unique place, Google it. If you want off the beaten track, this is it! Enjoy four days exploring the booze in a true Soviet time warp with plenty of wine, beer and brandy tastings! This tour also coincides with the Victory Day celebrations and one of the last Soviet style military parade in Europe. The tour also starts in Bucharest, Romania which is perfect for low cost flights.
This is an extremely exclusive trip and will be run with a maximum of 12 people giving us great flexibility in our itinerary and the ability to adjust our tour depending on the group interests.
Monday 6 May 2019 Guests meet at the Bucharest Nord station ready for our 19:35 train to Chisinau. There is a drinks carriage on board but no food so we will stock up on some snacks beforehand. During this very Soviet train adventure our passports will be checked at the border as we exit the EU and the wheels of the train need to be changed too! Railway tracks in ex-USSR states are a different size than the West as Stalin was worried about invading forces...
Tuesday 7 May 2019 Early morning arrival in Chisinau.
Check into Hotel Cosmos with western standards with Soviet chic, a 24 hour bar and great service.
We board our private minibus to head to the Milestii Mici winery, home to the largest wine collection in the world - a Guinness World Record for a whopping two million bottles in total. We taste wines here in a very traditional Moldovan way - wine paired with local delicacies and Moldovan instrumental music played by a couple of eccentric accordion players!
We then head to Chateau Purcari.
The Purcari estate is located in a beautiful location in the south-east part of the country about 50 km from the Black Sea. Here you will find their legendary cellars, remaining unchanged since 1827! Purcari's vineyards have a unique micro-climate, the location of the vineyards on the south-western and south-eastern slopes, proximity to the sea and closeness to the Nistru river offer ideal conditions for the creation of high quality wines.
We will tour the cellars, sample the delicious wines and then enjoy a traditional Moldovan lunch in the picturesque winery gardens.
Transfer back to Chisinau.
We enjoy some free time before heading out for a group meal with local Moldovan beer tasting at Tap Room 27!
Overnight in Chisinau.
Wednesday 8 May 2019 An early start as our driver takes us from Chisinau to Tiraspol, the capital of the war torn, breakaway country of Transnistria! This unrecognised country tore away from Moldova in a vicious civil war during the collapse of the USSR. This is the place where time has stood still. You have to see it to believe it!
After an interesting border control, we check into our hotel: Hotel Aist, a VERY Soviet experience. If you enjoyed the Cosmos in Chisinau then you will love this hotel for its time warp glory!
After lunch at Andy's Pizza with 50 cent shots of vodka, we head on a city tour of Tiraspol, starting with a stroll down October 25th street, taking in the House of the Soviets with Lenin outside.
We will then see the hulking statue of the Russian general Suvorov, see the eternal flame memorial to the Transnistria civil war and WW2, visit the Transnistrian parliament building with the biggest Lenin statue outside of Russia and the Russian T-34 tank memorial.
Quick visit for a refreshing beer in the Dolce Vita Student Pub.
Next up is the Bottle Museum in the village of Ternovka, the largest building in the world in the shape of a wine bottle! Here we will discover five exhibition halls filled full of more than 10,000 thousand bottles of wine and other drinks from more than 100 countries. It would be rude not to sample some of the delicious local Transnistrian wines here with some tasty nibbles.
Overnight at Hotel Aist.
Thursday 9 May 2019 - Victory Day! We get up early and go to the centre for a classic Soviet Party Breakfast: vodka and BBQ! As we will be the only tourists here, we will be given a very warm welcome by the locals.
We will try and get the best view when the parade starts! Take as many photos and videos as you like but just be careful not to get in trouble with the local KGB!
We may have a chance later to meet some of the local politicians as well as the Cossack soldiers.
After the parade we will go to the De Wollant Park to watch the Transnistrian Wrestling Championships where first prize is a sheep!
After the fireworks, we will go for a local bar crawl and continue to party well into the night. In one bar we can order the special shot in the colours of the Russian or Transnistrian flag and the bar will blast out the Russian anthem!
Overnight at Hotel Aist.
Friday 10 May 2019 After breakfast we board our private minibus to transfer over the river by barge to visit the villages where the civil war raged, here we will see Transnistrian rural life, visit the Orthodox monastery of the church of Tiraspol, see a huge bullet riddled head of Lenin in front of the abandoned house of culture.
We then head to the border town of Bender for a short tour, this town took the brunt of the violence during the civil war.
We then continue down the main street of Bender until we reach Lenin Park, with a quintessential statue of Lenin, Soviet fountains and an ornate Soviet cinema over the street. We will then see the Bendery city hall, still riddled with bullet holes that demonstrate the ferocity of the fighting that raged through here.
We then take a walk down to the beautiful river and visit a functioning 1950’s Soviet amusement park. The rides all still work and are naturally very cheap.
We then cross the DMZ and border control and return to Chisinau via the Asconi Winery for lunch and a tour and tasting of a range of delicious local wines. The winery was founded in 1994 and to this day remains a family business. The aim is to make the best possible wine, using the best available technology, while maintaining the traditions of the local people.
After our delicious lunch we head back to the Chisinau for our 16.35 train back to Bucharest. We will have a decent wine tasting onboard with some newly discovered wines!
Saturday 11 May 2019 06.15 arrival in Bucharest and end of tour. For those with late flights we can arrange an interesting tour of Bucharest.
Price Inclusive of: Accommodation in mentioned hotels on twin sharing basis All transport Western and local guides Entrance fees for all mentioned monuments Wine, beer and brandy tastings
Price Exclusive of: International air tickets Visa if needed (we can provide support) Drinks Any personal expenses & services not included in the above External costs as mentioned in itinerary £20 single supplement per night
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