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  • Monday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Tuesday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Wednesday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Thursday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Saturday 9.00am - 5.30pm GMT
  • Sunday 10.00am - 4.00pm GMT
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Moldova Short Break

Moldova - Trip code MOD Short Breaks
Carbon Footprint Leaf Icon
203Kg of CO²e
Average carbon footprint per person
Carbon Footprint
You deserve to know everything about your holiday, from what is included, what to expect and every kilogram of CO2 emitted on average per person along the way.

We've partnered with ecollective to measure the carbon footprint of this tour based on an average group size. Find out more about how we calculate this and why we think it's important here.
Days 5
Price from Call us
Flights not included

Why book this trip?

This short break gives a taste of Moldova, a country that has successfully emerged from behind the Iron Curtain. Along the way, try Moldovan wine, Kvint brandy and traditional hearty cuisine.

  • Tiraspol - Discover the capital of the breakaway territory of Trans-Dniester, which harks back to the days of the USSR
  • Chisinau - Explore Moldova's little known capital with its 1950s Soviet architecture and large parks
  • Orheiul Vechi - See ancient fortresses and unusual rock-carved monasteries overlooking the dramatic Raut River Gorge
  • Festival Departures - Join a departure to visit Tiraspol on Victory Day to see the military parade or on Independence Day to experience the celebrations or be in Chisinau during the Moldova Wine Festival
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 4

    Dinner: 3

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader


  • Transport


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    4 nights comfortable hotel

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    Trip pace:

    Full on

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    Group Size:

    12 - 18


Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Join trip in Moldova's capital Chisinau

Our trip begins in Chisinau, which is located in the very heart of Moldova and is the country's capital city. Moldova has a chequered history, which includes the nationalist movement and power struggles of the 1990s, which led to its freedom from the Soviet Union. Most of the city was destroyed during World War II and by an earthquake in 1940, so the architecture is mainly in the 1950s striking Soviet style, but there are also two large parks, which give the city a much greener feel. Moldovans are known to be some of the friendliest people in Eastern Europe, and nowhere is that more obvious than in Chisinau.

For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 6pm and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Chisinau at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Chisinau International Airport (KIV), which is about 30 minutes' drive from the city centre.

Due to a number of flights arriving into Chisinau later in the evening, our welcome meeting will take place on the morning of day two at 8.30am. If you have free time on arrival then the parks are a great place to take a stroll and to relax.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Chisinau walking tour; visit to Cricova or Milestii Mici Cellar and wine tasting dinner

After our Leader does an initial welcome meeting, we'll explore the city's main sights on foot. We'll see the Orthodox Cathedral of Christ's Nativity, the exterior facade of the Presidential Palace and the Parliament building and the Holy Gates, which is known as Moldova's 'Arc de Triomphe'. There's the chance to haggle in the local food market and bazaar. Join the locals promenading in the park along the Avenue of the Classics of Moldovan Literature, which is lined with statues and busts of Romanian and Moldovan authors and social figures.

There's the opportunity to visit the emotive Army Museum in the Centre of Culture and Military History. The exhibits here document Soviet-era repression and the crimes perpetrated by Lenin and Stalin. They tell the story of mass deportation, gulag labour camps, manmade famines and other harrowing tales.

After free time for lunch, we will drive to the Cricova or Milestii Mici Wine Cellar, where we will explore their extensive cellars. Moldova is recognised for its good wine and back in the Soviet era the country was known as the 'the vineyard of the USSR'. Cricova and Milestii Mici Wine Cellars make use of tunnels constructed in the building of Chisinau in the 15th century to store their wine. They've been producing wine since the 1950s and have a number that have won prestigious awards.

Returning to Chisinau this evening, dinner, coupled with a variety of excellent local wines, will take place in the Carpe Diem Wine Bar.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 - Visit Bendery Fort; walking tour of Tiraspol and brandy tasting

Leaving Chisinau this morning , we cross the border to experience one of the most unique places in Europe - Tiraspol, the capital of the breakaway state of Trans-Dniester. Unlike the rest of Moldova, Trans-Dniester hadn't wanted to separate from the Soviet Union, so back in 1992 after a short conflict they declared their independence. However, it's not recognised by any of the United Nations as an independent state even though it has its own government, military, postal service, currency, flag and national anthem.

Once the border formalities are complete, our next stop will be the 16th century Ottoman fort at Bendery. After some time to look around and take in the views from the turrets, we set off for Tiraspol. We'll explore on foot to view the numerous war memorials including those commemorating the 1992 Civil War and Trans-Dniester War, and the Supreme Court, Statue of Lenin, De Voln Park and Arch of Bendery.

After a little free time for lunch, it's time to visit the Kvint Brandy Factory for a tour and tasting. Kvint is considered by the locals to be a national symbol of Trans-Dniester and even appears on one of their banknotes. It was founded in 1897, making it the oldest operating commercial enterprise in the region and as well as brandy, the factory produces wine and vodka.

After checking in to the hotel, dinner will be at the home of a local family where there is the opportunity to ask them questions and learn about their lives in this special hidden part of Europe.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 - See Tiraspol Independence Day parades and the ancient churches at Orheiul Vechi

This morning we have the chance to witness one of the most unusual events in Europe - today is what those living in Trans-Dniester regard as their Independence Day. The celebration includes military parades where flags fly and the local dress up in their best and often traditional and colourful folk outfits.

After seeing the festivities, there will be some free time to see the local people placing their flowers by the memorial statues, soak up the atmosphere and perhaps buy lunch from one of the food stalls and barbeques that are setup for the event.

We leave Tiraspol at around 1.30pm for Orheiul Vechi in rural Moldova.

The visit to the Orheiul Vechi Complex is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the trip. This site is of great historical and archaeological importance and is home to one of the most unusual church complexes in Eastern Europe. Set in a ruggedly beautiful valley gorge, shaped by the Raut River, there are several ancient monuments amongst and carved into the huge limestone outcrops that date from 10th century BC up to 14th century AD. The Cave Monastery was dug into the cliff by Orthodox monks. Above ground there's a church dedicated to the Ascension of Saint Mary and a museum providing a further insight into the area. We take an easy graded walk around the site, which takes around two to three hours and covers five to six kilometres.

Before returning to Chisinau, we will have a traditional Moldovan dinner such as zeama - a tasty chicken soup and mamaliga - a type of polenta with fried meat and fresh seasonal vegetables washed down with homemade wine. During dinner, there's the chance to see and join in with traditional folk songs and dancing.

Please note that if the weather is too poor to do the walk then a visit will be made to the Curchi Monastery instead


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 - Trip ends in Chisinau

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Chisinau.

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Chisinau at any time.

If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Chisinau International Airport (KIV).

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information



Moldova has a temperate continental climate. Summers are generally hot, sunny and less humid than in Central Europe, with temperatures normally between 20 to 23°C. Winters are cold and snowy with temperatures averaging between 0 to -6°C. Short thunderstorms can occur in June and July, but rainfall in Moldova isn't abundant.

Time difference to GMT



2 Pin Round


Orthodox Christians


Moldovan and Romanian

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.

Entrance to the Army Museum in the Centre of Culture and Military History, operates on day two for around one hour, 40 Moldovan Leu (MDL) per person.


July and August are the hottest months and lightweight cotton clothing is best. During spring and autumn temperatures can be lower or drop during the evenings and there is also a stronger possibility of rain, so pack layers. Rainwear may be needed at any time of year. A warm fleece/jacket is recommended for cooler evenings.

Women should bring a headscarf for religious site visits.


Take comfortable walking shoes for exploring and trainers or sandals for relaxing.



Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a day pack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.


A water bottle, sun glasses, sunscreen and a sun hat are all essential. An umbrella may also be useful at any time of year and gloves, a woolly hat and scarf if you are travelling in autumn.

We will be visiting a local market on this trip, so we recommend bringing your own reusable shopping bag in order to avoid using plastic carrier bags.


Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a leader that has done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It is a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we would recommend £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.

Local crew
Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly please allow £10.00 of local currency for tipping.

In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leaders may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch price
Dinner price
Beer price
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Moldovan Leu. The de facto currency in Trans-Dniester is the Trans-Dniestrian Ruble. Moldovan Leu can only be exchanged for Trans-Dniestrian Ruble whilst in Trans-Dniester. Attempting to pay for purchases in Trans-Dniester in any other currency is considered an illegal act.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
The most widely accepted currencies for exchange are US Dollars (USD) and Euro. Notes should be in perfect condition or may not be accepted. It's not always easy to change Pound Sterling.
Where To Exchange
Most major towns and cities - your Explore Leader will advise you on arrival. Only exchange money at reputable places like banks, ATM's and official Forex Offices.
ATM Availability
Major towns and cities have ATM's for cash withdrawal; although cash machines often do not work so please do not rely on them. ATM's in Trans-Dniester don't accept foreign bank or credit cards.
Credit Card Acceptance
In major restaurants and hotels in Chisinau. Outside the capital it won't always be possible to pay by card.
Travellers Cheques
Travellers cheques are very difficult to change in and Moldova.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information


Accommodation notes

Please note that the majority of hotels in the Moldova don't have air-conditioning.

The city of Tiraspol has been cut off from tourism for a number of years and so the choice of hotel's here is limited and the facilities and decor are less sophisticated than in other parts of Europe.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Moldova: Visas are not required by UK, EU nationalities, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Minimum age restrictions

For our group tours, the minimum age is 16. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information. 

Your safety and enjoyment on tour

We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable holiday, so we ask you to confirm when booking this trip that you are fit and able to fully participate in all elements of the itinerary. If you have any concerns about your fitness or ability to complete any of the activities, please get in touch with our Customer Relations team at as soon as possible. Our tour leaders are trained and experienced in managing differing abilities within a group, but if they have concerns about a group member’s ability to safely participate in any element of the itinerary or believe someone’s presence could affect the safety or enjoyment of the holiday for others, in accordance with our Booking Conditions our tour leaders have the authority to ask an individual to miss an activity or activities. This decision would never be taken lightly, but on the rare occasions our tour leaders ask someone to sit out part of the tour, refunds will not be offered and individuals may be liable for additional costs incurred. 


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Included activities

Please note that the tasting and tour of the Kvint Brandy Factory may take place with other non-Explore passengers on some departures.

Ability to swim




Nothing compulsory, but we recommend protection against hepatitis A and diphtheria. Check that your polio and tetanus vaccinations are up-to-date before travel. The UK Foreign Office currently recommends that you should consider whether to immunise against tickborne encephalitis and rabies. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Additional Information

Why book this trip

If you're short on holiday leave and want to experience somewhere that is only a short flight away but is completely different to other destinations in Europe and is somewhere few people have experienced, then this is the short break for you. Travel off the tourist trail, get a taster of lesser visited Moldova and experience life in a unknown breakaway state.

Festival Departures: Join a departure to visit Tiraspol on Victory Day to see the military parade honouring the fallen from World War II or on Independence Day to see the celebrations on the anniversary of this self-declared independent state breaking away from Moldova. Alternatively, on the 5th October visit Chisinau during the Moldova Wine Festival.

Dates, prices and booking

📢 Prices may change - book now and today's trip price is guaranteed in our price promise


Award Winning Explore Leaders
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