Independence Day in Transdniestr
|31 Aug — 05 Sep|
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At Regent Holidays, there’s nothing we love more than creating pioneering trips to uncover intriguing and alternative destinations – unless, of course, the destination is a breakaway state. Bonus points are awarded if that tour also coincides with a one-off event or national celebration. Our brand new Independence Day in Transdniestr tour rather ticks all of those boxes, so if you’re looking to visit somewhere really off-the-beaten-track this year, Moldova and the self-declared independent state of Transdniestr should have you fumbling for your passport.
Free day to explore Chisinau before transfer to Hotel Russia or Hotel City Club in Transdniestr and check into your hotel for 2 nights. (B)
Begin the day with a morning tour of Tiraspol to orientate yourself with a city still housing Lenin statues and Soviet posters before the great September 2nd Procession with workers and retired folks parading in the city centre. In January of 1990, the citizens of Tiraspol passed a referendum declaring the city as an independent territory and on September 2nd of the same year, Tiraspol was proclaimed the capital of the new Pridnestrovian Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic – the area to the east of the Dniester River now known as Transdniestr. Today this tour offers the opportunity to enjoy lunch with a WW2 Veteran who will share stories and tales of his personal experiences during the war. Enjoy dinner in a Ukrainian restaurant before retiring to your hotel. (B,L,D)
Head north along the Dneistr River, a route that takes you through small towns and villages still littered with statues of Lenin and other Communist monuments. Lunch will be enjoyed along the way with a local family and the day will include exploring the city of Kamenca which, in the ninth and tenth centuries, was part of Kiev Russia. Later arrive in Soroca, Moldova, to visit a fortress built at the Nistru River in the Middle Ages as part of a huge Moldovan defensive system. Soroca is home to one of the largest Roma communities in the country and also the regional Gypsy king, a friendly character who enjoys sharing his heritage with others. Visit the ruins of the ‘new town’ at the museum complex. Overnight in Hotel Central, Soroca. (B,L)
Make your way back to the Moldovan capital, stopping at old Orhei and Cricova en route. Old Orhei houses a stone fortress and the centuries-old St. Maria Dormata, a preserved orthodox cave monastery. Moldova has a growing reputation for its wine produce so no tour to the country is complete without a tasting tour; Cricova hosts one of the biggest underground wine cities in Europe and is the perfect place to enjoy lunch. Over 120km of underground tunnels sit up to 100m below ground, once excavated when the limestone was used to build Chisinau and converted into a wine storage facility in the 50’s. More than a million vintage wines are kept in these tunnels and there are even said to be bottles owned by Vladimir Putin amongst the rare collections. In the afternoon, arrive in Chisinau to discover the beauties of the capital of the Republic of Moldova. The tour will visit the open markets, the Unic Shopping Centre, the Ciuflea Monastery, the National Museum of Ethnography and Natural History. Many of Chisinau’s major highlights are concentrated in the central part of town so a walk around the city’s main avenue visits the Organ Hall, the City Hall, the Cathedral Complex, the Grand National Assembly Square and the impressive House of Government. (B,L)