There’s no easy way to say it: unless you are traveling with one of our specialists, you simply won’t get the depth of experience — the wisest guides, the closest wilderness encounters, the real people and events — that spell the difference between a regular package tour and a sublime, once-in-a-lifetime vacation. But don’t take our word for it. Listen to our travelers.
My husband, Rene, and I had a wonderful week on the recent Romanian Wine Tour by Cultural Romtour and would thoroughly recommend the experience to anyone. We visited not only Romania, but the Republic of Modavia and the Transnistria Republic and enjoyed some wonderful hospitality. We stayed in several lovely wineries, with excellent wines and delicious food. We have fond memories to keep, and some lovely gifts of wine and cognac, which won’t last quite as long.
It was our pleasure to travel for the better part of two weeks with the above agent. All arrangements were made by Razvan Balint. We were accompanied by Razvan and one of his guides Victoria throughout Romania. Our hotels were both interesting, different, historic and reasonable and our private tour represented both personal and special interests as well as positive surprises from the agent. We had a most interesting and enjoyable trip and would highly recommend his agency and services to fellow travelers. We recommended him to a well traveled friend who used his services and had a most positive experience as well.
Thank you so much for this fantastic educational trip. Your organisation was perfect, your company / guidance most appreciated.
And i can say that this trip immediately comes in my top 5 trips ever in my 27 year career. Thanks a lot: fantastic discoveries, fantastic explanations, very good and nice hotels, excellent food everywhere, and so on… Also special thanks to Natasha. With her enthusiasm she made us discover Moldova and Transnistria in a fantastic way.
One of the best experiences for traveling and knowledge… Mr. Balint allowed us to get acquainted with Romania in just a few days, full of culture, history, and gastronomy, especially through his disposition, gentleness, and sensibility to our needs. In other words, a true experience to those who want to travel and understand, to have a unique experience of cultural immersion, within a week!
I visited Moldova in October 2012 having booked the “Essential Moldova” 6-day tour featured in the Regent Holidays website but using Ways, based in Chisinau, to handle the actual itinerary. I was booked into the Best Western Flowers Hotel an excellent, centrally located hotel that became my base. My guide throughout my stay was Natalia Cojuhari who, along with driver Victor, showed me the highlights of this delightful country.
My flight from London was with Austrian Airlines via Vienna and was straightforward as was arriving in Chisinau, clearing immigration & customs and arriving at the hotel. I had the afternoon free to settle in & get my bearings. On the first day we had a tour of Chisinau and a visit to the Cricova winery with its extensive underground cellars – followed by a tasting of some of their wines. The wines were very good – clean, balanced and well-made with structure & true varietal character. Natalia also took me to the Moldovan Wine Festival in Chisinau – an excellent outdoors event staged at the Moldexpo exhibition centre. This festival includes local produce as well as wines – so I had the opportunity to try local delicacies as well more excellent Moldovan wine.
On Day 3 we visited Tipova to see one of the oldest cave monasteries in the country and then on to the Orheiul Vechi to see a 13th century cave monastery and a museum with exhibits depicting the traditional ways of life in 19th century Moldova. On Day 4 we went to Soroca and Pokrovka to visit a medieval fortress; the Candle of Gratitude monument and the Romany district that features in Tony Hawkes’ book “Playing the Moldovans at Tennis” (which I read when I got back to the UK). On Day 5 – and one of the highlights for me – we visited Gagauzia – which is just a wonderful name. Gagauzia is an autonomous region of Moldova. We visited the capital Comrat and explored the markets there and then went to the village of Besalma to visit the excellent Cioban National Gagauzian History and Ethnography Museum. Day 6 – and sadly my last – we went to Tiraspol, the capital of Transdniestr a self-proclaimed independent republic that has its own currency – a fascinating day as guide books lead you to believe you are stepping back into a 1950’s era Soviet land but Tiraspol is in fact a modern, friendly city – but they do speak Russian and use the Cyrillic alphabet.
Throughout my visit to Moldova Natalia was the perfect guide – friendly without being invasive; informative and enthusiastic about Moldova but pragmatic enough to let you know what you are seeing and why and to make it even easier Natalia has flawless English. Not just fluent – but able to understand and converse using everyday nuances and idioms. Natalia gave me plenty of recommendations for dinner in the evenings and walking around Chisinau is perfectly safe and is quite a friendly city.
I went to Moldova knowing next to nothing about it and came away very fond of the place. Natalia made the holiday interesting and fun – with little things like having lunch at a Russian Orthodox Old-Believers restaurant; taking me to see the statue of Baron von Munchausen in Tiraspol; naming the old Russian cars that I’d never seen before and pointing out the crows that leave the city at dawn to return to roost at sunset (which I found particularly fascinating). For anyone wanting to visit a charming, friendly country that is making its way in the world but not yet a major tourist attraction – then come to Moldova with Ways who know how to look after you and will show you the real Moldova so that while you won’t come away feeling like a native – you will come away with a genuine & lasting fondness for it. And if you are lucky enough to have Natalia Cojuhari as your guide then you will be in the best company!
I can tell you that i made the trip to Tiraspol (Transnistria) which went very well. I was excited and pleased of the places visited, not only for the charm of these places, but also by the serenity and hospitality of the people from Transnistria. However, the most important for us was our guide, Ms. Natalia Cojuhari, very well prepared, highly professional, very prudent in our needs, always available in our every requests even if not on the established program of the tour. In addition, the transport services were efficient at best, with an excellent driver. Therefore, i would like to thank Ways Travel for organizing this trip for us and i would like to recommend this travel operator and Natalia to all our Italian friends who intend to visit the Republic of Moldova. Thanks!
Natalia is an excellent guide with a lovely personality..She spoke clearly and gave detailed explanations of all the points in her tours..She chose interesting local spots on the way and recommended places to eat(all the restaurant form y group dinner was perfect) and shop which we would not have known on our own..We really enjoyed our days and the tours with her in Moldova….Hope to see you again with other groups..All my friends from the group sent you their best wishes…
Upon arrival in Chisinau after a tiring flight Natalia brought the energy back into our group with her walking tour of the city. She shared a lot of information and interesting facts about Moldova’s capital with us, and gave numerous tips for the rest of our tour. The stories and anecdotes Natalia told kept our group of Dutch travelers interested for 2 hours straight. Her English and her tone of voice are pleasant to listen to, and she shows a genuine interest in each of her customers. In our case, that meant relating to a group of about 15, ageing from 30 to 80!In short, Natalia is a highly professional, experienced and knowledgeable guide as well as a very kind person, which is a priceless combination.
A good Experience in Moldova, Chisinau is a small city with very beautiful sites. I had a very charming young lady Natalia Cojuhari as my personal guide. She showed us the best of the city. Chisinau translated from the Archaic Romanian as the “new spring”. We began with a tour of the city where she began to explain each site as we reach it. Natalia showed us many historical sites within the new city. We reach different sectors of the town and visited the Statue of Stefan cel Mare, Central Park, Cathedral’s belfry, The Cathedral of Christ Nativity, Arch of triumph in Cathedral Park and The Presidential Palace.
During the tour with Natalia walked us across one of the main parks near the center of the city with lots of trees. Even with the new Architecture in Chisinau there is still some of the old historical buildings that are situated only in the center of the capital. We happen to go see many of them. Chisinau is also filled with a variety of restaurants, bars, and pubs which we visited and enjoy the time there. Towards the second day of our tour Natalia took us to the wine cellars Cricova which is the second largest wine cellar in Moldova, after Milestii Mici (largest in the world). It is a about 120 kilometers (75 mi) of labyrinthine of roadways versus MM’s 200 kilometers (120 mi), tunnels have existed under Cricova since the 15th century, when limestone was dug out to help build Chisinau. They were converted into an underground wine emporium in the 1950s. In Cricova we experience the process of their wine making. We also entered several wine rooms which were visited by many important people around the world. These wine rooms are so amazingly beautiful each one different and unique. I really felt that I was treated very special by all the staff there. We met some interesting and wonderful individuals each from a different part of the world. My trip To Moldova was truly a great experience. I can say more for our wonderful guide which at each moment was greatly informative and made my our trip a wonderful experience. I would definitely will go back again and will call upon our wonderful guide Natalia Cojuhari….Until next time Moldova.
I was born in Romania many years ago, and more recently participated in two Art and Cultural tours of Romania organized by Cultural Romtour.
Mr. Razvan Balint was our local guide on both occasions. I was impressed with his incisive knowledge of Romanian history, culture and politics from the past to the present. He was friendly and approachable . With his local knowledge along the tour route, he was quickly able to adapt to special requests, changes and opportunities along the way.
I have no hesitation in recommending him as a tour leader in Romania.
“I cannot thank Victoria enough to show me around Romania when I was there in September 2013.
Romania is a fantastic and underrated destination for travellers.
The country is just so beautiful with its rolling countryside, friendly people and many UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The best way to do Romania is by private tours, and I highly recommend Cultural Romtour.
I spent 6 days with them to get a general feel of the country, I am still planning to come back sometime soon to do their Gypsy Trip Romania and Moldova.
This country is one of my most exotic destinations to date and the tours by Cultural Romtour one of the best I have experienced.”
I’ve been as a guest on a tour to Romania and Moldavia with Cultural Romtour. Focus of the tour was – besides the great sights of both countries – to taste the local wines and food – delicious! It was my fist trip to Romania and Moldavia and it was very inspiring to me. Cultural Romtour had organized the whole trip at it’s best and the both guides Victoria and Razvan did a great job showing us the beauty of the countries, arranged interesting encounters to the local people and always surprised us with special things, such as dinner with monks in their refectory, lunch at a gypsy’s home or a enthusiastic concert of a gypsy brass band. I could name many other things … It was a splendid tour, very good hotels and accommodations at interesting places, super organized – perfect!
“The trip was both fun and educational. Not only did I learn about the wines, but about the countries as well. Romania and the Republic of Moldova are definitely countries that more people should experience. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and taste of the Romanian and Moldavian wines, got amazed also by the diversity of the wines and the regions they come from.
The service provided by Cultural Romtour was outstanding. The little extra’s they added to the tour made all the difference and our tour guide Victoria was the best!
The highlight for me was the Vinia Winery. The trip by horse cart to the vineyard, picking out own grapes, making our own juice, enjoying the tranquility of the land and listening to the gypsy band was an experience of a lifetime”
“I somehow always believed it would be an experience for all of us and thanks to you and your attention to details it proved to be even better than I expected. It certainly helped to dispel many of the fears and apprehensions one tends to build up on account of the bad press and undeserved bad publicity that Romania seems to attract from various quarters. You made us feel at home and very welcome. We shared wine and cheese and corn and berries and sunflower seeds and were continuously being treated to little and not so little extra presents and mementoes to make our visit more memorable.”
Maurice Falzon (Malta)
“Our cooperation with Razvan Balint and his companies Cultural Romtour and Ways Travel started in early autumn 2007.
We were then interested in building completely new market in Romania for our travel books www.metaneira.com .
This was a very complex task for our management.
Not only did Mr. Balint pay attention to my market requests and advise me of my various sale options, but it goes without saying that he is extremely well-versed in the sector of cultural tours. Every time I would pose a question to him regarding my options, he immediately had the answer for me. He did “his homework”, so to speak, and I knew that he looked into my queries with my best interests in mind. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I am simply astounded by the knowledge, professionalism, efficiency and overall excellent customer service – with a “personal touch” – provided by him and his staff, and by Ms. Victoria Odobescu in particular.
Since then, during my brief e-mail conversations with several members of Mr Balint´s staff, I have always been greeted with politeness and professionalism. The person who has looked after my travel plans for the “Wine Tour in Moldova and Romania”, in October 2008, is Ms. Odobescu. I have done a lot of travel so far in my 48 years; on occasion I have booked directly with the airline, and other times with various other travel agencies. I can honestly say that never, ever, have I encountered such exceptionally good service as those provided by her. Especially these days, as we live in an age of computerized service where we are often treated like a number, first-class service is hard to come by.
I wanted to bring this to the attention of Mr Tapani Hynynen, and, with the occasion, to thank you, Razvan, very much. I have already recommended your services to my family members, several of my friends as well as some of my business associates, and I will continue to do so.