Castles & Manor Houses in Historical Moldova
This 8-day private journey travels through the Historical Principality of Moldova (today split between Romania and Republic of Moldova), discovering the more remote areas of these 2 countries. One of the main highlights of this trip is staying en route in one of these manors. Moldovan Castles and Manors are perfect settings for tours full of history, beautiful architecture and delightful stories.
Arrival in Iasi – the most important historical, economic, and cultural center in Northeast Romania. City tour and visit of the the Metropolitan Cathedral, Culture Palace, Golia Monastery, Trei Ierarhi Church etc.
The city was the capital of Moldavia from the 16th century until 1861 and of Romania (Romanian Kingdom) between 1916-1918 during World War I.
Dinner in a monastery where we will enjoy a blessed wine… and have the opportunity to listen to the Byzantine church music sang by a student’s choir from the Iasi Theological University.
Check-in at the 4* local hotel.
Iasi – Miclauseni Castle – Ruginoasa Palace – Polizu Manor
After breakfast we leave Iasi and drive to Sturdza Castle from Miclaușeni. Built in Neogothic style, the castle is one of the most romantic and serene places to visit. The royal domain includes a beautiful lake and a park with secular trees, older than the construction itself. The castle was built by Sturdza family, a respected and well-known Moldavian family which gave Romania many fair rulers and men of culture.
Transfer to Ruginoasa Palace, a mansion full of history which was recently restored. Today serves as a museum dedicated to the first royalty of Romania, Alexandru Ioan Cuza, ruler of Romanian Principalities (Walachia and Moldavia).
Highlight of this day – Dinner and Overnight in Polizu Manor 4*. The manor is both a building with architectural value and a special place that keeps alive the memories and sentimental value of the gathering spot of Moldovan and Bucharest nobles during late nintheenth century and at the end of the Second World War.
Polizu Manor – crossing border to Republic of Moldova – lunch in the Royal Forest – Balti
After breakfast we will cross the border to the Republic of Moldova and go to the “Royal Forest”. Being the largest nature reservation in Moldova, the Royal Forest includes several tree species such as oaks, willows and poplars. At the same time, it is home to many birds like herons that nest in the trees near Prut River, giving Padurea Domneasca a second nickname: “the Land of Herons”. Another interesting attraction within the reserve is a landscape of hills and knolls called the “one hundred hill”; to this day how they were formed remains a mystery.
Here we will have lunch and later visit the Leonardi Buznea Manor, built in 1830, a true local jewel of classicist architecture. After the Second World War the Manor was transformed into a professional school but much of its original decorations got saved as: the wooden stair, the interior decorations, painted ceilings and tiled stoves.
Arrival in Balti and tour with brandy tasting at the Brandy Factory “Barza Alba”.
Accommodation in 4* Hotel.
Zabriceni Monastery – Lipcani Manor – Taul Manor and Park – Tirnova Wooden Church – Balti
Next destination – Zabriceni Monastery, known for its intensive pastoral, missionary and cultural efforts. The monastery is also involved in producing ECO foods that are for sale.
The first manor to be visited today – the Manor of Constantin Stamati from Ocnita, a famous Romanian writer, who moved in tsarist Basarabia in 1812, being highly appreciated by the tsar. Now his manor is a Memorial House. Also, if we’ll be lucky, we’ll see an old abandoned wind mill.
In the afternoon we will see the biggest park in Moldova, Taul Park, with the Pommer Manor. The park is divided into two parts. The park has a diverse collection of more than 150 varieties of trees and bushes, many of them are exotic species. It has an impressive network of 12.5 km of paths and trails.
Later stop in Tirnova village to see an impressive Wooden Church and if time allows the Ohanowicz Manor from Mindic village (In Soviet times, the park and the estate were transformed into a summer camp and as a result even today within the park, you can see sculptures of pioneers).
Back to Balti and same accommodation.
Balti – Pocrovca Old Believers village – Soroca – Old Orhei
In the morning we will drive to Pocrovca village to meet the old believers. This Russian community lives quite isolated, trying to keep their traditions alive. They came about 200 years ago, settled down here and since then, they form a quite prosperous village. Here we will talk to a family, discuss about Old Russian traditions and taste several original homemade jams.
Later we will arrive to Soroca. You will visit the fortress which is a unique monument of defensive architecture of Europe. Then we’ll drive to the Roma’ district of Soroca famous by its “Posh” palaces, where you will have a possibility to meet a Roma family and talk to them.
Our last destination for today – Old Orhei Open Air Museum Complex , which is “arguably Moldova’s most fantastic sight”. Here you’ll see an Orthodox cave monastery called “St. Maria Dormata” expanded and modified inside the cliffs by the monks over the centuries ago and preserved in a functional state.
Overnight in a traditional guesthouse.
Old Orhei – Calarasi area – Dolna Manor – MIMI Wine Castle – Chisinau
From Old Orhei we drive towards Calarasi area. Our first stop will be at the Honey Museum from Raciula. Here we will learn about the life of bees, taste different kind of honey and other honey products. Later we visit several families who produce different kind of liquors, one family who produces different kind of cheeses, and the third – producing different products made from the apples of their own orchard.
Special lunch at “Casa Parinteasca” Craft Centre from Palanca village, where you will get to learn about the Moldovan traditional costumes and ethnographic customs. Traditional dishes will be served with the best local wine, while the organic herbal tea, accompanied by quince jam will surprise you with its amazing taste.
Next we will visit to the Zamfirache Ralli Manor in Dolna Village, the house that hosted once the great Russian Poet – Alexander Pushkin. In 1820 Pushkin met in Chisinau Ion Ralli-Arbore, Zamfirachi’s son, they became friends, and the following summer he brought the poet to his father’s mansion. At Dolna, Pushkin met also the gypsy tribe and the beautiful gypsy Zamfira.
In the evening we will pay a visit to MIMI wine castle – a destination of international interest, unique in Moldova. It is currently listed among the most beautiful architectural masterpieces in the world of wine. The story of the castle begins in 1893 when Constantin Mimi, the last governor of Bessarabia, planted the first grape vines on the place that would become legend over the years. Visit, wine tasting and special dinner.
Arrival in Chisinau and accomodation in 4* Hotel.
Chisinau city tour – Milestii Mici – Manuc Bei Manor from Hincesti -Chisinau
After breakfast you’ll have a city tour about the capital of Moldova – Chisinau. It includes: The Central Park and the Alley of Moldovan literature classics, the monument of Steven the Great and Saint, Great National Assembly Square, the Triumph Arch, the “Nativity” Cathedral, the Organ Hall, the Market of souvenirs, etc.
Later, visit to Milestii Mici Winery, mentioned in the Guinness Records Book. The length of the winery is 200 km at a depth of 40-85 meters. The constant temperature of 12-14ºC and the humidity of 85–95 % of this „kingdom of wine” ideally contribute to the full revelation of natural characteristics of elite wines. Wine tasting and lunch. We continue with a tour in Hincesti at Manuc Manor. The mansion itself – a true French-style castle, with a winter garden, guard towers and a park – was built in the second half of the XIX century by Alexander Bernardazzi, Moldova’s most famous architect and for several decades has been owned by the Mirzoian family, Manuc-Bey’s descendants. Just for record, Manuc – Bey was the one to intermediate the ceding of Bessarabia to the Tzarist Empire in 1812, therefore we can call him one of the parents of today Republic of Moldova.
Farewell dinner in a local wine bar specialized in promoting quality Moldovan wines produced by small producers.
• Double/twin room: Eur
• Single supplement: Eur
• Accommodation in 3-4* hotels
• Meals according to the program
• Professional English-speaking guide services
• Entrance fees
• Printed info about the sites visited
• Luxury coach transport’ services with A/C
1. This program can be changed upon request.
2. For further information please contact: Cultural Romtour, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Pleases your eyes