A Fertile Country with a Growing Future

Moldova is a country that has been gaining notoriety among travellers in the last few years. The reasons for this growth parallel the overall change in needs among today’s tourists: more authenticity among the locations they visit, and a deeper connection to community-based experiences and products. By these standards, Moldova is a model for the future of travel destinations.

Wedged between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova sits at the crossroads of many diverse cultures. Once one of the 15 republics within the Soviet Union, Moldova declared independence in 1991 and was recognised by the United Nations in 1992. Over the centuries, the country saw the influence of the Roman and Ottoman Empires, Russia, and Romania.

But, perhaps Moldova’s greatest claim to fame is less about political and governmental ties than it does with a connection to the soil—especially in relation to grapes and wine. For a country so small—33,851 square kilometres—Moldova possess a shocking number of wine superlatives. It was the largest wine supplier in the USSR. The country dedicates the largest percentage of agricultural land to grapes of any place on the planet. It has the longest wine cellar in the world, 200 kilometres, at the Mileștii Mici winery about 15 kilometres from the capital of Chișinău. It is has the cellar with the world’s largest collection, more than 1.5 million bottles.

It takes just one visit here to understand these superlatives. Surrounded by rivers, including the Danube, and within close proximity to the Black Sea, the country possess rich, black soil across its rolling hills, where each village takes pride in its own winemaking. This landscape also possesses the Autonomous Gagauzia Region, with an ethnically Turkic population; the UNESCO-designated Lower Prut Biosphere Reserve, along the Prut River in the southern part of the country; and Orheiul Vechi Archaeological Landscape, and its 13th century cave monastery, on UNESCO’s tentative list.

How to get there?

Visitors can reach Moldova by car, plane—with the main international airport in Chișinău—bus, and train.

  • Time Zone
    GMT +2
  • Population
    3.5 million
  • Capital
  • Official language
  • Currency
    Moldovan Leu, or MDL (1 EUR = 19.49 MDL)

EU citizens do not need a visa to visit Moldova for stays of 90 days or shorter.

Cultural Routes in Moldova

Part of one EU macro-regional strategy—the Danube—the Iter Vitis Cultural Route runs through the country and the point of contact is the city of Chișinău.

Iter Vitis Route

This route is predicated on the idea that the terroir and history of wine-growing is essential to a destination. According to the route’s website: “The culture of vine and wine and the wine-growing landscape are a material and immaterial heritage of the community, an essential component of the history of a territory, signs that can be read and experienced: this is the assumption at the base of the European Cultural Route of the Vine and Wine ‘Iter Vitis – Les Chemins de la Vigne,’ promoted by the European Federation Iter Vitis and certified Cultural Route of the Council of Europe in 2009.”

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