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Holiday Guides for Eastern Europe - Moldova

Moldova holiday

With its picturesque vistas of rolling green hills, charming little villages and vast sunflower fields, Moldova is the perfect holiday destination that you might not quite have expected.

With its picturesque vistas of rolling green hills, charming little villages and vast sunflower fields, Moldova is the perfect holiday destination that you might not quite have expected.

The Republic of Moldova is a small landlocked country in Eastern Europe, situated between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south.

Moldova, a former Soviet republic, has had a relatively chequered history with bouts of inter-ethnic conflict. In 1994, this conflict resulted in the creation of the self-proclaimed Transnistria Republic in eastern Moldova.

The country has emerged from this troubled past however - economic links have been re-established by the two parts of Moldova and now is as good a time as any to discover the old-world charm of this underappreciated holiday destination has to offer.

Traditions and culture in Moldova



The culture of Moldova has been primarily influenced by the country's Romanian origin, which dates back to the second century AD. In fact, most Moldovans share a common ethnic heritage with Romanians.

Moldova's folk culture is very rich and extensive and revolves around a tradition of ballads. The ancient folk ballad the Miorita plays a central role in traditional Moldovan folk culture.

Folk traditions, including ceramics and weaving continue to be practiced in rural areas. These traditions are promoted nationally and represented by the republic's dance company Joc, among other groups.

Orthodox Christians comprise over 90 per cent of Moldova's population and their religious beliefs inform many aspects of their culture. Chivalry is very important to Moldovans - if you are out in public, opening doors for women is welcomed, while disparaging comments about the fairer sex are heavily frowned upon.

Recommended in Moldova



Tourists who want to take in a bit of Moldoava's religious culture on their holiday should visit Orheiul Vechi, which is a popular spiritual cave.

Orheiul Vechi Monastery Complex, carved into a massive limestone cliff in this wild, rocky, remote spot, draws visitors from all around the world. Overlooking the Raut river, it is arguably one of Moldova's most beautiful sights.

Cricova, one of the most impressive wineries in Moldova is a must-visit for alcohol connoisseurs. The subterranean wine vault is one of the largest in Europe and has 74 miles of roadways - half of which are used for wine storage.

Up to 100 metres underground, the impressive cellars hold 1.25 million bottles of rare wine.

Weather in Moldova



Moldova's climate is moderately continental. The summers are warm and long, with temperatures averaging between 20 and 25 degrees C, but can at times reach 40 degrees C during heat waves.

Winters tend to be moderately cold and dry. Temperatures during the day in January range from minus four and minus seven degrees C, though climes have been known to plunge to a teeth-chattering minus ten degrees C.

Destination checklist for Moldova



Based on the 2008 estimate, Moldova's population is around four million and the country is one of the most densely populated of the former Soviet republics.

The official language spoken here is Moldovan.

Moldova is two hours ahead of GMT and the international dialling code is +373.