Day 1: Arrival day
On arrival at Chisinau International Airport, you will arrange your own transfer to the hotel in Chisinau. After settling in, you can have a walk through downtown and explore the city centre on your own.
Day 2: Discovery of Cultural, Natural and Landscape Reserve “Orheiul Vechi” and attending “DescOPERA” Open-air Classical Music Festival
Chisinau – Cricova – Orheiul Vechi – Butuceni
In the morning, you will enjoy a tour of Chisinau city - the main administrative, scientific and cultural centre of Moldova. During the tour, you will see pieces of history and culture of the city such as the Nativity of Christ Cathedral, the Bell Tower, the Arch of Triumph, the Monument of Stephen the Great, the City Hall, etc.
The day will continue with an excursion, wine tasting and lunch at Cricova winery – the only wine enterprise that was awarded the highest state prize “The Order of the Republic” and has been declared by law a national cultural heritage. During the excursion at Cricova winery in the tourist train, at a depth of 80 m, you will discover the wonders of this place. Cricova underground galleries are formed by over seventy streets covering an area of nearly 120 km, each bearing Bacchic names: Sauvignon, Cabernet, Cahors, etc. The jewel of the underground treasure is the National Collection, including over 600 types of wine totaling about 1 million bottles.
You will continue your journey to Orheiul Vechi (Old Orhei) to see a natural amphitheater revealing a territory which was first inhabited 40 000 years ago. The Cultural, Natural and Landscape Reserve Orheiul Vechi includes a series of historical and cultural monuments as well as natural landscapes in the gorge of the Raut River. Ancient fortifications, cave monasteries, monks and hermits – here you can follow the history of this region. The originality of Orheiul Vechi landscape is due to the gorge of the Raut River, dug under the form of a canyon in the limestone layers of the former Sarmatian Sea, about 14 million years ago.
After visiting Orheiul Vechi, you will attend the “DescOPERA” Open-air Classical Music Festival 2019 (first day of the festival) which is a unique musical event organized at the foot of the cliffs from the Cultural, Natural and Landscape Reserve Orheiul Vechi. The event offers its visitors the unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty of classical music played live in a unique setting: an improvised scene in the nature, fresh air and amazing views.
After the festival, you will check in and have dinner at Butuceni guesthouse.
Day 3: Arta Rustica Handicraft Complex – discovery of traditional Moldovan carpets included in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage
Butuceni – Clisova Noua – Orheiul Vechi – Butuceni
The day will begin with the visit of Arta Rustica Handicraft Complex in Clisova Noua village. The handmade carpets in Clisova Noua are of amazing interest and beauty. The traditional Moldovan carpets have been included in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage. The creation of only one canvas takes several months. Every carpet is a work of art. The craftsmen of Clisova Noua village put their whole soul and free time into their craft. They restore unique carpets according to old photographs. They use only natural materials and authentic technique during the weaving process.
Then, you will travel to Lalova village where you will visit Hanul lui Hanganu guesthouse, the perfect choice for a quiet and full of emotions stay. Here, you will surely fall in love with some of the most popular dishes in Moldova. During lunch, you will discover the taste of delicious traditional dishes: the smallest “sarmale” – vine or cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and vegetables.
You will continue your journey to Château Vartely winery in Orhei town where you will enjoy an excursion, wine tasting and lunch. Château Vartely is a modern complex, which comprises hotel-type houses, restaurants, tasting rooms, and a huge inner yard. In the cellars and then in tasting rooms you will be acquainted with the particularities of Château Vartely wines, you will learn how they are made, kept and served.
Next, you will travel to Orheiul Vechi where you will attend the “DescOPERA” Open-air Classical Music Festival 2019 (second day of the festival) where L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love) by the Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti will be performed.
After the festival, you will have dinner at the festival location and spend the night at Butuceni guesthouse.