- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is as ‘off the beaten track’ as you can get in Europe. Attracting just a fraction of the number of visitors of neighbouring countries (12,000 to 20,000 annually in recent years), it’s a natural destination for travellers who like to plant the flag and visit lands few others have gone to.
But Moldova’s charms run deeper than being merely remote. The country’s wines are some of the best in Europe and a fledgling wine-tourism industry, where you can tour wineries and taste the grape, has taken root. The countryside is delightfully unspoiled and the hospitality of villagers is authentic. The capital, Chişinău, is surprisingly lively, with excellent restaurants and bars. Across the Dniestr River lies the separatist Russian-speaking region of Transdniestr. It’s a time-warp place, where the Soviet Union still reigns supreme and busts of Lenin line the main boulevards.