Only vaguely known in Europe and all but anonymous to the rest of the world, Moldova remains a mysterious and misunderstood land: part Romanian, part Russian, all Soviet. Once at the very edge of the USSR, Moldova has gone it alone since the early nineties. Independence has been economically painful and Moldova has been racked by civil war between the central government and the secessionist Russian-speaking region known as Transdniestr, which continues to exist as a state within a state today.
Moldova gets a tiny number of tourists and isn't much set up for travellers, but this is one of its greatest charms. Sights may be few and far between, but they are generally impressive, such as the dramatic and beautiful cave monasteries, Transdniestr's Soviet time-capsule feel, and the country's sophisticated and fascinating viniculture. Look no further for adventure: this is Eastern Europe's last unknown land.
Back in the USSR: time-tripping in Transdniestr
For people in Moldova, the recent events in Ukraine elicit a familiar, painful echo. A little over 20 years ago Moldova’s own mainly Russian enclave, Transdniestr, balked at moves toward greater independence...
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Wine-tasting in Moldova: a trip to the grape unknown
Ask someone to name Europe's great wine destinations and chances are you’ll wait a long time before they say Moldova...
Moldova: embracing its status as Europe's least-visited country
Being declared Europe's least visited country, with some researcher thoughtfully providing the spirit-wilting data showing only 9000 international arrivals in 2011, would probably cause most countries to plop down in ...