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The world is finally waking up to the charms of this little nation wedged between Romania and Ukraine. Moldova was famously dubbed the world's least happy place in a bestselling book in 2008, but today it's better known for its unspoiled countryside and superb wine tours. As one of Europe’s least visited countries, Moldova retains a measure of roads-less-travelled charm. But that’s changing quickly as budget flights from Western Europe take off.

Moldova may be entering the consciousness of the global traveller, but those seeking the remote and obscure still have their Shangri-La in the form of the breakaway republic of Transdniestr, where the Soviet Union reigns supreme. As for the unhappy thing, well that's a thing of the past. According to the most recent UN survey, today's Moldova is the world’s 67th happiest country.

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