Use the capital Chişinău as your base for a long-weekend getaway in Moldova. Spend day one strolling the pleasant parks of this fast-changing city and checking out its museums and excellent restaurants. On the second day, take a day trip out to the stunning cave monastery at Orheiul Vechi and, if you don’t mind a bit of driving, Tipova monastery with its incredible views of the Dniestr River and Transdniestr beyond. On day three take a day trip to one of the big-name vineyards around Chişinău – Cricova or Mileştii Mici – for a tour and tasting.
Spend a night or two in surreal Transdniestr, a bastion of Russian-ness on the fringes of Moldova. Take an overnight trip to Soroca to see the impressive fortress on the lazy Dniestr. Lastly, reserve two or three days to explore more-remote bits of the country – kayaking on the Dniestr, birdwatching on the Lower Prut River near Cahul, exploring the Soviet sites of Gagauzia or staying a couple of nights in a boutique wine chalet.