Judging by its small centre alone, Suceava would hardly seem Moldavia’s second-biggest town; however, it has sufficient urban sprawl to ensure runner-up status. While Suceava can’t compete with Iaşi in things cultural or learned, it does make an incredibly useful and affordable base for visiting fortresses and the Bucovina monasteries, with myriad worthwhile tours offered.
Up-and-coming, easy-going Piatra Neamţ (literally 'German Rock') sprawls in three directions across a valley, gripped by forested mountains. Moldavia’s third-biggest town was home to Ştefan cel Mare's 15th-century Princely Court and has a smattering of decent museums and cultural offerings, including a couple of the region's best restaurants.
Situated at 621m, placid Câmpulung Moldovenesc dates from the 15th century. Known for logging, fairs and outdoor sports, it's an excellent base both for exploring the painted monasteries and for hiking the Rarău Massif, 15km south. In winter the town transforms into a modest ski resort – there's a short 800m ski slope with a chairlift.
Ceahlău National Park
The Ceahlău National Park, including the 1907m high Ceahlău Massif, Moldavia's most impressive peak, spreads out for some 77 sq km and offers great hiking and stunning mountain views. The range is part of the Eastern Carpathians and climbs dramatically to the west of the sprawling artificial Lake Bicaz (Lacu Izvorul Muntelui).
Bicaz Gorges & Lacu Roşu
National highway 12C winds its way through the Bicaz Gorges (Cheile Bicazului), 20km west of Bicaz. It's a spectacular ride as the road cuts through sheer 300m-high limestone cliffs along which pine trees improbably cling. The road runs directly beneath overhanging rocks in the ‘neck of hell’ (Gâtul Iadului) section.