3 days
Duration
Bucovina, Moldavia
Regions
City Break, Cultural Tour, Private Tour, Short Tour
Tour Type

DISCOVER THE CHARM OF MOLDAVIA: PAINTED MONASTERIES, CASTLES, AND ARISTOCRATIC RESIDENCES

Embark on a captivating three-day adventure with the “Iasi Weekend Escape” tour, designed to showcase the cultural and historical treasures of Eastern Romania. This journey will introduce you to the enchanting city of Iasi, bustling with historical landmarks, and lead you through the picturesque landscapes of Bucovina to explore its world-renowned painted monasteries, recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Your exploration begins in Iasi, where a walking tour will unveil the architectural grandeur and vibrant streets of this significant cultural hub. Highlights include the majestic Palace of Culture and the historical Three Hierarchs Church. The journey continues to Bucovina, where the vivid frescoes of the Voronet, Sucevita, and Moldovita monasteries await, offering a glimpse into the region’s deep religious heritage and artistic prowess.

In addition to these cultural experiences, the tour offers a unique peek into Romania’s aristocratic past with visits to the splendid Ruginoasa Palace and the enchanting Miclauseni Castle. Each site tells its own story of noble families and historical intrigue. Complement your cultural journey with a wine tasting session, where you’ll sample exquisite local vintages, deepening your appreciation of Romania’s rich culinary landscape.

With luxurious accommodations in the heart of Iasi and expert guidance throughout, the “Iasi Weekend Escape” promises a blend of relaxation, education, and profound beauty, making it the perfect getaway to discover the charm of Moldavia.

The tour can be personalised according to your time and points of interest.

Itinerary: Iasi Arrival – Iasi Walking Tour – Bucovina Exterior Painted Monasteries – Ruginoasa Palace – Miclauseni Castle – Iasi Departure

DEPARTURE/RETURNThe tour begins and ends in Iasi, with airport transfers included. Flexible arrangements can be made for starting or ending the tour in different cities as per your travel plans, ensuring a seamless travel experience tailored to your needs.
TRANSPORTATIONTravel in comfort with a fully insured car or minivan equipped with climate control, ensuring smooth and enjoyable journeys between destinations throughout the tour.
TOURIST GUIDEEnhance your travel experience with the expertise of a certified English-speaking tourist guide. Guides proficient in other languages are available upon request, ensuring you receive personalized and knowledgeable insights into each site.
3 UNESCO World Heritage SitesExplore three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Voronet, Moldovita, and Sucevita Monasteries, renowned for their striking frescoes.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS AND UNIQUE CULTURAL CONNECTIONS

  • Painted Monasteries of Bucovina: Discover the UNESCO-listed painted monasteries of Bucovina, such as Voronet, Sucevita, and Moldovita, renowned for their vivid frescoes that illustrate biblical and historical themes.
  • Iasi Walking Tour: Explore the cultural capital of Moldavia, Iasi, on a guided walking tour, uncovering its rich history, architectural gems, and vibrant street life.
  • Ruginoasa Palace: Visit this neoclassical palace with a colorful history, once the residence of important Romanian aristocracy, and delve into the stories of its past inhabitants.
  • Miclauseni Castle: Explore the Neo-Gothic beauty of Miclauseni Castle, set in a lush forest, and learn about the storied Sturdza family who called it home.
  • Black Pottery Workshop: Participate in a hands-on pottery workshop in Bucovina, learning the unique local craft of black pottery directly from skilled artisans.
  • Local Wine Tasting: Experience the flavors of Romanian viticulture by tasting fine local wines in a scenic vineyard near Iasi.
  • Culinary Delights: Enjoy authentic Moldavian cuisine, featuring traditional dishes that showcase the region’s rich culinary heritage.
  • Interaction with Local Artisans: Meet local craftsmen and artists, gaining insight into traditional crafts like egg painting and pottery.
  • Personalized Itinerary: Tailor your tour to suit your interests and preferences, ensuring a deeply personal and engaging travel experience.
  • Supporting Local Communities: By staying in local accommodations and engaging with traditional artisans, your visit directly benefits the local economy and helps preserve cultural heritage.
  • Sustainable Travel Practices: Embrace responsible tourism with practices that minimize environmental impact and promote cultural preservation.
  • Educational Insights: Learn about the complex history and cultural significance of the sites you visit from a knowledgeable local guide.
  • Comfort and Convenience: Travel comfortably with all transportation provided, including private airport transfers and a climate-controlled minivan.
  • Photographic Opportunities: Capture the stunning architecture and scenic landscapes of Eastern Romania, perfect for photography enthusiasts.
DEPARTURE/RETURNThe tour begins and ends in Iasi, with airport transfers included. Flexible arrangements can be made for starting or ending the tour in different cities as per your travel plans, ensuring a seamless travel experience tailored to your needs.
TRANSPORTATIONTravel in comfort with a fully insured car or minivan equipped with climate control, ensuring smooth and enjoyable journeys between destinations throughout the tour.
TOURIST GUIDEEnhance your travel experience with the expertise of a certified English-speaking tourist guide. Guides proficient in other languages are available upon request, ensuring you receive personalized and knowledgeable insights into each site.
INCLUDED
2 nights in centrally located accommodations in IasiBreakfast provided daily
Exclusive wine tasting sessionAll private transfers including airport pickup and drop-off
All fuel, parking fees, and local taxesEntrance fees to all museums and sites as per itinerary
Guided tours at all sitesDetailed map of Romania
Certified English-Speaker tourist guide specialized in Romanian culture and historyComplimentary bottled water in the car
Friendly talks with the guide about Vlad the Impaler – Dracula; Ceausescu and His Times and the Gypsies and Their Journey
NOT INCLUDED
Airplane tickets and health insuranceSouvenirs
Alcoholic beveragesHotel extras (telephone, mini bar, etc)
Meals, other than those included in the itineraryGratuities of any kind
Photo/video fees at sites and museums

1

Day 1: Iasi Arrival – Iasi Walking Tour

Upon your arrival at Iasi Airport, a warm welcome awaits from your personal guide who will escort you to your centrally located hotel. Once settled, prepare for an enlightening walking tour of Iasi, a city steeped in history and bustling with cultural vitality.
As you stroll through Iasi’s scenic streets, your guide will reveal the city’s historical treasures and architectural marvels. You’ll visit the majestic Palace of Culture, a stunning neoclassical edifice housing several museums and a gallery that showcase the region’s artistic and historical richness. Another highlight is the Metropolitan Cathedral, a symbol of Romanian spirituality and architectural grandeur.
The tour continues to the University of Iasi, one of the oldest educational institutions in Romania, where you’ll feel the academic pulse that has nurtured many of Romania’s greatest minds. You’ll also explore the enchanting Botanical Garden, providing a peaceful retreat with its lush landscapes and diverse plant collections.
Conclude your day by savoring the local cuisine at one of Iasi’s renowned restaurants, where you can enjoy traditional Moldavian dishes that beautifully blend flavors and history. This culinary experience offers the perfect end to your first day, setting the stage for more discoveries in the days to come.

2

Day 2: Bucovina Painted Monasteries (UNESCO World Heritage Sites) – Black Pottery Workshop – Wine Tasting

On the second day, your adventure leads you into the heart of Bucovina, renowned for its UNESCO World Heritage painted monasteries, which stand as beacons of Orthodox Christian art. After breakfast at your hotel, a scenic drive transports you to these spiritual and artistic landmarks.
Your first stop is the Voronet Monastery, celebrated worldwide for its stunning blue frescoes, often referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of the East.” The vibrant frescoes depict biblical scenes that captivate with their color and detail, particularly the famous Last Judgment.
Continue to Moldovita Monastery, where golden and deep azure frescoes adorn the exterior walls, offering narratives of Byzantine theology vividly illustrated to educate and inspire the faithful. Each monastery visit provides insight into the deep spiritual and historical significance of these sacred sites.
After a morning immersed in spiritual art, shift to a cultural craft with a visit to a local black pottery workshop. This unique opportunity allows you to witness the skilled artisans at work, crafting traditional ceramics that are renowned for their intricate designs and the distinctive black sheen developed through special firing techniques.
The day concludes with a delightful wine tasting session at a nearby vineyard, where you can unwind and savor the local flavors. This experience not only offers a taste of Bucovina’s fine wines but also provides a picturesque backdrop of rolling hills and lush vineyards, making for a perfect end to a culturally rich day.
Return to Iasi in the evening, enriched by the history, spirituality, and artistic beauty you’ve explored, ready to relax and perhaps reflect on the day’s adventures over dinner at your leisure.

3

Day 3: Old Aristocratic Residences Ruginoasa Palace & Miclauseni Castle – Iasi Departure

Your final day in Iasi is dedicated to exploring the grandeur of Moldavia’s aristocratic past with visits to two of the region’s most beautiful aristocratic residences. After breakfast, depart from your hotel and journey through the picturesque countryside towards your first destination, Ruginoasa Palace.
At Ruginoasa Palace, discover a neoclassical gem with a tumultuous history. Originally built in the 19th century for Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the palace has seen periods of glory and decay. Marvel at its beautifully restored interiors and learn about the dramatic life and times of its occupants, including the tragic love story that haunts its halls. The palace’s vibrant yellow exterior stands stark against the lush green of its gardens, making it a photographer’s delight.
Next, travel to Miclauseni Castle, a stunning Gothic revival architecture nestled within a serene, forested landscape. This intimate castle was once the residence of the Sturdza family, one of Romania’s oldest noble families. Tour the castle’s richly decorated interiors, view its extensive collection of medieval art, and stroll around the peaceful grounds that evoke a bygone era of Romanian aristocracy.
After immersing yourself in the history and beauty of these remarkable estates, you’ll return to Iasi. Depending on your flight schedule, there may be some free time to enjoy a last walk through Iasi’s vibrant streets or grab a final bite of local cuisine before heading to the airport.
Your weekend escape concludes as you are driven to Iasi Airport for your departure, carrying with you the memories of the timeless beauty and rich history of Eastern Romania.
NOTE: The tour is further customizable.

Three day Republic of Moldavia Extension with Tiraspol Tour

1

Extra Day 1: Bucovina – Iasi City Tour – Soroca

We will begin the three-day extension with the tour of Iasi city, the unofficial capital of the Moldavian region of Romania, here we will explore the Palace of Culture, the once gold-plated Church of the Three Hierarchs, Golia Monastery and the Neoclassical National Theatre. After this incursion, we will cross the Prut River in Republic of Moldavia, outside of the European Union. On the route enjoy the countryside to Soroca, the town that hosts the greatest and most impressive fortress in Republic of Moldavia. Before reaching the hotel we will visit a different part of the Soroca town, named the Gypsy Hill, where the Gypsy community built a neighbourhood of palaces. After this hotel check in and dinner on your own.
2

Extra Day 2: Soroca Fortress – Old Orhei with Traditional Lunch – Cricova Wine Cellars – Chisinau City Tour

After the breakfast, we will start the day with a visit to the one of the best well-preserved fortresses of Europe, established by the Moldavian Prince Stephen the Great in 1499.
Next, we travel south, stopping at the outstanding cave monastery of Old Orhei, which is organically combines the natural landscape and vestiges of ancient civilizations. A home-made lunch will be served in the village with the same name.
In the afternoon, you head to Cricova, where you will visit the largest wine cellar in the world and where you will enjoy some of the best Moldavian wines. The winery Cricova was founded in 1952 and it is one of the few wineries which produce sparkling wine using the Champagne Method. Before reaching the hotel, we will visit the capital city of Republic of Moldavia, which is one of the greenest city in Europe. The tour will reveal the Arch of Triumph, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Chisinau with the Belfry Tower and the Parliament of Moldavia. To have a sweet evening we will have a short stop at the famous “Bucuria” shop, which is the greatest enterprise specialized in the production of candies. The rest of the evening is at your leisure.

3

Extra Day 3: Bender Fortress – Tiraspol Tour – Bucovina

The last day in Republic of Moldavia will be an incursion in the unrecognized Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria). It officially belongs to Moldova and is its second largest city.
First, we will visit Bender Fortress, which was built in one the most powerful of the medieval cities of Moldavia – Tighina, which was an important trade outpost. Later we will cross Dnister in Transnistria, where you will understand why this is the world’s last Soviet republic in fact.
In Tiraspol we will visit Suvorov Plaza & Monument, Memorial of the WW2 and Afghanistan war, Lenin statue and more.
After the walking tour in Tiraspol we will go back to Bucovina, crossing back Prut River in Romania.
Humor Painted Monastery by Holiday to Romania
Suceava Royal Court by Holiday to Romania
Moldovita Painted Monastery by Holiday to Romania
Sucevita Painted Monastery by Holiday to Romania
Sucevita Painted Monastery Fresco
Sucevita Painted Monastery
Moldovita Painted Monastery Fresco

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