Moldova (official name “Republic of Moldova”) is a country in Eastern Europe that is bordered by Ukraine and Romania, with a capital in Chisinau. Although the country is considered to be landlocked, it has limited access to the Black Sea through Danube and Dniester, a river that roughly marks Moldova’s eastern borders. Moldova also includes a territory called Transnistria that has its own government and is striving for independence, however it has only been recognized by 3 non -UN members this far.
The country is populated by Moldavians, Ukrainians, Russians, Romanians, Gagauzes and Bulgarians, Moldavians amounting to more than 75% of total population. Moldavian is the primary language, however Russian and Ukrainian languages are also spoken and understood. If you don’t speak any of these languages and plan to venture out of big cities, you may wish to hire a guide who can provide translation services.
Due to Moldova’s proximity to the Black Sea, the climate is very moderate. Winters are short and warm, summers are long and hot. The average temperature in January is -4 C, in July +21 C. Late spring, summer and early autumn are the best times to visit the country.
The traditional Moldavian cuisine is famous for its diversity and refinement due to the fact that throughout the history it was heavily influenced by other nations that were present on this territory. Moldavian dishes present a wonderful blend of Ukrainian, Russian, Greek, Jewish and German cooking traditions.
Moldova is the land of the grape, fruit, and vegetables. Sheep is the most common animal that is bred for meat, so most of Moldavian dishes that include meat will use lamb instead of beef or pork. The sheep is kept not only for meet, but also for its milk that is used to produce a variety of cheeses.
Moldova is famous for its “Mamaliga”, a porridge cooked from yellow corn flour that can be served as a side dish for virtually any main course. Although mamaliga was originally peasant’s food, it has penetrated Moldavian culture so deeply that one cannot imaging a traditional Moldavian dinner without it.
The country has a great wine tradition and wines is one of the main exports for Moldova. Make sure to grab a bottle or two of Moldavian wine so you can enjoy it on those long evenings back home.
Moldova is the country with rich heritage and it can satisfy any of your demands. If you prefer a bubbling nightlife, clubbing and restaurants, keep to the large cities, such as Chisinau and Tiraspol. Keep in mind that the majority of population does not speak languages other than Moldavian, Russian or Ukrainian, so you may need a companion who can serve as your translator.
Although wine tours have been introduced to the list of things to do in Moldova just recently, they are becoming big with the locals and tourists. Cricova is the pearl of Moldavian wine cellars, the name is known not only in Moldova but all over the world. Cricova wine cellars are cut in limestone and are almost 60 km in length, a site definitely worth seeing. Cricova also has wine-tasting facilities and features a grand collection of wines.
Those interested in nature have a choice of wild-life parks to visit. Dniester and Danube offer great facilities for fishing and recreation.
Dating a Moldavian woman is not much different from dating any other Slavic women. Moldavian women are highly educated, most of them having higher education. According to Moldavian traditions, women are the keepers of the house hearth, family oriented and loyal. Most girls are taught to cook and help around the house from a very young age.
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Due to its small size, most of the lands in Moldova are used for agricultural and farming purposes. The country used to sport great diversity of animal and plant life, but it was greatly reduced in a result of heavy farming. At the moment, Moldova is striving to preserve the remaining natural life and has developed a National Program Against Deforestation in year 2000.
Moldova has a number of national parks that may interest nature-lovers. Attendance of these nature preserves is restricted, but you can arrange a visit through local authorities.
While the majority of Moldavians are orthodox, other religions are just as welcome in the country. Traveling to Moldova is safe for people of any confession.
Official State Holidays
- 1 January – New Year’s eve
- 7, 8 January – Orthodox Christmas
- 1 March – Martisor
- 8 March – International Woman’s Day
- 9 May – Victory Day
- 27 August – Independence Day
- 31 August – Limba Noastra