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Moldova and Ukraine Jewish Legacy - 9 Days

Moldova and Ukraine Jewish Legacy

Ukraine, Moldova · Private Tour · 9 Days
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Private Tour
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history
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culture
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winery

Unearth the rich history and traditions of Jewish towns of rural Moldova, reflect on its tragic history of visiting solemn cemeteries and memorials, and explore Odessa one of the most prominent Jewish cities in history. 

Itinerary

Day 1 - Chisinau
Day 2 - Chisinau
Day 3 - Orehei Region & Cricova Winery
Day 4 - Soroca
Day 5 - Dubossary, Rybnita & Rascov
Day 6 - Bender & Tiraspol
Day 7 - Chisinau → Purcari → Odessa
Day 8 - Odessa
Day 9 - Odessa

What is included

  • Transfers as mentioned in the itinerary, including services from/to airport
  • 6 nights accommodation at 5* hotel with breakfast
  • 2 nights accommodation at 4* hotel with breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in this itinerary
  • Cricova Cellars , tasting of 6 wines
  • Purcari Winery, tasting of 4 wines
  • Entry fees to mentioned sites
  • English speaking guide services
  • 1 bottle of water per day per person

What is NOT included

  • International flights
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in this itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips to drivers, guides, waiters, bellboys, etc
Did you know you can make this trip even better? Customize this tour

day
1
Chisinau

Arrival at Chisinau International Airport. Transfer to hotel, rest of the day at leisure. 

Welcome dinner at traditional restaurant La Taifas.

Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
2
Chisinau

The capital of the Republic of Moldova was a flourishing Jewish center in the XVIIIth century and had witnessed many events connected with the Jews since then.


Chisinau Full Day Jewish History & City Tour

After breakfast we will start our Jewish tour of the city, visiting the Jewish Cemetery, the Former Jewish Hospital, the Monument to the Victims of the Chisinau Ghetto, the Memorial to the Victims of the Pogroms in Chisinau, the Synagogue of the Glaziers, the Choral Synagogue, the ruins of the Synagogue Rava Tsirelisona and former Almshouse, the Museum of Jewish History and House of the Jews KEDEM.

Lunch at Propaganda Restaurant, located in an old apartment building of one of the Jewish families, a restaurant that offers some relaxing art atmosphere with nice decoration.

Then we will continue our tour of Jewish sites and other Moldavian attractions, visitng Central Square Stefan the Great and Saint, the Bell Tower, the Triumph Arch, the Parliament, the Presidency, the City Hall, the Memorial of Eternity, the Alley of Classics with sculptures of Romanian Classics, the National Museum of History and Archeology.

Rest of the day at leisure, you may have dinner at the restaurant of your choice. 

Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
3
Orehei Region & Cricova Winery

After breakfast drive towards the town of Orhei to visit its Jewish community. 


Orhei Region Tour

Visit the Synagogue and a Jewish cemetery featuring unique monuments to Jewish soldiers and victims of Holocaust, considered to be the oldest Jewish cemetery in Europe with more than 400 years old. Lunch in traditional style of a Moldavian village at the countryside house Eco-Resort Butuceni, where dishes prepared from eco-products of local farmers.

Then we will visit the Archeological Museum Complex in Orheiul Vechi, located between the villages of Butuceni and Trebujeni. It’s an impressive monastery complex comprising caves, grottos, churches, Geto-Dacian fortress and hermitages, featuring the remains of different civilizations established between the Nistru and Prut rivers. 

The open air museum is a true natural fortress that today attracts many visitors for its incomparable landscapes, grottoes, rocky surroundings, historical monuments, ancient ruins, the medieval fortress Shehr-al-Jedid and Turkish baths. Its major highlight is the unique orthodox XIIIth century cave monastery.

Another interesting place visited on the route is the Moldavian village of Butuceni, where the style and traditions of the Moldavian architecture of the XIXth century are preserved and carefully maintained –profusely decorated houses, gates, fences, wells and old cellars.


Cricova Underground Winery Tour

Next, drive to Cricova wine cellars for an underground tour and wine tasting session. Visit the underground wine city and winery of Cricova, which lies under the town of the same name and partially under the capital of Moldova, Chisinau. 

The cellars feature 60 km of labyrinths and galleries with a constant temperature between 10 and 12º C and 97-98% humidity. Namely these natural and favorable conditions make the aging of wines possible. Cricova winery is proud for their excellent wines and famous for its collection, underground signs, streets having the names of the precious wines Feteasca, Chardonnay, Cabernet, etc.

In the evening return to Chisinau. Dinner at Vatra Neamului Restaurant.

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Chisinau → Orhei Region52 km 1h
Q
Orhei Region → Cricova40 km 45min
Q
Cricova → Chisinau17 km 25min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
4
Soroca

Soroca Full Day Tour

After breakfast, we will depart for Soroca, a city in northern Moldova. 

The Jewish settlement in Soroca was first recorded in 1657 when the Jews came to this region escaping the persecution of the Polish and the Germans. An organized community, however, dates back to the XVIIIth century. By 1897, there were 8,763 Jews, making up over half of the population of Soroca. During the XIXth century, most Jews in Soroca town, engaged in agriculture, grew primarily tobacco and grapes. The economic crisis of the 1880s caused many Jews to immigrate to other nations in search of economic prosperity. 

On our tour we will stop at the Victims Monument, the Jewish Cemetery, the Synagogue, and the Museum of Natural History –former home of a prominent Jewish family. We will then have lunch at Cetatea Veche restaurant

We will continue our tour visiting Gypsy Hill and its rich mansions, the Candle of Gratitude, and Soroca Fortress itself. We will meet with a local historian who will reveal all the secrets of Soroca Fortress and tell us about the historical events that took place around the fortress for many centuries. The first recorded mention of Soroca Fortress dates back to 1499. The fortress had captured many dramatic events including the invasions of the Tatars, Cossacks, Polish King Ian Sobesky troops, military actions of Bogdan Hmelnitskyi, and the anti-Ottoman campaign of the Russian Monarch Peter the Great. The fortress itself stood numerous fires and went through many reconstruction stages.

In the evening return to Chisinau. Dinner at Karl Schmidt Restaurant.

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Chisinau → Soroca156 km 2h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
5
Dubossary, Rybnita & Rascov

After breakfast, we will travel to Transnistria, a self-proclaimed independent republic within Moldova. 


Jewish Heritage Villages Full Day Tour

Our first stop will be in the town of Dubossary, established in 1792 as a Russian military settlement. World War II brought mass destruction to the place and the place decayed. The largest mass burial of the victims of Holocaust took place in the outskirts of Dubossary. More than 3,000 names of the victims are engraved on the granite slabs, and the Memorial has 11 beds of honor with thousands of victims each. 

Then, we will drive to the town of Rybnita, another important city in Transnistria that witnessed many terrible events. The first mention of Rybnita dates back to 1628, before World War II the Jewish population in Rybnita was around 30%, nowadays they make up for only 1%. We will visit the Memorial and a Bed of Honor, the Jewish Cemetery, and the Monument to the Martyrs and Victims of Holocaust in Rybnita. We will have lunch at Hortitsa Restaurant.


We will continue exploring the region along the river Dniestr and drive to the village of Rashcov lying on the left bank of the River Nistru. Also known as “Little Switzerland” due to its landscapes and natural attractions, it was originally a rich region of Armenian merchants, which was later occupied by generations of Polish-Lithuanians that brought Judaism to the area. Today, most of the population is of Ukrainian origin. 

In Rashcov we will visit the ruins of the XVIIIth century Hasidic Synagogue, built on the means of box takings, as well as the ruins of the Greek-Catholic Church, Pokrovskaia Church, St.Katen Catholic Church, and the Red Rock overlooking the village, a prominent representative of Karst deposits. 

In the evening return to Chisinau. Dinner at Acasa La Mama Restaurant.

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Chisinau → Dubossary45 km 50min
Q
Dubossary → Rybnita60 km 1h
Q
Rybnita → Rascov33 km 35min
Q
Rascov → Chisinau137 km 2h 10min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
6
Bender & Tiraspol

After breakfast  drive to Transnistria –the unrecognized and self-proclaimed independent Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, which has its own currency, border guards and policy.


Bender Jewish History Tour

We will first stop at the city of Bender, founded in 1408 as a Fortress for the Ottoman Empire. The first documents proving the Jews presence there date back to the beginning of XVIth century when a synagogue was built on the territory of the fort. We will explore Tighina Fortress and visit the on-site museum and the War Memorial. Its walls have survived to the present and offer a perfect example of classic Moldavian defensive construction. In 1941, when the Red Army left Bender it caused the occupation of the city and creation of a Ghetto, and a number of Jews were murdered in a ditch near Tighina Fortress. 

On our tour we will visit Habad Liubavich Synagogue, the Monument to the victims of Holocaust, the Choral Synagogue and MANUS Bank (now a youth center), the Old Jewish Cemetery and the Former Jewish Hospital on Gagarin Street.

We will then travel to Tiraspol, where we will have lunch at a restaurant of Ukrainian cuisine, Kumanek.


Tiraspol City Tour

Tiraspol is the capital of Transnistria and the second largest city in Moldova. The city is located on the Eastern bank of the Dniester River. It was founded by the Russian general Alexandr Suvorov in 1792 whose statue is at the central square in Tiraspol. 

Jews came to this city in the XIXth century from different Russian localities as well as from Bessarabia. Pokrovskaya Street (now October 25th) was the main street, it housed the administrative and commercial offices and houses of wealthy citizens. Tiraspol had a significant grain trade, concentrated almost exclusively in the hands of the Jews. During the Holocaust nearly the entire Jewish community perished in Nazi concentration camps.

We will walk around the central area and visit the Monument to Alexander Suvorov, the House of Soviets, the Statue of Ekaterina II, the Glory Memorial, the Synagogue, and the Memorial of Victims.

In the evening return to Chisinau. Dinner at Forshmak Restaurant.

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Chisinau → Bender62 km 1h 10min
Q
Tiraspol → Chisinau73 km 1h 20min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
7
Chisinau → Purcari → Odessa

Purcari Winery Tour and Wine Tasting

After breakfast you will have some leisure time to make your last purchases. The we will drive south to visit the legendary Purcari winery, situated close to the Ukrainian border.

Purcari is the oldest wine-estate in Moldova, built in a French-style castle with wine cellars established in 1827. This winery is famous all over the world for its legendary wines Rosu de Purcari and Negru de Purcari that is true masterpiece and a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II.

Whilst there you will visit the production, grape processing and wine storage areas, as well as the bottling line. Walk into the cellars where wine is matured in oak barrels and bottles, including the Purcari wine collection. Enjoy tasting Purcari wines and lunch in the estate.


We will leave Moldova and drive to Odessa to learn about the present and past Jewish heritage of the region. Arrival in Odessa, check-in, and transfer to Maman restaurant for dinner.

Overnight at the hotel. 

Q
Chisinau → Purcari118 km 2h 10min
Q
Purcari → Odessa83 km 1h 30min
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
8
Odessa

Odessa Jewish Heritage Full Day Tour

After breakfast we will start our tour of Odessa. At the beginning of the 20th century Odessa was the third city in the world with the largest Jewish community, after Warsaw and Prague. 

Jewish Odessa is a phenomenon that attracts many historians, researchers, as well as ordinary travelers. And rightfully so, as the story of the Jewish Odessa is full of interesting facts and contradictions: local governors of the first half of the 19th century encouraged Jews to come and settle in the thriving city, yet the first in Russian Empire pogrom happened in Odessa. Jews made up a majority of small brokers, traders and porters. Odessa enthusiastically embraced Haskalah movement (Maskilim), and yet later became home to Sionism and Hasidism.


During the tour you will see the sights that have a particular meaning to the local Jewish community, such as the Jewish Museum of Odessa at Migdal Society, Brodsky Synagogue, Hasidic Synagogue, the Jewish Cemetery, Prohorovsky Square and its Memorial, the Memorial to the Victims of the Holocaust and the Jewish Memorial to the Victims of the Pogrom in 1905. We will stop for lunch at Rozmarin restaurant.

We will then visit the key places of the city center, including Deribasovskaya, the Opera Theater and other historical buildings of museums, visit the beautiful Shevchanko Park, and stroll along Alley of Fame. Walk along Primorsky Boulevard for a remarkable panorama of the port and the sea. Here we will discover the famous Potemkin stairs. Next we will explore Pushkinskaya, Rishelievskaya, Lanzheronovskaya streets onboard our excursion bus, followed by a ride in the famous French boulevard and attractive Arcadia resort area.


We will close our visit of Odessa with a visit to its catacombs. Extending over 2,500 km, these catacombs that form a unique subway were mainly built 200 years ago, when stone was excavated from mines. During the first years of the city construction, catacombs became a shelter for various criminal gangs and groups. They arranged storages of different smuggled goods that went through Odessa.

Dinner at Franzoli.

Overnight at the hotel. 

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

day
9
Odessa

After breakfast transfer to airport for your flight back home.

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Accommodations

Chisinau
]

Nobil Luxury Boutique Hotel

Odessa
]

Hotel Londonskaya

Price for luxury experience

Customizable private tour
Prices per person2 pax
Double Sharing
3-4 pax
Double Sharing
1 Mar 2017 - 31 Oct 2017$1904$1504

Photos

Odessa Jewish Cemetery
Cricova Winery tasting hall
Soroca Fortress
Jewish Museum, Chisinau
Lord Nativity Cathedral, Chisinau
Chisinau Synagogue
Orhei Jewish Cemetery
Rascov Jewish Cemetery
Parliament, Tiraspol
Vineyard, Purcari
Brosky Synagogue, Odessa
Opera Theatre, Odessa

Map

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