Day 2: Discovery of Cricova winery (120 km) - one of the largest underground wine cellars in the world
Chisinau - Curchi - Butuceni - Orheiul Vechi - Cricova - Chisinau
The first stop of this day will be at Curchi Monastery
. The monastery is surrounded by a high wall of stone, set with towers at each corner, creating the impression of a fortress. The Nativity of Virgin Mary Church built in 1775 by Iordache Curchi is an example of neo-byzantine style, while St. Nicholas Church has monumental forms built in classicism style with baroque elements.
You will enjoy a culinary masterclass
(“pacinte” making) and lunch at a guesthouse in Butuceni village where you will taste the “placinte” made during the masterclass and other Moldovan traditional dishes.
Next, you will set off on a time travel to Orheiul Vechi (Old Orhei) to see a natural amphitheater revealing a territory which was first inhabited 40 000 years ago. The Cultural, Natural and Landscape Reserve Orheiul Vechi
includes a series of historical and cultural monuments as well as natural landscapes in the gorge of the Raut River. Ancient fortifications, cave monasteries, monks and hermits – here you can follow the history of this region. The remnants of the first human settlements were found in the stone caverns from here. On the rocky hill, you will find the ruins of a strong Geto-Dacian fortification, which acted as a sanctuary for celebrating religious holidays and rituals in this prehistoric community. The originality of Orheiul Vechi landscape is due to the gorge of the Raut River, dug under the form of a canyon in the limestone layers of the former Sarmatian Sea, about 14 million years ago.
You will continue your trip by exploring a new city, this time an underground city. During the excursion at Cricova winery
in the tourist train, at a depth of 80 m, you will discover the wonders of this place. Cricova underground galleries are formed by over seventy streets covering an area of nearly 120 km, each bearing Bacchic names: Sauvignon, Cabernet, Cahors. The jewel of the underground treasure is the National Collection, including over 600 types of wine totaling about 1 million bottles. Here you can admire the oldest bottle of wine - “Jewish Easter Wine”, dating from 1902 and discover the tastes of Cricova wines.
Traditional dishes at Butuceni guesthouse
Cultural, Natural and Landscape Reserve Orheiul Vechi