Description of Moldova vacation
One of Europe’s quirkiest countries, miniscule Moldova is home to the “breakaway republic” of Transdniestr and the autonomous region of Gagauzia – making it extremely hard to define. Dwarfed by its neighbours Ukraine and Romania, Moldova’s historical and contemporary influences stretch from the Ottoman Empire to Russia, creating an intriguing confluence of cultures which can be explored on this Moldova vacation. Few people know about this region’s wine-producing heritage, but this six-day Moldova vacation takes you to vast, subterranean wine cellars and small family-run wineries with the chance to sample some of these superb wines. You can visit cave monasteries, the 16th century fortress at Bendery, and cross the border into long, narrow Transdniestr – also known as Transnistria – which is only recognised by three other non-UN states. This Moldova vacation is certainly a tour with a difference; “off the beaten track” doesn’t even come close.
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PlanetMoldova does not see the same numbers of visitors that many other countries experience and as such some practices which we take for granted in other parts of the world may not be found here. We work closely with our suppliers to introduce concepts of environmental responsibility to the communities that we travel through. This can include asking hotels to implement practices such as asking guests if they need fresh cleaned towels each day, and reminding guests to turn off lights when they leave the room – small things that are standard practice in many places in the western world but not necessarily elsewhere. Most of the places that we stay in on this tour will take advantage of the excellent local produce, not only sustaining traditional communities but ensuring that unnecessary food miles are not made. We work with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues, an important effort in a country where the environment is often taken for granted and green thinking is largely absent.
Many of Moldova's historic monuments do not receive the care and attention that they would in countries with higher visitor numbers. The entrance fees that we pay to enter such sites contribute to their ongoing maintenance.
Moldova is a largely rural country but as with everywhere, modernity makes inroads. We encourage our travelers to set a good example in terms of not dropping litter and ensuring that we leave the places that we travel through as we find them, particularly the more remote and unspoilt parts of the country.
Where appropriate and feasible we will always incorporate walking tours of cities rather than being reliant on private transportation - not only reducing our carbon footprint but we believe leading to a more enjoyable and intimate experience for our clients.
PeopleOur philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution. We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced. We also try to engage with our suppliers on an equal basis – getting the lowest possible price usually isn’t the best outcome for local communities and is ultimately unsustainable. We aim to always treat our suppliers fairly and with respect; they are after all part of the key to our success and to us working together is much more than just a business arrangement, but an ongoing relationship that we aim to ensure truly benefits everyone involved.
We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures – usually between one and three a year - for each of our itineraries. By limiting our presence in areas where local culture can be quite fragile, we hope to avoid as much as possible the phenomenon whereby an area changes in character due to repeated and prolonged exposure to tourism. We want to visit an area as friends, not intruders and to ensure that what we see will also be there for others to enjoy for many years to come.
We only employ local staff and unlike many operators we believe that to send a foreign Tour Leader along to accompany your trip is an unnecessary burden on your wallet and our carbon footprint. We believe that locals know best. Our local operators only use locally owned accommodation. This means your money stays in the area to benefit the local community. When possible we use local transport, (i.e. rail or bus) and we always use local restaurants, markets and shops and encourage our clients to interact both financially and socially with the communities that they are passing through. In doing this your travels are supporting and encouraging the development of local services.
We only work with operators who are as committed as we are to putting something back into the communities we visit. This may include giving a percentage of the profits from each tour to a foundation to help street children or local conservation projects.
Our groups average only six clients, and many tours operate on a private basis with just two travelers. This has much less impact when traveling through rural areas, reducing our environmental and social affects. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travelers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.