Moldova Wine Country Photo Tour

  • Duration

    8 days | October 29 – November 5, 2017

  • Location

    Cotnari Winery, Iasi – Copou Wine Research Institute, Cricova and Milesti Wineries in the Republic of Moldova, Museum of Wine in Harlau, the famous Cucuteni Civilization (5,000-7,000 years old)

  • Expedition Leaders

    Photographer Susanna Patras

  • Expedition Cost


  • Number of Participants

    Limited to 6 participants

Wine and food have a special place in Romanian culture. According to ancient Greek writings, Dionysos, the God of wine & grape harvests was born on the fertile lands of Thracia, Dacia (ancient Romania) being one of the most significant parts of it. Join us for a unique photo tour exploring the most famous wineries and vineyards of Moldova, the art and science of wine making, Moldavian culinary delicacies, and exceptional wines medaled in numerous international competitions.


Palace of Culture in Iasi, Romania

DAY 1 – October 29, 2017

Fly from your international hometown to Iasi. A shuttle will pick you up at Iasi International Airport and take you to our headquarter hotel (Note: let us know your flight schedule at least a week in advance, so we can arrange for your RT transfers). Plan to arrive before 7:00PM (19:00). We will have a meet and greet dinner at our hotel’s restaurant at 8:00PM (20:00). Dinner will include local culinary delicacies, local wines and brandy or liqueur. Note: The evening can be used to charge your camera”s batteries and prepare your equipment for next day shooting.

DAY 2 – October 30, 2017

We will start our wine country tour with a hearty breakfast and then we will head to Cotnari, the oldest and most important viticulture centers in Moldova, Romania. The wines of Cotnari have been produced as early as 82-84 BC. The name “Cotnari” holds a special significance: “cot” means “to turn” or “to measure” and “ar” means “to craft”. The wines of Cotnari gained real fame during the 15th century becoming a favorite at many princely courts in Eastern and Central Europe. Today, they are the best known Romanian wines abroad, winners of over 150 international awards. Cotnari produces wines only from indigenous Romanian grape varieties, such as Grasa de Cotnari, Francusa, Tamaioasa, Feteasca. Cotnari has a collection of over one million bottles of wine, some of them quite old and rare. We will have the opportunity to sample several different wines, visit and photograph impressive cellars, and enjoy delicious traditional appetizers. In the afternoon, we will photograph the vineyards that stretch on for miles over the hills of Cotnari. We will stay overnight in Deleni in a beautiful neoclassical style building built in 1878 by prince Ghica’s family and enjoy a gourmet dinner prepared from fresh local organic products.

DAY 3 – October 31, 2017

After breakfast, we’ll head to Harlau to visit the Museum of Wine. In the afternoon we will visit the ancient civilization of Cucuteni (dating back more than 5,000-7,000 years old) unearthed by archeologists in 1884 and named after the closest village with the same name. The Cucuteni civilization offers historians a glimpse into the first human settlements in Europe, a culture that precedes Sumer and ancient Egypt by a few hundred years. Human figures of clay and sand, proto-urban settlements, intricate pottery and various tools were found at Cucuteni. If time will allow, we’ll end the day photographing traditions in nearby villages, the ruins of Catalina fortress, a Thracian/Getae fortress dating back to the 4th century BC and the Castle of Carjoaia built in 1901. Overnight stay in Deleni.

DAY 4 – November 1, 2017

After breakfast, we will cross the border into the Republic of Moldova to visit Milestii Mici Winery and taste various famous wines. This winery is the largest in the world (a Guiness Book record) stretching on about 200 kms and numbering over 2 million bottles of wine. We will end the day with a traditional dinner at Milestii Mici winery (included in the tour of winery).
Overnight in Chisinau.

Traditionally dressed Moldavian woman

DAY 5 – November 2, 2017

After breakfast, we will visit Cricova Winery. Cricova Winery is 60 years old, but Moldova has a few thousand years of history in viticulture. Cricova is a huge underground complex that features a museum, wine cellars, streets (Cabernet Street, Dionis Street, Sauvignon Street, etc), five superbly decorated wine tasting rooms, Moldova’s national collection of wines, as well as a traditional restaurant and shop. Interesting to note, Cricova also hosts Hermann Göring’s collection of rare wines that was given to the USSR in war reparations after World War II. We will have the opportunity to taste the excellent Cricova wines, but, most importantly, to visit and photograph the cellars, the museum, the streets. Our day will end with a traditional lunch served at Cricova (included in the winery tour). Overnight in Chisinau.

Note: Please be advised that anything you buy on the territory of the Republic of Moldova will be subject to a customs fee payable at the border. This fee is NOT included in the cost of Moldova Wine Country Photo Tour.

DAY 6 – November 3, 2017

After breakfast, we will head back to Iasi. In the afternoon, we will visit the Golden Plateau, the old part of the city to the National Theater/Opera House, The Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral (the largest one in the country), the Church of Three Hierarchs, and the Palace of Culture. Our last stop will be The University of Iasi, the oldest university in Romania. If time will allow, we will drive to Hadimbu monastery, located a short disctance away from Iasi. Overnight in Iasi.

DAY 7 – November 4, 2017

After breakfast, we will head to the oldest and most famous neighborhood in Iasi city, Copou, to visit the Wine Research Institute. We will continue with a visit of the Botanical Gardens, the oldest in Romania. We will spend the entire afternoon photographing the famous fall flowers exhibition. Late afternoon, we will end the tour with the farewell dinner at a famous traditional restaurant called Bolta Rece. Bolta Rece has a history of its own. It was built in the 19th century and has been for more than a century a favorite of the artists and the intellectuals in Moldova. Overnight stay in Iasi.

DAY 8 – November 5, 2017

After breakfast, the shuttle will take you to Iasi International Airport for your flight back home.

Note: Let us know your flight schedule before the start of the photo tour so we can arrange your RT transfers to the airport.

Moldavian traditions in Madirjac village, Romania

What is included

  • RT Airport Transfers from Iasi International Airport to the tour hotel in Iasi

  • Premium accommodations and daily breakfasts

  • Arrival and farewell dinners, dinners in Deleni, dinner in Milesti, and lunch in Cricova

    all others not included

  • Local transportation during the photo tour in a modern air-conditioned vehicle

  • English-speaking local guides/driver

  • All entrance fees to museums, parks, winery tours, wine tasting

What is NOT included

  • International Airfare

  • Visas (if applicable - check with Romanian Embassy in your country)

  • Lunches, dinners, drinks (except where specifically mentioned)

  • Personal Expenses

  • Tips (guides, valets, waiters)

  • International medical insurance. We require participants to purchase international medical insurance.

  • Equipment and travel insurance

Additional Fees

Moldova Wine Country Photo Tour, Wine Tasting and Sightseeing has a maximum number of 6 paying participants. In the event the Photo Tour does not fill, there is an extra fee of $250 for 2 -3 paying participants, and $350 for 4 paying participants.

Moldova Wine Country Photo Tour is geared towards photographers/travelers who like to photograph wine-making, traditions, architecture, foods. This photo tour will also offer participants the opportunity to taste several varieties of wines and local foods. The trip will require normal fitness condition, as most sites are accessible by car. Moderate walking is required while carrying your own photo equipment.

The itinerary has been carefully planned to maximize your photo opportunities, but we are also dependent on weather. Therefore, we reserve the right to change parts of it, or revise it without notice according to weather conditions. We also reserve the right to change the details of this itinerary without notice to better match new photo opportunities. In case the minimum number of participants is not met, we reserve the right to cancel the tour.  We reserve the right to adjust the fees for Moldova Wine Country Photo Tour due to factors beyond our control, such as currency fluctuations, sudden increases in market prices, natural disasters that might force us to change the itinerary immediately, and other factors.

Please make sure you fill in the REGISTRATION FORM before you submit your payment for Moldova Wine Country Photo Tour. Your registration will be disregarded if we do not receive this form before you register.

Should you decide to cancel your participation in Moldova Wine Country Photo Tour less than 90 days before the start of the tour, a cancellation fee will be deducted. Therefore, we strongly recommend travel insurance.

Accommodation Photos

Accommodation photos belong to their respective owners. They are only used on this site for illustrative purposes with permission.