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Moldova is a small country in Southeastern Europe bordered by Romania on the west and Ukraine on the north, east, and south. It lies between latitudes 45° and 49° N, and mostly between meridians 26° and 30° E (a small area lies east of 30°). Moldova has a total surface area of 33,843 square kilometers (13,067 square miles). It is landlocked, even though it is very close to the Black Sea. The capital, Chişinau, is situated in the center of the country.

Moldova,officially the Republic of Moldova is alandlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east, and south.The capital city is Chișinău.

Moldova declared independence on August 27, 1991, as part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. The current Constitution of Moldova was adopted in 1994. A strip of Moldovan territory on the east bank of the river Dniester has been under the de facto control of the breakaway government of Transnistria since 1990.

Moldova is a parliamentary republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government. It is a member state of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, theCommonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) and aspires to join the European Union.

 

The name "Moldova" is derived from the Moldova River; the valley of this river was a political centre when the Principality of Moldavia was founded in 1359. The origin of the name of the river is not clear. According to a legend recounted by Moldavian chroniclers Dimitrie Cantemir and Grigore Ureche, the river was named by prince Dragoș after hunting anaurochs: after the chase, his exhausted hound Molda drowned in the river. The dog's name was given to the river and extended to the Principality.

Moldova is a unitary parliamentary representative democratic republic.

Moldova lies between latitudes 45° and 49° N, and mostly between meridians 26° and 30° E (a small area lies east of 30°). The total land area is 33,851 km2

The largest part of the nation lies between two rivers, the Dniester and the Prut. The western border of Moldova is formed by the Prut river, which joins the Danube before flowing into theBlack Sea. Moldova has access to the Danube for only about 480 m (1,575 ft), and Giurgiulești is the only Moldovan port on the Danube. In the east, the Dniester is the main river, flowing through the country from north to south, receiving the waters of Răut, Bâc, Ichel, Botna. Ialpug flows into one of the Danube limans, while Cogâlnic into the Black Sea chain of limans.

The country is landlocked, even though it is very close to the Black Sea. While most of the country is hilly, elevations never exceed 430 m (1,411 ft) – the highest point being the Bălănești Hill. Moldova's hills are part of the Moldavian Plateau, which geologically originate from the Carpathian Mountains. Its subdivisions in Moldova include the Dniester Hills (Northern Moldavian Hills and Dniester Ridge), the Moldavian Plain (Middle Prut Valley and Bălți Steppe), and the Central Moldavian Plateau (Ciuluc-Soloneț Hills, Cornești Hills—Codri Massive, "Codri" meaning "forests"—Lower Dniester Hills, Lower Prut Valley, and Tigheci Hills). In the south, the country has a small flatland, the Bugeac Plain. The territory of Moldova east of the river Dniester is split between parts of the Podolian Plateau, and parts of the Eurasian Steppe.

The country's main cities are the capital Chișinău, in the centre of the country, Tiraspol (in the eastern region of Transnistria), Bălți (in the north) and Bender (in the south-east). Comrat is the administrative centre of Gagauzia.

Moldova has a climate which is moderately continental; its proximity to the Black Sea leads to the climate being mild and sunny.

The summers are warm and long, with temperatures averaging about 20 °C (68 °F), and the winters are relatively mild and dry, with January temperatures averaging −4 °C (25 °F). Annual rainfall, which ranges from around 600 mm (24 in) in the north to 400 mm (16 in) in the south, can vary greatly; long dry spells are not unusual. The heaviest rainfall occurs in early summer and again in October; heavy showers and thunderstorms are common. Because of the irregular terrain, heavy summer rains often cause erosion and river silting.

Moldova is known for its wines. For many years viticulture and winemaking in Moldova were the general occupation of the population. Evidence of this is present in historical memorials and documents, folklore, and the spoken language of Moldova, which is Romanian.

The country has a well established wine industry. It has a vineyard area of 147,000 hectares (360,000 acres), of which 102,500 ha (253,000 acres) are used for commercial production. Most of the country's wine production is made for export. Many families have their own recipes and strands of grapes that have been passed down through the generations.

Cricova is one of the largest wine cellars in the world, with 120 km (75 mi) of tunnel-like storage galleries.

Moldova's rich soil and temperate continental climate (with warm summers and mild winters) have made the country one of the most productive agricultural regions since ancient times, and a major supplier of agricultural products in southeastern Europe. In agriculture, the economic reform started with the land cadastre reform.

Tourism focuses on the country's natural landscapes and its history. Wine tours are offered to tourists across the country. Vineyards/cellars include Cricova, Purcari, Ciumai, Romanești,Cojușna, Mileștii Mici.

The main means of transportation in Moldova are railroads 1,138 km (707 mi) and a highway system (12,730 km or 7,910 mi overall, including 10,937 km or 6,796 mi of paved surfaces). The sole international air gateway of Moldova is the Chișinău International Airport. The Giurgiulești terminal on the Danube is compatible with small seagoing vessels. Shipping on the lowerPrut and Nistru rivers plays only a modest role in the country's transportation system.

Historically, Bessarabia contained a very large minority of non-Romanians, about 44 percent even in 1930. Its Romanian-language speakers clung to a "Moldavian" identity. The term "Moldavian" had initially described the inhabitants of the Moldavian Principality. 

The official language of Moldova is Romanian, a Romance language related to Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Moldovan cuisine is similar to neighbouring Romania, and has been influenced by elements of Russian, Turkish, and Ukrainian cuisine. Main dishes include beef, pork, potatoes, cabbage, and a variety of cereals. Popular alcoholic beverages are divin (Moldovan brandy), beer, and local wine.

Total recorded adult alcohol consumption is approximately evenly split between spirits, beer and wine.