Orhei Vechi Monastery


19 December 2016

Orhei Vechi Monastery

Searching into sights of Moldova and you would not find much other, then sights in Chisinau, wineries or Orhei Vechi Monastery. To be honestly, I could not find other interesting sights to visit in Moldova. But this might be because the country is not touristy jet and doesn’t know what tourist would like to see. For example, I could not find proper hiking spots, which I’m always interested in.

How to get there?

Orhei Vechi Monastery kept popping up as a sight. It seemed to be a monastery and church up a hill.

To visit this site Anton and I had to take a minibus from the market in Chisinau. This would take up 1.15 minutes to get to the bottom of the hill where the monastery is settled. Just make sure to tell the driver you want to visit the monastery. He will point you in the right direction where to get of the bus. He will tell you when the bus will return. Be on time! There is only one bus coming back to Chisinau!

When we arrived in the weekend there were a few sales woman to sell some snacks and souvenirs. From other people I heard there were no sales woman during the week so bring some snacks.
An easy path leads you up the hill. In distance you can see the monastery very clearly. It looks not really big and it seemed to have a few buildings.

Walking up slowly we could see a scenic view 360 degrees. The weather was dark and gray. Fields were empty since it was November already. There was not much grass land, only field to cultivate potato, corn, wheat and who knows what.

With that, the scenery wasn’t very lush and green. We could see far distance and we even could see some caves in the other mountains. I assume in spring and summer this view would be very colorful! We took our time to get up.

Along the way we visited the cave church. The church still seemed to be used. We did not get much information from the man who sat there to sell some candles. His English was limited.

Inside the monastery further uphill, we could see a small prayer with monks and other people. We are not sure what it was. It was interesting though.

We followed the path a bit more, which gives you a nice view over the monastery and surroundings.

After 2 hours, we had seen enough. We walked back and found out we have to wait another 2 hours before the bus would arrive. Luckily it was Sunday, so more people visit this place. The first car which passes took us as hitchhikers back to Chisinau, which saved us loads of time.

How to get there?

The bus leaves from the central market. The minibuses have a sign in front of the bus where they headed. If you can’t read it, just ask around. People are happy to help you point out in the right direction. Buses leave when (almost) full.

On the picture you can see what time the buss will leave and when it will return. The only bus heading back to Chisinau is at 12.00 and 16.10 hours. The bus leaves the station around 10.20. We arrived about a quarter to 12 so not enough time to take the 12.00 hours bus back.

You can also do as us; hitchhike back. But as said before, not many people travel to Orhei Vechi, so don’t count on it!