Rediscover Vadul-Rascov and Socola

  • Starting point: Chisinau
  • Ending point: Hanul lui Hanganu Guesthouse
  • Route length: approximately 260 km, up to 5 hours by car. Distance calculated connecting the main points of interest mentioned on the route.

Vadul-Rascov is a particularly beautiful place. For centuries it was a frontier town, also here was the famous Fair for the entire region, while in old times there was the famous Silk Road crossing this territory. Before the Dubasari Hydroelectric Power Station was made operational, the villagers used to cross the Dniester River without getting off the horse. When you arrive in Vadul-Rascov, leave some money in the village, as Rascov means pocket money in Dacian language. In Vadul-Rascov locality there is also Socola village. In the upper terrace of the high river bank, behind the village of Socola, the largest, most enigmatic and yet hardly discovered cave complex in this part of Europe. The researchers say that the caves are of karst origin, being then transformed by the man-dug mine into a secret refuges and places of worship. Stretching the four-level complex, along more than seven kilometers of the riverbank, offers an incredible panorama of the gigantic cave complex.

Born in Vadul-Rascov was the Moldovan poet Dumitru Matcovschi while in the village there a house-museum dedicated to him.

Warning: A part of the route is located in Transnistria – a self-proclaimed separatist region, so don’t forget to take your passport to cross the “border”.

Tourist attractions of the route


La Nistru guest house is located in Molovata Nouă, a special location, on the Left Bank of the Nistru River, in Codru vine and wine area. It all started back in 1970, when the location was known as the summer camp on the Dniester River. It was here that children rested during their summer holidays. Its history takes on a different scale in 2019, when at the...
La Nistru guest house is located in Molovata Nouă, a special location, on the Left Bank of the Nistru River, in Codru vine and wine area. It all started back in 1970, when the location was known as the summer camp on the Dniester River. It was here that children rested during their summer holidays. Its history takes on a different scale in 2019, when at the initiative of the proprietors, the construction of an agro-tourist guest house was launched, which currently offers accommodation, restaurant, terrace, patio and playground for children. The business is also proud of its bakery that provides the camp and the guest house with fresh goodies all year around.

Hanganu's Inn on the Nistru River - (1 hour 40 minutes, 105 km)


The Japca is the only monastery in Moldova that has functioned continuously as a religious sanctuary from its founding, even during Soviet times. Its setting is special because it is near the Hermitage on the Rock, an ancient cave church that offers a marvelous view of the Dniester River. Monks lived in the cave before building the monastery.  The Japca Monastery is one of Moldova’s oldest, dating...
The Japca is the only monastery in Moldova that has functioned continuously as a religious sanctuary from its founding, even during Soviet times. Its setting is special because it is near the Hermitage on the Rock, an ancient cave church that offers a marvelous view of the Dniester River. Monks lived in the cave before building the monastery.  The Japca Monastery is one of Moldova’s oldest, dating from the 17th Century. Its most impressive piece of architecture is its uniquely designed Church of the Lord’s Ascension.
  • Distance from Chisinau: 160 km
  • Visiting hours: Monday – Sunday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • Type: Monastery for nuns

Dumitru Matcovschi’s House-Museum


In Vadul-Rascov village one could find the House - Museum of the poet and playwright Dumitru Matcovschi. The Author created more than 50 volumes of poetry, prose and theatre plays. The house-museum preserves the authentic architecture alongside with the household that has always been known as a well-groomed one. The Dniester River runs next to the garden of the House-Museum, which creates a picturesque atmosphere, as if...
In Vadul-Rascov village one could find the House - Museum of the poet and playwright Dumitru Matcovschi. The Author created more than 50 volumes of poetry, prose and theatre plays. The house-museum preserves the authentic architecture alongside with the household that has always been known as a well-groomed one. The Dniester River runs next to the garden of the House-Museum, which creates a picturesque atmosphere, as if taken from the fairy tales.

Jewish cemetery at Vadul Rascov


The Jewish Cemetery of Vadul Rascov is a representative monument of Jewish community. People say that the Jewish cemetery here is the largest in the Republic of Moldova and one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the Southeast Europe. Currently, there is not a single Jewish family living here, however the history of many families has left its imprint on the culture of the village.
The Jewish Cemetery of Vadul Rascov is a representative monument of Jewish community. People say that the Jewish cemetery here is the largest in the Republic of Moldova and one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in the Southeast Europe. Currently, there is not a single Jewish family living here, however the history of many families has left its imprint on the culture of the village.

A good time to visit the Hanganu resort is — well, anytime. In winter you can skate on the frozen Nistru River. The Tipova waterfall is also frozen then, and what a sight! It looks like an ice kingdom from a movie. After you’ve traipsed around outside for a while, your cottage stove will warm you right up. In summer you can take boat rides on the...
A good time to visit the Hanganu resort is — well, anytime. In winter you can skate on the frozen Nistru River. The Tipova waterfall is also frozen then, and what a sight! It looks like an ice kingdom from a movie. After you’ve traipsed around outside for a while, your cottage stove will warm you right up. In summer you can take boat rides on the Nistru and horse-drawn carriages through the villages that flank the river. Don’t leave the Hanganu without tasting the house specialty, dwarf sarmale.