Discover Eastern Romania with our private tours
The biggest city in Moldavia, eastern Romania, Iasi is the perfect base to explore this off-the-beaten-track region of the country, unfairly underestimated as a travel destination, often ignored in favor of the nearby Bucovina.
Still, Moldavia has plenty to offer when it comes to culture, spirituality, and nature. Our top five day trips from Iasi will show you the best options to uncover this traditional land of churches, vineyards, old villages, and breathtaking mountains. These day trips from Iasi can easily become a weekend break as you’ll find many more places to visit along the way.
Bucovina or the ‘land of beech forest’ is one of the top day trips destinations from Iasi you should take. Part of Moldavia until the late 18th century when it became a province of the Habsburg Empire, Bucovina preserves unique painted churches from the medieval centuries.
The prime examples of the Moldavian style of architecture that appeared and developed in the 15th and 16th centuries, these churches are today included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Religious calendars, saints’ sacrifice, key scenes from the Old and New Testament are all immortalized in the frescoes that cover the walls of the churches, including even dramatic historical events of the time like the siege of Constantinople.
These monuments are included in our Painted Monasteries of Bucovina Tour.
Until the communist regime changed forever the architectural landscape of Romania, Iasi was a historical city with luxurious palaces and an old aristocracy that gave entire generations of local princes. Most of these rich families had vast properties in the countryside, but most were destroyed by the communist authorities.
Still, you can visit or at least see what remained of the vast aristocratic properties. Don’t miss Cuza Palace from Ruginoasa, Sturdza Castle from Miclauseni, Carp Mansion from Tibanesti, Cantacuzino-Pascanu Mansion from Popesti, Polizu Mansion from Maxut, or Sturdza Palace from Miroslava.
Moldavia was often directly affected by the Ottoman expansion from the medieval centuries. Strong fortresses and military systems defended the borders of the region, protecting it from the attacks of its powerful neighbors.
Almost all the medieval fortresses were destroyed after Moldavia accepted the Ottoman suzerainty, but one of the most solid survived almost miraculously in Targu Neamt. This 14th-century fortress is today one of the top historical monuments from Romania, a faithful representation of the defensive architecture of the time.
Don’t miss the nearby monastery of Neamt and the monasteries of Agapia and Varatec, two of the most visited religious monuments in the country.
Iasi is only three hours away from some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Romania, Bicaz Gorges-Hasmas National Park and Ceahlau National Park, both located in the mountainous Neamt County.
On a day trip from Iasi, you can easily admire Bicaz Gorges, the natural dam Red Lake, and Izvorul Muntelui, the biggest man-made lake in Romania. If you leave early enough you can even do a hike to the top of Ceahlau Mountain. It’s an easy and scenic hike, with panoramic views over Bicaz Lake, a must-do for hikers and nature photographers.
If you have a passion for wine, you’re definitely in the right place as Moldavia’s vineyard tradition is documented since the 15th century when the wine of Cotnari was first mentioned. This is still the most famous wine in the region, produced from the large vineyards located just 70 km from Iasi. The wine cellars and the wine museum from Bucium are a good start for your day trip to Cotnari.
But don’t stop here. A bit further away, in Vrancea and Vaslui Counties, you can visit the vineyards Ochean, Averesti, and Girboiu to add even more taste to your time in Moldavia. Just be sure to plan your visit ahead as some of the vineyards don’t have a daily visiting schedule.
We hope our guide to the top day trips from Iasi inspired you to add another day to your vacation in Moldavia, a destination worth seeing at least once in your travels around Romania.