Romania is the Wild West of Eastern Europe, known for the forested region of Transylvania ringed by the Carpathian Mountains. Its preserved medieval towns include Sighişoara, and there are many fortified churches and castles, notably clifftop Bran Castle, long associated with the Dracula legend. Bucharest, the country’s capital, has a charm of its own and is the site of the gigantic, Communist-era Palatul Parlamentului government building. For the adventure traveller, Romania offers superb hiking and skiing.

Moldova is one of Europe’s smallest nations which has some of the most fertile soil of the former Soviet Union with forest and vineyards stretching to every corner. Its wine regions include Nistreana, known for reds, and Codru, home to some of the world’s largest cellars. Capital Chișinău has Soviet-style architecture and the National Museum of History, exhibiting art and ethnographic collections that reflect cultural links with neighbouring Romania.