IN MAY WE HAVE FLIGHTS INTO BUDAPEST AND WE'RE THINKING OF SPENDING 2½ WEEKS IN MOLDOVA AND ROMANIA. ANY ITINERARY ADVICE REGARDING SELF-DRIVE VS ORGANISED TOURS? B. KEOUGH, EAST KEMPSEY, NSW
Eastern Europe is a great choice for those looking to explore a slightly different side of Europe and, although it might be unfamiliar territory for Aussies, Romania sees plenty of tourists, although far fewer make it to Moldova.
All the major car-hire operators offer vehicles for hire in Romania and self-drive is a great way to go since the transport infrastructure still lags in rural areas, and that's where the heart of Romania lies. You might hire a local guide, and this is no problem to arrange through tourist offices. It appears that Avis is one of the few car-hire operators prepared to allow vehicles hired in Romania to be driven in Moldova. There is a small extra fee and also another fee for the Green Card, which you'll need to prove insurance cover. The border crossing can take some time. Travis Tourism travis.ro is a Bucharest-based travel operator that can fit you out with a self-drive vehicle and pre-booked hotel accommodation. Several itineraries are available and that's probably a trouble-free way to organise your trip.