A Premiere for the Republic of Moldova. The village of Văleni in the Cahul district has been designated as one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in the world. The international recognition comes from the World Tourism Organization, which selected this locality in the southern part of the Republic of Moldova from among 260 other applications from 60 different countries. The villagers say they are honored that, out of so many beautiful places in the world, Văleni has won the admiration of the jury.
The village of Văleni, located in the heart of the “Prutul de Jos” natural reserve, impresses with its extraordinary nature, warm people, and ancient traditions. Locals say that although they didn’t expect the whole world to learn about Văleni, international recognition makes them more confident about the village’s future.
SVETLANA VODĂ, resident and entrepreneur of Văleni, Cahul: “Wonderful news, unbelievable, we never imagined that we could become such a distant tourist destination. Like a fairy tale place, a corner of paradise, that’s what we say about Văleni – a corner of paradise, in the corner of the country. I am proud, I am happy!”
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The villagers say that many tourists have embraced the traditions, food, and picturesque locations of Văleni.
MIHAELA ŞTIRBEŢ, resident and administrator of Văleni, Cahul: “Almost 3 times a week, foreign tourists come. They not only come for accommodation but also in large groups of 100-150 people. We show them our folkloric program, our traditional food, they dance our Văleni horas and leave happily. They really say that out of all their experiences along the Danube, Moldova is the best.”
The village of Văleni became known worldwide due to the song “Bunica bate toba,” which was heard on the Eurovision stage. And the grandmother, originally from Văleni, conquered the whole world.
ECATERINA GRECU, resident of Văleni, Cahul: “We greet guests as if they were in our own home. Even if you come to my house or to a neighbor’s, a person from Văleni is accustomed to bringing out the wine and putting the best of what they have on the table. Of course, in Văleni, traditional dishes persist in all households: stuffed cabbage rolls, sauerkraut, etc.”
“Many tourists have indeed come. They enjoy it, I don’t even know where they come from, but they come. Grandma is old, and I’m not interested in such matters. But they come, as you say.”
“For example, our hills are picturesque. Our pond is very beautiful, there are many birds. In other places, we can’t find such birds. And even if they are there, to live in such conditions, in peace, no one disturbs them. After all, no one shoots them. That’s the way things are.”
The village of Văleni was first documented in 1430 and has over 3,000 inhabitants.