Landlocked between Romania and Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova is a country of low hills, forests and steppes. Bălăneşti Hill is the highest and only 430m. In the west the Prut river marks the border with Romania. A second important river is the Dniester, crossing the country from north to south. The land east of the Dniester is also known as Transdniestria or Pridnestrovie, and its status is disputed: it unilaterally declared its independence in 1990, but is considered to be part of Moldova by the international community. In all, Moldova is a largely agricultural country, with hills up north and flatlands and steppes further south called the Bugeac plain. Moldova's hills are part of the Moldavian Plateau, which in turn is geologically part of the Carpathian Mountains.
There are no long distance hiking trails. Undoubtedly there are some trails set out in nature reserves such as the "Codri" (meaning forests) nature reserve, which features some lovely mixed forests in a diverse landscape, and beautiful monasteries. Hancesti forest is another example. Hiking is possible from spring till autumn, although some snow is possible in May. Lodging is basic, but there is some agro tourism (farm stays), and it is quite common to stay in private rooms with local people.
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