Varatic is a village in the North-West of Moldova, directly on the Ciuhur river, just a few Kilometres from the Romanian border. It is well-known for its pre-historic caves and a waterfall which represent the Varatic Gorge. This is a natural monument of geological and palaeontological type. Here you can discover the ”Casoaia” Cave and the waterfall in 3 levels (1,5m, 2,5m, and 3,5m). The Gorge was formed during thousands of years and nowadays it is a perfect place for hiking and discovering the nature of Moldova. Varatic is part of the so-called ”Prut Rocks” – a 200 km long chain of limestone reef formations starting with Criva village in the north of the country.
In 1978, while the Soviets and the Romanians were building the Stanca-Costesti Dam over the Prut river, Varatic was one of the 18 villages affected by the construction. This meant that around 15 households in Varatic had to be removed from the riverbank. But thanks to the Dam nowadays there is the possibility to make a boat trip on the river with beautiful view on the gorges on both sides. From Varatic to Costesti lake (59 km2) on the motor boat you will need something like 45 minute and with a kayak more than 2 hours.
When visiting Varatic, before getting into the village you might notice a lot of apple orchards on the both sides of the road. This has also history. During the Soviet times, Varatic was one of the biggest kolkhoz in the area, mainly harvesting apples and plums, as well as wheat, tomatoes and paprikas. In the 70s-80s, in Varatic was the second largest orchard kolkhoz of apples, plums and cherries, with a total area of 2500 hectares. Today these orchards belong to private people of to peasants associations and mostly they export they export the fruit to Ukraine or Romania.
If you are looking for sightseeing in Varatic- you should definitely take a walk along the river. If you start walking south, you will reach Duruitoarea Gorge with one of the oldest caves in Moldova. If you walk north down the river, you will reach Horodiste village , where you can see how the river looked before the Costesti-Stanca Dam was build – a tiny river surrounded by green and grey rocks. Further, in a radius of 30-40km, you might want to visit the following attractions: Padurea Domneasca ( http://www.moldova-tourism.md/index.php/en/atractii-turistice-en/93-padurea-domneasca-reservation-princely-forest ), a natural reservation on about 5000 hectares, along the Prut river, where you can see bisons, deers, wild cats, wild boars, etc. On the way to Padurea Domneasca , you might want to make a stop at ” Suta de Movile” ( hundred hills) – an interesting landscape with lots of hills one next to another.
If interested in caves, and prehistoric times, you might want to visit Emil Racovita Cave. This is the biggest Cave in Moldova with a surface of about 50 hectare. There you will need about 1 hour by car.
After a day in the garden, or a day on the water, or a hiking journey, the most fantastic thing you will experience in Varatic is the sky full of stars. We recommend this as therapy for each of our guests. Go outside in the night, lay down on the grass, listen to the frogs and birds and watch how you can take the stars by hand.
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