top of page
сплав по Днестру на катамаране по маршруту Жабка - Сахарна

Japca — Saharna.
Catamaran travel on the Dniester River

Japca — Socola — Saharna


2 days


7 pers.


185 euro




We will spend two days traveling along the river on a comfortable catamaran. In this part of the Dniester River, numerous caves, unexplored grottos, mysterious rock monasteries integrate uniquely into one river lane.
In the middle of the river, a new sense of space will open up, which is unfamiliar even to those who know the Dniester banks well but have never seen them from the water.
We will spend a night in a cozy camp, where everything is arranged for quiet talks at the campfire, with barbecue and Moldovan wine, of course. You can learn more about our camp


  • transfer by a comfortable mini-bus

  • meals

  • common first aid kit

  • comfortable catamaran with engine

  • excursion program, including entrance tickets

  • accommodation in a comfortable mobile campsite (shower, toilet, furniture, special beds for sleeping, tents)

  • instructor and guide services


  • children under the age of 16 are allowed only when accompanied by parents.

  • children under the age of 10 are given a 50% discount if they do not take a passenger seat. Comfortable additional seats will be prepared on the catamaran for children.

  • children under the age of 5 can be taken aboard only if the crew are members of one family or close relatives.

  • menu is negotiated at the preparation stage, before the departure


  • insurance

  • hotel accommodation

  • drinks

  • personal gear (rental is available)

  • tips (optional)


  • clothing for trekking and swimming

  • shoes for trekking and swimming

  • sunscreen, cap, sunglasses

  • other personal gear (sleeping bag, headlamp)

  • individual first aid kit


Day 1. Kishinev — Japca — Socola

In the morning, we leave by minibus from Kishinev, and in three hours we will find ourselves in the Dniester village of Japca. Here we will stop on a rocky promontory, a height that opens a picturesque panorama of the Dniester Valley. Japca Rock is a natural site. Such reef rocks of the ancient Sarmatian Sea create splendid landscapes throughout the north of Moldova. Here we will see, perhaps, one of the most striking ridges of the reef, towering at 143 meters over the Dniester.

At the foot of the rock, on the terrace above the floodplain, there is the Ascension Monastery with its 18th-century main church. This is the only church in Moldova that was not shut down during the Soviet era. We will walk around the monastery, see numerous grottos in its surroundings and visit the debris of a 17th-century rock church, which rises above the current monastery. 

view of the Dniester from a cliff in Japca, travel around Moldova
the Ascension Monastery from Japca with its 18th-century main church

After the excursion, we will return to the Dniester River and start our journey on the water by catamaran. Every meander of the river opens new views, ever-changing landscapes, and the striking beauty of the wildlife.

rafting on a catamaran on the Dniester river near village Socola, Moldova

After an hour of travel, we will sail to the village of Rashkov, known as a major border marketplace since the end of the 14thcentury. For three centuries, it was the southern outpost of Lithuania, and then the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth on the border with the Ottoman Empire, which included the Principality of Moldavia and the Tatar khanates.

In 1923, a variegated community developed here in Rashkov: about ten thousand Russians, Ukrainians, Moldovans, Poles, Jews, Greeks, Germans, Armenians — people of different cultural and religious backgrounds interacted with each other and formed a unique fusion of cultures. Today we are reminded of this unity in diversity by a church built for the Armenian Catholics, a functioning Orthodox church, ruins of a Uniate church, and a synagogue.

On the right bank, there is Vadul lui Rashkov, a satellite of Rashkov. A huge Jewish cemetery of the 17th – 20thcenturies has been preserved here, the size of which and the complete absence of the Jewish population today give us an idea of the scale of the catastrophe that completely changed the cultural appearance of these banks. This cemetery has its own special aesthetic. You will know it is the one once you see it.

Jewish cemetery on the Dniester river bank, Vadul lui Rashkov, Moldova
synagogue and catholic church in Rashkov, left bank of the Dniester river

From Vadul lui Rashkov, we will continue to the village of Socola. A few hours before sunset, we will go hiking to the rocks, from the top of which there is a beautiful view of the meander.

Here, in Socola, there are rare, untouched artificial grottos. Until now, they are practically not studied. Many of the niches in the rock are accessible only to experienced climbers. We will be able to climb up to some small halls carved into limestone, which offer a spectacular view.

After visiting the rocks above Socola, we will camp out at the riverside, have dinner, and quiet conversations around the campfire under a starry sky.

Dniester view from the rocky monastery in Socola, Moldova

Day 2. Socola — Saharna — Kishinev

If we travel in spring or autumn, we have the opportunity to witness a stunning sunrise in Socola from a high rocky promontory above the Dniester River. We will find ourselves above a thick layer of fog that creeps along the bend of the riverbed. The river canyon is especially beautiful here.

On this day, we will make some forty kilometers down the river. From Socola downstream, you get the feeling that you are floating through a rock city stretching along the river. There are numerous grottos, niches, carved in limestone, and small rock temples. The integrity of the unique landscape of this river lane can only be seen and felt from the river. Its length is about ten kilometers.

Dniester view from the rocky monastery in Socola, Moldova
the rocky monastery from Socola, Moldova

In the afternoon, we arrive in the town of Saharna. Here, in a beautiful gorge, there is an active monastery of the 18th century, a rock complex of the 13thcentury, and a hillfort left by the Getae who lived here more than two thousand years ago. In antiquity, the banks of the Middle Dniester were densely populated by the Getian tribes. Their fortified settlements were mostly located on the headlands of rocky gorges. Only on a small section of the Dniester, from Jabca to Tsipova, there are more than twenty fortified Getian settlements in such places. Today we will visit one of them, and then go down to a fresh and chill gorge. Grottos weathered in soft limestone, artificial caves, murmuring waterfalls — all this offers a special kind of primeval energy.

Saharna monastery, a nature reserve in Moldova

Here our journey ends, and we return to Kishinev. For those who wish, we can organize a wine tasting in Itzik Oxinoit’s wine cellar upon our arrival in Kishinev. This will be a perfect finale to our acquaintance with the unexplored banks of the Dniester and a chance to continue our pleasant communication with each other!

You can always join other Dniester adventures from the travel section on our website.

bottom of page