Around 25 deltas have been formed all over the world, and one of them lies almost entirely in Romania. The Danube Delta is the second largest in Europe and one of the most spectacular and best preserved in the world. It is formed around the three main channels flowing into the Black Sea - Chilia, Sulina and Sfantu Gheorghe. It has been metaphorically called “Europe’s Unrivalled Wetland” and it’s a paradise for any flora and fauna lover who is ready to discover the most unique species in the world!
The best way to reach it is by car from Bucharest, 4 hours away. Since the area is somehow isolated from the rest of the country, the highlight of the trip will be landing the car on a ferry and crossing the Danube river, just after passing through the city of Braila. Depending on where the lodging is, you will most likely leave your car somewhere in a public parking, and reach your final destination by boat via one of the many canals the Danube forms in this area.
The gateway to the Delta is Tulcea, an ancient city tracing back to the 7th century BC. It is pretty impressive thanks to its location on seven hills (Rome, remember?), and to the fact that it displays an interesting combination of Roman, Turk and Italian architecture. Short strolls on the shore of Danube close to the old harbour, on the small streets of the city or up on the hills will be more than relaxing for half a day or so. What's also worth is a visit to the interactive Danube Delta Museum, which will reveal a great deal of the flora and fauna species available in the Delta.
The Danube Delta has the third largest biodiversity in the world: 300 species of unique birds, 1700 plants, no less than 3000 types of fish and animals... It comprises a network of waters and lakes, divided between the three main channels of the Danube, and its landmarks create the wildest, most natural wet place in Romania!
The Danube is all about rowing a boat, relaxing on one of the many canals or beaches, watching beautiful unique birds fly or swim... having a water-related meal... Apart from this time for yourself, many boat trips lead to some interesting tourist attractions:
Sfantu Gheorghe - an old fishing viilage "at the end of the world", where you will find the finest sand on the Black Sea shore or you can savor the worldwide famous black caviar. It is a perfect place to lodge, to catch a beautiful sunset on the beach or taste a nice glass of wine from one of the vineyards dating back to the Roman Empire.
Sulina - the "capital of pirates", the easternmost point of Romania, a small town with a beautiful port, where one can admire the 60-foot-tall lighthouse or the imposing Greek Church of Saint Nicholas.
Somewhere close to Sulina, while rowing on the canals, you can easily spot the fascinating place where the colors of the Danube mix with those of the Black Sea, and the river finishes its 2860-km long journey through 10 European countries, in the most astonishing way:
Photo source: adevarul.ro
Letea Forest - Romania's oldest natural reservation, the northernmost subtropical forest in Europe, the only place in Europe where lianas grow.
Photo source: www.aeagency.ro
Lake Rosca - a protected area housing Europe's largest white pelican colony
Caraorman Forest (Turkish for black) - another protected area, offering access to other wild unique species, such as brown oak trees, white-tailed eagles, owls, wolves and many more.
This wild type of landscape is almost everywhere to be seen in the Danube Delta. However, each place has its own charm, its unique things to discover. From mud to sand, from water lilies to pelicans, from wild horses to people living a unique life - everything revolving around the Delta create a special environment, a natural diversity nowhere else to be seen on Earth!
Basically every village in this area offers good lodging opportunities, from guesthouses to luxurious pensions or hotels on the shore of Danube. Apart from Sfantu Gheorghe mentioned above, the most popular are two other villages, both to be found on the Sulina Arm of the Danube:
Crisan - a fishermen's village perfectly located close to the main water and land attractions;
Mila 23 - the main settlement of the Lipoveni, a Russian group of refugees who ran away from their home country in the 18th century, perfectly adapted to the local lifestyle and offering accommodation as well.
Prices in the Delta are some of the highest in Romania. In order to feel totally spoiled and taste luxury at its finest, it is worth trying a more expensive villa - around 70 Euro per night for two. Apart from that, guided tours on boat are always a necessary option to explore the Delta, a day price being around 30-40 Euro per person.
As for time, I suppose it depends on how much anyone is willing to loose himself in this unique corner of the world... The main attractions can be fastly covered in maximum 3 days, but without too much time for relaxation in the wildest place on earth. That is, apart for the time spent on the boat connecting places, which is still more than fulfilling.
My next vacation in the region will last for 5 days, and I think this is a proper period to taste nature at its best, to live like a local and to forget anything waiting in the crowded place back home!
The Golden Romania
Apuseni Mountains - the Best Place to Fall in Love with Nature!
35 Romanians who Have Marked Our History
Dear Terra, Meet Romania! The latest democracy lesson our country has given to the world!
Oradea - the Rising Star of Romania
Iasi - the Place to Be in Moldavia
7 Reasons to Visit Cluj Napoca
How to Plan a Vacation in Brasov Area
No, Bucharest Is Not a Bad City Break Destination!
One Week Road Trip Idea Through Transylvania
Best of Romania - the Tourist Attractions Which Top Worldwide Classifications!
7 True Facts About Romania