Almost every Romanian owns a nice memory related to the Black Sea. This is where the first childhood holiday with their parents probably happened. Or the first escape from home, by train or by car, for a getaway with their gang. The first summer love, the second, the third... Or, when we become parents, one of the first assumed responsibility to look for suitable conditions for their loved ones. With the season officially started by May 1, it is the perfect time to see how is the Black Sea in Romania and why it attracts millions of people for all the reasons you can think of!
The Black Sea coastline in Romania is 244 kilometers long. Several areas can be delimited, and the Southern you go, the more interesting it gets. Let's start from north and see what our Black Sea has to offer.
The northernmost part is dominated by the place where Danube river flows into the Black Sea. I won't insist now on the famous Danube Delta, since I have already reviewed it here. What I should underline though is the fact that it's a paradise for any flora and fauna lover who is ready to discover the most unique species in the world!
When I look for a Black Sea destination, I always take into account Jurilovca by the Razim - Sinoe lagoon complex. Razim is the largest sweet lake in Romania, while the village is dedicated to the history and origins of local Russian inhabitants - the Lipovans who fight to preserve beautiful centuries-old traditions.
As for the Black Sea, you should always consider Gura Portitei close to Jurilovca - probably the most peaceful place on the entire coastline. It is a small sand stripe between Lake Golovita and the Sea, a less commercial area with crystal clear waters, fortunately unaltered by too many tourists yet. If you are lucky, you will have the chance to spot dolphins swimming in the sea, while lying on a sunbed, enjoying a cocktail and some unparalleled views over surrounding waters.
Photo source: www.guraportitei.ro
Also near Jurilovca, you can admire the sole rocky cliff on the entire sea coast, called Capul Dolosman. It is a 3-km long, 29-meter high cliff splitting Golovita and Razim lakes, and housing, among others, an interesting archeological site - Orgame/Argamum Fortress, the oldest Greek settlement in Romania.
Going further south and getting closer to Constanta, the main city of the region, Corbu village is the gateway towards two of the few wild beaches left in Romania. Corbu and Vadu are two hidden gems, hard to be reached by car or any other means of transport, with no souvenir shops, restaurants or any commercial arrangements whatsoever.
Corbu - the 4th most pristine beach around the world! (source: Gypsy.Ninja)
Lodging can be done in Corbu village, and the beaches are suitable for people willing to admire the spectacular display of nature, with the Black Sea being the focal point. The tranquility and wilderness of this area attract those kind of people who wish to spend some days far away from any buzz of modern society. And if you are into water sports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, scuba or snorkeling, then this is the place to be in Romania!
Navodari is always a good alternative for the crowded Mamaia resort. It is more family-oriented, and is acknowledged to have the best beaches of the entire seaside. Although few restaurants are available, there are good all-inclusive opportunities, and the resort is expanding as we speak. Plus, Navodari is too close to Mamaia not to spend an evening or two in the star resort of the Romanian seaside...
The Ibiza of the Eastern Europe, Mamaia comes third in a ranking of best summer party places in Europe, according to Trivago travel website. You can indeed feel the electro beat, both at daylight on the beach or during the night in one of the fabulous clubs or beach bars. If we Romanians are good at something, then this is how to have fun and throw the greatest parties ever!
If you are the party-all-night kind of guy, Mamaia is the place to be in summer! Besides topping charts for throwing parties, it is commonly cheap in comparison with other similar European resorts. You should book a room in the most expensive hotels for excellent services, but who really cares about money when you see something like this literally every square meter???
I haven't forgotten about you, ladies, but seriously, do you really want me to post male pictures??? Sorry, I am not the most suitable person to show Romania's finest...
Constanta is the second most important city in the country and one of Europe's largest seaport. The city has its own landmarks, but I would assume you are not at the seaside for museums, architecture, art and so on. Me neither.
For your general knowledge though, you should know that Constanta is the oldest inhabitated city in Romania, and proudly carries its Roman, Turkish and Greek legacies. Plus an extra touch from King Carol I of Romania, who was the reason behind turning the city into an important gateway for the country via marine transport.
What I ususally do though is have a meal in one of the plenty good restaurants available. Romanian, Italian, Turkish, fish-related - you name it, it's here in Constanta and it's excellent! Add to that a relaxing stroll on the seafront, and you'll be amazed by the main attraction of the city - the seemingly rising from the sea famous casino you will always see in photos about Constanta.
Along the speed-road connecting the two main important cities of our coastline, there are several other resorts as well: Eforie Nord and Sud, Neptun, Olimp, Costinesti, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn. Now I don't know how these names sound to your objective years, but to me they remind of old times. Too old. They are the resorts of the 80s, 90s, maybe 2000s. They are the places where we've built those fabulous memories I told you about in the intro. And they have been among the most preferred alternatives for spending our summer holiday at the seaside...
Well, not anymore. With a few exceptions, hotels are basically outdated, and good ones are hard to find. And when you finally find one, grab your room, change your clothes and run to the beach... well, good luck in finding a free spot. They are extremely crowded because everything is cheaper here and attract those Romanians who cannot afford going somewhere else.
Typical density on a July day in Venus resort
So, if you prefer cheap against potentially annoying - come here. If not, run. As fast as possible. Stay up-north in Mamaia or Navodari, or go south towards the last destination...
... on one condition though. You need to understand the spirit of it. Vama Veche is for people longing for a corner in this world where no one tells them what they should do. Being a "vamaiot" means spending day and night on the beach, staying cheerful 24/7, befriending anyone around, listening to good ol' music next to a campfire. All while making sure you don't loose your most valuable things - your toothbrush, your underwear, and most importantly, your free spirit!
Waiting for sunrise in Vama Veche. Photo Credit: Instagrammer @andreicomsa
Vama Veche is the southernmost point of our seaside, and it is different than any other place on Earth! It has been discovered somewhere in the 60s by a group of students from Cluj-Napoca. 50 years later - the atmosphere remains almost intact, despite recent additions such as hotels, restaurants, beach bars and so on. They are not really useful for a genuine "vamaiot" but important to please the tourist of the 21st century.
So, the comfort of the modern world is possible now in Vama Veche, but always remember one thing: you will only be embraced by "vamaiot" cohorts if you are like them. Be smart, be fun, be authentic, never show off and you'll be fine! They will happily share a beer with you and give you a piece of their world. An unforgettable experience!
Photo Credit: Instagrammer @gregcas90
This is basically the Black Sea in Romania. If you ask me, happy father of a 2-year old princess, my top preferences are peaceful Navodari and unknown Jurilovca. Cannot wait for her to grow up though, to show her the fantastic atmosphere in Vama Veche...
Time flies, generations change, but the charm of our Sea stays the same. We may not have turquoise waters like Greece. State-of-the-art services in luxurious all-inclusive resorts like Turkey. White sands like Bali or palms like Carribean Islands. We may have bad conditions here and there. But we have our seaside, filled with stories and rich memories.
No one can take that from us - the only Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic country in the world!
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