Danube Delta & Black Sea

Visit the Danube Delta, the largest wetland ecosystem in Europe

The Danube Delta is one of the most spectacular places on earth. This biosphere reserve is the only delta in the world included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was listed in 1990, being considered the best preserved delta in Europe.

Accommodation in the Danube Delta. The most beautiful guesthouses, resorts and traditional houses.

A wild place like the Danube Delta hides unexpected treasures when it comes to accommodation options. We have selected for you the most beautiful guesthouses, resorts and traditional houses. These can give you authentic experiences, among which exploration of old traditions and customs cannot be left aside.

Whether you choose to stay in a traditional Lipovan house, a guesthouse with local character or a traditional resort, we assure you that you will have unique memories. It is here that you will also discover the gastronomy of Dobrogea, one of the most famous in all of Europe.

Explore the Danube Delta & the Black Sea

The Danube Delta. Did you know that...?

The Danube helps Romania expand its territory, “stealing” land from the European countries it crosses and storing it on its discharge into the Black Sea. Basically, this is how the Danube Delta was born, by depositing sediments (sand, gravel, earth or mud) brought from hundreds or even thousands of kilometers away. Near the point of contact with the Black Sea, the river suddenly slows down and this luggage from a great distance starts to deposit. In time, it continues to add layer after layer, and eventually it manages to exceed the water level, forming islands.

The Danube Delta is not the largest delta in Europe, but the second largest, after the one formed by the Volga river, where it flows into the Caspian Sea. At present, it covers an area of ​​over 5,700 km², which increases every year by about 40 m². Only 10% of this area is land.

The Danube Delta comprises no less than 23 different ecosystems. Rivers, with sweet or salty waters, canals, moors, lakes, islands and floating islands, grasslands, beaches and many more can be found here. This gives them the possibility to host numerous species of plants, animals, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, fish, snails, shellfish, insects and last but not least, birds. We are actually talking about one of the largest biodiversities on Earth. Everything in such a small space.

Local gastronomy. The most delicious culinary recipes in the Danube Delta

In the Danube Delta the traditional food is fish, even if the area is quite gastronomically bidding. Fish is used to prepare many types of soups or borscht, meatballs, cabbage rolls, stuffed peppers, moussaka or mici, all in combination with other vegetables and spices. Basically, everything that in other parts of the world is cooked with foods of animal origin, in the delta it is cooked with fish.

Whether it is fish stew and fish brine or fried fish and stuffed fish, almost all the culinary recipes in the Danube Delta are unique and delicious. We are going to present some of the most representative traditional dishes from Dobrogea.

Fish borscht. This Dobrogean cooking recipe is often cooked with water from the Danube, in which onions, carrots, celery, cabbage, potatoes, parsley and lovage are boiled. In the end the soup is soured with tomato juice, vinegar and whey from fresh cheese. Then they add the fish (catfish or pike perch), cut into cubes, and leave it all to boil for another 10-15 minutes. This is one of the most famous culinary delights in the Danube Delta.

Storceag is another famous fish soup among the locals. The recipe for storceag is slightly more ’diverse’ than the borscht recipe, mixing Romanian and Ukrainian influences. The name of the soup comes from sturgeon, the main ingredient for this culinary recipe. But Black Sea sturgeon, stor sturgeon, isinglass fish or sterlet can also be used. Up to a point, the way storceag is cooked is similar to how they make the fish borscht. This delicacy also contains sour cream mixed with egg and dill.

Ash filled with greens. The Danube scrub is a marine fish that migrates in the river in the spring to deposit its spawn. Its meat has quite a lot of bones, but its fat and fine taste are highly appreciated. It is usually consumed smoked, salted or grilled, stuffed with parsley, dill and green onion.

Attractions and sights in Dobrogea

Dobrogea Gorges cover an area of ​​approximately 11,000 ha and represent a protected area of ​​the Cheia massif. These include Gura Dobrogei Nature Reserves, Adam’s Cave and Gura Dobrogei Cave. The limestone cliffs date from the Jurassic period, and are over 150 million years old. Many species of birds protected by law have their cradle here, temporarily or permanently. The flora here is also very diverse.

Macin Mountains are a mountainous group in Dobrogea Plateau and are, at the same time, the lowest mountains in Romania (max. 467 m). The climate here is dry and the temperatures tend to be extreme in summer and winter. If the steppe vegetation, silvostepa and deciduous forests are not necessarily a tourist attraction, the wildlife they shelter is a special one. From deer, wild boars, jackals, foxes to scallops, martens, rabbits or wild cats, many wild animals roam these arid lands. Of the 41 species of mammals registered here, 11 are protected by law. Amphibians and reptiles are also very well represented in this area. Rare species, endangered or already extinct in the rest of the continent, can be found in Macin Mountains.

Enisala Fortress is located on the border between the wetland of the Danube Delta and the dry plateau of Dobrogea. It was built on a hill that dominates the surroundings, located at the intersection of important old roads, on land or on water. The fortress dates from the end of the 13th century, and the architectural style is the Genoese one.

The Roman Fortress Noviodunum and the funerary monuments from different eras discovered here are located in the most northern city of Dobrogea, Isaccea. At the same time, this city is considered by many scientists to be the oldest Romanian land.

Cocos Monastery and Celic-Dere Monastery. The first of them is the oldest Orthodox church built in Dobrogea (1833) and the second was built in 1841 by Roman and Russian monks.

Popina Island, the only rocky and pelagic island in Romania, after losing The Snake Island and after the Ada-Kaleh Island was covered by water. It has an area of ​​98 ha and a height of 47 m, it is currently part of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve and it is strictly protected by law. Numerous species of grassy plants, aquatic plants, birds, reptiles or insects are preserved here.

Letea Forest is the oldest natural reserve in Romania and occupies over 5,000 ha. This virgin forest is home to the wild horses in the Danube Delta, being a true magnet for local tourism. At the same time, on the twisted trunks of the secular trees, lianas can be seen hanging, just like in the movies with Mowgli or Tarzan.

Caraorman Forest is one of the oldest and most compact forests in the Danube Delta. On its surface of 2,245 hectares you will see impressive sand dunes whose heights exceed even 10 m, and towering oaks with heights of over 30 m. The forest star is an old oak, approx. 400 years old. Its branches touch the ground which is why it was called “the kneeling oak”.

Uzlina is one of the wildest fishing villages in the biosphere reserve. It is located in Murighiol commune, known as a starting point for numerous boat trips in the Danube Delta. Before the 1980s, Uzlina was home to over 3,000 souls. Two decades ago, there were catastrophic floods, which almost destroyed the entire settlement. Families migrated to Murighiol village, only 8 of them remaining in Uzlina. Lately there have been developed many rustic resorts and traditional guesthouses where you can stay. The area has become one of the main tourist attractions of the Danube Delta.

Jurilovca is the locality that houses the largest fishing community in the Danube Delta. The oldest traditions and ancient practices have been preserved here. If you stay in Jurilovca, you will have the opportunity to hear right from the mouths of the old villagers the tales of the fishermen from decades ago. You will also be able to admire the traditional dress and taste unique culinary delights.

The wild beaches of the Black Sea are some of the main tourist attractions not only in Romania, but throughout Europe. Sulina, Sfantu Gheorghe, Gura Portitei, Tuzla, Vadu or Corbu are just some of them. What to expect from such a wild beach? Total freedom, cows swimming in the sea and resting on the beach, wild horses and, possibly, some nudists.
Usually, on these beaches there is no shade, so bring a beach umbrella and sun protection cream. You should also pack some food and drinks. Only a few of these beaches have a fishery nearby where you can eat fresh fish and drink good wine from Dobrogea.
The more you travel south the coast, the more clearer, turquoise water you will find. This is due to the lack of deposits brought by the Danube in the north and to the shores that become rocky.

By clicking on the tourist attractions mentioned above, you will discover their exact location on Google, as well as related reviews and photographs. In this way you can pin all the attractions that you want to visit and also set the route from one attraction to another.

The Danube Delta Map

Explore the Danube Delta & the Black Sea

Excursions or expeditions in the Danube Delta and its surroundings?

As you can see, we have a solution to everything. We are constantly looking for the most beautiful experiences that a tourist can enjoy in Romania. Boat trips in the Danube Delta, kayak rides in the biospheric reserve, off-road safari, bicycle tours on the Dobrogea plateau, wine cellar tours with wine tasting … we are set out to discover them all.

When to plan your trip in the Danube Delta?

The tourist season in the Danube Delta lasts for about 8 months a year. It usually starts in March and ends at the end of October. Even if some of the guesthouses are open in winter, the weather is quite unpredictable and you may find yourself isolated as a result of a heavy winter storm.

Spring in the Danube Delta

The Danube Delta is the most spectacular in spring, especially at the end of April and the beginning of May. It is the period when nature returns to life. The first aquatic plants appear, the banks are filled with wildflowers, the reed regenerates and the trees turn green.

The gray dungs return from the Mediterranean, the pelicans from Ethiopia, and the storks and the Red-footed falcons from Africa. Also, spring mating rituals begin, with songs and dances specific to each species. At the same time, specialists claim that the birds have the most beautiful feathers in spring. If you consider the over 2,000 species of birds that migrate to the Danube Delta in the spring, you will realize that every day you are going to be a witness to a different show.

Another reason why you should visit the delta in spring is that in this rainy season the biosphere is flooded by the Danube waters. The collapsed banks disappear completely from the landscape and the sea of ​​water surrounds the deserted or populated islands. Flooded forests are bustling with new life and many of the routes which are closed in summer are now open. Giant fish retreat to shallow water areas to spawn. During this period of prohibition, which takes 60 days (April 11 – June 9), fishing is not allowed. If you are an avid fisherman, it is best to carefully check the prohibition period as it differs depending on the species and the area.

Another reason to schedule your trip to the Danube Delta in spring is the lack of mosquitoes. These insects, which disturb many tourists in the summer, are in hibernation state during this season.

At the same time, except for the spring holidays, the Danube Delta is much quieter. The prohibition of fishing and the non-typical vacation period gives you the chance to enjoy fully the wildest part of Europe.

Summer in the Danube Delta

Summer in the Danube Delta is not as spectacular as spring. However, this season remains the main tourist season. The good weather is almost guaranteed, giving you the opportunity to relax all day on the beach. You can also swim in the Black Sea or the Danube if you are an experienced swimmer. The water temperature rarely exceeds 23-24 degrees Celsius, which makes it perfect for a cooling swim at the end of a hot fishing day.

Autumn in the Danube Delta

In autumn, peace spreads over the Danube Delta. Traveling birds leave this fairy land, migrating to warmer countries. The show is guaranteed. The people of the delta consider that autumn is the most suitable season for a trip in this biosphere reserve.

Temperatures in the Danube Delta in September – October only sometimes exceed 25 degrees Celsius and rarely fall below 20 degrees Celsius at midday. Mornings and evenings can be chilly, so don’t forget to take a warm coat.

At the same time, autumn is the season of the fishermen. Locals say the fishing rod never comes out of the water without any catch this season. The prices for the tourist services decrease by approx. 30%, so you have an additional reason to visit the Danube Delta in the fall. Make your reservation well in advance. The number of guests eager to visit the world’s wildest delta is constantly increasing, which has led to the extension of the tourist season.

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