Danube Delta

Danube Delta

There are places in the world where time seems to have stopped and did not allow people, traditions and the beauty of certain things to change altogether. Such a place is the Danube Delta, a truly magical and wild realm in the East of Romania. This “Paradise of the Waters” with landscapes dominated by weeping willows and velvety water lilies is formed where the Danube river ends its course and divides into three branches – Chilia, Sulina and Sfântu Gheorghe in order to flow into the Black Sea. The inhabitants of the Danube Delta are friendly and hospitable, most of them skilled fishermen, ready to serve you with a glass of wine from the fields of Dobrogea and fresh fish dishes.
The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve has become part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1990, being the best-preserved delta in Europe. The emblematic bird of the Delta is the pelican where two species are present: The great white pelican, and the curly pelican. The curly Pelican is the largest bird in Europe, measuring 180 cm, and with a wing span that reaches 320 cm. Approximately 9% of the total area of ​​the reserve is represented by 20 glades and islets, strictly protected, with forbidden access.

The biggest glade in the Danube Delta is Letea, being the oldest natural reserve in Romania – The Letea Forest. This is the northernmost subtropical forest in Europe and a true desert in the middle of water, where there are about 2000 savage horses, besides jackals, racoon dogs, deer and boars. In summer, horses are hard to see during the day because they are sheltering from the warmth of the sun inside the forests. The white-tailed eagle is the largest bird you can see, with a wingspan of 2.5 m. The dunes from the Letea hill reach up to 13 m, being the highest and the entrance to the reserve is only allowed on foot. Here you will discover 5 sparsely populated villages, and in one of them you can see houses built in the local architectural style, clay, wood and reed, painted and decorated in Liptov style.

Wetland-specific vegetation with European-protected flowers covers over 78% of the surface of the Delta, so you can admire and photograph the wonderful yellow or white lilies, cornflower, floating fern, wormwood or bladderwort

The Danube Delta houses the largest diversity of birds on the planet, gathering over 350 bird species, of which the most well-known are eagles, summer geese, graceful black storks, grey storks and red ducks. Many of these, around 175 of the bird species, come here in the summer all the way from Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean Sea or Europe.

150 species of fish live in the Danube’s waters, of which catfish, pike, zander, perch, carp, bream, sea sturgeon (The starry sturgeon, the Beluga, and the Russian sturgeon) are the most important. When it comes to mammals, the natural reserve has wild boars, river otters, stray ferrets, golden jackals, field rabbits, European minks and weasels.

At the foot of the Delta, you will step into Tulcea, where you can visit the Danube Delta Museum to find out more about how the Delta appeared, as well as information about the flora and fauna you can discover by visiting this unique place. On the seafront toward Istria, you will discover Histria, the oldest urban settlement in the country.

Do not forget the camera because there are landscapes of overwhelming beauty gathered in the Gorges of Dobrogea, made limestone in the Jurassic period. The steep banks of the valley are surrounded by trenches and natural gorges, caves dug in limestone with important archaeological discoveries.

Together with Tulcea, the settlements of Murighiol and Crișana have their charm. The name Murighiol comes from the Turkish language, meaning the lake of ants, and those who come here can enjoy the beauty of Lake Murighiol with its purple shades or visit the ruins of the ancient ancient city of Halmyris, a former seaport. Former fishing village, Crișan is today a very popular holiday destination due to its geographical location, but also a starting point for some of the most interesting places in the Delta: Mile 23, Puiu Lake, Red Lake and Letea Forest.