Engaging with Nature in Danube Delta
Bran Castle and Sighisoara receive the majority of attention from visitors to Romania, but on any trip to the region, there is one gem that is a must-see. The Danube river delta is primarily located in Romania (with a small part in Ukraine) and provides a totally different experience from anywhere else in Europe. At least three days should be allocated to the Danube Delta when planning a tour, but spending a week or more actually exploring the area is an even better option for travelers who have time to spare.
The Danube River spans nearly 3,000 kilometers before reaching the majestic delta, beginning in the Black Forest of Germany and ending in the Black Sea. The Danube is literally a wide river for much of the journey, but the delta provides something entirely different. The numerous towns and villages that make up the delta are linked by branches and tributaries and the abundance of food and natural ecosystems have led to a wild proliferation of plants and animals, including an estimated 300 bird species. The Danube Delta region measures roughly 5,700 square kilometers in total, making it the most densely populated area in all of Europe.
While in the Delta there are many small villages to be found and explored, most tourists would prefer to make their home base in either Sulina or Sfantu Gheorghe in one of two areas. Due to the fact that it is more centrally located and transport options between various parts of the delta are more common, the latter is a much better choice. You can easily make day trips to Sfantu Gheorghe and there is a daily schedule for boat shuttles between the two cities.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/w/engaging-with-nature-in-danube-delta/ by Susan Murillo on 2021-01-21T10:02:36.351Z
Many Danube Delta tourists prefer summer as the time for their holidays. This would seem like a simple choice with pleasant beaches and sunny weather, but there is a clear explanation why those in the know generally schedule their vacations for the spring or fall. Mosquitoes are the explanation.
Mosquitoes can be an invasive problem during the summer months, and repellent must be worn at all times. Spring is the perfect time to come to the Danube Delta for sightseeing purposes, for that reason (and to beat the costly prices of the high season). If larger catches are more abundant, those planning to spend lots of time fishing in the delta may want to wait until fall.
It is part of every Danube adventure to find a way from Bucharest or another big city to the delta. The truth is that a stop in the city of Tulcea, also known as the gateway to the delta, is needed for any approach to the delta. Most road transport stops at this stage, and the last leg of the trip will be by ferry. A catamaran service, which costs 50 lei (~10 Euros) and takes around an hour and a half, is the quickest alternative. The cheaper, regular boat can be taken by travelers looking for a more relaxing trip, but they should know that the length can last up to four hours on busy days. The schedule shifts sometimes, but here you can find a basic timetable.
The selection of accommodation options is increasing, as the Danube Delta is increasingly becoming a popular destination for both Romanian and foreign visitors. There are hotels, ranging from the inexpensive Delta Miraj Pension to the luxury Pension Perla, to meet most budgets. In recent years, most smaller destinations, such as Crisan, have also seen resorts open.
Most rooms for sale, however, are not in hotels, but rather in private homes. Taking this option would both result in a major price reduction and provide the delta area with a more authentic experience. There will be many people present on the landing after disembarking from the boat to bid and negotiate room rates in private homes. Most will first offer to illustrate the space and facilities, which is strongly recommended.
As there is apparently an endless number of sights, a book could be written about what to see in the Danube Delta. Museums, beaches, and other attractions are both offered in the towns of Sulina and Sfantu Gheorghe, but the real beauty of the area is located in the wild scenery of the delta. A tourist may engage in a coordinated day-long cruise through the backwaters and tributaries in both towns. These cruises also involve a safari-like ride to see wild horses in the Letea Forest and include meals along the way, all at a fair price. A fixed price can be made with the fishermen, whose boats are moored on the river banks, for a more customized tour.
The local cuisine of the Delta Danube, as might be predicted, revolves around fish and comes in all types. A sour fish soup (ciorba de peste), as well as main fish entrees such as carp, catfish, and perch are available at almost every restaurant (crap, somn, and biban, respectively). In addition, choices for fried and grilled fish can be found on the streets as well as on the beach. A special pastry, merdenele de dovleac, a melt-in-your-mouth treat of cooked pumpkin in flaky pastry, is also the birthplace of Sulina. As well as the ubiquitous pizza options, restaurants will also have traditional Romanian dishes.
In recent years, the Danube Delta may have gained more popularity, but it remains Romania's hidden treasure. Travel to the area is still accessible, it has a lot of fun attractions, and you are the only thing missing.