For this year’s Labor Day weekend, we finally got to visit the Danube Delta. It’s a place so raved about by my parents, especially my father who visits regularly, that we were dying to go and see for ourselves!
Now, what is a delta you might ask? A delta, or a river delta, it’s a landform where a river enters standing water. In this case, the Danube entering the Black Sea. It’s the second delta by size in Europe and by far the best preserved. Protected by UNESCO, it’s currently a reservation and a national park due to its biological diversity.
Now that I’m done with the geography lesson (sorry about that!) let’s get right into the details of our trip!
We stayed at a cozy little resort called Danube Delta Resort & Floating Hotel GGGociman, located in the middle of the Danube Delta in the Crisan region. The resort, as well as every other place in the delta, can only be reached by boat from the neighboring cities and villages.
So once we parked our car in one of the specialized parking lots, we were all too happy to hop on the boat, drink a beer, and enjoy our ride.
The resort sits on a strip of land between two canals. Once we got to the resort’s pontoon, our luggage was taken care of and we were left enjoying the wine and caviar we were welcomed with.
Complete with heated swimming pool, public fire pit and barbecue area, outside and inside restaurants, on-call massages, and live bands, this place is bound to make your stay as amazing as possible.
Most restaurants in the Danube Delta belong to hotels, therefore we enjoyed most of our meals at our resort. Considering the location, most of the dishes consisted of seafood. Except for breakfast, which was buffet style.
The fish borsch was especially exquisite, as well as the storceag, which is fish soup with sour cream. The fish saramura was also present, as is to be expected, and it was a delight to the senses. Saramura is a traditional Romanian dish where the fish is first grilled, then broiled in a brine-based sauce with different vegetables, the most significant of which is garlic.
Dinners were usually around the fire pit and the barbecue areas. You could choose what type of fish you want to be grilled and have the staff make it, or you could cook it yourself. Dinners were also usually followed by parties with other visitors at the resort.
We spent most of our time sipping wine on boat trips through the lagoons and canals, big or small and discovering the diverse species of birds that reside there. Because they’re smart to run away from humans, birds don’t sit in one place. You have to explore the area, and if you’re lucky, you’ll find them.
Apart from boat trips throughout the Danube Delta, we also made a trip to the protected Letea Forest, to the sea-port of Sulina, to the Black Sea, and on our way home, a stroll through the sea-port of Tulcea.
We went through most of the canals and lagoons close to our area, through shallow waters and between centuries old trees. We were lucky enough to be able to spot dalmatian pelicans, pygmy cormorants, mute swans, and little egrets, among others. Oh, and we also stumbled upon not yet bloomed waterlilies.
SULINA & THE BLACK SEA
Sulina is one of the three main branches the Danube flows through to the Black Sea, and at its end and the easternmost point of Romania lies the free port city with the same name. We adventured through it to the sea, where we saw the shipwreck moored near the shore, and the best part of all – dolphins!
There is a considerable difference between the waves of the delta and its rivers and the waves of the sea. We had mini heart attacks when sitting at the front of the boat. But definitely worth it!
We stopped in the city to regain our land legs and grab a bite to eat. It’s here we found out that the city used to be inhabited by sailors, pirates and fishermen alike. How cool is that?!
Letea Forest is the oldest natural reservation in Romania. It’s mostly known for its trees that never grow straight and its herds of wild horses. Unfortunately, they were in hiding while we were there, so we were left with enjoying the views of the forest, including this 700 hundred-year-old tree. We also attempted (failed) to climb one of the trees with the help of a liana.
On our way home, after picking up the car, we stopped in Tulcea. Tulcea is an extremely old port city on the banks of the Danube River. Throughout history, it was ruled by basically anyone who passed through there: Romans, Byzantines, Ottomans, Bulgarians, until it was eventually awarded to Romania in 1878. It’s a beautiful city with amazing views, but unfortunately, it still has that communist look to it, as it has barely changed throughout the years.
All in all, it was a beautiful, relaxing couple of days. The nature in the Delta Danube is phenomenal and pretty unique. We really wanted to spend some time at the pool as well, but the weather was not on our side. There were still a couple of things that will be on our list for next time such as the Maritime Cemetery in Sulina and the Mila 23 village. But that’s what next times are for. 🙂
- Wherever you decide to go in the Danube Delta, don’t forget your swimsuit!
- Don’t forget to pack a sweater or two as well. The evenings can get pretty chilly, as well as the boat rides.
- When going on boat rides, make sure to get water and other refreshments with you, as well as food. The rides can be hours long.
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