At the end of the great river Danube's 2,860 km (1788
miles) journey from the Black Forest mountains in Germany to Romania's
Black Sea coast a natural paradise spreads out.
Over countless centuries the silt brought down by the river
has enlarged the Delta into a network of channels, lakes, reed isles,
tropical woods, pastures and sand dunes that now cover nearly 5,640 sq
km (2,200 sq miles).
This amazing wetland shelters over 300 species of birds,
countless species of fish from royal sturgeon to carp and perch, while
its 1,150 kinds of plants range from sinuous lianas in oak forests to
It is no wonder that UNESCO designated the Delta a
"Reservation of the Biosphere".
Tranquillity in a Time-warp
For 5,000 years a small community had lived in harmony
with the Delta's extraordinary ecology, making a living on fishing,
breeding livestock, and reed harvesting.
The villages, crossed by the waterways, seem untouched by
As a visitor you can explore this astonishing retreat of
natural silence and calm by boat, an experience like entering the
living pages of a National Geographic Magazine report.
Exploring the Delta
The starting point for a Delta adventure is usually the
city of Tulcea, almost as old as Rome, and situated close to where the
Danube divides into the three main arms that create the wetlands.
Tulcea has modern hotels and museums of the natural history
of the Delta. It is 71 km (45 miles) away by boat from the almost as
old settlement of Sulina at the other end of the Sulina channel.
Cruises between the two give passengers a panoramic view of
wildlife and villages from comfortable observation decks.
Eighteen protected reservations and "buffer" areas are
scattered throughout the Delta.
One can access them via narrow waterways past reed isles
and forests, where pelicans and cormorants gather to fish.
If you want to see the wildlife in solitude and without
disturbing it, take a rowing boat into the smaller channels. A permit
issued by the reservation of the Biosphere is necessary for this
Wonders of the Wilderness
Stop at a village by the river and you may discover
fishermen making their own version of Russian bortsch over an open
Those with more sophisticated tastes can try the Danube
herring, croquettes of zander, or sturgeon steak, tastily washed down
with local Aligote, Muscat or Merlot wines at the restaurants in Tulcea
The water wilderness uncovers plenty of wonders. A trip
there is a memorable experience in every way.