Danube Delta

One of the last natural paradises in Europe

   The delta of the Danube River represents one of the last natural paradises in Europe, a network of channels, lakes, and lush forests. The Danube river flows into the Black Sea and has the largest marshland in Europe, and second alrgest in the world after the Nile's.The continuous stretch of reed beds is also said to be the largest in the world. The reeds act as a filter, making the water pure and drinkable. The Danube Delta was included in the UNESCO Project as a Reservation of the Biosphere because its peculiar features and the originality and variety of the ecosystems (more than 25 types of natural ecosystems).  It is the third richest biosphere reservation in the world in terms of biodiversity, after Australia's Great Barrier Reef and Ecuador's Galapagos Islands.

   The Danube Delta consists of three main branches of the Danube - Chilia, Sulina and Sfântu Gheorghe - which flow into the Black Sea, forming a labyrinth of canals and lakes. In total, the delta covers an area of approximately 4,200 square km. In addition to the three main arms, the Danube Delta also includes a number of other canals and lakes, such as Lake Razelm and Lake Sinoe, which are connected to the Danube by secondary canals. These areas are important for wildlife and are popular with tourists for activities such as fishing and bird watching. It is home to a fascinating mix of cultures and peoples—and a huge diversity of birds, presided over by the greatest of them all, the pelican. 

   The Danube Delta is an area with exceptional biological diversity and unique natural habitats, including the Letea and Caraorman sand forests. These are the only forests with sand dunes in Romania and stand out for their special characteristics. The Danube Delta is one of the few wetlands in the world that still expands naturally, and this process occurs thanks to alluvium brought by the Danube River. About 40 square meters of land are added to the territory of the Delta every year, and this process of sedimentation contributes to the creation of new islands and the expansion of existing ones.

   The profuse plantlife of the lakes and channels support species such as white and yellow lily, water caltrop and water milfoil. Some plant types here are carnivorous, feeding on microorganisms. These include bladderwort and waterwheel plant. The forests of Letea and Caraorman support very  specialised ecosystems, lying in the lower and more humid areas among sand dunes. The species that thrive are oak, ash, shrub and climbing plant such as Virginia creeper and Greek liana. In areas where the soil is salty, there can be found specific plants such as frog grass, weeping alkaligrass. Some plants here that are perfectly adapted to this interesting environment can live without roots and simply float.

   But the main reason for the Danube Delta's famous reputation is its bird life, comprising of 341 species. Here is the home of the most part of Europe's Great White Pelican and Dalmatian Pelican, 60% of the world's Pygmy Cormorant and, in winter, 50% of the world's Red-breasted Goose come here.  The largest prey bird in the delta is the White-tailed Eagle, protected species.

   The inventory of mammal species counts 52 varieties, among which are animals of great significance to European conservation, such as the otter and the mink. Predators include ermine, raccoon dog, fox, golden jackal. 

   With so much surface covered in water though, this area is the least populous in Romania, there are few traditional villages where people live in communion with nature, and they try to protect it. 

   There are scattered fishing villages all over the Delta that will welcome you for traditional accomodation, boat rides with guides along all the canals and lakes, and also freshly caught fish!

Enjoy a tour and discover this amazing European sanctuary! 

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