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Main Attractions

Danube Delta

The mighty Danube River flows 1,788 miles from its springs in Germany’s Black Forest to the Black Sea. Just before reaching the sea it forms the second largest and best preserved of Europe's deltas: 2,200 square miles of rivers, canals, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands. The Danube Delta is a wildlife enthusiast’s (especially a bird watcher’s) paradise.

CruiseTravelers can spend three or more days exploring its passages, teaming with the highest concentration of bird colonies in all of Europe. The maze of canals bordered by thatch, willows and oaks entangled in lianas, offers the perfect breeding ground for countless species of birds, some of them from as far away as China and Africa. Millions of Egyptian white pelicans arrive here every spring to raise their young, while equal numbers of Arctic geese come here to escape the harsh winters of Northern Europe.

Some 300 species of birds make Danube’s Delta their home, including cormorants, white tailed eagles and glossy ibises.  The bird watching season lasts from early spring to late summer. Birds are not the only inhabitants of the Delta. There is also a rich community of fish and animals; from wildcats, foxes and wolves, to even an occasional boar or deer. Altogether, 3,450 animal species can be seen here, as well as 1,700 plant species.

The Delta can be explored as part of a Danube River Cruise, or on day trips and boat excursions from Tulcea which has good hotels, restaurants specializing in fish dishes and the Museum of the Danube Delta. 

Interesting Facts

The Danube Delta is comprised of an intricate network of waterways and lakes divided between the three main estuary channels of the Danube. This area of floating reed islands, forests, pastures and sand dunes covers 3,000 square miles and is home to a fascinating mix of cultures and people as well as a vast array of wildlife. Located at the tip of the three channels, Tulcea makes a great starting point for exploring the Danube Delta.

Activities

Visit historic sites, explore the waterways in a canoe or traditional fisherman boat, catch a sunset you’ll never forget, sample wine from vineyards dating back to the Roman Empire and savor some of the finest caviar in the world, the beluga sturgeon from the Black Sea!

» Bird WatchingPelicans

A bird-watchers’ paradise, the Danube Delta offers the opportunity to spot more than 300 species of migratory and resident birds, including eagles, egrets, vultures, geese, cranes, ibises, cormorants, swans and pelicans. Located on the 45th parallel, the Danube Delta makes for a perfect stopping-off point between the Equator and the North Pole for millions of migratory birds.

Some of the most important species include:

The White Pelican (pelecanus onocrotalus)
In March, swaths of white pelicans leave the Nile Delta and the Red Sea to come nest in the Danube Delta. The Delta is home to Europe’s largest breeding population (some 3,500 pairs).
Best seen: March to October

Dalmatian Pelican (pelecanus crispus
After decades of decline, this species’ numbers have slowly begun to increase in the Delta. Currently, some 150 pairs have been spotted in several small colonies.
Best seen: April to October; some pairs may stay over the winter.

Small Egret (egretta garzetta)
A migratory species protected by law, the small egret lives in marshy areas and nests in small willows.
Best seen: April to October; some pairs may stay over the winter.

Pygmy Cormorant (phalacrocorax pygmeus)
Best seen: April to October; some pairs may stay over the winter.

Ferruginous Duck (aythya nyroca)
The Danube Delta may be the last place in Europe to see this declining species. In August and September, large numbers often gather at Somova Lake, just west of Tulcea.
Best seen: March to October

Red-breasted Goose (branta ruficollis)
In winter, thousands of this species – almost half of the entire world population – reside on the Razim-Sinoe lagoon and coastal plain to the south of the Delta.
Best seen: Late October to March

Glossy Ibis (plegadis falcinellus)
More than 30% of the European population nests in the reed beds of the delta. 
Best seen: April to September

» Fishing

The Delta’s waters teem with some 160 species of fresh- and salt-water fish.

Type of fish Fishing areas Season
Pike
(Stiuca in Romanian)
Lake Fortuna, Sontea Channel, Holbina area, Bogdaproste, Lake Rosu, Lake Lumina, Uzlina area

Early July to
December

Pike Perch
(Salau in Romanian)
Channel 5, Lake Sinoe, Sfantu Gheorghe village area June to September
Carp
(Crap in Romanian)
Sontea Channel, Sfantu Gheorghe Branch, Dunarea Veche, Chilia Branch Early July to
September
Cat Fish
(Somn in Romanian)
Sulina Branch, Chilia Branch April; July to October

Note: Please check with the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Administration for fishing season.

Fishing