The tourist season has just opened in the Danube Delta. It lies mostly in the Romanian region of Dobrogea, and partially in Ukraine. The Danube Delta is the second largest, and best conserved, European delta. It became part of the UNESCO world heritage patrimony in 1991, and was classified as a biosphere reservation at the national level.
The Danube Delta offers a wide variety of ways to spend a vacation, as we were told by Catalin Tibuleac, the president of the Danube Delta Tourist Destination Management Association:
“The Delta, if you recall, during the pandemic was defined as a safe destination in the context of the epidemic, and to this day remains very safe. We have over 400 accommodation locations, and prices are for every pocket. It is important for everyone who visits the Delta to try everything in the local cuisine: fish cakes, fish sausage, a traditional fish meal, something special. The tourist picks the locations: if they want to get around by car, then Jurilovca, Mahmudia, and Murighiol are the perfect destinations for this, or if they want to go deep into the Delta, we are talking about Crisan, Sulina, or Sf. Gheorghe, which can only be reached by boat. We have a lot to offer, we have superb destinations.”
Corina Davidov, spokesperson for the Danube Delta Association, tempted us with the local gastronomy too:
“What is special about us is that we have all the traditional dishes, but in the fish version, such as fish cakes and baked fish. We call it baked fish because it is cooked in the oven over potatoes. We also have fish sausage, we have fish everything, except for dessert.”
A prize winning destination has been created on one of the islands in the heart of the delta. Holbina is a place visited by tourists from Romania, France, or Switzerland. Silvia Savu, manager of the complex, told us what tourists can do here:
“Many of them come for the fishing, we have tourists who come here for bird watching, but we also have tourists who come to learn how to sail in a kayak, because we have trainers for kayaking, we have tourists who come for walking, and we have tourists who come to work here, they come here to work here workdays. They enjoy the quiet, they enjoy the scenery, and they also work.”
The village of Jurilovca was awarded the title of Location of Excellence, granted by the European Commission through the EDEN platform. Galina Teleuca is the vice-mayor of Jurilovca:
“Jurilovca is one of the most beautiful villages in Romania. The representative color of the place is the so-called Jurilovca blue. The tourist season has already begun here. You are awaited in Jurilovca for the culinary tourism, the religious tourism, the archaeological tourism, by car, by bicycle, or by boat, Delta tourism, but also Black Sea tourism. We eagerly await you in Jurilovca to get to know the people and their local stories.”
Silvia Rahau is the mayor of the village of Crisan, and she invited us to discover all the villages around here:
“The commune of Crisan is divided into three villages: Crisan, where the base is, Mila 23, and Caraorman. From a tourism point of view, the entire commune is full of places for accommodation. In Caraorman we have the forest, a tourist attraction that brings in more and more tourists every year. In Crisan we have B&Bs, five and four star hotels, while in Mila 23 we have great food, and homes that take in tourists.”
Grig Bejan, owner of an eco-tourism B&B in Murighiol, tempted us with all sorts of activities available to tourists when they get here:
“It is superb. We wait for people to get here, because, in addition to boat rides, they have available kayaks, stand up paddles, and water bicycles that are available to everyone. Others can go by boat to visit all parts of the Delta. This is the time of the year to be in the Danube Delta.”
Viorica Basca, director of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reservation, called on all tourists to observe a few basic rules:
“As administrator of the Biosphere Reservation, and relevant authority for environmental protection, we want all tourists to be well informed. First of all, they have to know that access on the Biosphere Reservation's territory is only allowed on the basis of access permits for tourists, cars, and boats. All these can be procured online, on our website, or by text message. To visit the Danube Delta means respecting nature, just as nature respects us, and puts at our disposal this huge variety of species and habitats, which make this reservation unique.”
The invitation has been made. All that is left is that to see for yourselves one of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the world.