Info Danube Delta

 Organized tours for private groups or individual tourists include:

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   • Visiting the Danube Delta and it surroundings
   • Trips in the heart of Danube Delta (bird watching, visiting birds reservations, enjoying the serenity of surrounding lakes and a feast of fresh fish in open air)
   • Trips to monasteries and other historical spots in the county of Tulcea
   • Camp fires and parties in midst of nature
   • Wine tasting of Sarica- Niculitel Vineyard- Macin Complex

About Danube Delta...

The Danube Delta  is the second largest river delta in Europe, after the Volga Delta, and is the best preserved on the continent. The greater part of the Danube Delta lies in Romania -Tulcea county. The approximate surface is 4152 km², of which 3446 km² are in Romania. If one includes the lagoons of Razim-Sinoe (1015 km² of which 865 km² water surface), which are located south of the delta proper, but are related to it geologically and ecologically (their combined territory is part of the World Heritage Site), the total area of the Danube Delta reaches 5165 km².


The modern Danube Delta began forming after  in a gulf of the Black Sea, when the sea rose to its present level. A sandy barrier blocked the Danube gulf where the river initially built its delta. Upon filling the gulf with sediments, the delta advanced outside the barrier-blocked estuary, building several successive lobes: the Sulina , the St. George and the Chilia.
The Danube Delta is a low alluvial plain, mostly covered by wetlands and water. It consists of an intricate pattern of marshes, channels, streamlets and lakes. The average altitude is 0.52 m, with 20% of the territory below sea level, and more than half not exceeding one meter in altitude. Dunes on the most extensive strandplains of the delta (Letea and Caraorman strandplains) stand higher (12.4 m and 7 m respectively). The largest lakes are Dranov (21.7 km²), Roşu (14.5 km²), Gorgova (13.8 km²).
Distributaries of the Danube
The Danube branches into three main distributaries into the delta, Chilia, Sulina, and Sfântul Gheorghe (Saint George). The last two branches form the Tulcea channel, which continues as a single body for several kilometers after the separation from the Chilia. At the mouths of each channel gradual formation of new land takes place, as the delta continues to expand.

Chilia, in the north, the longest, youngest, and most vigorous, with two secondary internal deltas and one microdelta in full process of formation at its mouth (to Ukraine).
Sulina, danube delta river-3the central and thus the shortest arm, which consequently led to its extensive use for traffic and severe transformation. At its mouth is located the main port and the single settlement with urban charactersitics of the Romanian part of the delta. Because of the alluvium deposited at its mouth, a channel gradually advancing into the sea (presently it has 10 km), was built in order to protect the navigation.
Sfântul Gheorghe (Saint George in English), in the south, is the oldest and more sparsely populated. Its alluvium has led to the creation, beginning with 1897, of the Sacalin islands, which as of today measure 19 km in length.

Main ecosystems
The Danube Delta falls within east European steppe ecosystem, with Mediterranean influences. As a young region in full process of consolidation, the Danube Delta represents a very favourable place for the development of highly diverse flora and fauna, unique in Europe, with numerous rare species. It hosts 23 natural ecosystems, but due to the extent of wetlands the aquatic environment is prevalent; the terrestrial environment is also present on the higher grounds of the continental levees, where xerophile ecosystems have developed. Between the aquatic and terrestrial environments, is interposed a swampy, easily flooded strip of original flora and fauna, with means of adaptation for water or land, depending on the season or the hydrological regime. At the contact between freshwater and sea water, some special physical, chemical and biological processes take place, which determined biologists to consider this area as a very different ecosystem called beforedelta. Musura Gulf, north of Sulina, and Saint George Gulf are considered the most representative for this type of ecosystem.
Situated on major migratory routes, and providing adequate conditions for nesting and hatching, the Danube Delta is a magnet for birds from six major eco-regions of the world, including the Mongolian, Arctic and Siberian. There are over 320 species of birds found in the delta during summer, of which 166 are hatching species and 159 are migratory. Over one million individuals (swans, wild ducks, bald coots, etc.) winter here.

Ecosystems of running water
It comprises the Danube arms, as well as a series of more important streamlets and channels. It is an environment rich in plankton, worms, mollusca, ephemerides, grubs, spongiae, with numerous species of fish, such as the carp, pike perch, sheat fish, and freshwater sturgeons (sterlet, Vyza and Danube mackerel).

Ecosystem of stagnant water
Includes the lakes, to which various ponds, streamlets and channels are added. They are characterized by a rich floating and submerse flora (Myriophyllum, Ceratophyllum, Vallisneria etc. under the water; Nymphaea alba, Nuphar luteum, Trapa natans, Alisma plantago etc., floating plants with roots near the lakes borders; Salvinia natans, Stratiotes aloides, Spirogyra etc., floating plants without roots, having negative effects for the aquatic bioproductivity). Of the fipasari danube-river-6sh, the most important are Tinca tinca, Abramis brama, Scardinius erytrophalmus, Carassius auratus gibelio, Silurus glanis, Perca fluviatilis, Esox lucius etc.

Ecosystems of marshy and flooding areas
The reed plats and floating reed islands (called plaur in Romania) are the most common and well known components of the Danube Delta. Vegetation of this ecosystem consists of common reed (Phragmites communis), and near river banks mace reed (Typha latifolia, Typha angustifolia), sedge (Carex dioica, Carex stricta), Dutch rush (Scirpus radicans, Scirpus lacustris), brook mint (Mentha aquatica) etc. They constitute ideal spawning and nestling grounds. The plaur is a mixture of reed roots, grass and soil, usually floating or anchored on the bottom. As a rule, the reed surrounds the lakes and ponds, slowly invading the water surface. This type of ecosystem is noted for the variety and large populations of birds, some of them very rare. The most important are the tufted duck (Aythya fuligula, red crested pochard (Netta rufina), mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), Greylag goose (Anser anser), Pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmaeus), purple heron (Ardea purpurea), Great white egret (Egretta alba), little egret (Egretta garzetta), Spoon bill (Platalea leucorodia), White pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus),

Dalmatian pelican (Pelecanus crispus), Mute swan (Cygnus olor), Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus). A recent and welcomed spreading has the pheasant (Phasianus colchicus). Among the mammals, there is the otter (Lutra lutra), mink (Mustela lutreola), little ermine (Mustela erminea aestiva), wild boar (Sus scrofa), wild cat (Felis silvestris), and in the winter, the hare (Lepus europaeus), and on the brink of disappearing from the delta, the wolf and the fox. The enot dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), bizam (Onda zibethica), and to some extent nutria (Myocastor coypus) are recent species successfully adapted.

The stopover of migratory birds - Danube Delta is the place to stop of almost all the migratory birds in Europe on their way to wintering. Even if the migratory birds are not wintering in the Danube Delta, they make a stop here, in Heaven Wings, to rest and feed, and rcover the strength for a new journey! In the Delta stop not only the birds that are migrating from North to South, but also those going from West to East. In the Danube Delta there are over 330 species of birds. There are bird of Mongolian, Chinese, Siberian, Mediterranean and European type. Such a variety of birds is unique in the world. On each return to the Danube Delta, at different times of the year, you will be able to see new migratory birds, as only 170 species of birds nest! In Danube Delta territory, the most encountered species are seagulls and cormorants. But you can also see rare species such as little egret and big egret, night heron, yellow heron, purple heron, tiganus, deer, white-tailed, marsh harrier, eagles and falcons. You can see here most of the European population of white pelican (Pelicanus onocrotalus) and dalmatian pelican (Pelicanus crispus). In the Delta there is about 60% of world population of Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) and 50% of world population of Red-breasted Goose (Branta ruficollis)!

In the Danube Delta there are nearly 3,000 species of living creatures (not including birds) and the reputation of hunters in the Delta recently surpassed the country's borders. There are species of animals and idanube-delta 2nsects not found anywhere in the world such as butterflys with wingspan of up to 18 cm! Besides these you can meet the raccoon dog, wild boar, rabbits, wild horses, wild cats, deer, donkeys, sheep, wolves, goats, ondatra, otters and more.

River banks and levees ecosystems
The firm land of the delta used to be covered with large groves of willow trees, cut almost entirely and replaced with Canadian poplars. On the riverbanks kept in natural state, small groves of willow trees (Salix alba, Salix fragilis, Salix purpurea, Salix petandra, Salix triandra etc.) can still be found, mixed with white poplar (Populus alba). Occasionally, the willow trees form corridors along the Danubes arms and bigger channels. On the levees of Letea and Caraorman, mixed forests of oaks (Quercus robur, Quercus pedunculiflora) with various trees (Fraxinus pallisae, Ulmus foliacea, Populus tremula), shrubs (Prunus spinosa, Crataegus monogyna, Rosa canina, Berberis vulgaris etc.), and vines (Vitis sylvestris, Hedera helix, Humulus lupulus, Periploca graeca, which reaches up to 25m) grow on sand dunes. On the Letea levee, these exotic looking forests grow especially in the depressions between the sand dunes, in small groves called hasmace. Fauna of this region includes Meadow Viper (Vipera ursinii), Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo), etc.

 Nature and plants in the Danube Delta are probably one of the most complex manifestations of nature. In this area you can find sand dunes, oak forests, lakes with white lilies, floating islands (which sink and reappear). Danube Delta has both "old forest" with trees of over 1000 years old, and also “new woods”, the most notable being the forests of Caraorman and Letea. What if you could see oak trees of over 30 meters high? And sand dunes over 7 meters high? Did you know that in the Danube Delta is the largest reed thicket compact area in Europe? You will find sandy shrubs and lianas with exotic origin (the northern limit of them), plants with floating leaves, mace, sorrel, poplar, alder, ash, willow and others. The researchers concluded that in the Danube Delta there are about 1,600 species of plants. We must acknowledge their diversity and understand that this attracts each year increasingly more tourists. Only here you will succeed to discover in a few days the forests covered by lianas and also the sand dunes...
The Danube Delta is one of the largest wetlands in the world, especially as waterfowl habitat ...We have not convinced you yet


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Interesting Facts

•    The Danube River is the most international river on the planet - its course runs across — or forms a part of the borders of  several countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia,

Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and four capitals: Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade.
•    Formed over a period of more than 10,000 years, the Danube Delta continues to grow due to the 67 million tons of alluvia deposited every year by the Danube River.

•    The Delta is formed around the three main channels of the Danube, named after their respective ports: Chilia (in the north), Sulina (in the middle), and Sfantu Gheorghe (in the south).


•    The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve has the third largest biodiversity in the world (over 5,500 flora and fauna species), exceeded only by the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Galapagos Archipelago in Ecuador.
•    The Danube Delta is home to over 60% of the world’s population of pygmy cormorants (phalacrocorax pygmeus), 50% of red-breasted geese (branta ruficollis)
and the largest number of white pelicans (pelecanus onocrotalus) and Dalmatian pelicans (pelecanus crispus) in Europe.

 •   barza-danube-delta-8 It also is home to the world’s largest reed bed expanse – 625, 000 acres / 240,000 ha.
•    Some 15,000 people inhabit the Delta area, living in 28 villages and one city (Sulina).
•    The area was first attested by Herodot of Halicarnas (484 – 425 B.C.).

•    More then half of the Delta Biosphere Reserve is virtually intact.




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