Unique in Europe, the Danube Delta ("The country on the other side of the fog", as Mihail Sadoveanu said) completes by its natural savagery and exotic features the original spell of the Romanian land. It is an eternal garden, bestowing the most various colors and wonderful surprises. The jump of gamboling fishes, the wing flutter of all kinds of birds, the hardly sensed rustle of reed and buirusch in the breeze, the furtive, timorous but nevertheless agile movement of its living beings are crowning, all of them the splendor of a parcel of paradise - the Danube Delta.
The Danube Delta is the space between the three river's arms: Chilia, Sulina and Sfantul Gheorghe, together with the Razim-Sinoe lagunar system. It has a 4340 sq. km area and constitutes actually a low terminal plain in full process of alluvial formation.
The plant and animals species inventory operations performed under the leadership of ARBDD (the Administration of the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve) have identified 5200 species and this represents an outstanding diversity.
Because of its geographical position - 45° North latitude and the vicinity of the Black Sea, the climate is temperate -continental with pontical influences. The average temperature is 11°C (-1°C in January and 21 in July). Precipitations between 300 - 450 mm/year.
Genesis and evolution
Danube Delta has been formed starting from the Upper Pleistocene and has evolute in connection with the three Danubian arms: Sfantu Gheorghe (the oldest, from the South, 126 km), Sulina (80 km) and Chilia (the newest, from the North, 116 km). Named Istratos by the Greeks and Danubius by the Romans, the river carries every year between 75 and 85 million of tons of alluvia by means of its water volume of approximately 6,000 mc/s, thus increasing the surface of the Delta. In the area of Chilia branch, the territory advances into the sea by 40 - 80 m/year.
Flora and Fauna
As a young region in full process of consolidation, the Danube Delta represents a very favorable place for the development of a flora and fauna unique in Europe with numerous rare species.
The aquatic medium is prevalent, so that the flora and fauna will be aquatic.
Between the aquatic and terrestrial mediums, the swampy, easily flooded medium is interposing, which has a special flora and fauna, with alternative possibilities of adaptation (water, land) depending on the seasonal and yearly hydrological regime.
There are many ecosystem to be found, each one with its characteristics: the running water, the stagnant water, the wetland and flooded areas, the fluvial and marine levees and the amended areas (for agriculture, silviculture and pisciculture).
The Danube Delta is included in the UNESCO Program as a Reservation of the Biosphere:
- is harboring about 1,150 vegetable species, being considered one of the most compact surfaces on the globe. First of all reeds on a surface of 300,000 ha, than trees (willow, poplar, lime, oak etc.), aquatic flora (white water lily and yellow water lily, lotus, carnivorous plants, amphibious plants etc.) and even garlands of lianas offering a tropical aspect.
- is the absolute paradise of about 300 species of birds. It is housing about 60% of world number of small cormorants, most colonies of common and curly feathered pelicans as well as other worldwide known and appreciated valuable species: geese with red neck or arctic geese, white herons or egrets, common, yellow or red herons, night or dwarfish herons, white and black swans, white egret and eagles.
- houses a number of terrestrial species: wolf, fox with black belly, enot dog, bizam, deer, otter, mink, little ermine, wild boar, wild cat etc.
- fish, due to its variety, represents one of the most important treasures of the Danube Delta. 60 of the species have a good economic value (carps, breams, sheat fishes, tenches, pikes and zanders; during the migration season: common sturgeons and great sturgeons, makerels, grey mullets etc.)
- TULCEA - the capital of the district, ancient Roman settlement of Aegissus (VIII Century BC). Important port town, industrial center and the main access gate towards the tourist paradise of the Delta. To visit: The Danube Delta Museum, Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Azizia Mosque.
- CRISAN - village situated on the banks of Sulina arm, main starting point for trips both towards North (Mile 23, Matita, Letea) and South (Caraorman, Litcov, Rosu).
- MURIGHIOL - village situated 40 km South-East of Tulcea, on the Sf. Gheorghe arm, has a camping ground and a motel.
- UZLINA - village at 65 km south-east of Tulcea. Numerous birds, pelicans included, come here to build their nests.
- SULINA - Jean Bart's Europolis, documentary attested from 950, became porto-franco in 1900. There is a beach huge in lenght, with very fine sand.
- SFANTU GHEORGHE - a community of fishermen specialized in fishing sturgeon, which live only in the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Lighthouse of 57 m high.
- BESTEPE - hills with the traces of a Getic fortress (IV Century BC).
- GURA PORTITEI - is the place where the waters of Razim Center meet the sea and where you can watch a sunrise you never forget.