Recommended Tourist Trails

Trail no. 1TULCEA – THE MILE 35 CHANNEL – THE SIREASA DISTRIBUTARY – THE ŞONTEA DISTRIBUTARY – THE OLGUŢA CHANNEL – THE OLD DANUBE – MILE 23 VILLAGE – LEBĂDA – MALIUC – THE SULINA ARM – TULCEA The trail sets out from Tulcea, the main port of entry to the Danube Delta. Leaving the port landscape behind, the trail follows the Tulcea Arm as far as the Mile 35 Canal, which was opened in 1985 in order to shorten the route to the Pardina agricultural complex. Along this trail, tourists will have the opportunity to observe and visit:Ø The Lake Purcelu mixed bird colony (on the left of the canal) – here can be observed birds such as the grey heron, yellow heron, night heron, ibis, and cormorantØ The Sireasa-Şontea Distributary – a typical area of reeds, willows and water lilies, which is home to numerous bird speciesØ Nebunu Lake – a lacustrine area of small extent, one of the eighteen areas of integral protection within the territory of the reserve; access is forbidden to touristsØ Furtuna Lake – situated to the south of the trail, this is one of the largest lakes of the Delta, with an almost perfect circular form. Here pelicans, swans, bald coots, and crested grebes can be observedØ Mile 23 Village – a typical Danube Delta fishing village, also known as the "Venice of Romania". It was here that great Olympic kayaking and canoeing champion Ivan Patzaichin was bornØ The Crişan Research and Educational Centre - situated at the confluence of the Obretin loop of the great M and the Sulina ChannelØ The Sulina Arm – work on regularising and rectifying the arm was carried out under the direction of engineer Charles HartleyØ Localities specific to the Delta: Gorgova, Maliuc, PartizaniØ The Monument to Independence on Hora Hill – at the entrance to the town of Tulcea Trail no. 2TULCEA – VICTORIA – THE LITCOV CANAL – CRIŞAN CHANNEL – CARAORMAN – LEBĂDA – MALIUC – SULINA ARM – TULCEA Setting out from Tulcea, this route follows the Tulcea Arm as far as the place where the Tulcea Arm bifurcates into the St George Arm on the right and the Sulina Arm on the left. The route continues along the St George Arm, passing the settlements of Ilganii de Jos, Nufăru and Victoria alongside the entrance to the Litcov Canal. Construction work on the Litcov Canal began in 1929 and was completed in 1935. It was formerly called the King Carol II Canal. The canal crosses the space between Sulina and St George from West to East. On either side of the canal there are important Delta lakes, such as Gorgova, Isac, Uzlina, and Potcoava. On the banks of the canal one can observe egrets, herons, ibises, and bald coots. At the end of its course, the Litcov Canal acquires the names Crişan Channel towards the Sulina Arm, and Caraorman Channel towards the St George Arm. The Sulina Arm can be reached along the Crişan Channel, from next to the Lebăda Complex. In the area of the Lebăda Complex, there is an Ecological Research and Education Centre, run by the ARBDD, with exhibits, video films, slides, brochures, leaflets and specialist books that inform tourists about the importance of protecting the Danube Delta and why it has been made a Biosphere Reserve. The last part of the trail is along the Sulina Arm, where the villages of Gorgova, Maliuc and Partizani can be visited. Trail no. 3TULCEA – MALIUC – CRIŞAN – CARAORMAN – CARAORMAN CHANNEL – LAKE PUIU – POPAS ROŞU – LAKE ROŞU – LAKE ROŞULEŢ – ÎMPUŢITA – BUSURCA CHANNEL – SULINA – SULINA ARM – TULCEA The settlement of Maliuc is the youngest in the Danube Delta. Founded in 1950, its development is linked to a centre of research into reed cultivation. The trail continues toward the Crişan-Caraorman Channel, leaving behind the settlement of Gorgova and the Obretinul Mare and Obretinul Mic lakes. Those interested in bird-watching should note that on the southern shore of Obretinul Mic Lake there is a mixed bird colony, with cormorants, grey herons, large egrets, night herons, ibises etc. The Crişan-Caraorman Canal splits from the arm before the settlement of Crişan and was constructed in order to transport sand from a quarry that was planned in the village of Caraorman but never finished. Hence, via the Caraorman Canal, we reach the complex consisting of Puiu, Puiu, Puiuleţ, Roşu and Roşuleţ Lakes. On the channel linking Puiu Lake and Roşu Lake, there can be found the Roşu tourist complex. Along the Împuţita and Busurca Channels, the trail continues towards the Sulina Arm as far as the town of Sulina. The town has a population of approximately five thousand inhabitants and is Romania's easternmost town. It is also the country's lowest lying town (3.4 metres above sea level). Tourist attractions: the town's lighthouses, the international cemetery (a maritime cemetery, with the graves of numerous mariners), the beach, the ARBDD Information Centre. Trail no. 4MURIGHIOL – DUNAVĂŢ CHANNEL – DRANOV CHANNEL – HOLBINA BAY – LAKE RAZIM – GURA PORTIŢEI This trail commences from the parish of Murighiol, which is another point of entry to the Delta, situated 42 km from Tulcea. Near the village can be found the "Pelican" tourist complex, which offers hotel, villa and bungalow accommodation. Also near Murighiol lies Sărăturile Murighiol, a strictly protected nesting area for numerous species of birds adapted to a habitat rich in salts: the stilt-bird, lapwing, tufted duck etc. The trail follows the meanders of the St Gheorghe (George) Arm as far as Km 54.5, where the Dunavăţ Channel branches off. Travelling along this channel, at the 8 Km point, another channel opens up, connecting the Dunavăţ Channel and the Dranov Channel. The Dranov Channel borders the Dranov fish farm as far as Lake Razim. Lake Razim is part of the lake complex known as Razim-Sinoe, in the southern part of the Delta. Crossing Lake Razim, one has the opportunity to see Popina Island, a strictly protected nesting area for the white sheldrake and a stopover place for migrating birds. It is also here that giant millipedes – measuring up to seventeen centimetres – can be found, as well as black widow spiders and numerous water snakes. On the way to Gura Portiţei one can observe another two strictly protected areas: Cape Doloşman, on the right, an archaeological site and nesting area for the sand martin, and the Periteaşca-Bisericuţa-Portiţa area on the left, also an important nesting and feeding site for aquatic birds. The terminus of the trail is at Gura Portiţei, a popular tourist destination, with a beach, and recreational and angling facilities. It is located on a spit of land between the lake complex and the Black Sea. Trail no. 5JURILOVCA – GURA PORTIŢEI This trail has its starting point in the parish of Jurilovca, ninety-three kilometres from Constantza and approximately seventy kilometres from Tulcea. Jurilovca is a settlement linked to the presence in these climes of Lipovan fishermen, who arrived here in the Eighteenth Century. The traditional houses of the Lipovans may be regarded as a tourist attraction: on the outside, they are lined with planks, while the interiors often feature original oil paintings, especially on the ceilings. From Jurilovca, it is possible to reach Gura Portiţei by crossing Razim Lake. The crossing can be made by motorboat, made available by the company that owns the "La Eden" tourist complex at Gura Portiţei or by other private craft. "La Eden" is a modern complex, offering accommodation in cottages and villas. Trail no. 6LEBĂDA – THE OLD DANUBE – ERACLE CHANNEL – LOPATNA DISTRIBUTARY – LOPATNA CHANNEL – TREI IEZERE This trail is a variant of the trails that cover the area of the Lebăda complex, or an alternative trail for tourists staying with locals in Crişan. The trail offers the opportunity to take excursions in an area that is particularly attractive, both in terms of its scenic beauty and its birdlife. Along the Old Danube, the trail takes us to Trei Iezere Lake, via the Eracle channel, Lopatna backwater and the Lopatna Channel. The channels are flanked by compact masses of reeds. On reaching Trei Iezere Lake, one may, with a little luck and the appropriate equipment, observe large agglomerations of birds, such as pelicans, herons, cormorants, and swans. Trail no. 7LEBĂDA – THE OLD DANUBE – MAGEARU CHANNEL – THE OLD DANUBE –SULINA ARM – LEBĂDA As in the case of trail no. 6, this trail is primarily aimed at those tourists who are staying at the Lebăda Compex or in Crişan. However, this trail takes the opposite direction, following the second lobe of the Great M towards the Magearu Channel. The Magearu Channel is attractive above all thanks to its scenic beauty: an area of water lilies, flanked by reeds, home to a multitude of birds. The settlement of Letea lies at the end of the Magearu Channel.The return trip is via the Old Danube, along the other loop of the Great M, as far as the Sulina Arm. Continuing along the Sulina Arm, the tail ends at the Lebăda Complex, passing through the centre of the village of Crişan. Trail no. 8TULCEA – MILE 36 CHANNEL – SIREASA CHANNEL – ŞONTEA CHANNEL –RĂZBOINIŢA CHANNEL – STIPOC CHANNEL – PARDINA CHANNEL – CHILIA VECHE This trail connects Tulcea to the settlement of Chilia Veche, situated in the northern part of the Danube Delta, on the Chilia Arm. The trail comes to the aid of tourists who opt for Chlia Veche for their sojourn in the Danube Delta, and provides opportunities to enjoy the landscape. The trail covers a particularly picturesque and varied landscape, which is the same as that of Trail 1 as far as the Războiniţa Channel, namely Tulcea Arm, Mile 36 Channel, Sireasa Channel, Şontea Channel, and Războiniţa Channel. Along the Războiniţa Channel, the trail heads north towards the Stipoc Channel and then the Pardina Channel. The Pardina Channel borders the Pardina Agricultural Complex, one of the largest farms in the Delta. At the end of the Pardina Channel lies the village of Chilia Veche. The village has a sister on the Ukrainian side of the channel, namely Chilia Nouă.Tourist attractions in the area:§ The Babina and Cernovca areas of ecological reconstruction, formerly agricultural complexes under the communist regime and now subject to the first project of ecological reconstruction to be implemented by the Tulcea National Danube Delta Institute§ Fishing and hunting§ Excursions in the area of Trail no. 9: CHILIA VECHE – BABINA ARM – CERNOVCA ARM – SULIMANCA CHANNEL – LAKE MERHEIUL MIC – LAKE MERHEI – LAKE MATIŢA – LAKE BABINA –RĂDĂCINOASELE CHANNEL – PARDINA CHANNEL – CHILIA VECHE Trail no. 10 ST GHEORGHE – ZĂTON CHANNEL – BUHAZ CHANNEL – PALADE CHANNEL – CRASNICOL CHANNEL – ST GHEORGHE ARM – ST GHEORGHE This trail is an alternative to Trail no. 18. Trail no. 11SULINA – CARDON CHANNEL – SFIŞTOFCA CHANNEL – PERIPRAVA With its departure point in Sulina, situated on the Sulina Arm, the destination of this trail is the parish of Periprava, situated on the Chilia Arm. The trail traverses the Cardon and Sfiştofca channels as far as the parish of Periprava. As a variant of this route, tourists can also go down to visit the villages located on the banks of the Cardon and Sfiştofca channels. The parishes of Cardon, Sfiştofca and Periprava are located on the Letea Sandbank, which is formed from the superimposition and juxtaposition of sediments as a result of the action of sea waves over a long period. A proof of this phenomenon is the presence, in the Letea Sandbank, of shells specific to the salt waters of the sea. The landscape of the sandbank is spectacular, with undulating sandy terrain and bare dunes, sometimes of a considerable altitude. These areas of high dunes alternate with low-lying areas, which flood in springtime. The latter areas have given rise to the clusters of woodland that form the Letea Forest. In Periprava, one can visit the Old-Believer church, specific to the Russian-Lipovan ethnic group that is dominant in this area. The Lipovans, Russian Old Believers, came to this region starting in the Eighteenth Century, in order to escape religious persecution. Near Periprava lies Nebunu Lake, one of the tourist attractions of the Delta. On reaching the Chilia Arm, this trail may optionally be combined with Trail no. 9: Chilia Veche – the Babina Arm – the Cernovca Arm – the Sulimanca Channel – Lake Merheiul Mic – Lake Merhei – Lake Matiţa – Lake Babina – Rădăcinoasele Channel – Pardina Channel – Chilia Veche. Variant trail: Trail no. 12SULINA – CARDON CHANNEL – MUSURA BAY – MUSURA ARM – STAMBULUL VECHI ARM – CHILIA ARM – PERIPRAVA Trail no. 13UZLINA – LAKE UZLINA – LAKE ISAC – ISAC 3 CHANNEL – PERIVOLOVCA DISTRIBUTARY – ST GHEORGHE ARM – UZLINA, with the extension: LAKE UZLINA – LAKE ISAC – ISAC 2 CHANNEL – LITCOV CHANNEL – CEAMURLIA CHANNEL – CRIŞAN CHANNEL – SULINA ARM – CRIŞAN The village of Uzlina has an excellent position in the southern area of the Danube Delta, on the St Gheorghe Arm. Uzlina can be reached only by boat, from the direction of Murighiol. There are many options for tourist accommodation here, and numerous birds can be observed for the entire length of the trail. Trail no. 14JURILOVCA – GURA PORTIŢEI – LAKE GOLOVIŢA – CHANNEL V – LAKE SINOE – PERIBOINA FISHERY – HISTRIA FORT – CHANNEL II – LAKE ZMEICA – LAKE GOLOVIŢA – JURILOVCA This trail has been passed for tourists in Gura Portiţei who wish to take part in excursions in the Delta. The trail traverses the Razim-Sinoe lakes complex. It enables tourists coming from the direction of Lake Sinoe to visit the Histria fort. Another stopover included in this route is at the Periboina Fishery. Likewise, tourists will have the opportunity to cross the four major lakes that make up the lacustrine complex: Razim, Goloviţa, Zmeica, and Sinoe. Trail no. 15TULCEA – SULINA ARM – MILE 22 CHANNEL – ŞONTEA MARSH – DUNĂREA VECHE – MILE 23 This route is recommended to those tourists who wish to experience both the beauties of the reserve and the secrets of its inhabitants. With Tulcea as the point of departure, the trail first of all follows the Sulina Arm, as far as Mile 22. From here, the Mile 22 Channel branches off, linking up with the Şontea Distributary. Following the Şontea as far as the settlement of Mile 23, tourists will find moments to relax and admire the landscape. At the same time, one will be able to observe a series of bird species, such as egrets, grey herons, yellow herons, ibises, cormorants etc. At the end of the distributary lies the Old Danube, upon one bank of which lies the settlement of Mile 23. The name of the village comes from the marine mile that marks the distance of the old course of the Sulina Arm. Mile 23 is a typical fishing village, and has developed thanks to the good fishing areas nearby. In recent years, the village has seen particular development as a result of tourism, as it is a favourite destination for many visitors, especially anglers. Next to the old, typical fishermen's houses, modern homes and agricultural-tourism pensions have begun to spring up. Trail no. 16CRIŞAN – THE OLD DANUBE – BOGDAPROSTE CHANNEL – LAKE BOGDAPROSTE – LA AMIAZĂ LAKE – TREI IEZERE LAKE – LOPATNA DISTRIBUTARY – ERACLE CHANNEL – THE OLD DANUBE – MILE 23 For tourists staying in the Crişan area, this trail offers the chance of excursions that highlight the beauty and variety of the Delta landscape. The route links Crişan to the village of Mile 23, crossing a series of channels and lakes, some of which are prime spots for bird watching. Setting out along the Old Danube, the Bogdaproste Channel opens on the left, linking the old arm of the Danube to Bogdaproste Lake. After crossing the lake, one can follow the linking channel to arrive at Amiază Lake and then Trei Iezere Lake. Depending on the season, a series of bird species can be observed on these lakes, including pelicans, swans, ducks, bald coots etc. After following the Lopatna Distributary and entering the Eracle Channel, we arrive at the village of Mile 23. Trail no. 17SULINA – BUSURCA CHANNEL – ÎMPUŢITA CHANNEL – COASTAL CORDON –TĂTARU CHANNEL – ST GHEORGHE This trail is aimed at tourists who have opted to spend their sojourn in Sulina, and offers alternative recreation for those who have come for the beach. The trail links Sulina and St Gheorghe, following the coastal cordon along the following route: Busurca Channel Împuţita Channel – Coastal Cordon – Tătaru Channel – St Gheorghe. The village of St Gheorghe is situated at the point where the St Gheorghe Arm empties into the Black Sea. It is possible to stay at agricultural tourism boarding houses here. Trail no. 18SULINA – BUSURCA CHANNEL – ROŞU CHANNEL – ÎMPUŢITA CHANNEL – LAKE ROŞULEŢ – ROŞULEŢ FISHERY – LAKE ROŞU – LAKE PUIU – MOCANSCA CHANNEL – LAKE ERENCIUC – ST GHEORGHE ARM – ST GHEORGHE Setting out along the Busurca Channel, the trail links Sulina and St Gheorghe, taking in the Roşu-Puiu channels and lake complex. During the excursion, it is possible to visit the Roşuleţ Fishery and the Roşu Tourist Complex, known as the Roşu Holiday Village. The village offers accommodation and meals in cottages, a restaurant, and a bar and discotheque. Following the trail, you can see, one hundred metres away from the holiday village, a wooden cross with a siren carved upon it. The cross was erected in memory of sculptor Paul Zipper and fisherman Gheorghe Timoftei, who were lost in the waters of the Danube on the night of 25-26 April 1966. The cross was carved by their friend, Fane Georgescu, who survived the accident. During the excursion, tourists may choose to fish in one of the lakes mentioned. On the way to St Gheorghe, the trail continues along the Mocansca Channel and crosses Lake Erenciuc, reaching the St Gheorghe Arm. On either side of the channel that leads to the St Gheorghe Arm there lies the strictly protected Erenciuc Alder area, the only zone in the Delta where the black alder grows. The white-tailed eagle nests in the alders, where it finds optimal conditions. Setting out once more along the St Gheorghe Arm, we reach the village of the same name. From St Gheorghe it is possible to make excursions along Trail no 10: St Gheorghe – Zăton Channel – Buhaz Channel – Palade Channel – Crasnicol Channel – St Gheorghe Arm – St Gheorghe.