Legendary land amidst the Danube and the Black Sea and a meeting place of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, Dobrogea impresses with its natural and cultural uniqueness.
This is the meeting place of the Măcin Mountains - one of the oldest mountains in the world - with Danube Delta UNESCO biosphere - the youngest land in Europe. The Danube Delta is a unique nature reserve in the world, a bird’s paradise and at the same time an ethno-cultural mosaic.
The landscape of the region is completed by antic fortresses, fascinating monasteries and mosques, famous vineyards, caves and sunny beaches but also with ancient ports at the Black Sea such as Constanţa and Mangalia. Dobrogea and especially the Danube Delta are perfect for slow tourism.
Take your time here to truly appreciate and discover the natural wonders and cultural riches this area has to offer.
If you are travelling from either Galaţi – Brăila makea stop in Măcin and taste its famous wines.
If you are heading to the seaside from Bucharest you can stop by the Murfatlar vineyards.
Taste a local fish dish such as borsch with fish.
Visit the Danube Delta Eco-Tourism Museum Center in Tulcea, a modern and interactive museum opened in 2009.
Visit the historic centre of Constanţa that was actually built on top of the ruins of the ancient Greek city Tomis.
Don’t miss the ruins of Histria, proof of the oldest city in Romania, located on the shores of lake Sinoe.
Good to know
For those interested in the Măcin National Park or other attractions you can find the main tourist information centres in Luncaviţa, Greci and Măcin (at 9B Brăilei street).
In Tulcea there is a tourist information centre at 4 Gloriei Street.
In Constanţa you can rent a bike from Tăbăcăriei Park.
The perfect times to visit the Danube Delta and Northern Dobrogea are spring and autumn, when temperatures are not very high.
To enter the Danube Delta you must have a permit that can be obtained from the Administration in Tulcea located at 34 A Portului Street. Opening hours: Monday-Thursday from 8:00- 16:30; Friday between 8:00 – 14:00. The permits can also be bought online here.
The full protection areas of the Danube Delta are not open for tourists, only scientists are allowed to enter. Where tourism is allowed, it’s recommended to contact an experienced local guide.
Fishing is allowed during certain times of the year and you will need a permit from the Administration.
If you want to buy authentic and handcrafted souvenirs made by locals, they can be acquired mainly in Tulcea from the Souvenirs and Ecotourism shop. For each product sold, 10% is directed to the development and ecotourism projects developed in the Delta by the “Ivan Patzaichin – Mila 23” Association.
The Romanian Navy Day is celebrated on the 15th of August, where you can enjoy concerts and various performances right on Constanţa’s waterfront.
How to get here
Even though it’s surrounded by water from three sides, Dobrogea can actually be accessed by road, railway, air and water.
If you wish to travel by plane to Dobrogea there is an International airport in Constanţa and the newly renovated airport in Tulcea (only operates charter flights). Due to the short distance between Bucharest and Dobrogea you can easily fly to Bucharest and then choose any means of transportation to Dobrogea.
There are international trains connecting important cities in Europe with Bucharest from where you can easily take a connection with the main cities in Dobrogea: Medgidia, Constanţa, Mangalia or Tulcea.
Most people who visit Dobrogea rent a car from the Constanţa airport, but you can also easily get around with your own means of transportation. From Bucharest you can easily get to several areas in Dobrogea, including Constanţa via A2 highway that corresponds with the E60 road. Another European road that can take you to Dobrogea is E87. For those of you who prefer transportation by coach you can access the www.autogari.ro website where you can find buses from almost all main cities in Romania and Europe.
Dobrogea can also be accessed via water along the Danube or the Black Sea. Due to the many ports on the Danube, Tulcea and Sulina or those in Constanţa and Mangalia, this picturesque part of Romania can easily be accessed with any vessel. To reach the Danube Delta there are several vessels that will transport you from Tulcea. You can find more about it here and here.
Over the course of time Dobrogea has been an important cultural and geostrategic region and these qualities have shaped its rich history; starting with the Geto-Dacian period, continuing with Roman times when Dacia was under Roman empire rule and throughout the 15th-16th centuries when it was under Turkish rule up until the 19th century when it became part of Romania.
This explains the abundance and variety in the archaeological ruins and historical monuments and also the richness of the cultural traditions of over 15 ethnic groups that give Dobrogea that special, unique feeling. But what sets Dobrogea apart and what makes it so famous is the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, a place that has to be visited at least once in a lifetime.
Other tourist attractions that Dobrogea offers are the Măcin National Park, located in the northern area of the region, and the Black Sea with its pristine sandy beaches, many of them still wild.
The Danube Delta
One of the wildest wetlands in Europe and a UNESCO heritage site since 1991, the Danube Delta is a true living biodiversity museum, home to over 5,500 plant and animal species.
Danube’s three arms through which it spills into the sea: Chilia, Sulina and St Gheorghe are accompanied by a unique natural landscape shaped from a mosaic of canals, lakes, reeds, sand dunes, Mediterranean vegetation and oak forests, like the ones on Letea and Caraorman strand plains.
Danube Delta is world renowned and is very sought after by the birdwatchers and photographers due to the almost 300 bird species that can be found here such as pelicans, egret, swans, cranes, and white-tailed eagles.
Even though the Danube Delta excels in biodiversity, its authenticity and simplicity can truly be discovered by getting in touch with the local communities that live here in harmony with nature.
There are 25 communities of various ethnicities living in the Delta such as Romanians, Ukrainians, Lipovan Russians, and Tatars. They live in traditional fishermen villages (Mila 23, Crişan, Letea, Caraorman etc.) where you can admire houses built in the special architectural style of this area (reed rooftops, and blue painted doors and windows), "cherhanale" (constructions for the fishing trade). It’s here where you can also admire traditional Ukrainian and Lipovan costumes and taste local cuisine where the main ingredient is, of course, fish!
Sulina, the only town in the Delta, is located at the end of Danube’s arm that bears the same name and can only be reached only water. Here you can visit the Maritime cemetery, unique in Romania, the old lighthouse, various churches or you can just relax on the beach, which is wilder here than in other resorts by the Black Sea.
A land of linden trees, monasteries and vast vineyards, Northern Dobrogea’s diversity attracts with its delta landscapes, old picturesque mountain scenery, ancient fortresses and various ethnic communities that enrich the cultural heritage of the region that have kept traditions and ancient customs alive.
The backbone of the region are the Măcin Mountains, the oldest mountains in Romania (Hercynian orogeny), now a National Park. The granite mountains with a height of 500 m watch over the Danube valley and offer true wild and archaic landscapes. There’s no wonder why this area has been used as a set for many films productions. The undeniable value of the region is the flora and fauna, with many endemic species that attract both nature lovers and scientists alike.
Moreover the Măcin Mountains are perfect for extreme sports such as mountain biking, paragliding or hiking (with many trails to choose from).
Northern Dobrogea is also known for the numerous vineyards such as those in Sarica-Niculiţel and Babadag and its “triangle of monasteries”: Celic Dere, Cocoşu and Saon.
The most important city of the northern Dobrogea area is Tulcea, also called “the city of the seven hills”, the gateway to the Danube Delta. You can discover this city before or after you visit the Danube Delta. Here you can visit the Danube Delta Eco-Tourism Museum Center , the Ethnographic and Folk-Art Museum, the Independence monument or just enjoy a nice walk along the river bank.
There’s no doubt that the seaside is the main tourist attraction of southern Dobrogea with its resorts on sunny beaches and fine sands, a true oasis of relaxation.
Maybe the most well-known resort here is Mamaia also called the “Romanian riviera pearl” this resort is luxurious, with various possibilities for entertainment. Nearby, in the Techirghiol spa you can enjoy treatments with sapropelic mud, while for those of you who prefer less popular resorts with wilder beaches, we can recommend the southern seaside, at 23 August -Tuzla or Vama Veche and 2 Mai resorts.
One of the most important cities in southern Dobrogea is Constanţa, a maritime port, where besides the beach and balneotherapy activities you can either take a stroll on its seafront and admire the beautiful 100 years old Casino (unfortunately left to decay), or visit the Romanian Marine Museum, or the numerous urban architectural gems such as the Maritime Train station, or the Genoese Lighthouse.
Mangalia (Callatis) is the second largest city at the Black Sea that still preserves traces of the ancient Greeks. It has a balneo-climateric spa open all year round and has the most modern tourist port in Romania. On your way to the seaside make sure to make a stop at the famous vineyards from Murfatlar where you can taste the Feteasca Neagră (in the largest cellar in Romania) and also visit the Dobrogea Vineyard Museum.
Dobrogea is recognized and appreciated not only for its exceptional natural setting and fascinating history, but also for its remarkable culinary tradition.
The multiculturalism of this region has made culinary preparations particularly diverse, with each ethnic community present in these lands having its own specialty. For the Tatars and Turks, sheep meat or ram and sheep's milk products have always been the basis of the everyday recipe, while for Romanians and Russians, fish, poultry or pork and vegetables have always been preferred.
Viewed as a whole, the cuisine of Dobrogea has successfully combined these preferences, delighting the senses of anyone who tries it. To convince you of the special flavour of Dobrogea dishes, try some of the culinary specialties that you will find here: fish soup, sturgeon soup, tomatoes stuffed with roe salad, babic (pork and beef flavoured sausage) and ghiudem (beef and lamb sausage), pickled fish or stuffed pike, chebureki (deep-fried pastry with minced meet filling), stuffed cabbage rolls with rice and raisins, stuffed carp, brined or on a stick, carp, "şaşlâc" (lamb skewers), sheep sausages, kefir (a kind of yogurt), "merdenea" (cheese pie), "dobrogeană" (sweet cheese pastry) that goes extremely well with yoghurt.
And we can’t forget about the wonderful sweets like baklava, "sarailie" (similar to baklava), homemade halva or gingerbread.
The unique wines from the famous vineyards here will come to complete your gastronomic feast. The special wines of Sarica Niculiţel, Istria-Babadag, Murfatlar, Ostrov or Adamclisi will surely delight you.