Bike Tours

Discover the Danube Delta by Bicycle

15 Sep , 2015  

8 day tour

difficulty: medium

What is included

  • Accommodation ( 7 nights at guesthouses)
  • 3 meals/day (these can be either at locals, restaurants, picnics or sandwiches)
  • Mountain bike with rear rack and one pannier
  • Entrance fees
  • Guidance (English speaking guide)
  • Boat ride
  • Transfers

What is not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Helmet rental
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Other personal expenses

Price: from 890 euros/person* (The price is applicable for a group of minimum 10 persons and double occupancy.)

The Danube Delta is a magical place worth exploring by bicycle. Its stunning beauty will make this biking experience one to remember and most probably want to repeat. The Delta, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1992, is vast; it spans 4152 square kilometers of which only 148 are not inundated. As a consequence we’ll have to take a boat/ship from time to time in order to complete our journey.

We’ll be traveling along beautiful canals with floating reed islands, lagoons and lakes. The landscape is pretty diverse: gently rolling hills near Mahmudia and Sarichioi, flood plains on the Ukraine border, marshlands teeming with birds such as comorants and great white egrets, and quiet fishing villages like Sfantu Gheorghe or Periprava where we’ll get a taste of the local cuisine. A local fisherman will take us on a boat ride to explore some parts of the Delta that are not accessible by bike. We’ll discover an intricate network of canals and admire the fauna and flora.

Highlights of the tour:

Lake Razelm (Razim) is part of the Razim-Sinoe lagoon situated in the northwestern coast of the Black Sea and it spans 415 square kilometers. The name of the lake comes from the Turkish-Tatar razi iim meaning ‘I am happy’ and is attributed  to the abundance of fish in the lake. This area stands out mostly because of its geographical, biological, historical and ethnographical complexity. The multitude of birds (over 300 species) and fish species (circa 90 fish species), the archeological traces and the ethno-cultural diversity make the lagoon and its surroundings one of the most intriguing touristic locations by the Romanian seacoast.

Enisala Fortress is a byzantine citadel certified in 1270 when the now Razelm lake was a bay at the Balck Sea. It had military and defense purpose and was also used for monitoring the roads on shore and by sea. The fortress is the main attraction in the area and it is the only medieval fortress that has its walls still preserved.

Letea forest is one of the strictly protected nature reserves in Romania and a major attraction of the Danube Delta. Its beauty is given by the vines, sand dunes and the hundred year old oak trees (some even 700 years old). There are hundreds of wild horses that roam freely in this area. The forest has a subtropical aspect due to the presence of the tropical creeper named Periploca Graeca. This is a Mediterranean plant which finds its most northern refuge in the Danube Delta.

 

Sulina, today is Romania’s easternmost port. Situated at the Danube mouths, in an area of great commercial circulation, Sulina flourished  until the outbreak of the Second World War. It was a melting pot between the Orient and the Occident.

At the end of the nineteenth century, there were 22 reported nationalities, among which were the Greeks, the Romanians, the Armenians, the Russians, the Turks, etc. The ethnic diversity also led to the emergence of diverse religious confessions: Orthodox, Old Rite Orthodox, Catholic, Muslim, Protestant, etc. Proof of this diversity can be found in the common cemetery, where there are delimited areas belonging to each of the nationalities. Once home to 9 consulates and a peak population of 15000 Sulina is nowadays in decay. The once headquarters of the Danube European Commission may have lost some of it’s grateness, but it is still an interesting place to visit, and many toursists stroll by it’s peers every summer.

The village of Sfantu Gheorghe is an isolated place situated where the Danube reaches the Black Sea. Just like Sulina no road connects it to the mainland. Inhabited by 1000 people it gets somewhat busier in the summer. Don’t expect to see paved streets here; they are made of sand and cows roam freely through the village. The beach is one of the last wild ones in Romania. Villagers welcome tourists with traditional dishes that are just magnificent and  fishermen offer unforgettable boat rides.

Itinerary

The first day we meet up in Bucharest and drive to the village of Sarichioi situated on the shore of Razim Lake (275 km).  Here, our host will be waiting for us with a delicious traditional dish and home made vine. In the late afternoon we can visit the village or take a bath in the Razim lake.

The second day (20/55/75 km) after an early (or late) breakfast we take the bikes and pedal through the beautiful scenery of Dobruja. We have multiple options for this day, including a boat ride on the lake, and all of them include the visiting of the Enisala Fortress. We have lunch on the road and return to Sarichioi in the afternoon.

The third day (60 or 30 kilometers) we have to get up early because we have a 70 km drive to Mahmudia and then a 65 km bike ride to the village of Pardina. The first 32 km from Mahmudia (where we leave the minibus) to the city of Tulcea are on paved roads and are optional but really worth it because of the beautiful scenery. After having lunch in Tulcea we take a small ferry to cross to the other side of the Danube to the village of Tudor Vladimirescu. No more paved roads from now on; this is where our real adventure starts. We’ll be riding along the Ukranian border (Chilia Branch) for 33 kilometers to our accomodation in Pardina.

The fourth day (32 km on bike and 22 on water) we’ll be cycling to Chilia Veche along a dirt road on the pier. We’ll have lunch at a local guest house before taking the ferry to Periprava.

In the Fifth day (30 km) the first part of the road might be a little difficult because of the sand but it depends on the weather. Nevertheless the scenery is pretty impressive. We’ll be passing trough the Letea forest and take some time to admire its beauty. We’ll take a break in C. A. Rosetti and then continue our tour to Sulina where we will stop overnight. We will also make a tour of the small city.

Day 6 consists of the final stretch of our cycling adventure. We’ll be riding from Sulina to Sfantu Gheorghe. The dirt road is pretty good and we’ll be making good time. In Sfantu Gheorghe our host will be waiting for us with a special dish made out of fish. We’ll put the bikes in storage and head for the beach. We’ll also take a walk to the place where the Sfantu Gheorghe Branch reaches the Black sea.

On Day 7 a local fisherman will take us on a boat ride near Sfantu Gheorghe. We’ll get the chance to admire White pelicans, Cormorants, Pygmy Cormorants, Egrets and other birds and also the lush vegetation and beautiful flora.

On the final day of our adventure we’ll board a ship that will take us back to Mahmudia. It will take about 5 hours to cover the 80 kilometers of the Sfantu Gheorghe Branch. After having lunch we’ll take the minibus back to Bucharest where we’ll be ariving in the afternoon.

The Danube Delta has a temperate climate, the area is sunny most of the times as it is the least foggy area in the country with weak rainfalls (annual average: 400). July average temperature: 27C; September: 23C. Air moisture may vary from 85% during winter to 70% in summer. The snow layer is thin and only resists for short periods of time during rough winters. Dominant winds blow from the northern sector (North Wind).

Here are some more photos from last year’s tour:

If you wish to book this tour or have any questions don’t hesitate to send an email or call.

+40-733-980-006



1 Response

  1. […] on a bicycle tour of the Danube Delta (you can find photos and a great description of the trip on Bikealicious Romania). Inspired by the beautiful landscape and houses there, I am preparing a new collection dedicated […]

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