For friendly, expert advice call: +44 (0) 1962 733051

Romania's Danube Delta & Carpathian Mountains

Tour Code: ROM03

A 10-day tour-by boat and on foot-in search of the birds and mammals of the Carpathian Mountains, Black Sea Coast and Danube Delta.

10 days from £1595(inc flights) Land Only Price: £134 SRS: £250


On this 2-centre holiday we’ll explore the contrasting landscapes of Romania’s Carpathian Mountains, Black Sea Coast and Danube Delta. Beginning in Transylvania, we’ll search the rocky peaks and dense spruce forests of the Carpathians for birds such as Wallcreeper, flowers and Brown Bears. Next we head to the Danube Delta – a wetland area larger than Coto Donana and the Camargue combined. From the comfort of our floating hotel we’ll explore a maze of channels and lakes, marvelling at the sheer numbers of pelicans, herons and other waterbirds all around us. Our tour ends with two days exploring the steppes and marshes adjacent to the Black Sea Coast, home to an interesting flora and birds such as Levant Sparrowhawk and Sombre Tit.

  • Wallcreeper, Nutcracker & other mountain species in the Carpathian Mountains
  • Evening Bear watching in the Piatra Craiuli National Park
  • See Castle Bran, alleged haunt of Vlad the Impaler (Count Dracula!)
  • 3 nights exploring the Danube Delta on a floating hotel
  • Huge numbers of nesting Night & Purple Herons, Pygmy Cormorant & Glossy Ibis
  • Migrating waders & terns in spring & autumn
  • Dalmatian & White Pelicans in the Danube Delta
  • Eastern bird species such as Levant Sparrowhawk & Isabelline Wheatear
  • Birdwatch & botanise on the Babadag Plateau & Macin Mountains
  • Led by an expert naturalist guide

Food

All included in the price.

Accommodation

Hotels in Zarnesti and Tulcea. Floating hotel in the Delta. Private facilities throughout.

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Fly Bucharest, drive Zarnesti

Day 2/3 Zarnesti

Day 4/9 Danube Delta

Day 10 Return Bucharest and fly London

The recent surge of interest in natural history, together with today’s freedom of travel, have made it almost impossible to find a major area of Europe that has not been extensively explored by the British naturalist. Romania, with more than its fair share of wild and beautiful places, can claim to be such a region. 

Situated on the western shore of the Black Sea, with the Ukraine on its northern borders, Romania has a surprising variety of habitats. From the extensive wetlands of the Danube basin, to the high peaks of the Carpathians; from the evergreen forests of the north-west, to the rolling plains of the east, Romania boasts a remarkable abundance of wild flowers, interesting butterflies and mammals, plus a long list of exciting birds. Furthermore, its Black Sea Coast, running from north to south, is part of a major flyway for migrating birds travelling between their breeding grounds in Eurasia and their winter quarters in the Mediterranean, Africa or further east.

Our holiday is centred around the Danube Delta and the Carpathian Mountains. About 90 kilometres from the mouth of the Danube, the river divides into three channels. Enclosed between them lie 3,000 square kilometres of reedbeds, shallow lakes and forested islands. It is a wetland area larger than the Carmargue and the Coto Doñana combined! Within the Delta nest over 4,000 pairs of Cormorants, 3,000 pairs of Night Herons, 2,000 pairs of Squacco Herons, 1,200 pairs of Purple Herons, 1,500 pairs of Glossy Ibis and a large percentage of the European population of Great Egrets, Pygmy Cormorants, and Dalmatian and White Pelicans. Good numbers of grebes, ducks, terns, geese and five or more pairs of White-tailed Eagles make up the supporting cast! Needless to say, the Delta is a truly wonderful place and, in ornithological terms, probably deserves the title of Europe’s single most valuable habitat. 

We begin our holiday with a flight to Bucharest, capital of Romania. From here we travel to Zarnesti, deep in the Transylvanian Carpathians. This chain of mountains is alpine in nature, with high rocky peaks rising above dense forests of spruce and beech. We will be based in a guesthouse on the edge of Zarnesti, an attractive small town that offers easy access to the surrounding peaks. From it, we will be able to explore the local pine woods and rocky crags in search of woodpeckers, Nutcrackers and alpine passerines such as Wallcreepers. Beyond the treeline, lush alpine meadows host a wealth of flowering plants. In the evenings we will watch for the Brown Bears and occasional Wolves that descend from the forests in search of carrion. 

After two full days in the mountains we travel east to Tulcea, the gateway to the Danube Delta. During our stay in the Delta, we will be travelling and sleeping aboard a floating hotel. On it, we will travel through the Delta’s numerous channels and lakes, thereby gaining a unique perspective on the area and its wildlife. We will also have the opportunity to visit one of the isolated islands where we will be able to explore on foot and see the way of life in one of the remote villages of the area. By visiting several habitats within the Delta, we should have amassed an impressive total of species by the end of our visit; however, the enduring memory of a trip to the Delta is the sheer spectacle of hundreds of pelicans, herons and cormorants constantly flying to and from their vast breeding colonies. 

We will spend the latter part of our holiday exploring the rich complex of lakes and marshes that lie immediately to the south of the Delta. We will visit the Black Sea Coast, and the salt marshes on the edge of Lake Sinoie where migrating waders feed alongside breeding Avocets, pratincoles and Kentish Plovers. To the south of the Delta, a small lake merits our attention. Amongst its large gull and tern colony, grebes, Black-winged Stilts and Mediterranean Gulls breed. In forest nearby, a range of woodland species — including several woodpeckers and Ortolan Bunting — are found, together with an outstanding variety of butterflies and wild flowers. This is an excellent area for raptors with the possibility of Booted Eagle over the forest, whilst Eastern Imperial Eagles are sometimes seen soaring over the plains to the south. 

Finally we must travel back to Bucharest, breaking the journey as we pass lakes worthy of our interest. We will leave Romania satisfied with the memories of some of the best birdwatching to be found in Europe, together with an exceptional range of plants and mammals.

We currently don’t have any images for this tour. If you have any suitable image you would like published then please email us.

R.J.
Belgium
Thoroughly enjoyed this trip to Romania, especially spending time on the Delta. The amount of wildlife there is just incredible, and I will never get bored of seeing kingfishers – however many we see in one day! Although, seeing the bears was definitely the highlight for me.
J.H.
Midlothian
An all round excellent trip. Outstanding leaders - Laurentiu's knowledge of Romanian birds and wildlife was extraordinary, Ed's role as host as well as his birding skills - excellent team. A spring trip to Romania is definitely to be recommended.
J.W.
Hertfordshire
This was a superb wildlife experience - particularly the quality and quantity of birds in the Delta. Living on the floating hotel meant that we were immersed in this fantastic habitat 24 hours a day - excellent. All 3 guides were excellent.
D.S.
West Sussex
free mobile spyware adventureswithtravisandpresley.com phone tracking app android
The itinerary included a variety of landscapes which in turn provided a wide range of different bird and flora species. The river boat hotel was delightful - it provided a very special way to observe birds up close an from a distance.
S.H.
Northamptonshire
Romania is ace. Guides were knowledgeable. Floating hotel was very good and staff helpful. Excellent birds, butterflies and flora to see. Would like to return. Food was plentiful and of a good standard, including picnics with delicious local cheese, cucumber and tomatoes.
P.H.
Northamptonshire
Loved Romania! Local guides were very knowledgeable and helpful with species identification. Particularly enjoyed being on the floating hotel - the staff were delightful and they catered to every need in the party, especially regarding diet. Saw some amazing birds, butterflies etc. and would like to return to see more of the Delta area. Everything ran like clockwork and there were a brilliant set of guests.
B.M.
Essex
Seeing and photographing bears in the wild - a return visit after a 20 year gap to the Delta. Our second local guide Lorenzy had an interest in his country, in addition to birds, and enjoyed sharing it with us. Andy was very approachable, knowledgeable, and patient at pointing out how to identify the various birds.
M.M.
Cambridgeshire
Danube Delta trips - very relaxing watching scenery and wildlife from top deck of hotel on the small boat. Jason was informative and endlessly patient about identifying birds and insects, while Daniel had a wealth of knowledge and information about the Delta area and Romania as a whole.
E.M.
Essex
Andy was an excellent leader - explaining fully what to look for in the bird I.D. Overall a great experience and would recommend Naturetrek as a reliable company.
B.C.
London
This was my first Naturetrek trip and it far exceeded my expectations. The range of habitats meant we saw a vast number of species which were expertly identified and explained by the knowledgeable (and patient) leaders.
M.J.
Hertfordshire
A very enjoyable holiday
A.H.
USA
free mobile spyware adventureswithtravisandpresley.com phone tracking app android
A nice way to become acquainted with Eastern Europe
H.Q.
West Yorkshire
Both leaders knowledgeable and enthusiastic and ensured we all got good views of birds and other species.
A.P.
Dorset
Outstanding trip. Friendly and knowledgeable trip leader and local guide. First class organisation, accommodation and meals. Well done Naturetrek.
L.L.
Worcestershire
You can't beat birdwatching by boat, relaxing, stimulating, can you just imagine putting the boat into the bank and sitting in your comfortable chair watching the black woodpeacker enlarging his hole, or slowly following literally hundreds of pelicans as they fish in the shallow waters.
M.C.
Cambridgeshire
An excellent trip – the Flotel was superb. Both leaders hearing and sighting of birds was exceptional and Florin was particularly enchanting with his sense of humour and knowledge of his lively country. We were very lucky to see 16 bears with 2 mothers that had 3 cubs each.
I.W.
Inverness
Our leader was one of the best we have had on one of your trips, his knowledge of birds, botany, insects and general enthusiasm was infectious.
J.G.
Yorkshire
I had been to Romania many years ago in mid-winter but did not enter the delta or visit the Carpathian mountains - I was delighted with both and could not have enjoyed it more. I did not expect to see any new birds, but was very happy to see good (variety of) birds again and seen in great numbers.
K.H.
Surrey
free mobile spyware adventureswithtravisandpresley.com phone tracking app android
A very high quality well organised trip, enhanced by excellent leaders.
W.S.
Essex
The three different areas(of Romania)were amazing, and 16 bears well who can ask for more. The large group were all very nice but best of all were the guides. I’m now looking at other trips that Geoff Carr leads, he is truly perfect…he is really knowledgeable about so many things but best of all a really wonderful personality and sense of humour. The local guide Florin Palade, again a wealth of knowledge and absolutely everything on history, geography, geology etc and again a great personality with perfect English and German. The local botanist in Dobrogea was brilliant not just about botany but all other subjects thrown at him. A better team could not be found.
W.S.
Herefordshire
Our guides were both excellent at spotting birds… Mihai had an excellent knowledge of history, geography, geology and botany…The bear hide experience was magical! We saw lots of bears right from the start. The highlight was the Danube Delta. The trips were very well planned. The houseboat was very comfortable with excellent food..J. G.
M.H.W.
Sussex
This was an excellent trip - Chris worked hard to find us the birds. The local company and Daniel were exceptionally good. The Romanians were charming and determined to show us their country.
J.C.
Hampshire
Excellent Trip. Ground agents in particular provided ecological and historical background as well as ornithological and Botanical information. Hotels were great. The trip exceeded all my expectations.
J.K.
Yorkshire
free mobile spyware adventureswithtravisandpresley.com phone tracking app android
This is the best Naturetrek holiday that l have been on. It far exceeded my expectations. Please note that the accommodation in small family run hotels and on the boat are outstanding and far from basic. The organisation in Romania is very slick and efficient combined with exceptional warmth and friendliness. Nothing was too much trouble and the tour leaders were knowledgeable and informative and were always approachable. I would recommend this holiday to anyone and will do so to my friends.
A.K.
Yorkshire
The holiday exceeded our expectation. The accommodation was far better than you led us to expect - condition for tourists in Romania improve by the day. John Carruthers was the epitome of an ideal tour leader - patient, considerable and permanently cheerful. Dan Petreseu is a skilled and energetic local leader, unflagging in his encouragement of everyone and with excellent skills. All of the areas that we visited had plenty to offer to the naturalist, but the sheer spectacle of the Danube Delta was outstanding. Finally, this was an excellent group to spend a holiday with.
J.K.
West Yorkshire
This is the best Naturetrek holiday that I have been on. It far exceeded my expectations. Please note that the accommodation in small family run hotels and on the boat is outstanding and far from basic. The organisation in Romania is very slick and efficient combined with exceptional warmth and friendliness. Nothing was too much trouble. The tour leaders were knowledgeable and informative and were always approachable. I would recommend this holiday to anyone and will do so to my friends.
T.M.
Gloucestershire
This was truly a superb tour. We had a lot of fun amid the serious stuff of finding and identifying birds, all of which we were able to get excellent views, thanks tot the expertise of Daniel and Chris. Daniel is a most charismatic character, full of enthusiasm and bonhomie...and Chriss credentials and birding abilities are undoubted.
N.H.
West Sussex
This was an excellent trip. Chris our leader worked hard to find us birds. The local agent and Daniel were exceptionally good. The Romanians were charming and determined to show us their country.
A.S.
Oxfordshire
My congratulations to Naturetrek for an extremely well planned and thoroughly enjoyable trip...Overall, I can only praise all the personnel involved in this tour and look forward to my future travels with Naturetrek.
Show all details | Hide all details

DeparturesAvailableCost

Sat 13th May 2017 - Mon 22nd May 2017

FULL

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1345 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 20th May 2017 - Mon 29th May 2017

FULL

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1345 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 5th August 2017 - Mon 14th August 2017

FULL

£1695

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1345 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 9th September 2017 - Mon 18th September 2017

FULL

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1345 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 16th September 2017 - Mon 25th September 2017

FULL

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1345 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Thu 26th April 2018 - Sat 5th May 2018

YES

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1345 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 5th May 2018 - Mon 14th May 2018

YES

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1345 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 12th May 2018 - Mon 21st May 2018

YES

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1345 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 19th May 2018 - Mon 28th May 2018

YES

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1345 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 4th August 2018 - Mon 13th August 2018

YES

£1695

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1345 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 8th September 2018 - Mon 17th September 2018

YES

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £134 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Sat 15th September 2018 - Mon 24th September 2018

YES

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1345 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Romania

Can I help You?

Paul Stanbury
Operations Manager

Email Paul

01962 733051

Tour Focus

BirdsMammals

Tour Reviews

Thoroughly enjoyed this trip to Romania, especially spending time on the Delta. The amount of wildlife there is just incredible, and I will never get bored of seeing kingfishers – however many we see in one day! Although, seeing the bears was definitely the highlight for me.
R.J., Belgium