(UNESCO World Heritage natural site since 1991) is Europe’s largest wetlands reserve, covering 2,681 square kilometres, with a sprawling, watery wilderness that stretches from the Ukrainian border to a series of lakes north of the Black Sea resorts. It is Europe’s youngest land – more than 43.7 square meters are added each year by normal silting action. As it approaches its delta, the great Danube divides into three channels: the northernmost branch forms the border with Ukraine, the middle arm leads to the port of Sulina, and the southernmost arm meanders gently toward Sfantu Gheorghe. From these channels, countless canals widen into tree-fringed lakes, reed islands, and pools covered with water-lilies; there are sand dunes and pockets of lush forest. Enjoy an exotic landscape with over 1,200 species of trees and plants, with the richest ornithological fauna within Europe (more than 300 species, among which unique colonies of pelicans) and ichthyologic fauna (with around 100 species, from the Danube herrings to the sturgeons which produce the precious caviar). More than 80% of the delta area is water. Over 300 bird species visit the area, 70 of them from as from as far away as China and India. The delta is a natural stopover for migratory birds, but the most characteristic bird is the common pelican, the featured star of this bird-watchers’ paradise.
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