Duration - 1 or 2 days

Distance - 286 km

Low difficulty

Sights - Danube Delta, Enisala Fortress, Sarichioi Church

Accommodation - Enisala - Safari Village

Pass - Priopcea (152 m)

Direction - Tulcea - Murighiol - Măcin - Izvoarele - Enisala - Tulcea

Route description

Even if it seems most unlikely, the northern part of Dobrogea features a mountain ensemble: Măcin Mountains. These mountains have a particular charm and their vicinity to the Danube Delta contribute to an interesting day-trip.

The circuit starts from the city of Tulcea along Danube’s river-arm Sfântul Gheorghe (Saint George), on a recently refurbished road. Boat trips through the Delta can be made from the villages of Murighiol or Dunavăţu de Jos (Lower Dunavatz), the ideal starting points for such a tour. The circuit is coming back the same road to the city of Tulcea , in order to continue along the river Danube up to the town of Măcin. This European road E87 is not so crowded and offers remarkable views over the Danube here and there.

Map of route no. 12

No. 1 - The Danube Delta (Delta Dunării) is a reserve of the biosphere, second largest in Europe and the most well preserved. We find it hard to choose the right words for a description, so we recommend to extend one day of your trip in order to discover it.

Măcin Mountains are the reason for which the Danube River is flowing northward parallel with the Black Sea shore. These are the oldest mountains in Romania and for that matter they have reduced heights. The circuit goes through the village of Jijila (road DN 22) and a few passes, but none exceeding the altitude of 200 m / 650 ft. From the town of Măcin, the circuit continues southward on roads DN 22D and DJ 229 (from Izvoarele) up to lake Babadag (Turkish: Father’s Mountain).

This lake and Razim-Sinoe are the biggest lakes in Romania. The Danube has brought alluvial deposits that have been layered along with time because of the circular Black Sea currents, parallels with the shore. This is how these anchors were formed, that today enclose the lagoon compound.

After the Fortress of Enisala, the route continues toward Sarichioi, one of the villages populated by the Lippovan community. The ethnic group of the Lippovans is of Slavic origin, coming to Dobrogea after the reform of the Russian Orthodox Church under Tsar Peter the Great. The reluctance of some believers to follow this reform resulted in additional taxation of those who wished to keep the Old Rite faith. These measures made life unbearable, thus many have chosen to wander abroad and some being fishermen, settled in the Danube Delta. At the village of Sarichioi, there is a Lippovan Orthodox church worth visiting. The circuit continues northward of Sarichioi, through the village Agighiol (road DJ 222) in order to close the loop at the starting point: Tulcea. The Enisala Fortress (southern part of Lake Razim) has been built by the Byzantine imperial power and Genovese merchants at the end of the 13th century. Subsequently, it was included in the defence system of Ţara Românească (Wallachia), and afterward converted into a garrison of the Ottoman Empire. It’s the only medieval fortress that has survived the armed confrontations being carried upon the territory of Dobrogea between the Russian and Turkish armies.

No. 2 - Enisala Fortress (Cetatea Enisala) was built for a military, defensive and surveillance purpose, watching over the land road and especially the water ways, in a time when the mouths of Cerneţ and Dunăvaţ were not yet blocked, and the current lake Razim was still a golf of the Black Sea.
No. 3 Sarichioi Church (Biserica Sarichioi) - Lippovan church, where Old Rite  Eastern confession is practised.

Recommended accommodation details:

Safari Village
No. 94 A, Enisala
+40 722 300 200