We arrived to Tulcea, the entryway to the Delta, in the afternoon and were met with a sweltering heat and humidity; a big change from Mamaia which we left because it was too cold.
We stayed at Delta 3 hotel, as in 3 starts as opposed to a sister Delta 4, a 4 star. It was somewhat disappointing because in the description they had a pool but turned out it was an indoor pool which is not fun in this weather.
Frankly, there isn’t much or actually anything to do in Tulcea and if we came earlier we could have just gone to the Delta without wasting time in Tulcea. We ate in a nice fish restaurant right on the promenade, had a drink in our hotel outdoor bar and turned in.
The next day, at 1.30 pm we took a 4 hour ferry ride to Sulina. Instead, I would recommend taking a fast motor boat, which leaves much earlier for almost the same price and have another half day on Sulina beach. Because by the time our ferry got there and we settled in the hotel the day was gone.
In Sulina, we got a floating hotel Plutitor Carpatia St. Constantin, a former cruise boat remodeled as a hotel. The idea sounded really cool but in reality it wasn’t as interesting as it sounds; the rooms were small, the bathroom was tiny, the a/c wasn’t working well and overall, the experience was way overpriced.
Nevertheless, we had enough time for a meal and sunset on the beach. Actually, there isn’t a real sunset because the beach is facing east…Since there wasn’t much else to do there; we had a last drink on the upstairs deck with the owners’ daughter before going to sleep. This 20 year old girl was very impressive. She was a college student simultaneously running an entire hotel while her parents don’t even live in the same town. The hotel just started its operations and obviously needs numerous improvements, but she had a clear vision of the work ahead and I am sure she will do marvels with it. We were very impressed as we are not used to 20 year old kids to be so mature.
The next day we got up early and went on a 3 hour cruise of the Delta. Unfortunately, there isn’t one centralized place with all the information for various tour boats and itineraries so we went by duration and price. I insisted that a 3 hour boat ride will be plenty but Roman wanted to do a longer trip and several itineraries. At the end I was right and a 3 hour tour was enough. Actually it’s all the same, you just go on different identical looking canals and after 2 hours it gets really boring.
Upon arriving back to Sulina we began looking for a fast motor boat to take us back to Tulcea. Again, there is absolutely no centralized information and even our boat operator didn’t know which boat leaves when. Luckily, as we were strolling on the promenade studying all the ads for boats we saw a line of people far ahead waiting for a boat. As we got there we saw that a fast boat was leaving back to Tulcea and they had room for us (usually they require reservations). The ride back took about 2 ½ hours and was much more exciting than the large ferry.
Upon return to Tulcea we got our car and left for Bucovina. My conclusion about visiting the Delta is that it’s one of those things that are not a must but if you don’t do it, you might feel that you missed something…