Introduction <ul><li>Located in Southeastern Romania, between the Danube River and the Black Sea, Dobrogea is one of the territories with the greatest touristic potential in the country. Due to its geographical location, historical background, climate and relief, Dobrogea provides tourists with a host of attractions and opportunities for relaxation and/or entertainment. The main touristic attractions in Dobrogea are the 16 seaside resorts spread on 67 km between Capul Midia and Vama Veche, the Danube Delta, as well as various archeological sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently, tourism in Dobrogea is developed mainly on the Black Sea seaside, which is also one of the most important touristic areas in Romania. Thus, the seaside concentrates two thirds of the country’s touristic resources and about 43% of its accommodation capacity, being responsible for approximately 60% of the internal and international tourist flow. However, there are many other touristic resources in Dobrogea which could attract an even larger number of tourists. </li></ul>
Mass tourism The main tourist attractions in Dobrogea are the 16 seaside resorts spread on 67 km between Capul Midia and Vama Veche. Dobrogea lies next to the Black Sea, which is the third European sea in terms of its size and the second as far as its depth is concerned. It has got low salinity (around 17-18% near shore) and the water’s temperature reaches 20-25ºC during summer. There are no currents or dangerous plants or fish in the Black Sea. The beaches are wide and covered with really fine sand. During summer, the temperature on the surface of the beach reaches 45º C, but the heat is alleviated by the sea breeze, which is also rich in aerosols. Vama Veche
<ul><li>The 16 seaside resorts which can be found on the shore of the Black Sea are Năvodari, Mamaia, Constanţa, Eforie Nord, Eforie Sud, Costineşti, Techirghiol, Olimp , Neptun, Jupiter, Cap Aurora, Venus, Saturn, Mangalia, 2 Mai and Vama Veche. </li></ul>These resorts cater to the needs of tourists of all ages and tastes. What makes them really special, however, is the physic geographical particularities of the shore. These include, among others, the great extension of the beaches. For instance, at Mamaia, the beach is approximately 6 km long and 100-200 m long. Other particularities include the fineness and abundance of sands, as well as the cliffs and sun exposure. Thus, in Eforie Sud, the cliff can reach even 35 m in height, while Venus is situated on a cape which forms a natural amphitheater. Moreover, in Costinesti, also called “The Resort of the Young”, the beach is very wide and south-oriented, which means it is constantly exposed to the sun throughout the day. Olimp Eforie Nord
Situated in the northwestern extremity of Dobrogea, the Macin Mountains represent a touristic attraction due to their morphological aspects and specific vegetation. Their low altitude (below 460 m) is explained by their hercynic origins. The indented crests, the inselberg relief on the slopes and the lack of vegetation create the image of a miniature alpine landscape. This is the only area in Europe where ecosystems characteristic of Pontico-Balcanic steppe and Submediteranean and Balcanic forests develop on some of the oldest mountains on the continent Dobrogea’s Gorge is located on the right slope of the Casimcea Valley, at approximately 45 km north-west of Constanta. The fauna and flora to be found here are varied and quite impressive. In Targusor tourists can visit the “Gura Dobrogei” Reserve, an important geological, biological and speleologist objective. The landscape is of a rare beauty, consisting of natural ditches and quays traversing the steep slopes of the valley, as well as caves dug in chalk. The Danube Delta The Danube Delta is considered a monument of nature due to its rich and varied flora and fauna. The landscape here is beautiful and unique, which is why this wildlife reserve was designated by UNESCO as a “Reservation of the Biosphere.” The pools, brooks, lakes and swamps where you can find the main natural resources (reed and fish) represent about four fifths of the delta’s surface. The rest consists of fluvial and marine hills, loess fields and aits. Floating reed islands, sand dunes and waterways offer shelter to over 300 species of birds, countless fish and 1,150 species of plants. Tourists can catch a glimpse of the wildlife, but they can also visit traditional fishing villages, such as Sfantu Gheorghe, Mila 23 , Crisan, Jurilovca and Letea
<ul><li>Tourists can also explore places of historical interest in Dobrogea, especially since this region houses some of the oldest cities on the current territory of Romania. Constanta, for example, lies on the ruins of the ancient town of Tomis, whose precinct wall, aqueducts, underground galleries, basilica, painted crypt and Roman amphitheatre can be seen even today. In Mangalia tourists can see the ruins of the ancient Greek town of Callatis, fragments of whose defense walls are still maintained, as well as a Byzantine basilica dating from the 5th century. Histria, whose name is derived from the ancient Greek name of the Danube (Istros), is the oldest Greek settlement on the territory of Romania, dating from 657 BC. </li></ul><ul><li>Tropaeum Traiani is a Roman monument built in Adamclisi (106-109 AD) in order to celebrate the victory of the Roman Emperor Trajan over the local Dacian population. Because the original ancient monument was greatly damaged, archeologists have decided to build its replica in 1977, transforming it into a museum within whose walls tourists can see the ruins of the ancient Tropaeum Traiani. Capidava was first a fortified Dacian city and later transformed into a Roman city. Its massive ruins can be found in the village with the same name, situated on the right shore of the Danube river. </li></ul>Adamclisi There are numerous museums to be found in Dobrogea. Among these, the most well known are the Art Museum in Constanta, whose patrimony consists of more than 7300 modern and contemporary works of art, and the National History and Archaeology Museum in Constanta, with exhibits which illustrate the historical evolution of Romania, in general, and of Dobrogea, in particular. The latter also includes the Roman edifice with mosaic, where significant fragments of ancient Roman mosaic are exhibited.
Active tourism <ul><li>Dobrogea provides plenty of opportunities for active vacations, whether tourists choose the north region or the south one. </li></ul><ul><li>1.Bird-watching </li></ul><ul><li>The Danube Delta is the home of hundreds of species of birds. From late spring until mid-autumn tourists can watch these birds in their natural habitat with nothing more than a pair of binoculars. Some of the most sought are the Black Pelican colonies. </li></ul><ul><li>2.Camping </li></ul><ul><li>Dobrogea offers a multitude of camping sites, especially in the Danube Delta and on the seaside. Resorts such as Navodari or Vama Veche are well known for the high number of campers who enjoy the sun, the sea and the beauty of nature during summer. </li></ul><ul><li>3.Fishing </li></ul><ul><li>The Danube Delta is the ideal place to fish. There are more than 160 species of game fish, and plenty of local fishermen to learn from. Fishing is permitted year round, except from April 1 until May 31. </li></ul>
<ul><li>4.Horseback Riding </li></ul><ul><li> Several areas in Dobrogea offer excellent possibilities for horseback riding. These areas include the Danube Delta, the “Gura Dobrogei” Reservation and Neptun-Olimp. However, probably the best place to ride a horse or to simply admire one is Mangalia, where one can admire some of the most magnificent Arabian thoroughbreds in Romania. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>5.Water Sports and Activities </li></ul><ul><li> Tourists can enjoy a series of relaxing or exciting activities on one of the lakes in Dobrogea or even on the sea. Some of the most popular are cruises and boat rides, which can also take place in the Danube Delta. The seaside resorts, especially Mamaia and Neptun-Olimp, also offer a variety of water-related activities: yachting, hydro bike rides, paragliding, snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, waterskiing, aqua scooter rides, inflating banana boat rides, etc. </li></ul>
Business Tourism <ul><li> Business tourism has become one of the most profitable branches of tourism in Dobrogea, especially on the seaside and in the Danube Delta. One of the main advantages of this type of tourism is that it does not depend on the season. Various fairs and conferences are organized in Constanta, Mangalia or the various resorts situated on the shore of the Black Sea, bringing profits to hotel owners throughout the year. The Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Navigation and Agriculture Constanta, for instance, organizes several fairs and exhibits in Constanta and Mamaia, thus attracting business people, craftsmen, as well as interested customers. The exhibition pavilion in Constanta, as well as the lobbies of several hotels in Mamaia, are used as locations for these fairs and exhibitions. </li></ul><ul><li> Conference tourism has also developed in Constanta, since hotel owners have understood the importance of designing conference rooms within their hotels. These rooms are very large and they are equipped with audio-video equipment, video projectors, translation headsets and air conditioning. Moreover, conference tourism does not include only businesspeople. In June 2010, one of the hotels in Mamaia hosted the conference on the EU strategy for the Danube Region, while a hotel in Neptun hosted the FOREN European Forum for Energy. Business tourism also includes team-building, business travel and training programs. </li></ul>
Ecumenical tourism 1.The Church Cave of Saint Andrew the Apostle The Church Cave of Saint Andrew the Apostle is situated near the Ion Corvin village, in Constanta county. Considered the oldest place of worship in Romania, the Church Cave of Saint Andrew the Apostle could also be seen as the heart of Romanian spirituality, or as some define it, the gate to Romanian Christianity. Saint Andrew the Apostle is the one who propagated the Christian faith on the territory now known as Romania. Inside it there is a stone block where a cross has been carved. It is said that that was used as a resting place by Andrew the Apostle. According to Christian belief, Saint Andrew the Apostle would prey in here and he would baptize the local people in the nine springs situated nearby the cave. The cave shelters the icon of Saint Andrew . The smaller one keeps the relics of Saint Andrew. Near the cave there is also a spring about which the legend tells that it appeared after Saint Andrew struck the rock with his staff in search of water. 2.Dervent Monastery Situated on the right shore of the Danube, near Ostrov, Dervent Monastery started off as a hermitage in the 9 th century. It was founded by local monks and destroyed by Pechenegs in the 11 th century. The settlement, as we know it today, was founded at the beginning of the 20 th century on the site of a Christian cemetery. The church, which has a cross shape, hosts an icon of the Virgin Mary, the miracle worker. Moreover, in front of the church there is a cross dating back to the 17 th century which is considered holly Whether religious or not, most tourists coming to Dobrogea are very interested in the monasteries which can be found in this area of Romania. Due to their history, religious significance or architectural particularities, these monasteries differ from one another and offer unique experiences of Romanian, and more precisely, Dobrogean, spirituality.
<ul><li>3.Celic Dere Monastery </li></ul><ul><li>The Celic Dere Monastery is situated in Frecatei, Tulcea county, and is one of the most well known monasteries in Dobrogea. It is considered the center of Orthodoxism in this area. Its name derives from the Turkish name of the nearby creek and it means “Steel Creek”. According to the existing documents, the first church was founded here at the beginning of the 19th century and it was made of clay and wood beams. After the little church burnt around the 1840s, the sultan Abdul-Medgid approved the building of a new church, and shortly the monks here were replaced by nuns. The construction of the present church did not start until 1901 and it included a semi-basement which was initially meant as a place of burial. Gradually, the basement became a church in itself and it now serves as a place of worship during winter. One of the most important icons is the one representing Jesus Christ. It can be seen in the Chapel Church and it bears the name of “ The icon that cleans itself ” because at one point the icon was blackened by the passing of time but then Jesus’ face lightened. There is also an icon of the Virgin Mary which is said to have survived two fires. </li></ul><ul><li>4.Saon Monastery </li></ul><ul><li>The Saon Monastery is situated in Tulcea county, between Tulcea and Niculitel. It was founded in 1846 by monks coming from the Celic Dere monastery, situated nearby. At first it consisted of only two cells and a chapel, and the actual church was not built until the beginning of the 20 th century. The first World War and an earthquake delayed the construction, therefore it took 50 years for the present church to be finished. One of the particularities of this monastery is the peacock farm tended by the monks. </li></ul>
<ul><li>5.Cocos Monastery </li></ul><ul><li>The monastery is situated at the foot of Rooster Hill, surrounded by linden tree forests, in Tulcea County, 6 km from Niculitel. Legend has it that once, on that hill, there could be heard the sound of a rooster and a bell board and this is where its name came from. The monastery was founded in 1833 as a halidom made from clay and twigs by three monks who had obtained the consent of the Muslim administration. The construction of the present day church, painted in Neo-Byzantine style, did not start until 1911. In 1971, the relics of four martyrs - Zotic, Attal, Kamasie and Filip – were found by accident in Niculitel. Archeologists established that they dated back to the years of 303 – 304, from the time of the great persecution of Diocletian. Thus, the relics have been placed in the church of the Cocos Monastery. Thousands of pilgrims come here every year, especially on the 4th of June when the four Saints are celebrated. </li></ul><ul><li>6. The Chalk Churches from Basarabi </li></ul><ul><li>Discovered in 1957, the cave complex from Basarabi is unique in Romania. It consists of six small churches and chapels, a few cells and funeral galleries dug in a chalk massif. The dating of the site is based on a carving found in the nave of one of the churches, i.e. 992 AD. It is believed that the tradition of small churches dug in chalk has been brought to Dobrogea from Cappadocia and Syria. </li></ul><ul><li>7.Saint Mary Monastery – Techirghiol </li></ul><ul><li>One of the most beautiful monasteries in Dobrogea is situated south of Constanta, in Techirghiol. It has been built on the site of a former sanatorium. The architecture of the small church places it in the category of wooden churches typical of the Maramures region of Romania. </li></ul>
Balneary Tourism <ul><li>Balneary tourism is not meant only for those with medical problems, but also for tourists who want to relax, to regain their vitality and to attain a good physical, mental and spiritual condition. In Dobrogea, balneary tourism is based on a virtually inexhaustible and highly complex potential. The most remarkable resources necessary for this type of tourism are thermal water, environment factors, curative mineral substances and balneary mineral substances which can be used for a wide array of balneary treatments. </li></ul><ul><li>The therapeutic mineral substances have certain physicochemical properties which respond to medical needs of maintaining, consolidating and recovering an individual’s health, work capacity, and physical and mental comfort. Moreover, Dobrogea’s geographical position provides the climatic factors necessary for climatotherapy, including sun radiation, atmospheric circulation, temperature, humidity, ionization, etc.) The mud used for balneary treatment contains more than 10% organic substances, while the peat is an organic deposit consisting of vegetal scraps incompletely decomposed and excessively humidified. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Dobrogea has some of the best spa resorts in Romania. These include: </li></ul><ul><li>Techirghiol </li></ul><ul><li>Situated 18 km south of Constanta, Tecirghiol is perhaps the best spa resort in Dobrogea. It is located on the shore of Lake Techirghiol, in a valley surrounded by small hills. Winters here are mild, while summers are warm. Lake Techirghiol is one of the most important lakes with therapeutic waters in Romania. At the bottom of the lake there is mud which increases the balneary value of the water, as well as the array of therapeutic treatments which can be offered. The mud in Lake Techirghiol is rich in colloidal iron sulfide. Thus, the main natural therapeutic factors in Techirghiol are the salty water and the mud found in the lake. The resort has five spas which provide numerous therapeutic opportunities: warm baths in tubs or tanks with concentrated salty water from the lake, warm mud baths, warm mud packing, aerosols and hydrotherapy. </li></ul><ul><li>Eforie Nord </li></ul><ul><li>Situated on a strip between Lake Techirghiol and the Black Sea 14 km south of Constanta, Eforie is a permanent spa resort. It started its activity in 1894 and is now famous in Europe due to the treatment opportunities it provides. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
<ul><li>Mangalia </li></ul><ul><li>Situated 44 km south of Constanta, Mangalia is a permanent spa resort with a very mild climate, similar to the Mediterranean one. It is the only seaside resort with mineral springs. The springs, with sulfur water, mesothermal water and radioactive water, have been used ever since ancient times, starting with the Romans. Moreover, in Mangalia there is a bog with peat which has therapeutic value. The spa here provides opportunities for medical recovery, warm baths with sulfur water and sea water, mud therapy, physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, sauna, medical gymnastics and geriatrics (Gerovital treatment). </li></ul><ul><li>Neptun-Olimp </li></ul><ul><li>Situated 6 km north of Mangalia, on a sandy strip between the Black Sea and the Comorova forest, this permanent spa resort is a real oasis for tourists. This resort is defined by quietness, quality and elegance. There is a modern spa, which provides opportunities for electrotherapy, hydrotherapy, mud treatment, sauna, as well as treatment with Gerovital and Aslavital, world-famous Romanian therapeutic products which prevent premature aging and regenerate the organism. </li></ul>
Bibliography <ul><li>Bitoleanu, Ion ; Runcan, Nechita. Dobrogea - vatră a creştinismului românesc. - Constanţa : Ex Ponto. </li></ul><ul><li>Dobrogea turistică : Ghid c ultural-turistic. - Constanţa : Dobrogea, 2001. </li></ul><ul><li>Drăgan, Marcel. Constanţa şi împrejurimile sale : ghid turistic. - Constanţa : Ex Ponto, 2002. </li></ul><ul><li>Drăgan, Marcel. Litoralul românesc al Mării Negre : ghid turistic. - Constanţa : Ex Ponto, 2003. </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.deltadunarii.info.ro </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.infotravelromania.ro </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.romanianmonasteries.org </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.vacantapelitoral.ro </li></ul>