Tulcea to Sfantu Gheorghe
The Sfantu Gheorghe arm (bratul Sfantu Gheorghe) of the delta stretches 109km southeast from Tulcea to the far-flung fishing commune of Sfantu Gheorghe. A road runs along more than half of the Sfantu Gheorghe arm to Mahmudia, making it mildly more accessible to travelers, but from here a ferry is the only way get to Sfantu Gheorghe.
If you want to mix it up, you can take a spine-grinding, potholed road from Tulcea 13km southeast to Nufaru, a village with archaeological finds from the 12th and 13th centuries.
Otherwise, the Navrom ferry’s first stop is at Balteni de Jos.
The ferry’s second stop is at Mahmudia, 28km from Tulcea. Mahmudia is on the site of the ancient and remote Roman walled city of Salsovia (sun city). Emperor Constantine had his co-ruler and rival Licinus killed here (the modern equivalent of being bumped off in Pruhoe Bay, Alaska, poor guy)
Some ferries stop at Murighiol (Violet Lake), 45km from Tulcea, which was a Roman military camp in the 2nd century BC. It’s a 3km walk to the river from the maxitaxi stop: keep walking in the same direction that the maxitaxi was traveling and turn left after the last house. You may see stacks of reeds piled up by the dock; these are exported to Germany (primarily). Germans big on folk-chic are insatiable importers of Delta reeds, used to make thatched roofs for their upscale country homes.
The most popular day trip from Murighiol is northeast to Uzlina, once reserved as an exclusive hunting ground for Ceausescu (so no one would shoot him “accidentally”). Just beyond is a trio of lakes – Uzlina, Isac and Isacel – that are popular with people on the look out for pelicans, egrets and grey herons.
From Murighiol, the road continues 5km south to Dunavatu de Sus.