Dobruja (Romanian Dobrogea) is a historical region shared today by Bulgaria and Romania. It is situated between the lower Danube River and the Black Sea, and includes the Danube Delta, Romanian coast, and the northernmost part of the Bulgarian coast. The territory of Dobruja comprises Northern Dobruja, which is part of Romania, and Southern Dobruja, which belongs to Bulgaria.The most widespread opinion is that the origin of the term Dobruja is to be found in the Turkish rendition of the name of a 14th‑century Bulgarian ruler, despot Dobrotitsa
Area: 24.944 km2
Population: Approximately 1 milion people
Main cities: Constanta, Medgidia, Mangalia, Tulcea
Dobrogea region is home of the Danube Delta, a 2,200-square-mile wildlife reserve designated by UNESCO as a “Reservation of the Biosphere”; the ancient port city of Constanta, and the seaside resorts stretching along Romania’s 152-mile Black Sea coast.
From the port city of Tulcea, day cruises through the Delta’s waterways give travelers a glimpse of the abundant wildlife and the traditional fishing villages. Floating reed islands, sand dunes and waterways offer shelter to over 300 species of birds, countless fish and 1,150 species of plants.
South of the Delta, the historical city of Constanta serves as a major port on the Black Sea. Featuring several museums, historical monuments, fine mansions and a grand casino, the city is the focal point of Black Sea coast tourism.
A strip of fine-sand beaches dotted with seaside resorts named after women and mythological gods, such as Eforie, Jupiter, Neptun, Olimp, Saturn, Venus and Mangalia, stretches from Constanta to the Bulgarian border.
•The ruins of the ancient town of Tomis (now Constanta) – its precinct wall, aqueducts, underground galleries, basilica, painted crypt and Roman amphitheatre
•The ruins of the ancient Greek town of Callatis – the defense wall, the Christian basilica, the early medieval settlement in Mangalia
•Histria (founded in 657 BC), the oldest Greek settlement in Romania
•The Saint Ioan Casian Monastery and Cave Watch Movie
•The beach resorts on the Black Sea coast: Mamaia, Neptun-Olimp, Eforie Nord, Costinesti, Mangalia
•The underground limestone complex and the church in chalk at Basarabi
•Canaraua Fetii Natural Reservation
•The curative mud baths on the shores of Lake Techirghiol in Eforie Nord
•Bird watching in the Danube Delta, the realm of over 300 bird species, including the largest pelican colonies
•Danube Delta tours by boat with local fishermen
•The traditional fishing villages in the Danube Delta, such as Sfantu Gheorghe, Mila 23 , Crisan, Jurilovca and Letea
•Wine-tasting tours of the Murfatlar vineyard where some of Romania’s best dessert wines are produced
The cuisine of Dobrogea, mainly based on fish, as the region is close to the Black Sea, the Delta and the Danube River, is a mix of Romanian, Greek, Turkish, Tartar and Bulgarian flavors and receipies. One of the traditional dishes of the region is the Tripe Soup. To make this delicious soup, beef tripe is mixed with carrots, onions, pepper and garlic. It is flavored afterwards with vinegar or sour cream.
The delicious local salad, called Salata Dobrogeana, is made of fresh vegetables – pepper, cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, to which boiled eggs, grated cheese, minced dill or parsley are added.
The Sarailie cake, with walnuts or almonds dipped in syrup, makes an excellent dessert.
The most popular dish in the Danube Delta is the Fisherman’s Soup. In a big cast-iron kettle, water is brought to a boil with vegetables and some 10 to 15 species of small fish. The liquid is then strained and the small fish discarded. Big chunks of sturgeon, carp or pike are then boiled in the broth. The fish soup makes two dishes: first, the broth is served with a wooden spoon and then the big chunks of fish are sprinkled with chili pepper or garlic.
Afterwards, Saramura, prepared from big chunks of carp broiled on the stove or on a spit, is served with polenta and garlic sauce.
Other local specialties:Beef tripe soup – served seasoned with vinegar or sour cream and Plachia de crap – carp cooked with onions and oil
An entire collection of archeological objects and inscriptions speak of the importance of wine growing in the life of the ancient cities along the Romanian shore of the Black Sea.
Murfatlar, one of the most famous Romanian vineyards, is located just miles west from the Black Sea coast. Over 300 days of sunshine, along with cool breezes from the sea, make this area ideal for the production of sweet dessert wines, such as late harvest Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Muscat Ottonel. Soft, rich red wines are also produced here – Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir being the most popular.
Sarica Niculitel Vineyard
Sarica Niculitel, located in the northern part of Dobrogea, nearby Tulcea,
and surrounded by hills laden with vines, is well-know for the centuries-old winemaking tradition. The wormwood wine of Niculitel has a special local technique: three quarters of the barrel is filled with white and black grapes,
on top of which wormwood flowers, quinces and apples are added, after which wine or must is poured in. As it ferments, the must rises and begins to spout freely. Other highly appreciated local production includes Aligote, Riesling, Feteasca Regala, Sauvignon Blanc and Muscat Ottonel (white wines); Merlot