THE BLACK SEA SEASIDE
Introduction | Economic Data | History | Characteristics | Resorts |Activities | Trips | Transportation | Accommodation & Restaurants
The Black Sea seaside, part of the Constanta District, is situated in the south-eastern side of Romania – bordered by the Black Sea on the east; the Danube Delta on the north; the Danube on the west, and the Bulgarian seaside on the south.
- Area: 12,645 square kilometres (3% of the Romanian territory)
- Climate: seaside marine; annual average temperature 11°C, 22°C in July and 0°C in January.
- Population: 748,769 inhabitants – made of Romanians (majority), Turks, Tartars, Russians, Lipoveni, Hungarians and Roma (minorities).
- District capital: touristic city Constanta.
The economy of Constanta district is complex. Most developed is the agriculture (arable area 478,449 hectares, pastures 65,287 hectares, vineyard 17,162 hectares and orchards 5,029 hectares), followed by tourism, marine transport, the industry of machine construction, the chemical industry, wood, cellulose and paper processing.
Tourism: 740 units, out of which 269 hotels, 236 touristic villas, 12 campings, 13 camps, 174 bungalows and 8 treatment units.
The traces of human dwelling places from the Palaeolithic age brought to light in the area of Dobrogea (in Constanta, Mangalia, and Limanu), idols, ceramic bowls belonging to the Gumelnita culture (Agigea and the shore of Siutghiol Lake) is evidence showing that this area has been inhabited since old times.
The Bronze Age marked the establishment of the Trac tribes in this region.
Starting with the 7th century BC the first Greek colonies appeared on the western shore of the Black Sea: Histria, Tomis and Callatis.
1st century BC: the Greek colonies were included in Burebista’s state and later, after his death, they passed under the rule of the Roman Empire. Under Roman rule, the city of Tomis developed rapidly and became the capital of the province Scythia. The Latin poet Publius Ovidius Naso lived here between 43 BC – 17 AC. A contemporary of Vergilius, Ovidius lived in exile in Tomis and created “Tristele / The Sad Poems” and “Letters from Pont”.
Under the attacks of the migrating peoples and of the Slavic peoples, the city of Histria is deserted in the second half of the 4th century.
The change of the name into Constanta took place in the 4th – 7th centuries. In the second half of the 14th century the Ottoman Empire was at the peak of its expansion. Ruler Mircea the Old integrated Dobrogea into the Romanian feudal state.
1484 – Dobrogea was under the Ottoman rule. Fortresses Chilia and Cetatea Alba (The White Fortress) gave away in front of Baiazid the Second’s armies.
Beginning of the 19th century – the Cossacks occupied Constanta and the Russians destroyed the fortifications of the city.
Following the War of Independence (1877 - 1878), Dobrogea entered the modern age and started developing. The construction of the Cernavoda bridge (1857 – following the plans of the Romanian architect Anghel Saligny) and of the railway track connecting the city to Bucharest led to the development of tourism in this region.
Characteristics of the Black Sea and of the seaside
The Black Sea – the third in Europe after the Mediterranean Sea and the Northern Sea (area: 411,540 square kilometres)
Maximum depth: 2,246 m, average 1,200 m. Second after the Mediterranean Sea (according to parametres and volume)
Salt concentration: much lower than that of the other seas; no tides.
It is a typically oriental sea where the temperature of the surface layers follows the water’s temperature, reaching up to 26-280C in summer.
One of the most important characteristics is the lack of pollution and of the dangerous fauna.
Climate: seaside, characterised by a high degree of stability of the atmosphere.
The annual average temperature is 11,20C, in July 220C, and in January over 00C.
Rains are in reduced quantities, and so is the atmospheric nebulosity.
The dominant winds come from the NE, and the marine breeze cools the summer air.
The therapeutic natural factors are optimal for rest during the year.
The beach – oriented towards East, sunny almost all day. The fine sand rising during the summer to 450C is ideal for air therapy and sand baths.
Vegetation and flora: plant species which adapted to the climate conditions of reduced humidity.
Mediterranean and Balkan flora: bushes, small almond trees together with small carnations, bellflowers etc.
- Insects: the great crab, the spotted cockchafer, the earwig etc
- Reptiles: the land and the marine turtle, the green lizard etc.
- Mammals: the rabbit, the fitch, the fox, the hamster etc.
- Birds: many species of seagulls.
- Lakes: Oltina, Istria, Sinoe, Corbul, Techirghiol, Siutghiol, Tatlagiac
- Natural reservations: The Cheia Mountains – on the left shore of the Casimcea Valley – hosts around 565 rare flora species
- The Agigea Dunes – Agigea commune (50 km from the seaside) – 120 plant species
- The Techirghiol Lake – the largest salted lake in Romania (area: 10.7 square kilometres) – populated with a micro-fauna adapted to the salted environment made up of: bacteria, green algae, crabs etc
- The Topalu Reef – between Cernavoda and Hirsova – with an area of 8 ha. It includes a limestone complex of Jurassic age, the fauna of which includes corrals, worms, limestone sponges.
- The Gurile dobrogei Caves: neat Limanu commune – includes the caves Limanu, Liliecilor (Bats’), La Adam (Adam’s). The Liliecilor Cave is 480 metres long; over 20 fossil species were discovered here.
Constanta – historic city with old traditions, filled with art and history museums.
Attractions: Geamia Hunchiar, built in Moor style, respects the traditional form of the Muslin cult.
The Casino, built between 1904 – 1909, designed in rococo style with various decorative elements and situated on the cliff, is one of the most special constructions of Constanta.
Ovidiu’s Statue – Ovidiu’s Square
In front of the National History and Archaeology Museum, in the square bearing the same name, there is the statue of the Latin poet Publius Ovidius Naso. Made in bronze by the Italian sculptor Ettore Ferrari in 1887, the statue moulded in bronze is 2.60 m high. A contemporary of Vergilius, Ovidius lived in exile in Tomis and created during the last years of his life “Tristele / The Sad Poems” and “Letters from Pont”.
Moscheea (The Mosque) (1822) – Built on the spot of an old geamia named Mahmudia in the honour of sultan Mahmud the Second, the mosque is the main building of the Muslin cult in Constanta. It was built by the Romanian state in 1910, a copy of the mosque in Konieh (Anatolia). The altar is made in Moor style, and there are two Arabian inscriptions over the main gate.
Farul (The Lighthouse) (1858 - 1860) functioned until 1913. It was built by an English company which also arranged the port.
The Archaeology Museum – includes collections of objects belonging to the pre-historic periods and to the Hamangia culture.
The Art Museum – owns collections of Romanian and universal plastic art.
Delfinariul (The Dolphin Pool) – shows of dolphin training, aquariums of fauna and flora species from the Black Sea
Mamaia – situated at 5 km from Constanta, earned through time the name of “Black Sea’s Pearl”, because of the fine sand on the beach. The resort has 27,000 accommodation places in 61 hotels from 1 to 3 stars, restaurants, night clubs, discotheques, terraces arranged in a modern way.
The Holiday Village – very picturesque place with 31 restaurants adorned in rustic manner, according to the region it represents, each house offering food from the cuisine of that region.
The Summer Theatre: entertainment shows, music concerts, theatre performances.
Eforie Nord – 14 km from Constanta, it is recommended to all tourists both for spending a holiday and for the treatment of certain rheumatic, dermatological, breath and gynaecological affections. The resort has a treatment base in free air, on the shore of the Techirghiol Lake and other two bases connected to the hotel network Meduza, Delfinul and Steaua de Mare, as well as to the Clinic of the Watering, Therapy and Medical Recovery. The bases have modern medical equipment and qualified medical staff. The resort has 3,300 accommodation places in hotels and villas of 1 to 3 stars, out of which 1,400 in the Touristic and Watering Complex.
Eforie Sud (Carmen Sylva) – resort which is renowned even since the last century, situated on the seaside between the Black Sea and the Techirghiol Lake at only 5 km from Eforie Nord and 19 km from Constanta. Extremely attractive because of the villas and the cliff reminding the beginning of the 20th century. It is recommended for the treatment of rheumatic affections and certain kinds of dermatitis. There is here a sanatorium for children with rheumatic children. It has 25,000 accommodation places in hotels and villas of 1 – 2 stars.
Costinesti – 28 km away from Constanta, built in the area of commune Tuzla, the resort became the place for youth and students. Starting with 1 May every year, the place became “the place of forever youth”. The resort has various accommodation places: hotels, villas, bungalows, little houses, as well as numerous terraces, discotheques and bars. In the nearby village rooms can be rented from the villagers.
Olimp – Very close to Neptun, in a place full of verdure. A modern network of hotels, restaurants, discotheques, bars and sports places is spread throughout the small, but elegant resort.
Neptun – 38 km away from Constanta, it is considered to be one of the most elegant resorts at the seaside.
The Summer Theatre, the Holiday Village, a cinema theatre and 14,700 accommodation places in luxury hotels and villas made out of Neptun the ideal place to spend a vacation. The resort has a Watering Policlinic with permanent regime, for recovery and treatment. The policlinic is connected to the Doina hotel and has a modern base of treatment. It is equipped and has specialised medical personnel. Attractive are also the discotheques, the clubs, the fast foods, the restaurants, the bars and poolrooms.
Jupiter, Cap Aurora, Venus and Saturn – smaller resorts, but with modern hotels, campings, terraces, restaurants and discotheques, which are especially attractive.
Mangalia – historic city very close to the border with Bulgaria, only 8 km from this country. Formerly known as Callatis, it is today an important touristic centre, which is visited for its history and beauty. With its 282 accommodation places, the Mangalia hotel rests open for the whole year.
Attractions: The Turk Mosque, The Archaeology Museum, together with the antic ruins of the Callatis fortress. Nearby the city of Mangalia there is a farm where Arabian genuine stallions are raised. The city also offers numerous recreation and entertainment possibilities (discotheques, cinema theatres, libraries, sports fields, bowling alley, ship journeys).
2 May and Vama Veche – the two villages at the border with Bulgaria gained their celebrities because of the Bohemian atmosphere. Well known actors, plastic artists, film directors, writers and journalists spend their vacations here every year, in the middle of nature, in the tent or hosted by locals. Even though nature was defeated in the last years by the modern villas which appeared on the shore of the sea, the villages still keep their old charm. Those who want to be closer to nature, to hear the sounds of a guitar and spend the nights on the beach near fires or terraces with bushes have to get to 2 May and to Vama Veche.
The Black Sea seaside offers numerous possibilities to practice summer sports: fields for tennis, basketball, mini-golf and pools both in free air and covered. The Siutghiol Lake from Mamaia is ideal for the lovers of aquatic sports: yachting, surfing, aquatic ski. Diving, jet ski and entertainment trips can also be practised.
Entertainment: bowling alleys, pool and electronic games.
Murfatlar Vineyard: The region of Murfatlar vineyards, known for the sorts of grapevine that make the famous vine bearing the same name.
Adamclisi: The Antique Roman monument Trapaeum Traiani and the vestiges of the fortress Trapaeum Traiani are placed in the commune Adamclisi from Dobrogea. The impressive monument, of circular shape, was built from the order of emperor Traian in the year 109. It had seven rows of rock stairs all around, and a pedestal rises above where there is the statue of a soldier in armour. The monument did not resist throughout the centuries, except to the central part, like a huge ground pile.
Nearby the monument there are: the mausoleum of a Roman officer dead in the fight, and not far away from this, the altar built from Traian’s order in the memory of the soldiers who gave their lives in the hard battles. The ruins of the fortress Trapaeum Traiani, one of the biggest Roman civil dwellings in Dobrogea, can be spotted on a nearby hill.
Transport – The regular air trips of the Romanian and foreign companies land on the international airport Constanta – Mihail Kogalniceanu.
Special buses and microbuses make the railway network between resorts. Cruising ships stop in Constanta – the biggest port in Romania.
Accommodation places and restaurants with Romanian specific
Mamaia – 1-3 stars hotels: Rex, Riviera, Savoy, National, Patria, Sulina, Victoria, Metropol and many others.
Eforie Nord – 1-3 stars hotels and villas: Astoria, Union, Hefaistos, Brad, Savoy, Delfinul, Meduza, Steaua de Mare.
Restaurant with Romanian specific: Nunta Zamfirei (“Zamfira’s wedding”)
Eforie Sud – 1-2 hotels and villas:
Neptun – 1-3 stars hotels and villas: Terra, Caraiman
Restaurants with Romanian specific: Calul Balan, Rustic, Popasul Caprioarelor
Mangalia: 2-3 stars hotels – President, Mangalia