Paddle around Europe’s largest wetland
Wetlands are some of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, but you don’t have to go all the way to South America to enjoy the riches of this watery biome.
One of Europe’s best-known rivers, the Danube, spills out into the Black Sea in Romania, which is just a three-hour flight from the UK. The protected delta where the land meets the sea contains areas of fresh, brackish and salt water, making it a haven for all sorts of flora and fauna – particularly birds.
Not surprisingly, the vehicle of choice here is a boat, but depending on how energetic you’re feeling, these vary from single-seater kayaks to ‘floating hotel’ barges. Whichever vessel you opt for, you’re guaranteed to see some of the richest avifauna on the continent, such as swans, eagles and ibises, vultures, cranes and giant Dalmatian pelicans.
For a chance to stretch your legs, take an afternoon stroll through the ancient forest of Caraorman – a mix of oak trees and liana vines – where it’s possible to see boar, golden jackals, Eurasian eagle owls and ospreys, then stop off for lunch in the local fishing village.