Covering more than 2,000 square miles in eastern Romania, the Danube delta, where Europe's longest river meets the Black Sea, is one of the continent's last great wildernesses. Its vast expanses of waterways, lakes, reed-beds, marshes and islands constitute some of the most important wetlands in the world and are home to a huge concentration of wildlife, particularly birdlife, and you'd be forgiven
for thinking that you'd been transported to the depths of Africa. A key migration hub between cooler norther and warmer equatorial climes, it shelters over 300 bird species (including Europe's largest colony of pelicans) many of which also breed here. This makes the delta the finest short-haul destination from the UK - to find something compatible you would have to travel to Africa or South America, and it would not be an exaggeration to say there are a lot of similarities with Botswana's extraordinary Okavango Delta. Having survived various barmy communist purposes, the delta now enjoys protected status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is a paradise for nature lovers. You needn't be a mad keen ornithologist to appreciate the delta - simply enjoy being surrounded by natural beauty and big, open country where you can really spread your winds - which is presumably why the birds like it so much. All in all, the Danube Delta is a great place to migrate to for a few days (breeding optional).

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