Fourth largest commercial port in Europe is located on the Black Sea in Romania. It’s a well-known and increasingly popular tourist destination and its name is Constanta.
A long time ago, a Roman elegist and poet, Ovid, was banished to the Romanian Constanta and spent the last years of his life there. Today it’s hard to believe that staying in this beautiful seaside resort could be a punishment. Constanta is the second largest city of Romania, and as a port it’s connected to the Danube River, constituting a major transit center for the countries of the Danube River Basin.
In the XIX century, residents of Constanta built a monument dedicated to the Roman outcast. Today, the statue depicting a pensive artist stands at the Ovid 's Square, in the very center of the old town. The square focused the most important attractions of the resort, including the Museum of History and Archaeology, where you can see, among others, a mammoth tusk, coins and tools for hunting. Priceless exhibits are also figurines, dating back to the V-IV century BC - "The Thinker and his wife".
At the Ovid’s Square stands a three-story complex Edificul Mozaic cu Roman that can be jokingly called a medieval shopping mall. In the past it housed shops and workshops, while the remains of the city baths survived till these days. Currently you can explore only a part of the building – the one, which houses colorful mosaics.
The great attraction of Constanta is also Cazinoul, or Art Nouveau Casino. It stands next to the sea and its surroundings are excluded from the traffic. The attention is also drawn by wonderful Casa cu Lei (home from Lions), a delicious, richly decorated building.
Attractions of the area – Mamaia
A short distance from the city center, there’s a popular resort, Mamaia. It attracts tourists not only with its 8 km-long sandy beach, stretching along the spit, but also with its climate. In fact it’s the largest and oldest resort in the country, besieged by tourists mainly from May to the end of September, due to the temperatures (25-30°C). Off-season, the life virtually freezes here.
Mamaia beach is long, but narrow. It lies on the strip of land with a width of up to 300 meters. From the mainland it’s separated by Siutghiol Lake. The beach itself offers visitors the opportunity to admire the view of the area from above – there’s a gondola lift. The local attractions also include an amusement park, open air theater and a cinema.
The resort attracts water sports enthusiasts and the most popular sport is scuba diving and windsurfing. The area offers ideal conditions for cycling and hiking - in the immediate vicinity there’s a lot of tiny towns with unique folklore and atmosphere. It’s worth devoting some time to see the ruins of the ancient Greek castle Histria. Hiking enthusiasts can enjoy a long pier built before the war. It’s located near the casino.
Where to stay?
As befits a seaside resorts, both Constanta and Mamaia offer plenty of places to sleep. People interested in staying at the campsite can choose Camping Lebada Navodari, located in the northern part of Mamaia. It’s large and well equipped. Moreover, it has access to the 1.5-kilometer beach. Within its territory there’re several fields, including the one for basketball, volleyball and football. As for the prices, per night in a caravan you’ll pay 15 RON (about 3,5 EUR).
If you’re planning holidays on the Black Sea, you should consider Constanta. It’s becoming more and more popular, so in the near future may it be as crowded as Spanish or Italian resorts. Therefore take a chance to enjoy it when it’s not so packed-out.