The Danube flows through a great many landscapes and climate zones, with a huge variety of flora and fauna. Many sections of the river are exceptionally bio-diverse, and several particularly sensitive habitats are under national or international protection.
History, monuments, culture, tradition, viticulture, gastronomy,...everything that the Danube boasts, it owes to its nature: thanks to its geographical position and diverse nature life, above all else, the river gained its status and significance. Moreover, thanks to its nature, the Danube is not only an important river - it is also a river that overwhelms you with its beauty, strength and the ability to change. From the Black Forest and the mountains of Western Europe, across the Pannonian Plain and foothills of Carpathian Mountains, through gorges and canyons, it excites visitors with different eco systems, different sorts of animals and plants and different kinds of beauty.
The most famous landscapes in Germany are Bavarian Forest National Park, The Bavarian Danube Valley, and Upper Danube Nature Park which stands out - with the river cutting through the limestone mountains of the Swabian Alb.
Neighbouring Austria is a country proud of its indescribable Wachau Valley, but also of National Park Donau Auen with its fairytale landscapes and diverse flora and fauna.
Apart from a variety of parks along the Danube, Slovakia offers a specific way of enjoying the hills of Small Carpathian Mountains, which overlook the river. In Stupava, near the Slovakian capital, there is a sheep farm "Biofarm Priroda", where visitors can milk the goats and sheep, or take a carriage and pony ride.
Situated almost completely on the Pannonian Plain, Hungary offers a number offlat landscapes, such as the famous Danube Band. However, it doesn't lack nature parks as well. Gemenc, for example, is a unique forest between the towns of Szekzard and Baja - beside a number of bird and animal species, it is also home of various amphibians and reptiles.
In Croatia, at the border to Serbia, there is one of the most attractive and preserved wetlands in Europe. Intact nature, multitude of waters and different wild species attract tourists from all over the world, who visit the sight by panoramic boats, team of horses or on foot.
In Serbia, one can find Fruška Gora and Djerdap national park, but there are also some specific eco systems, unique because of their location or flora and fauna. Great War Island, for example, is located right at the spot where the Sava river meets the Danube, in the Danube wide part, just below Belgrade Fortress - Kalemegdan. Although very near to the centre of the city, this island is a nature park with an abundance of wild life, quiet and calm, just as if it was far away from modern life.
There are four protected nature areas in Bulgaria that lie near the Danube: The Persina, Srebarna, the Kalimok-Btushlen and Rusenski lom. All of them are quite specific, but Srebarna lake has a special status, since it is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage. The lake is situated in Via Pontica, a bird migration route between Europe and Africa, and hosts hundreds of different species (in different parts of the year). Since it is mysterious looking, there are a number of legends about its origin and the name (which is "The Silver lake" in Bulgarian).
The border between Romania and Serbia is one of the most beautiful nature parks along the Danube - it is the Iron Gates, where the river carved its way through the mountains. But, one of Romania's biggest nature treasures is the Danube Delta, which is enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage sight. Just before the river flows into the Black Sea, it divides into a delta of more than 4000 square kilometres. Thanks to its Mediterranean climate influences, it hosts 23 natural ecosystems, over three hundred species of birds and dozens species of animals and plants.