The tour starts and ends in Odessa, and we only take small groups to ensure personal attention and the highest levels of service. Our comfortable, air-conditioned minibus travels to Vilkovo, a journey of about 3 hours.
On arrival in Vilkovo, we will have an excursion around the historic centre. The inhabitants here have developed remarkable adaptations of their lifestyles to cope with surviving in the delta of a mighty river that can rise by two metres or more in a few weeks. Everything, from constructing a house and growing food, to visiting the neighbours and doing the laundry, is in tune with the rhythm of the river.
Then we board our locally built "seagull" skiff, which is based on the traditional design of fishing boat. We will glide gently along the central town canal, and enter the Danube Biosphere Reserve, a natural area recognised by Unesco as having global importance. This is the realm of birds: herons, cormorants, pelicans, ducks, gulls and terns noisily fill the air, busy raising their offspring.
Our journey proceeds to the very end of the river, where it serenely enters the Black Sea, over 2,750 km from its source in the German Black Forest. Here, we will find the famous sign for "0 km" (in contrast with most other rivers, distances on the Danube river are measured upstream from the mouth). We will land at the warden's checkpoint, where we can climb the watch tower to experience the breath-taking panorama of shoreline, lagoons, riverine woodlands and vast reedbeds.
Returning towards Vilkovo, the next stage of our trip will be a visit to a fishing lodge where they catch species such carp, pike-perch, catfish and the tasty Danube herring. After that, we arrive at the Salix garden on Ochakov Island. While we have been travelling, our local cook has been preparing a delicious lunch of fresh fish for us. The meal will be accompanied by "Novak" wine, made from the grapes grown on the island itself. There will be time to explore the garden, maintained in its traditional manner, and pluck any fruit you please. It is also possible to take a plunge in the river - so bring your costume.
By early evening, we will be back in Vilkovo where, after a long but memorable day, we will board the minibus for the return journey to Odessa.
Groups up to 16 people
Tours start from Odessa at 07.00 and end in Odessa around 21.30.
Prices: from 59 euro per person depending on number in party (minimum 2 people).
Salix Nature Tours
14 Torgova str., Odessa, Ukraine
Tel. +38(048)7289738, +38(048)7289737