Europe’s Biggest, Most Beautiful Deltas
We all know breathtaking images with coastlines, beaches and cliffs on the shores of the oceans and seas. As a geographic structure, they resemble a lot, unlike the deltas. Deltas represent the place where a river’s course ends. These alluvial deposits are different, since every river has it’s unique characteristics – the gradient, the direction, the flow rate and many any others. The next European examples will offer you a perspective over the immense touristic potential of the deltas.
Having a length of 928 km and a drainage basin of 85.550 sq km, Ebro is Spain’s most important river. Ebro’s Delta comprises more than 320 sq km of wetlands, being the largest area of this kind in the Western Mediterranean region. The Delta has a fast growing frequency, since Amposta (a city in the province) was a seaport in the fourth century and now is located somewhere in the center of the Delta. Ebro Delta Natural Park, constituted in 1983, is the habitat for 300 species of birds and the place where one can find from beaches and rice fields to marshes and salt pans. The methods used by the farmers in the Delta compose a unique scenery, since they are a part of the latifundia farming tradition.
The second biggest European river has an adequate delta – Danube’s Delta is so large (4,152 sq km), that it spreads over two countries: Romania (about 83%) and Ukraine. Due to the annual 67 millions tones of alluvial material brought by the river, the Delta’s surface grows each year with approximately 40 meters. In 1990, it was declared a reservation of the biosphere, by UNESCO. Unlike other rivers that branch in tens of little rivers in these kind of areas, the Danube divides in three main arms: Chilia, Sulina and St. George. Although it’s a heaven for the wildlife, with more than 1,150 species of plants and 327 bird species, the Danube Delta is very well populated – 15,000 inhabitants on the Romanian side and about 100,000 people in the Ukrainian part.
The Volga Delta is the biggest inland river delta in Europe, having 27,224 sq km. It covers the lands of Russia and Kazakhstan. In the latest 140 years, the delta’s surface raised more than 8 times, due to the Caspian Sea dropping its level. The ecosystem is found in Russia’s oldest nature reserves – Astrakhansky Zapovednik. One of the things this delta is most famous for is being a sanctuary for over 250 avian species. What you can expect to find here is the Dalmatian Pelican, the Penduline Tit, the Night Heron, Cettiâ€™s Warbler or the Great Blackheaded Gull.
Summer is the delta’s most colorful period, when over 25,000 ducks invade the surroundings in their molting period. Volga is also home to around 27 endangered species of birds, including the Mute Swans that were once close to being extinct but made a remarkable comeback in the 20th century. If you’ve had it with Russia’s cold cities, Volga’s Delta is your choice when it comes to natural landscapes and vibrant wildlife.