Boat trip and picnic on the Danube River with Amur Nikopol
Boat trip and picnic on the Danube River with Amur Nikopol
The wind took us to Nikopol, but the beautiful nature, interesting places and good people convinced us to want to be there again. I had never set foot in Nikopol before, but this place managed to energize me and I felt the adventurous atmosphere that I look for in these places. The boat ride was absolutely amazing and the islands along the river are something to see. "The Maldives of Nikopol" as Veni called them, are here and waiting for you.
How do you get there?Nikopol is located on the banks of the Danube River on our northern border. The closest major cities to it are Pleven (about 50 km), Veliko Tarnovo (about 120 km) and Ruse (about 130 km).
Nikopol cannot be reached by train, so your options are by car or bus.
How long does it take?The boat trip lasts about 2 hours - 2 and a half hours. You can combine it with fishing and/or a picnic and it will last about 4-5 hours. I would definitely recommend the picnic by the river. (read below about my experience)
What will I see during the walk?The walk starts from the beach of Nikopol and you can see the beautiful beach from the start. With the boat, you will pass close to the Romanian coast and explore the small islands along the Danube. There are about 5-6 different and beautiful islands with silly names - "Thumb", "Elbow", "Srednyak", "Garden" and others. It is interesting here that the river is constantly changing, and along with it, its islands. The captain tells us that islands sometimes disappear and new ones appear elsewhere. This makes our river trip very interesting and unique.
Another thing that will impress you is the "Garden" island, which is so named because it was once used to grow watermelons and vegetables.
Can I step on an island in the river for a little while?It is possible to take a short walk to one of the islands. In case the river level is lower, the water recedes and great sandy beaches appear near some of the islands. You can get off and take a short walk to experience the pleasure of being "islander".
Is it suitable for seasick people?To be honest, I was worried about this adventure because I get pretty seasick. It actually turned out that I didn't get sick in any way with these speedboats and I was able to enjoy the whole trip down the river.
Do I need special equipment?No! You need desire and a good mood. Your guides from the "Amur - Nikopol" Association will take care of everything else.
During the walk, they will tell you a lot of interesting things about Nikopol, about the islands and about your surroundings. If you are lucky, you may be able to see the rare sea eagle with a wingspan of about 3 meters. On the way back to Nikopol, you will pass by the river bank and the impressive rock church "St. Stephen". A very interesting place with a unique panoramic view of the river and the Romanian coast.
Does the place have an interesting history?
Is there a comfortable picnic area?Yes! There are many convenient picnic spots along the river where you can come on your own or include them in your boat trip itinerary. The place where we stopped for a picnic was extremely peaceful, with a view of the river and the islands, and the birdsong could be heard from the shore.
When is the best time to visit?I recommend you visit it during the moderately warm months. Early or late summer will be wonderful. In the hottest heat, you can burn on the boat and have some fun. You can also combine it with a beach on the shores of Nikopol.
Who organizes the boat trip and how can I contact them?The organizer of this adventure is the "Amur-Nikopol" Association. You can learn more about them on their site here. For reservations, you can contact us by filling out the form on the site or by calling the phone number written there. You can follow their Facebook page for various events and photos here.
What's interesting nearby?
- St. Stephen's Rock Church on the coast of Nikopol - a very interesting rock church with a small altar and several icons. On the walls there are inscriptions from different eras that have not yet been deciphered, and the panoramic view will take your breath away.
- Victory Monument (Nikopol) - it is located on a hill above the city and offers a great view of the river, the city, the nearby hills and the Romanian coast. The sunset there is amazing!
- Historical Museum (city of Nikopol) - contains interesting stories about the city and its past, including the life of Jews in it, the establishment of the Nikopol diocese and others.
- Church "St. St. Peter and Paul" (town of Nikopol) - a very beautiful medieval church, called by the locals "The Monastery". According to the data found, it dates back to the 14th century, but unfortunately no archaeological excavations were carried out to learn more about it. It is not currently open for visits, but you can explore it from the outside.
- Elia Fountain (Syutliikata) - a spring water fountain in the city, which was built from an ancient Roman sarcophagus with a Latin inscription. It was created in the name of the deceased wife Elia of the Roman official Fronton.
Who was our guide on this adventure?
Special thanks to Traventuria, who organized this adventure, and to the Amur - Nikopol Association, who were our guides in it. This weekend (which includes the next few articles) was organized by Traventuria together with some of the ASTOM bloggers.
About my adventureIt all started with an invitation to adventure along the Danube. I couldn't say no! And so the cherished weekend has come and we park the bus by the river bank of Nikopol. A very interesting town that I am visiting for the first time and exploring with great interest.
The riverside promenade seems to me to be very well maintained and pleasant to walk, and before long I also notice advertising boards for "Danube Boat Ride" and "Dunav Ultra Challenge". Both are very close to my heart and I've been wanting to do them for a long time.
So today we are here and we are welcomed by the Amur Association, who today will be our guides in an adventure along the Danube River and the islands between Bulgaria and Romania. The organization is a little late, and I am happy because I can walk along the coast and explore the nature around. Gabriela (from the association) shows us around the refined corner of the sand and the new additions - beautifully painted walls and an arch on the beach.
It's time and we leave with the boats to explore the islands along the Danube. We get into the boats and set off down the river. The weather is beautiful and we have no choice but to enjoy the experience. Our guides tell us interesting things about Nikopol, about the fishing, about the islands and about everything we can think of to ask.
We pass several islands and totally lose track of where we are.
We stop briefly at one of the islands, where there is a beautiful sandy beach. We understand that in the summer the water recedes and here it becomes like the sea beaches and many people come to bathe and have a picnic. Today we are not so lucky because of the high water level and we continue our journey.
Gabby tells us about a sea eagle that has settled on one of the islands and is very rare. After a short walk around we manage to see it towering over us. Its wings are huge and it looks very impressive. (I don't manage to take a picture of it, but I'm dancing for fun)
It's time to rest and we stop the boats on the river bank. A great surprise awaits us there - fish soup is cooked in a pot over the fire, and white barbel is roasted over the embers. Our hosts have prepared a wonderful lunch for us with grilled white barbel, baked and fried grass carp, caviar pancakes and great bread. It's time to sit down at a table near the river to enjoy the wonderful food and good company.
For the moment we get up, while the table is still being prepared, to walk in the nearby forest and enjoy the greenery around. Nature is excited - the birds sing, the wind blows the trees and an interesting sound is heard, and the stories around the table intensify and it is time to return for the delicious lunch.
I'll admit frankly that I rarely eat fish and I'm not a big fan, but this fish soup and grilled fish was extremely tasty and I couldn't help but eat the whole portion. Slightly worried about the return trip with a full stomach I got up to walk to the river and launch the drone to survey the area from above. Fabulous! I did some rounds and clicked some beautiful pictures.
It's time to head back to Nikopol, but on the way we'll stop at one more place, which is again a surprise for us. And this is the rock church "St. Stephen" that we saw on the way with the boats. It is located about 50 meters from the shore and goes up a steep path. There is a very beautiful view of the river, and the inscriptions on the rocks are quite interesting and arouse discussion in our country.
And now we really have to go back to Nikopol, because Amur - Nikopol has prepared a few more surprises for us.
What are they? You will find out very soon in the following articles.
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