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by Vilkovo.eu Вилково

Situated where the Danube River splits into three before entering the Black Sea, Vilkovo offers visitors a wealth of angling opportunities in a scenic and peaceful town. Known as the Ukraine’s Venice because the town is built on the Danube Delta marshlands with many water channels running between the homes and buildings, there is a rare feeling of returning to nature in this town.

Vilkovo has the diverse culture and cuisine of a town that has seen Greek, Roman, Ottoman and Slavic civilisations conquering the town and its inhabitants. The nearby Izmail fortress is an historical site from the Russian-Turkish war many centuries ago, signifying yet another phase of influence on the inhabitants of Vilkovo. Boats are the primary mode of transport, and fishing is a major source of income for the residents of Vilkovo. No wonder that all three churches in the town are named after St Nicholas, the patron saint of fishermen, sailors and travellers. Each home has a boat moored at their door, most of them built the same as the Cossack boats used centuries ago. Called ‘herring’ boats today, they are used to catch the renowned Danube herring, but can also be used in the Black Sea to catch sturgeon.

Besides the Danube herring, sought after by restaurants throughout Europe, visiting anglers will be delighted with the opportunity to catch wild carp and catfish. The superb fishing in the area naturally means that visitors should sample the array of fish dishes available at the eateries in the town as well. Salted herring is prepared by residents to last throughout the year, and fresh salmon is served as well.

The homes and gardens in Vilkovo are each built on their own island, built up from river sediment. This explains the areas nickname – ‘The Ukrainian Venice’. These are high maintenance homes though, as each year a trench around the house has to be dug out to replace sediment on the island, allow boats access, and prevent flooding. Without the addition of more silt each year, the homes would sink back into the marsh. The sediment is very rich, and the gardens in Vilkovo are magnificent.

Wooden walkways traverse the waterways and channels, providing lovely walks for visitors to the town, past the extraordinary homes and gardens of Vilkovo. The fertile sediment has led to Vilkovo gaining fame for its fruit, particularly strawberries, apples and quince. The town is also known for its local range of wines produced from Novak grapes. Visitors beware though, it is a higher concentration of alcohol than you may be used to.

Vilkovo is in the Danube Biosphere Reserve, a wetland that is home to over 950 plant species. The almost 260 species of birds make this a popular bird-watching area, with pelican, spoonbill, cormorant, duck, gees, sea-eagles and many more birds native to the reserve. A boat tour on the Danube Lakes and into the Delta will reveal stunning landscapes of reedbeds, lily-coated lakes and of course the diverse wildlife. The nature of Vilkovo is perforce one that is dictated by the natural rhythms of seasons, weather and water. A peaceful retreat offering insight into a life formed by nature, visitors will not soon forget Vilkovo.

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