Tutrakan - Silistra trip

  • 2 days
  • difficulty: Avansati

The route is suitable for people with experience in kayaking on the Danube. It's a kayak tour for those experienced in camping, accustomed to sleeping in the tent in sleeping bags for a longer period of time, taking carefree dinners at a campfire and packing the luggage and personal belongings to the maximum.

The route takes 2 days, during which we shall travel 54 km.

Departure is from Tutrakan, Silistra district, and we reach the point of arrival in Silistra.

The participants are transported by the organizing team to the starting point in Tutrakan together with all the equipment and luggage for the entire team.

Starting morning and skyline downstream to Pozharevo Island that divides the Danube in two arms in this area. We pass along Dunaveţ commune and we fall into Blatoto protected area Malak Preslavetz. In the evening we reach the Garvan region, where you can also see the protected natural area Garvanski blata. Here in the area we shall also camp for the night.

The next day we leave early and start the last day of the route. On the way to the final point, Silistra, we shall pass along Popina, Vetren, the Srebarna Nature Reserve in which two islands cut the Danube in several arms.

Touristic objectives in area

Medjidi Tabia Fortress, Silistra

The Medjidi Tabia fortress is located at hill south of town of Silistra. The fort is the best preserved of total six facilities of Ottoman fortification system used during Crimean War (1853 - 1856) and Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878).

The fortress has hexagon form and reaches 8m in height. It was built in period 1841 - 1853 based on plans of the German military engineer Helmuth von Moltke who designed also another fort near town of Ruse - Levent Tabia. The name of the fortress comes from the name of Sultan Abdul Medzhid who visited the facility in 1847.

Medjidi Tabia fortress is included in the list "The 100 National Tourist Sites of Bulgaria"

Durostorum – Drastar Fortress, Silistra

Fortress Drustar (Roman name Durostorum) is located in borders of modern town of Silistra. In its beginning it probably occurred as a Thracian stronghold which base was used by the Romans to build large and strong fortress-city along the Danube.

The town flourished in the first III-II centuries BC under name Durostorum until 238 when tribes of Karpi destroyed it.

Later, in VI century, Slavs settled here and the city revived with new strength and power under the name of Drastar.

Roman tomb, Silistra

The Roman tomb in Silistra is one of the most famous in Bulgaria antique monument which dates back to IV century when the town was a Roman fortress named Durostorum. It is a unicameral vaulted stone building with an entrance on the East and dimensions 3.3m x 2.60m x 2.30m.

The tomb is famous with its rich frescoes decoration (geometrical, animal and human figures, hunting scenes, family couple and their servants), made probably by an artist from Egypt or Syria.

The tomb was discovered in 1942 and nowadays is exhibited in a special protective building.

Art gallery, Silistra

Silistra Art Gallery is located in centre of the town. It is housed in a beautiful building (former pedagogical school) which dates back to 1890 and is in "Late Secession" style.

In the gallery are exhibited more than 1500 art works (paintings, prints, sculptures and other) of great Bulgarian artists as Vladimir Dimitrov, Dechko Uzunov , Zlatyu Boyadjiev and others.

Address of Silistra Art Gallery: 127, Simeon Veliki str, Silistra


St. Nicolas Church, Tutrakan

"St. Nicolas" Church in town of Tutrakan was built in 1864. It is located in the northern part of the town, close to Fishermen`s village and is one of the town`s landmarks.

The church has three naves, each of which ends on the east by a semicircular apse both inside and outside. The temple is totally different from the churches in other towns along the Danube river. The difference is mainly in the usage of the interior space.

The church has also beautiful and original carved gates. The iconostasis and frescoes are works of masters from the Tryavna Art school - Zahary Tsanyuv and his son Stefan.

Dobrogea Home - Ethnographic Museum Exposition, Garvan

The Ethnographic Museum Exposition in village of Garvan was open in 1970 on the initiative of the management of the local community centre "Dimitur Ivanov Polianov". The objects for the exhibit were gathered by the local residents.

The exposition contains:

- a map with the historical boundaries and objects from the old Slav settlement from V-VII th century, which was situated one kilometre north of Garvan village;

- photos depicting village customs, namely trimming of the vines, koleduvane, brazaia, as well as cultural and administrative buildings, streets, houses, etc.;

- Female and male folk costumes, agricultural tools, ceramic cookware and other objects from the everyday life of the peasant in the past.

The Russian church in Tataritsa, Aydemir

The Russian Old-ritual church "Pokrov Presvetoy Bogoroditse" is located in Tataritsa (former separate village - nowadays part of village of Aydemir). In XVII century in Tataritsa were settled Cossacks from Don (Russia) who were banished by the reforms of the Russian Emperor Petar the Great and they built their own church.

The church has a rectangular shape. At the roof is arranged а head with an Old Russian Cross. The church has a bell tower with seven bells. Inside the temple has three parts: the altar, middle part and narthex.

Srebarna Nature Reserve

The Srebarna Nature Reserve (Bulgarian: Природен резерват Сребърна) is a nature reserve in north-eastern Bulgaria (Southern Dobruja), near the village of the same name, 18 km west of Silistra and 2 km south of the Danube. The Reservation comprises Srebarna Lake and its surroundings, being located on the Via Pontica, a bird migration route between Europe and Africa.

The area was proclaimed a nature reserve in 1948 and is a Ramsar site since 1975. The reserve was recognized as World Natural Heritage Site under the 1972 Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983.

The reserve embraces 6 km2 of protected area and a buffer zone of 5.4 km2. The lake's depth varies from 1 to 3 m. Also, here has been constructed a museum, where today you can see a unique collection of stuffed species of birds and animals living in the reserve.

Srebarna Nature Reserve protects a lake and wetland ecosystem of 638 ha located near to the village of Srebarna on the west bank of the Danube River. The reserve includes the lake and the former agricultural lands north of the lake, a belt of forest plantations along the Danube, the island of Komluka and the aquatic area locked between the island and the riverbank.

Srebarna Nature Reserve is an important wetland on the Western Palaearctic bird migratory flyway. It provides nesting grounds for 99 species of birds and seasonal habitat to around 80 species of migratory birds. The property is surrounded by hills, which provide a natural boundary and offer an ideal means for observing the waterfowl.

Srebarna Nature Reserve protects an important example of a type of wetland that was widespread in Bulgaria in the past. It shelters a diversity of plant and animal species, which are increasingly threatened. The wetland is an important breeding, staging and wintering site for a large number of birds. Floating reed bed islands and flooded willow woodlands provide important bird breeding areas. In the lake's northern end the reed beds gradually give way to wet meadows. In the north-western end of the lake and along the Danube there are belts of riverine forest with single old trees of White Willow.

The rich bird life at Srebarna Nature Reserve is the basis for its international significance. The property holds populations of birds that are considered critical to species survival. It hosts the only colony of Dalmatian Pelican in Bulgaria, as well as the largest breeding populations of four more globally threatened species: Pygmy Cormorant, Ferruginous Duck, White-tailed Eagle and Corncrake. Srebarna is also of European value importance in supporting Little Bittern Night Heron, Squacco Heron, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Purple Heron, Glossy ibis, Spoonbill and Ruddy shelduck. Three species of terns also can be found here. Globally threatened are Pygmy Cormorant and Red-breasted Goose, which can be seen in the Reserve, as well as the wintering populations of White-fronted Goose, Greylag Goose and Fieldfare, which are also notable. In total, the property provides critical habitat that supports 173 bird species, 78 species of which are of European conservation concern, and nine being listed as globally threatened.

The property includes the largest lake left after drainage of the marshy zone along the Danube and was connected to the river until a dyke was built in 1949. Its current situation is therefore not completely natural and is maintained by water management measures. In 1994 a channel was built between the lake and the Danube River in order to ensure the annual flow of Danube waters into the lake during the spring months. The Reserve is a strictly protected area, and only carefully-controlled scientific research, and conservation management activities are allowed to take place within it. The site is relatively small, and only if other areas are also protected, in the region and on bird migration routes, can the key species of Srebarna Nature Reserve be expected to survive.


The property is protected by a 673 ha buffer zone which was created in 2008. This consists of a portion of the Srebarna Nature Reserve that is not part of the World Heritage property and 419 ha of land surrounding the Srebarna Nature Reserve, which is located within an adjacent protected area known as Pelikanite. The aim of this buffer zone is to prevent and reduce negative human impacts on the reserve.



There are several legends about the origin of the lake's name. One of them speaks about a khan named Srebrist, who died in the neighbourhood whilst engaging in an unequal battle with the Pechenegs. Another legend tells about a boat full of silver (srebro in Bulgarian) along the shores of the lake. And moreover, according to a third one, which is regarded as most plausible, the name comes from the silvery reflections on the lake's surface during full moon.

Route map