|The Black Sea Coast|
Romania's Black Sea coastline stretches 150 miles from the Danube Delta to Bulgaria. Along its southern edge you will find the historic sity of Constanta and 45 miles of seaside resorts.
Constanta, originally called "Tomis", was settled in the 6th century BC by Greek merchants as a sea port. It was later developed by Romans and renamed for the emperor Constantin. It was here that the poet Ovid was exiled by emperor Octavian Augustus in A.D.8 until his death in A.D.17. The city was attacked and destroyed by Avars in the 7th century AD and was not redeveloped until the 19th century, when King Carol I decided to turn it into an active seaport and seaside resort. It is now a cultural and economic center in Romania, with a population of 350,000. Its historical monuments, remaining ancient ruins, grand Casino, museums and shops, make it the focal point of Black Sea coast tourism.
The rest of the southern coast consists of Romania's abundant seaside resorts and many of its health spas. Activities include tennis, water-skiing, paragliding, scuba diving, and horseback-riding. Open-air restaurants, discos and cabarets offer a wide variety of entertainments. Accommo-dations range from numerous hotels, villas and bungalows, to campsites.
Just north of Constanta is the major resort of Mamaia, nestled between 7.5 miles of fine sandy beach and a freshwater lake. Among all the other activities, you can also go sailing on Lake Siutghiol, rent bicycles, or play mini-golf. Mamaia is specially designed for families, providing playgrounds for the children.
All other resort towns are located south of Constanta on a strip stretching all the way south to Bulgaria. These include Eforie Nord and Eforie Sud; Costinesti, the favorite of young people for its low cost and lively night-life; Neptune, surrounded by fir woods, and its next-door neighbor Jupiter on the beach; farther south are Cap Aurora, Venus, Saturn and finlly, Mangalia, another 6th century BC fortified city, originally called "Callatis", now a balneary spa town.
The spas at Mangalia, Eforie Nord, Eforie Sud and Neptune offer a wide variety of therapeutic treatments, including mineral-rich mudbaths, thaloasso-therapy and the world-famous Romanian Gerovital cure. Their medical staffs are highly qualified and clinics remain open all year.
Aside from the beaches and spas, one can also visit the ancient Greek ruins at Histria and Adamclisi, or the world-famous Murfatlar vinyards. Local villages exhibit their crafts of woodcarving, pottery and traditional costumes. There are also sport grounds and a horseback riding center nearby.
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