Nature Tourismin Protected AreasThe Danube - a fascinating and diverseriverFlowing through ten countries, the Danube is themost international river in the world. It hosts ahuge diversity, in both cultural and natural terms:The historical heritage, the diversity of ethnicnetwork of protected areasc/o Donau-Auen National ParkSchloss Orth, 2304 Orth an der Donau, AustriaCoordination Tourism: Magdalena WagnerPhone: +43/2212/3450-18, Fax: +email@example.comPhotos: Kovacs, Newmann/Niederösterreich-Werbung,Wagner, Hoyer, Rosenberger, Leonov Valentin, Kopački ritNature Park, Srebarna Nature Reserve, Daniel Petrescu,Dan Bandacu, Cristian Mititelu, KPNP Rousse Lom, DjerdapNational Park, Gornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve,Lonjsko Polje Nature Park, Szabó Attila, Horáth Éva, BuchertEszter, Komlós Attila, László Mészáros, Gábor Kiss, PálKézdy, BROZ, Jozef Tomecek, Kern, Günter Heidemeier,Thomas Schneider, Herwig Leinsinger, Kurt Kracher,Siegfried GeißlerImprintgroups, reflected in arts, language, food and muchmore. These all raise the fascination for this part ofEurope.The Danube Protected Areas for their part areresponsible for preserving the rich natural andlandscape diversity, with some of Europe’s biggestand most fascinating floodplain areas: Startingwith the water world of the Danube Delta andthe floodplain forests in the Croatian-Serbian-Hungarian plains, but also covering the scenicvalleys of the Iron Gates and the Danube Bend aswell as the last free-flowing sections in the UpperDanube.Fresh energy and attentionThe newly adopted EU Strategy for the DanubeRegion (EUSDR) wants to boost and coordinatedevelopment “to promote culture and tourism,people to people contacts’’. The challenge is tofind long-term sustainable development - forinhabitants and for nature.This is especially true for Protected Areas alongthe Danube River, with their invaluable naturaltreasures. The situation of tourism along theDanube is diverse depending on the naturallandscape and history.Currently, Danube tourism is mainly focused oncities and culture, cruising and cycling. Huntingand fishing is of importance in some areas.Birdwatching is a main attraction of the DanubeDelta, but yet to develop elsewhere. It is thetask and challenge of Protected Areas to steertourist activities towards sustainable regionaldevelopment, contributing to protection goals andbeing implemented with special care wheneveroperating in ecologically sensitive areas.3Layout: Michael Kalb, www.michaelkalb.atPrinting: R12, www.R12.atPrint run of 15,000. © October 2011. Produced usingenvironmentally-friendly technologies and materials.Errors and omissions excepted.
4Protected Areas are major players in environmentaleducation and sustainability. They have anincreasing number of education programmes andinterpretation infrastructure, offering informationabout environmental issues. These educationalelements and tasks are also integrated into tourismoffers.The DANUBEPARKS Network developed a jointposition on tourism and environmental educationin 2011. Additionally, an Action Plan has beenelaborated to define the role of the Network andjoint activities in these fields for the future. Thestrategy can be downloaded on the website, whilethis brochure gives an overview on our main goalsand offers along the Danube.Nature experience and protectionVisiting a Protected Area is a journey into the mostprecious natural areas in Europe.It is also the goal of the Protected Areasthemselves to lead people towards this fascinationfor nature, to let them experience and discover thenatural wealth. While this emotional aspect playsan important role, education about the functioningof the ecosystems, their connection to the river,and the measures to preserve this natural heritagefor future generations, is always included.At the same time, the presence of natural areas,especially in the surroundings of large towns,means a high standard of living for the localinhabitants. Protected Areas are also working toprotect the area in order to preserve it for leisuretime use of the surrounding population.Most Protected Areas offer visitor centres, guidedexcursions, and outdoor information points, inorder to educate about the value and protection ofthe area and make it accessible to all. At the sametime, it is our task to protect the areas againstnegative impacts from tourist overuse, which iswhy some rules need to be respected. A generalguideline can be found on page 5.Our target groups are as diverse as our areas andour tasks: We aim to welcome and inform touristsas well as the local population, with a focus onchildren and youth. We work together withschools and have special programmes for families.Regarding tourism, there is a high number of offersfor individual tourists, but cooperation with touroperators,regional tourism initiatives or companiesbring more and more groups, too.As diverse as our target groups and offers mayseem, the common goal of these actions and allthe members of the DANUBEPARKS Network isthe protection of our joint natural heritage – fornature itself and for our future generations.
Added value from cooperationTourism and environmental education happenmostly on a local level, at the destination, and arethe shared responsibility of the Protected Areaswith other regional stakeholders. The cooperationwithin the DANUBEPARKS Network can,however, contribute to higher quality and moreinnovative offers, as illustrated by a selection of ourgoals:The nature and wildlife of the Danube today needs a jointvoice in Europe. The Network of Protected Areas wants tobe this voice. It builds on existing cooperation and createsnew framework conditions for continuous and intense collaborationamong the Protected Areas of the Danube and itsmost important tributaries. This Danube-wide cooperationstrengthens each Protected Area in the fulfilment of its owntasks.DANUBEPARKS is a continuous platform• for know-how transfer and exchange of experienceamong the Danube Protected Areas• for the elaboration of joint transnational strategiesand concepts, andThe DANUBEPARKS Network• To keep and raise the high quality of offers, bythe development of joint quality guidelines andjoint training of staff• To develop innovative offers, with aninternational perspective onto the Danube Riveras well as cross-border and transnational tours• To jointly develop didactic materials and crossborderor transnational educational programmesfor young peopleOur joint responsibilityUpon your visit, we will be happy to show you thenatural wonders of our Protected Areas and enableunforgettable experiences in nature. It is our jointresponsibility however to protect our areas forfuture generations, which is why we need yourhelp.Here are some guidelines to follow when visitinga Protected Area, for specific rules please ask therespective visitor centre staff.• All Protected Areas have specific ruleson strictly protected areas that are notaccessible to the public: Visitor centre staff willbe happy to show you where to go to see mostof the area and cause least disturbance.• Do not leave a trace behind you: Take yourrubbish out of the Protected Area.• Please stay on the marked hiking and cyclingtrails: The Protected Areas give space toendangered species, which has been taken fromthem elsewhere. Human disturbance can causeserious trouble for nature protection.• Not all water bodies allow boating andswimming: Please find it out at the visitorcentres. In general, opt for non-motorized boats– they allow a deeper experience of nature andminimize the impact of your visit.5• for the implementation of cross-border andtransnational revitalization and conservation projects.The Network was created by signing of the “Declaration ofVienna” in June, 2009. The establishment of the Networkand the implementation of the pilot scheme are currentlyco-financed by the EU Programme for European TerritorialCo-operation in South-East Europe (ETC-SEE).
Danube DeltaBiosphere ReserveRomania6At the end of its 2,860 km journey from its source(Black Forest, Germany) to the Black Sea, theDanube has built over 16,000 years one of themost beautiful deltas in Europe and in the world.Due to the richness of its landscape and its fauna,where birds are the most significant element, theDanube Delta represents special interest fromall points of view - scientific, touristic and eveneconomic. The main ecosystems of the Delta arethe Danube branches, channels, streams, lakes,floating reedbeds, floodplains, levees, sands, rivermeadows, willow forests, Letea and Caraormanforests.Specific tourism programmes are available:leisure tours; itinerant discovery tourism;specialized trips and scientific tourism (e.g.ornithologists, specialists, researchers, students);special youth programmes; rural tourism;ecotourism; balneary tourism (helio-marinecure on the beaches of Sulina, St. Gheorghe);birdwatching; sport fishing, exploring the Delta inkayaks; visiting localities; traditional meals.Visitor Centres and ExhibitionsThe Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority(DDBRA) has several Information, Documentationand Ecological Education Centres; one is inTulcea (DDBRA Headquarters) and anotherfour in the Reserve (in Crisan, Sulina, Murighioland St. Gheorghe). Visitors and locals can findinformation in exhibitions, leaflets, brochures,etc., concerning the role and importance of thereserve, of the DDBRA, the role of visitors and ofthe local population in achieving the objectivesof environmental management of the naturalheritage.Our experts organize environmental educationprogrammes for children, combining theoreticalconcepts with worksheets, free debates,experiments and games, as well as the celebrationof important environmental events.The centres also represent a framework formeeting locals, in order to attract and involvethem in the process of adopting decisions of majorinterest for local communities.Outdoor Guided ExcursionsTourists who have limited time can have onedaytrips on large modern ships or small privateboats. Those with more time can choose betweenitinerary trips of 6-12 days, on modern floatinghotels towed along the authorized routes, or stayin hotels and pensions. The passionate ones,who want to discover the beauty of the deltathemselves, can hire their own boat.The DDBRA established 24 authorized touristroutes: 15 boat routes and 9 hiking trails.Tourist access in the Danube Delta is based onaccess permits issued by the DDBRA in Tulcea orin Visitor Centres.Useful links for touristsDDBRA Websitewww.ddbra.ro/en/rules-regarding-tourism.phpwww.ddbra.ro/en/tourism-operators.phpTrain schedule: www.cfr.roAccess by water transportationwww.navrom.x3m.roCommon Central Office of Reservationfor Danube Delta and Neighbouring Areaswww.e-deltadunarii.roBookings can be done through various travel agencies, through majortour operators, but also by the niche operators, specialized in naturetourism, bird watching, etc. Potential guests can make reservationsdirectly at the accommodation points found in the delta.
Srebarna Nature Reserveand Kalimok-BrushlenProtected SiteBulgariaSrebarna Nature Reserveis 18 km west of Silistra and 1 km from the bank ofthe river Danube. The lake occupies a large karstdepression, bounded by bare hills to the east, westand south.The lake is unique, with free floating reed islandwhich change the morphology of the water surfacewith their movements. An exceptional sight is thefrozen lake in winter, which contrasts strongly withthe yellow reeds.Around the lake there is an eco-trail, gazeboesand observation sites. Footpaths follow theboundaries of Protected Areas in the surroundinghills. Information boards and wooden benches canbe found on the tourist paths. Observation towersSrebarna Nature Reservewww.riosv-ruse.orgKalimok-Brushlen Protected Sitewww.kalimok.euUseful links for touristsand shelters are planned in two locations. 223 birdspecies are found in the reserve. Among the rarestbirds in Bulgaria to be found here are the DalmatianPelican and Great White Heron.In the southwest of the reserve there is theMuseum of Natural History with a rich collectionof stuffed birds and mammals. In the foyer ofthe museum there is a video screen that showsimages in real-time of the heart of the reserve -the colony of Dalmatian Pelican. Telescopes andbinoculars are available to help visitors watchingbirds.Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Sitewas designed to protect one of the few remainingDanube wetlands and its unique biodiversity. Itcovers an area of about 6,000 ha. The areacan be characterized as one of the ten mostrepresentative areas of the country. The mainconservation values are the natural marshes,riparian and marshy habitats. This is a habitat forplant and animal species that are rare on a nationaland European level.Because of its rich biodiversity the Protected Areais attractive for tourism. The flora includes 109species of algae, 10 mosses, 16 mushrooms, andover 300 vascular plants. The greatest richness isin the birds - 242 species, 134 of which are nesting.Bird watching is the top priority because the birdsare numerous, attractive and easy to see. Speciessuch as Dalmatian Pelican and Spoonbill raise theirchicks here. For many protected bird species thissite is just a stop gap in their migration. Thereare birds that are wintering here, which gives anopportunity for ecotourism in the cold monthsof the year, too. One of Bulgaria’s biggest Heroncolonies and some of the last remaining ancientElm, Black Poplar and Valdimski Oak in Bulgaria arelocated here.7
Rusenski LomNature ParkBulgaria8Rusenski Lom Nature Park is situated in NortheastBulgaria, along the canyon shaped Valley of theRusenski Lom river – the last right tributary of theDanube. Its area is 3,408 hectares.Amazing views burst from all altitudes in RusenskiLom. Within the endless river valley curves arewaved as well as the forests, the wild beauty ofrock peaks and the old castles and settlements.The flora of Rusenski Lom numbers 902 species ofhigher plants and 13 species of orchids.Bird species total 192, 174 of them underprotection – this is the reason why the Lomriver valley has been announced as a significantornithological site; especially interesting forscientists are the rock dwelling species: EgyptianVulture, Black Stork, Ruddy Shelduck, White-tailedButeo, owls, etc.Along the valley are 70 out of Bulgaria’s 90species of mammals, with 26 of them beingvarious species of bats. The high percentage ofrare and protected species of mammals is due tothe diversity of living conditions and habitats andproves the exclusive conservation significance ofthe Park for their preservation.Historical monuments are an integral part ofRusenski Lom National Park. They are all over.They create a fascinating atmosphere to feel pasttimes and for historical contiguity. There are twoarchaeological preserves in the Park - Ivanovo RockChurches and the Middle Age town of Cherven.The cultural and historical image of the Lom rivervalley would be dull without the rock monasteries.Only ruins are left, but they colour the rocks allalong the valley and maintain the remembrancefor the place as famous centre of spirituality, ofliterature and elite art. They also remind us thatmany grammarians assembled here from all overthe country and founders were Bulgarian tsars.Frescoes in the rock cloister of Saint ArchangelMichael (12-14th century) are one of the heightsof Middle Ages Bulgarian art and have beenvalued among the best works of the Tarnovopainting school. In 1979 the cloister was put on theUNESCO list for the world cultural heritage.Guided ExcursionsNature, the rich cultural and historical heritagefavour the development of tourism and recreationin general as well as the special interest tourismin the fields of ornithology, speleology, bikeandwater tourism, archaeology, religion andphotography. A visitor center of the Nature Parkwill be opened in spring 2012.Useful links for touristsRusenski LomNature Parkwww.lomea.orgTourist informationwww.lomovete.org
Persina Nature ParkBulgariaPersina Nature Park was established in 2000. Witha total area of 21,762 ha it covers the areas of theSvishtov-Belene lowlands and part of the Nikopolplateau.The Park aims to conserve and restore thenatural status of the numerous islands, inlandmarshes and Danube wetlands. There are twoisland groups – Nikopol island group and BeleneIslands Complex. Part of the complex is PersinIsland (known also as Belene Island) – the biggestBulgarian Danube island, where the first restoredwetland on the Bulgarian Danube is located.The most significant ecosystems within the parkare the flooded forests and marshes. To protectthese habitats several protected areas have beendesignated: Kitka and Milka Reserves, embracingislands of the same name; Persinski blata MaintainPersina Nature Parkwww.persina.bgMunicipality of Belenehtttp://obshtina.belene.netMunicipality of Svishtovwww.svishtov.bgMunicipality of Nikopolwww.nikopol-bg.comBulgarian Society for the Protection of Birdswww.bspb.orgUseful links for touristsReserve and Persin-iztok Protected Area, locatedon the eastern part of Persin Island; KaikushaProtected Area on the south boundary of the park;Plavala Protected Area, near the town of Nikopol.The most precious wealth of the Park is the birds –more than 210 species. The natural flooded forestsof willows and poplars and the marshes alongthe Danube are the only place where rare andoften threatened birds such as Spoonbill, PygmyCormorant, Corncrake, Ferruginous Duck, differentspecies of Herons and Terns are breeding. One ofthe symbols of the Park is the White-tailed Eagle.Visitor centresThe administrative building with a Visitor Centreof Persina NP Directorate is situated in Belene.The Visitor Centre regularly hosts local, regional,national and international events and exhibitions.Guests can receive information and advertisingmaterials.ExcursionsSpecial recreation and bird watching points havebeen built along the river. They offer spectacularviews: flooded forests, colourful landscape anddifferent species of birds.Five kayaks are available for rent as well as a sixseatermotor boat, which is used for a specialwater route „In the embrace of the Danube“.It is possible to see many Herons, Cormorants,Spoonbills and, in winter, Pelicans and Swans.There is a specialized route focusing on wetlandrestoration and bird watching of many rare,threatened and endangered species. This routeleads to the restored wetland with inland marsheson Persin Island (special permit necessary!).As well as the beautiful wildlife, the Park iswitness to a rich historical past. Three religiouscommunities live here: Catholics, Orthodox andMuslims, and each group preserves its way of lifeand traditions.9WWF Bulgaria www.wwf.bg
DjerdapNational ParkSerbia10It is magnificent to stand on the banksof the Danube riverNature has given the region rich and diverseconditions and many different species. You canstill meet Lynx, Wolf, Jackal, Deer, Roebuck, andWild Boar. In the waters are many kinds of fish,including Catfish which can weigh 100 kg. TheDanube is a European international highway, alongwhich many bird species pass. What nature hascreated in Djerdap over the centuries - its forestsand sheer cliffs, ridges, gorges and canyons, arare living history book of flora and fauna - shouldbe preserved for generations to come, for younggenerations to learn about botany.Visitor CenterDjerdap National Park is the biggest national parkin Serbia which is being situated on the territoryof three Municipalities - Golubac, Majdanpekand Kladovo. The Visitor Center is the place ofthe headquarters of the “Djerdap National Park”public company, where visitors can be informedabout flora, fauna, cultural and historical valuesof the National Park by using pictures, billboard,information tables and models of historicalmonuments.Integral part of visiting the Center is also showingpromotional-tourist footage (total length of 17 min)about Djerdap National Park.More than 1,100 plant species have been recordedin a relatively small area of only 640 km 2 , makingit one of the most important parts of Serbia andthe Balkan Peninsula. This natural wealth, whichis under the constant diverse pressures of man,should be preserved because it is irreplaceable.An area of 63,608 hectares is decorated withfascinating and unique natural monuments whichfor centuries have inspired writers, poets andpainters to produce the most beautiful words,poems and pictures. The Roman historian andwriter Pliny the Elder wrote about watchingthe slanting rays of the late sunshine in theDjerdap gorge. The wealth of natural diversity,of excitement and awe before the powers ofMother Nature the creator are the end points on ascale to measure what the Djerdap National Parkdoes to humans. The unusual blend of traditionaland modern: the harmony of opposites at thecrossroads of east and west. Here in Djerdap youwill find one of the most beautiful geographicalareas in Europe, the longest and the oldestbreakthrough, the greatest archaeological andnatural open-air museum of the old continent –something that is hard to describe.Nature and the rich cultural and historical heritagefavour the development of tourism and recreationin general as well as the special interest tourismin the fields of ornithology, speleology, bikeandwater tourism, archaeology, religion andphotography.Useful links for touristsDjerdap National Parkwww.npdjerdap.orgTourism Organisationwww.serbia.travel
Gornje PodunavljeSpecial Nature ReserveSerbiaGornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve wasestablished in 2001 and occupies an area of 19,605ha on the left bank of the river Danube. It is one ofthe last big oases of swampy wood complexes.There are many different ecosystems: water,pond, swamp, forest, meadow, etc. It is famousfor its flora and fauna.Common trees include White Willow, BlackPoplar, White Poplar, as well as the plantations ofvarious clones of Euro-American poplars. The mostbeautiful and valuable are stands of Common oak.There are about 50 mammal species, from smallrodents, such as mice and voles, to large game,with Red Deer at the top.This area has one of the richest and the mostvarious bird fauna in the country. Almost 248species have been recorded - over 70% of speciesthat can be found in Serbia.Gornje PodunavljeSpecial Nature Reservewww.gornjepodunavlje.infoVojvodinasume,State Foresty Administrationwww.vojvodinasume.rsInstitute for Nature Conservation,Vojvodinahttp://zzps.rsUseful links for touristsMost of them are nesting birds. The followingspecies are of special significance:White-tailed Eagle: 16 pairs nest in the area ofthis reserve. Together with Kopački rit, it is oneof the most compact populations of this kind inEurope.Black Stork: a natural rarity in Serbia. In thisreserve, there are 20-25 nesting pairs, which is aquarter of the national population.Heron colonies: during 1999 a few permanentcolonies were recorded which, according to thelatest facts, have changed nesting sites.Wild ducks and wild geese: these species canbe found mostly in winter and during migrationswhen tens of thousands of them are gathered.What is the most encouraging is the increase inthe number of nest pairs of wild ducks.The dynamics of the water regime create manymeanders, stagnant channels, ponds and lakesand, together with periodical flooding of theDanube, offer perfect conditions for a variety offish. There are 50 freshwater species, includingCarp, Catfish, Pike, Pike-Perch and many others,some of which are on the Serbian red list.Hunting tourism is an extremely important part oftourism in the reserve, reflecting the traditional linkbetween the people in this area with game andhunting. The most significant species is Red Deer;a trophy from Kozara hunting ground has been theworld record for many years.Excursions• Footpaths with information boards• Birdwatching• Danube cycling route• Children’s education• Boat rental• Ethno-tourism• Fishing and hunting11
Kopački ritNature ParkCroatia12Kopački rit Nature Park is in the centre of theDanube floodplain, in the corner formed by theDanube and one of its five major tributaries, theDrava. This is one of the most important alluvialfloodplains in Europe with an internal delta havingdistinct morphological and sedimentation features.The appearance of the whole area depends onregular floods; therefore terrestrial and aquaticparts change their shape and function according tothe amount of floodwater.Kopački rit is one of the most significantdestinations in the continental part of Croatiawith all its beauty and ecological value. Tens ofthousands of birds, lakes and canals filled withfish, deer herds, wild boars and marsh pastures inblossom are only part of the treasures that can beseen and experienced here.the Bilje-Kopačevo-Kozjak road. Visitors can usethe parking area for private vehicles and buses,an equipped reception with an information deskand souvenir shop, a gallery for multimediapresentation, exhibitions and lectures.The international bicycle routes called PannonianPeace Route and Danube Route lead throughKopački rit, which has become the first centre forcycle-tourists in Croatia. An Internet Centre hasbeen set up inside the Visitor Centre. It is possibleto walk on the Mali Sakadaš and Veliki Sakadašnature trails from the Visitor Centre, where visitorscan see information panels about the significanceof Kopački rit and particular plant and animalspecies.Excursionsmay fly over or herons and egrets accompany you,flying by the boat.It is also possible to visit Tikveš Castle, wheremany statesmen and famous people lived.Accommodation is offered in the bio-ecologicalstation to visitors that wish to stay longer and amultimedia hall with a capacity for 80 persons isavailable. The Old Elm nature trail is near TikvešCastle.The Park offers all-day and half-day birdwatchingprogrammes with guides. The abundance offish attracts a large number of sport anglers. Thewell-known fishing areas are: Vemeljski Dunavac,Danube river, Podunavlje canals and the area byZlatna greda pump station.Visitor centresThe main entrance to the Nature Park is MaliSakadaš Visitor Centre situated in an autochthonmarshy environment by Kopačevo village, onThe main attraction is a boat tour through theSpecial Zoological Reserve. An empire of birdsand fish discover the secrets of the enchantingmarshland while the boat cuts through the smoothwater surface. If you are lucky, a White-tailed EagleUseful links for touristsKopački rit Nature Parkwww.kopacki-rit.hrTourist Board of Osijek-Baranja Countywww.tzosbarzup.hrTourist Organisation Baranjawww.tzbaranje.hr
Lonjsko PoljeNature ParkCroatiaLive with the riverLonjsko Polje Nature Park is one of the biggestand best preserved wetland habitats in Europe.Hydrological and geomorphological conditionscause great habitat diversity and biodiversity. It ispossible to find over 550 species of plants of dampand wetland habitats. There are also rare species,such as Water Clover, which is part of the NaturePark trademark. The animal world is also extremelydiverse and interesting. The most significant thingis the great number of nesting birds, particularlywetland birds. White Stork, Spoonbill, a variety ofegrets, White-Tailed Eagles and Lesser-spottedEagles, as well as many migratory birds use thegreat pasture areas to look for food. Two areaswithin the Park have been designated specialLonjsko Polje Nature Parkwww.pp-lonjsko-polje.hrTourist board of theSisak-Moslavina Countywww.turizam-smz.hrUseful links for touristsornithological reserves. Lonjsko Polje also has anumber of indigenous breeds of domestic animals.The livestock, in great common herds, are leftfreely to graze for most of the year. Tourism as abranch of the economy occupies an increasinglyimportant place in the development of the region.Visitor centresThe reception of visitors is carried out in the infoeducationcentres at Čigoć no. 26 and Krapje no.16, which are furnished with little souvenir shopsand toilet areas, and via them the visitors to thepark are channelled in an organised way. In Krapjethere is a new multimedia room for education,workshops and seminars. At these points youwill be able to get all the information you need,purchase the mandatory entrance ticket, fishingpermits, hire an expert guide (for groups) and buypromotional materials, souvenirs or refreshments.In the educational centres, special programmesfor children and adults have been devised, andprofessional guides are available for help withsome of these programmes.ExcursionsGuided tours for visitors are carried out witheducators-guides, who, depending on thechoice of the visitors, can present the followingprogrammes:• White Stork in Čigoć• Krapje – architectural heritage village• Spoonbill – bird with a spoon• Posavina horse• Amphibians• Lowland riparian forests• Sava RiverEducational programmes are carried outinteractively, specially designed worksheets to befilled in by visitors. One set of them is designed foryounger and one set for older children and adults.A programme is also laid on for children of preschoolyears.13
Duna-DrávaNational ParkHungary14The picturesque floodplain world of Gemenc is inSárköz. There are several ‚foks‘ (narrow canals),used by our ancestors to flood the area, as itwas the basis of their living. The floodplain florais characterized by riverine scrubs, softwood andhardwood gallery forests. There is Wild Vine andSummer Snowflake in the area. Important fauna,besides the famous Red Deer herds, includeCommon Kingfisher, White-tailed Eagle, BlackStork and Saker Falcon. Gemenc can be visitedfreely on the marked paths and study paths.Béda-Karapancsa has some of the significanthabitats of the South Hungarian Danube. It hasone of Hungary’s largest White-tailed Eagle andBlack Stork populations. Waterfowl rest in theundisturbed floodplain woods, beautiful flowersbloom in its gallery forests, Grey Cattle herds grazein the meadows, and White Water Lilies can beseen.All whole floodplain life is based on the river;woods and insects, birds and fish, and evenhumans make this very complex system.Visitor centresThe population of Kölked has lived with storksfor centuries; White Storks have always had asecure nesting and feeding place. In the unique (inEurope) White Stork Museum, visitors can seethe lifestyle and migration of White Storks and getan insight into stork ringing. In the breeding seasonthis beautiful bird can also be seen nesting in thesurroundings.Mohács Historic Memorial Park is nearSátorhely. This graveyard for the Battle of Mohács(1526) is the last resting-place of more than1700 soldiers. Among the mass graves are thewooden sculptures and gravemarks of King LouisII, Pál Tomori, Dorottya Kanizsai, Sultan Suleimanand several unknown warriors. In the MemorialPark there are many symbols that can best beunderstood with the help of a local guide. The newexhibition building - opened in 2011 - gives placefor exhibitions in four floors.Walking and Canoe Tourswith Qualified GuidesThe secrets of the Duna-Dráva National Parkunfold best when visiting with a qualified guide.On the study paths, visitors can get to know thehabitats of the floodplains and forests and theirspecial flora and fauna during interesting guidedtours. In summer, visitors can explore the wildworld of Béda-Karapancsa and Gemenc on canoetours. On both the Old Danube in Gemenc andthe Outer-Béda, in Béda-Karapancsa the NationalPark Directorate organises canoe tours on fixeddates, but there is a possibility to take part in theseprogrammes on other dates, too (pre-registration isrequired).Useful links for touristsDuna-DrávaNational Park Directoratewww.ddnp.huDunaTourwww.dunaitura.huTourinform Bajahttp://itthon.hu/tourinform-bajaTourinform Szekszárdhttp://itthon.hu/tourinform-szekszardTourinform Mohácshttp://itthon.hu/tourinform-mohacsTourinform Pécshttp://itthon.hu/tourinform-pecs
Duna-IpolyNational ParkHungaryDuna-Ipoly National Park (designated in 1997) ischaracterised by river valleys, mountains andplain. The most beautiful feature is the Danubebend,Hungary’s most frequently visited touristdestination.Floral diversity is extremely complex. ManyCarpathian species reach their south-westernborders and the Mediterranean species regionstretches this far as well. The unique botanicalvalue is Ferula sadleriana.The Danube-bend is home to rare and endemicsnail species. The river has the precious Barbel(Barbus peloponnesius petenyi). Predatory BushCrickets (Saga pedo) live in the dry, mountaingrasslands, with Snake-eyed Skink (Ablepharuskitaibeli)in the Pilis and Börzsöny Mountains.Duna-IpolyNational Park Directoratewww.dunaipoly.huSas Hill Protected Areawww.sas-hegy.huHungarian National Tourist Officewww.visit-hungary.comAccommodation:Rácz Inn - www.raczfogado.huHotel Regatta - www.hotelregatta.huHotel Grante - www.hotel.grante.huUseful links for touristsImportant birds include Saker Falcon (Falcocherrug), Eastern Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca)and Short-toed Snake Eagle (Circaetus gallicus).Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) nest also in the Park,and significant numbers of White-backedWoodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos) in the olderBörzsöny Mountain forests. Mammals includeLynx, Otter and Beaver.‘Plasque Flower’ Forest Schooland Kis-Strázsa Hill Nature TrailEsztergom Visitor Centre is an ideal place toget to know the National Park for the first time.Upstairs is a permanent exhibition introducing thenatural treasures of the Pilis Mountains.The 1.2 km Nature Trail can be explored in anhour; see the rocks forming the Pilis, Sand Martinsnesting in the loess wall and Bee-Eaters shiningin their tropical colours, as well as many daytimebutterflies. The Adonis vernalis field turns thewhole hillside yellow in spring. On the peak of themountain a wonderful view unfolds before us froman ex-military lookout tower.The Sas Hill Protected Area is in the very heartof our capital, with a breathtaking view over theDanube. It is a shelter and living museum for theancient flora and fauna of Budapest.ExcursionsThe flat surface, low traffic, wonderful naturalvalues, dense settlements, and the tourist servicesof Szentendre Island make this place ideal forbicycle tours. The National Park offers guidedcanoe excursions where you can explore therelatively intact parts of the Szentendre branch ofthe Danube. We step ashore at some interestingshore-habitats, and with the help of our guides,you can observe beaver traces or you have therare opportunity to catch a glimpse of Kingfishers(Alcedo atthis), Black Storks (Ciconia nigra) andother rare and protected mammal species of thefloodplain as well.15
Dunajské luhy ProtectedLandscape AreaSlovakia16Over 12,000 ha of floodplain forests, foreststeppes, meandering river side branches andlowland meadows begin right in Bratislava.Dunajské luhy is visited by many people from thecity and the region as well as many foreign tourists.There is a cycling route along the Danube givingaccess to the most valuable places in the heart ofthe biggest inland delta in Europe. This river-branchsystem is an important bird migration corridorand water bird wintering place, attracting manybirdwatchers. The Danube and its side branchesare used for canoeing, kayaking, swimming andfishing.There are many nature reserves here. TheProtected Landscape Area is divided into five parts;the last one is Veľký Lél island near Komárno. Thisisland is leased long-term by BROZ, and examplesof conservation management such as traditionalmeadow grazing by cattle and horses or native treeplanting can be seen here.Danube floodplain exhibitionsTwo interactive travelling exhibitions havebeen prepared – one telling the story of Danubefloodplain dynamics and birds living here and thesecond focused on the secret life of the recentlyendangered tiny rodent, the root vole, whichis represented here by its relict and endemicsubspecies of the Danubian lowland.These exhibitions are mostly shown in differentvisitor centres, schools, universities, museumsand administrations of protected areas. If you wishto visit or host either of these exhibitions pleasecontact BROZ (firstname.lastname@example.org).Dunajské luhy Protected Landscape Area isadministered and managed by the State NatureConservancy (The Administration of the ProtectedLandscape Area with offices in Bratislava,Dunajská Streda and Komárno).BROZ (Regional Association for NatureConservation and Sustainable Development), as anature conservation NGO, also deals largely withthe management of selected areas in Dunajskéluhy.Useful links for touristsBROZ - Regional Associationfor Nature Conservation andSustainable Developmentwww.broz.skThe Bratislava Cultureand Information Centrewww.bkis.skEcotrips www.ekovylety.skTips for trips in the Danube regionwww.tipnavylet.webnode.skGuided walks and environment educationwww.rangers.skBird monitoring and observationswww.watching.sk, www.birding.skCentre of Environmental Educationwww.sazp.sk/SEV/dropieZlatý Hucul horse riding clubwww.zlatyhucul.sk
Záhorie ProtectedLandscape AreaSlovakiaThe most valuable part of Záhorie region is a27,500 ha Protected Landscape Area (PLA)between the Morava river and the SmallCarpathians. There are many ecosystems in asmall area: submerged alder swamp woods ininterdunal depressions, extremely dry tops of sanddunes in the central parts of the lowland, a mixtureState Nature Conservancyof the Slovak Republicwww.sopsr.skRegional guidewww.ezahorie.skDevínska Nová Ves Tourist information centrewww.tikdnv.skHolíč Tourist information centrewww.en.holic.skUseful links for touristsof floodplain forests, oxbows and floodplainmeadows and xerothermal forest steppes on theslopes of the Small Carpathians.Various species of birds, amphibians and mammalscan be observed here from many trails crossing thearea. The geomorphological gateway to the regionfrom Bratislava is Devín castle, at the confluenceof the Morava and Danube. The central part of thearea is covered mostly by oak-pine forest and isfamous as a mushroom paradise.The slopes of the Small Carpathians provide manytourist trails starting in almost every village withwonderful views of the whole Záhorie region.Great Value of ZáhorieThere are tourist information centres in DevínskaNová Ves (north of Devín), Holíč and Skalica.Guides from local tourist information centres willguide you through the beautiful historical centreof Skalica. Near the village Kopčany you can findthe only remaining Great Moravian Building –St. Margaret’s Church.Záhorie Protected Landscape Area is administeredand managed by the State Nature Conservancy (inMalacky). BROZ (Regional Association for NatureConservation and Sustainable Development), as anature conservation NGO, has implemented manynature conservation projects and activities here aswell.17Skalica Tourist information centrewww.skalica.skEcotripswww.ekovylety.sk
Donau-AuenNational ParkAustria18Donau-Auen National Park is located betweenVienna and Bratislava. It covers 93 km², protectingimportant riverine wetlands.The Danube is still free flowing and is the lifelineof the park. The interplay of the river and itsenvironment means that the wetlands landscapeis constantly being renewed. Biodiversity isenormous, with over 800 vascular plant species,more than 30 mammalian, 100 breeding bird, 60fish, 13 amphibian and eight reptilian species, notto mention the countless terrestrial and aquaticinsects as well as invertebrates.The founding of the National Park in 1996 putthe area under lasting protection. The riparianforests remain sheltered from commercial use inorder to allow the ecosystem to develop as freelyas possible. Innovative river restoration projectsmaintain and improve the Danube’s dynamics.The National Park is embedded in a culturallandscape: Vienna, Eckartsau Castle, ImperialFestival Palace Hof, Hainburg medieval city,Carnuntum Archaeological Park.Visitor CentresThe Donau-Auen National Park Visitor Centrein Orth is the first stop on the journey of discoveryin the Danube wetlands. On a hands-on guidedtour through the ‘DonAUräume’ exhibit, NationalPark rangers explain how both the wetland forestsand the National Park have come about. Animalspecies native to the wetlands can be observedclose up from the Schlossinsel (‘Castle Island’)grounds. The main attraction is the underwaterobservatory, a window to the underwater world ofa former Danube river branch.The wien-lobAU National Park House (Vienna)offers information, the tonAU multimediaexhibition and many wetland-related recreationalactivities.Further information points are Eckartsau Castle(landscape garden), the Au-Terrasse lookoutin Stopfenreuth (views of the Danube), andthe Kulturfabrik Hainburg (Danube wetlandspanorama).Guided tours in the National ParkThis fascinating wetland landscape can beexperienced on land and water. You can go on aguided walk with a ranger, but the best way toexplore is a tour with a ranger in a canoe or rubberdinghy on the Danube or a side arm. Differenttopics are available, depending on season,weather, water levels and interests. The Danubecycle path also makes its way through the NationalPark.There are events focussing on special topics,workshops and programmes for school classes.Also, there are special adventures for our youngvisitors, who can spend several days in camps,encountering fascinating animals and plants.Useful links for touristsDonau-Auen National Parkwww.donauauen.atblog.donauauen.atwww.facebook.com/donauauenAustrian National Forests Operationswww.schlosseckartsau.atwien-lobAU National Park Housewww.nph-lobau.wien.atDonau NÖ Tourism, Auland-Carnuntumregional offices www.aulandcarnuntum.comVienna Tourism www.wien.info
DonauauwaldNeuburgIngolstadtGermanyThe well signed Danube cycling trail is the mostobvious connection for all nature lovers betweenthe old Bavarian cultural towns of Neuburg andIngolstadt. It leads through the Protected Area“Donauauwald Neuburg Ingolstadt”, where one ofthe biggest nature protection projects in Germany,the dynamization of the Danube floodplains, hasrecently been implemented. Apart from the natureexperience, visitors can find additional touristhighlights in this region.Indulge in culinary and cultural highlights in theholiday region of Neuburg:Schrobenhausen asparagus and potatoes fromDonaumoos; magnificent castles such as Neuburgan der Donau with the Bavarian state gallery andFlemish baroque painting.Donauauwald NeuburgIngolstadtwww.donauauen.dewww.auenzentrum-neuburg.deCity of Ingolstadtwww.ingolstadt-tourismus.deCity of Neuburgwww.neuburg-tourismus.deCounty of Neuburg-Schrobenhausenwww.neuburg-donau.de/tourismusUseful links for touristsIngolstadt seems to be an open-air museum ofGerman fortress architecture. Outstanding sightsin the old town, attractive leisure offers such asthe Audi Forum Ingolstadt, and an extraordinaryassembly of museums provide for an unforgettablevisit.Visitor centresThe Auenzentrum Neuburg is in Grünau Castle,in the former hunting grounds of Bavarian kingsand dukes in the Danube Floodplains. It consistsof a research institute, floodplain forum andfloodplain information centre. Find out about thewhole Danube River, the importance of floodplainecosystems, flood protection and revitalizationof rivers and floodplains. The Danube cycling trailgoes past, carrying 30,000 tourists every year.Renaturalisation measures in the Danubefloodplains, the functioning of the Danubewith its floodplains and forests as well as floodprotection measures are explained in an easilyunderstandable and pleasant way with the help ofmovies, animations and computer models.The Donaupavillon is at Ingolstadt barrage. It hasinformative temporary exhibitions regarding theDanube and its floodplains.Guided ExcursionsExcursions with certified guides are offeredbetween Neuburg and Ingolstadt, includingornithological hikes, culinary nature tours, andcycling tours to the highlights of the revitalizationproject. The programme is constantly updatedto suit the needs of visitors. The main gatewaysto the area are the Auenzentrum in GrünauCastle in the west and the Donaupavillon at theIngolstadt barrage in the east. All tours can bebooked in tourist information centres of Neuburgand Ingolstadt, at the Auenzentrum Neuburg, andonline.Nearby are Altmühltal Nature Park, Donaumooswetlands and visitor centre, and Weltenburgmonastery at the Danube break-through.19
1 Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve 2 Srebarna Nature Reserve 3 Kalimok-Brushlen Protected Site 4 Rusenski Lom Nature Park 5 Persina Nature Park 6 Djerdap National Park7 Gornje Podunavlje Special Nature Reserve 8 Kopački rit Nature Park 9 Lonjsko Polje Nature Park 10 Duna-Dráva National Park 11 Duna-Ipoly National Park12 Dunajské luhy Protected Landscape Area 13 Záhorie Protected Landscape Area 14 Donau-Auen National Park 15 Donauauwald Neuburg Ingolstadtc/o Donau-Auen National ParkSchloss Orth, 2304 Orth an der Donau, Austriam.email@example.com, www.danubeparks.orgnetwork of protected areas