Romania’s Black Sea coast (the litoral) holds the promise of white beaches, dazzling water and an average of ten to twelve hours of sunshine a day between May and October. Under communism, over a million people flocked to the resorts during the season; visitor numbers subsequently halved but have since recovered, with far better conditions than previously. Travelling from Bucharest or the Delta, your first stop on the coast will almost certainly be Constanţa, a relaxed seaport-cum-riviera town, dotted with Turkish, Byzantine and Roman remains, which has always seemed to keep a discreet distance from the surrounding resorts.
North of Constanţa, Mamaia is indisputably the coastal hot spot, swarming with hotels and buzzing with nightlife, while the multiplicity of resorts to the south, merging imperceptibly with one another, are more uniform; their seasons are also much shorter. Mangalia is the only town of any real size south of Constanţa and the one place not dependent upon tourism, beyond which lie the twin resorts of Doi Mai and Vama Veche. Located just a few kilometres from the Bulgarian border, they offer a more relaxed vibe and a welcome escape from the crowds.