Ovidiu Island, a unique attraction near Mamaia
Ovidiu Island, located on Siutghiol Lake, 5 kilometers away from Mamaia shore and 500 meters from Ovidiu city, is one of the most unusual places on the Romanian seaside, being the only sight that functions on a natural island that locals have turned into an attraction for tourists.
Ovidiu Island is of calcareous origin, created by nature thousands of years ago. The island is about 26,000 square meters, about half of the surface area being developed for tourism. According to the researches carried out on the Island, the oldest settlements in the area date back to the Thraco-Getae and Getae Dacian times.
Ovidiu used to be called Canara (Turkish, kanara) but in 1930, the town was renamed Ovidiu after the Roman poet Ovid (Ovidius in Latin). He was probably buried on a nearby small island (also called Ovidiu) on the Siutghiol Lake. The legend says that during his exile, poet Publius Ovidius Naso retreated on this piece of land in order to write lyrics, so the island was named after his name.
In the past, the island was inhabited by fishermen and gardeners due to the high quality of the soil.
After its tourist potential was identified, Ovidiu Island was turned into a relaxation spot for tourists, which remained up to the present. During his staying on the island, Ovidiu would have written ’Tristia’ and ‘Pontic’ epistles inspired by the life and habits of the people here. The exact place of Ovid’s grave is a dilemma, but few historical sources indicate this very island to be the place where the poet was buried and which now bears his name. Moreover, experts found no evidence showing the presence of the poet Ovidius on this small island on the lake. However, the legend stays and there are still people who strongly believe in its veracity.
Tourists can reach the island by ship or by boat; boats depart daily from 10.00 – 24.00, on demand, from a specially equipped pontoon in Mamaia. For about 20 to 30 minutes you can enjoy a quiet ride on the lake. The cost of a round trip ticket is RON 25 for adults and RON 20 for children aged 10 to 14. Once you get on the island, you wake up as if in another world, surrounded by green space that invites you to relaxation.