This morning, after your cruise ship arrives in Constanta, you will be met at the pier by your private guide and driver for a full-day exploration of Romania’s second-largest city and one of the main ports on the Black Sea.
You will start with a walking tour of Constanta. Initially, a Greek colony called Tomis was founded here at around 500 BCE as a base for trade with the local tribes. The Roman Emperor Constantine later fortified and developed the city, and also renamed it after his sister. Nowadays, Constanta offers a charming Old Town, a few excellent museums, and a touch of Mediterranean ambience.
In the year 8 CE, the legendary Roman poet Ovid was extradited here by the Roman Emperor Augustus and wrote a poetry collection called ‘Epistulae ex Ponto’ (Letters from the Black Sea) in which he described the hardships of his exile and his longing for Rome, but also gave the first detailed information about the town, the region, and its inhabitants. Ovid died eight years after arriving in Tomis. A statue of Ovid now stands in the Ovid Square in front of the former Town Hall which now houses the Natural History Museum and the Archaeological Museum. The Archaeological museum features excellent collections of antique statues of deities including the remarkable Glycon Serpent – a mythological snake god with antelope’s head, snake body, and lion’s tail.
Also in this area, you will visit the site of a former complex of Roman public buildings from the 4th century which once linked the Upper Town with the harbor and now includes the remains of a fine mosaic floor discovered below street level. You may also see an open-air archaeological park displaying sections of the ancient fortress walls, statues, amphorae, and other historic remains.
After visiting Constanta's main attractions, you will continue to the Murfatlar village where the best local wines are produced. The history of winemaking here goes back to ancient times when Greek colonists planted the first vineyards in the 4th century BC. On top of a small hill, you will step into a cozy restaurant with a terrace overlooking the vineyards, where you will taste some local white and red wines while enjoying a folklore performance.
Later this afternoon, you will transfer back to Constanta and return to your ship in time for its departure.