MAMAIA vs THE REST | : by Torghitza

versusA friend of mine said he paid 20 ron for a pint of beer in a Mamaia club last night and he said that is about the same as in his expensive home country up north in Scandinavia. I told him I paid 3 ron for a pint on my local beach terrace last night far away from the fashionable stir of Mamaia.

- DId you have fun then? I asked. - No, not really. I prefer Malaga - if I have to pay that price for a drink, and it all looks the same. Well, I was kind enough not to tell him I had great fun seeing some old Romanian friends coming home from the south of Italy singing and dancing on a modest wooden platform on the Navodari Tabara beach. Without laser effects.

The mayor of Constanta said two years ago that he did not want middle class Brits, Scandinavians or other Europeans to Mamaia, but rich Arabs and Russians who could afford to have real fun. Or rich Romanians who could afford to bring their girlfriend to a five star hotel and pay for it. It may seem like an arrogant and absurd statement, but was probably very honest and likely the genuine motivation for his developing plans of the seaside resort - which is basically the main image of Constanta City during summer. The Mamaia hoteliers -  who usually agree with the Mayor in order to stay in business - did not agree this time and said kindly they wanted all kinds of tourists, even middle class famlilies. And with this response the controversial statements of the Mayor faded away in the Mamaia sand.

Mamaia IS the most modern and well developed Romanian seaside resort. No doubt about it. This summer it also looks  a bit like a construction site, but it obviously will bring further improvements to the resort once finished. The Telegondola - the cable car -  and the water park Aqua Magic are huge successes - also the new hotels and their surroundings. Nightlife is hot during the main season and all in all Mamaia can compete with any Spanish or Greek resort in looks and standards. So far so good.

However, Mamaia is not Romania in the real sense of the word. If you want a a beach side holiday in style without any local surprises, you may be happy in Mamaia of course. But the Romanian atmosphere - good or bad - is missing due to extreme commercialism and the international profile. And if you have come to Romania to enjoy low prices it is absolutely the wrong place.  The plain fact is that the Romanian Riviera - or Litoral as the Romanian put it - is far more interesting further north or further south of Constanta. If you have come to Romania to experinece Romania you should actually avoid Mamaia or at least visit the other resorts two or threee days at least.

Like Eforie Nord which is the second largest resort after Mamaia. This resort is dominated by Romanian families, the centre is small and vivid, prices lower and the resort has beaches with different atmospheres , some crowded, some far more spacious heading towards to the  neighboring resort Eforie Sud.  A lot of kitch rubbish sold everywhere, but this is Romania. And if you look well enough you may find souvenirs that are worth bringing home.

If you even want more Romania you may settle down in Eforie Sud for your holiday. Big parks, a wonderful faleza and great beaches. Spacious and peaceful, even in August. If you are young you may be off to Costinesti where students camp on becahes or stay in cheap pensions, if you want to see where the old communist regime used to enjoy their summer holidays; go to the partly elegant resort of Neptun or further south to the white and beautiful town of Mangalia. Just to mention a few of the other resorts beyond Mamaia-

And you will never pay 20 ron for a pint in neither of these resorts mentioned above.

Wherever you are: Enjoy your Romanian summer!


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