Introduction

The bulging estuaries formed by rivers flowing into the Black Sea, known locally as limany, are easily the most noticeable geographical feature of the Odesa region. The largest one is formed by the Dnister, which originates in the Carpathians and flows through Moldova for much of its 1350km route. For centuries, the Dniester liman was controlled by the mighty Akkerman fortress, which remains intact in the town of Bilhorod Dnistrovsky. Both banks are covered in vineyards, with one of Ukraine's most famous wineries located in the former Swiss village of Shabo. White-sand beaches in the mouth of the river lure hordes of domestic holidaymakers, as well as unscrupulous real estate developers – a bad combination with disastrous consequences for the area's natural beauty.