Walking in Hungary

32 routes through upland areas

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1 Jul 2003
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.5cm

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Guidebook to 32 walks throughout upland Hungary, with its landscape of rolling hills, high karst meadows, vineyards, crags, castles and villages. The ancient trails of the country are now a network of walking paths with a good system of coloured waymarks. Background information on preparing for walking in the country also included.

Seasons Seasons
May–end August is good, but it can be hot and busy. Sept–Nov is cooler and quieter. Winter is cold and is the hunting season.
Centres Centres
Pécs, Veszprém, Eger, Miskolc, Sátoraljaújhely, Aggtelek, Budapest, Szilvásvárad, Mátra, Telkibánya, Zirc
Difficulty Difficulty
Varied hillwalking. Half-day and daywalks.
Must See Must See
Aggtelek, Magas-Tax hostel, beehive stones, Eger, Kékes, Boldogkó castle, Pálháza forest train, Lake Balaton, Máré-vár
Tó-hegy karst (Photo by Tom Chrystal)
1 Jul 2003
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.5cm
  • Overview

    A complete, full-colour guide, with 32 wallking routes throughout upland Hungary. 

    Most visitors are unaware of Hungary's secret highland landscape ofrolling hills, high karst meadows, vineyards, crags, castles andvillages. The volcanic mountains and limestone plateaux stretch in achain from the Slovakian border to central-west and southern Hungary.

    The ancient trails of the country are now a network of walkingpaths with a good system of coloured waymarks. The guide gives afascinating insight into the history and geography of the country, aswell as supplying tips on walking in the countryside, and a list ofuseful words and phrases.

  • Contents

    The Highlands of Hungary
    How the Guide is Organised
    Getting to Hungary
    When to Go Walking
    Clothing and Accessories
    Rural Accommodation
    Getting Around Hungary
    Forestry, Hunting, National Parks, Privatisation and Access
    Village Facilities
    Flora, Fungi and Fauna
    Village Life
    A History of Hungary’s Walking Movements
    The National Blue Route
    Walks in Northern Hungary
    The Aggtelek
    Walk 1 – Jósvafő-Aggtelek Circuit
    Walk 2 – Jósvafő to Bódvaszilas
    Walk 3 – Tornanádaska to Szögliget
    The Börzsöny
    Walk 4 – Királyrét and Csóványos
    Walk 5 – Nagy-Mána Ridge
    Walk 6 – Nagy-Hideg-hegy to Kemence
    Walk 7 – Királyháza to Diósjenő
    Walk 8 – Drégelypalánk to Diósjenő
    The Bükk
    Walk 9 – The High Bükk: Szilvásvárad to Répáshuta
    Walk 10 – The High Bükk: Lillafüred to Répáshuta
    Walk 11 – The Beehive Stones: Eger to Cserépváralja
    The Mátra
    Walk 12 – Mátraháza to Mátraszentistván
    Walk 13 – Ágasvár and Csörgő-patak
    Walk 14 – The Mátra ridge way (east section)
    The Zemplén
    Walk 15 – Nagy-Milic and Füzér Castle
    Walk 16 – Hollóháza to Füzér
    Walk 17 – Rostalló to Mogyoróska
    Walk 18 – Telkibánya to Regéc
    Walk 19 – Mogyoróska to Boldogkőváralja
    Walks in Transdanubia
    The Bakony
    Walk 20 – Cuha Valley
    Walk 21 – Ördög-árok
    The Balaton Uplands
    Walk 22 – Kuruc-körút
    Walk 23 – Badacsony to Szigliget
    Walk 24 – Gyulakeszi to Köveskál
    The Buda Hills
    The Mecsek
    Walk 25 – Magyaregregy to Óbánya
    Walk 26 – Óbánya Circuit (via Réka-vár)
    Walk 27 – Kisújbánya to Váralja
    Walk 28 – Jakab-hegy
    The Pilis and Visegrád hills
    Walk 29 – Dobogókő Circuit
    Walk 30 – Pilisszántó Circuit
    Walk 31 – Nagy-Kevély
    Walk 32 – Szent László Valley and Visegrád Fortress
    The Vértes
    Walk 33 – Southern Vértes Escarpment
    Walk 34 – Szárliget to Várgesztes

    Appendix 1 The Hungarian Language and Notes on Pronunciation
    Appendix 2 Glossary of Useful Words and Phrases
    Appendix 3 Glossary of Hungarian Topographical Terms
    Appendix 4 Useful Addresses and Telephone Numbers

  • Maps

    The theory is that if you keep to one waymark colour you need only continue to the end of the route. In practice waymarks tend to be conspicuous when the track is obvious and absent at complicated junctions. Waymarking is improving, but many were painted a long time ago and are obscured by vegetation, weathered, or the trees they were on have been felled. Old green waymarks tend to turn blue with age and vice versa. Therefore the ability to read a map is important and also adds to the enjoyment of walking. The Hungarian company Cartographia publishes a series of excellent walking maps (turistatérkép) in 1:40 000 and other scales. Official walking routes are denoted on the maps as red lines and the different route colours are distinguished by a letter: K (kék=blue), P (piros=red), S (sárga=yellow) and Z (zöld= green). A selection of hotels, hostels, campsites, country restaurants, snack bars and even petrol stations are also marked on the maps. Understanding map references is useful for one or two walks in the guide, and an ability to use a compass is helpful at complicated forest trail junctions where visibility is restricted but not essential.

    In Hungary Cartographia’s maps can be bought in most book shops in cities and towns, but the main stockist is their shop in Budapest (see Appendix 4). Apart from the most tourist-aware settlements small village shops do not usually stock walking maps, but try the post office, any large hotels in the area or the local museum. The relevant map name and number for a specific region is at the beginning of each route description.

    Cartographia’s maps are fairly accurate and updated regularly, but be aware that even the most recent issue cannot keep up with all changes caused by privatisation. The following points are worth noting.

    • With the exception of the Balaton map only a selection of the more common symbols are explained in Hungarian map keys. Refer to the glossary in Appendix 3 for a translation of the symbols and common topographical terms.
    • The letter H within a square is a hotel and not a hospital. A hospital or doctor’s surgery is a cross within a circle.
    • Hungarian maps are fragile and will soon fall apart. Map cases are fine but expensive, add bulk and weight, and are not indestructible. A strong clear plastic bag is adequate protection from rain or perspiring fingers and is inexpensive to replace.
    • A common error is to assume that the red lines on the map (the official waymarked routes) will be very obvious on the ground. Unlike the faint dotted lines on the map denoting tracks, the red lines tend to stand out, but they might be less obvious on the ground.
    • In a few examples the superimposition of the red lines on the map can be inaccurate enough to place the waymarked route on the wrong side of a stream or valley. It is not a common problem but the knack to not getting lost in the forest is to balance waymark awareness with good map reading.
    • Military maps (katonai térkép) in the standard 1:50 000 and 1:25 000 scales are available in a few specialist shops in Budapest. There is really no need to buy these more expensive maps as the walks in this guide are covered by the Cartographia series, which is sufficiently accurate for following waymarked trails.
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    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews
    'Cicerone is more prolific than ever with titles galore coming out that send us spinning around all points of the compass with mouth-watering inspiration.
        Hungary does not spring to mind as a walking holiday destination but this book drew back the curtain on a fascinating variety of landscapes. Hungary’s secret highlands of rolling hills, high karst meadows, vineyards, sink-holes and crags are complemented by 13thC castle ruins and forest villages, criss-crossed by hundreds of trails with a system of coloured waymarks set up in the 19thC.'

    (Outdoor Pursuits December 2002)

  • Downloads

Tom Chrystal

Tom Chrystal was born in Huntly, north-east Scotland, and began walking in the eastern Grampians of his native Aberdeenshire. He has walked in over 30 mountain and wilderness areas in 15 countries. Beáta Dósa was born in Mezkövesd in north-east Hungary and is a freelance interpreter and translator. She has enjoyed walking throughout her life.

View Guidebooks by Tom Chrystal

Beáta Dósa

Beáta Dósa was born in Mezkövesd in north-east Hungary and is a freelance interpreter and translator. She has enjoyed walking throughout her life.

View Guidebooks by Beáta Dósa