Photo by: Gabor Rozsa Caption: Hiking through Badacsony offers trekkers some unique landscapes!
Hiking Through Hungary
Gone are the days of a luxurious vacation lounging around in the sun, drinking cocktails adorned with fruit and mini-umbrellas… well, okay, those types of vacations aren’t actually gone: Travel trends suggest that people just want a little more excitement during their vacation these days. Adventure vacations are the hot ticket, and people love to take a break by hiking in a foreign backcountry and skiing some of the world’s most treacherous mountains. I’m all for that! We can relax in the sun with our tropical cocktail after we’ve tempted fate with Mother Nature!
One of the more popular hiking destinations is Europe. Many people love to experience Europe by backpacking throughout the entire continent, but I’m going to zero in on Hungary for this blog post. Hungary is the perfect travel destination for hikers; its geography just screams, “come on! Hike me!” Hungary is filled with mountains, forests, and flatlands worth traversing on foot. The country has countless hiking trails plainly marked and set aside for adventurers looking for an active vacation. Let’s go hiking! You ready?
- Countrywide Blue Tour: Hungary’s Countrywide Blue Tour is the oldest designated hiking trail in Europe. Mapped out in 1938, this trail is the crème-de-la-crème of hiking conquests in this small country, and hikers are awarded for completing the journey. The Countrywide Blue Tour takes hikers through Hungary’s most beautiful natural and man-made sites. The tour begins on top of Irottk? Mountain, which sits on the Austrian-Hungarian border and measures at an altitude of 2,900 feet, then takes you clear across Hungary to the small village of Hollóháza, which sits on the Hungarian-Slovakian border. Once all is said and done, you will have traversed a total of 701.03 miles and seen castles, forts, designated World Heritage Sites, mountains, plains, volcanoes, the Danube River, and tons more!
- Badacsony: Speaking of volcanoes, the Badacsony region, which you’ll find nestled on the north shore of Lake Balaton, offers hikers a chance to climb the volcanoes that formed the unique and inspiring land many moons ago. The area’s largest volcano, also named Badacsony, begs hikers to scale its irregular shape – some liken it to a coffin – and claim victory at the top… well, actually, it’s only 984 feet high, but your friends don’t need to know that! Something else the volcanoes helped create makes this Hungarian region worth visiting: Vineyards! The volcanic soil in this region has proven to be perfect for growing grapes and producing fine wine, and the Badacsony region is also known as Hungary’s wine region, with vineyards dating back to ancient Roman times. After a long hike up the volcanoes, you can relax at one of the local vineyards and enjoy some fine Hungarian food and wine.
- Amber Trail: The Amber Trail is another long trek through Hungary, as well as Slovakia and Poland. The Amber Trail is a historic trade route between the three countries, and hikers will spend many days tackling this picturesque trail. Your trek starts little more than six miles north of Budapest in Szentendre Village. The village itself is a sight to see, with an arts, culture, and shopping scene all of its own. You’ll traverse the Danube Bend and enjoy Hungary’s glorious mountains, some forest land, the castle in Visegrad, and Hungary’s famous Ezstergom town. After crossing the Danube River, you’ll continue your trek through Slovakia and conclude your journey 75 miles later in Krakow, Poland. This isn’t for the faint of heart, as the walks are about 10 miles each day. The scenery, both natural and man-made, is worth it, though.
These three Hungarian treks are just a few of the many great routes to take while hiking through Hungary. The country has thousands of hiking trails, and the prime minster is setting aside funding for more. You can hike the entire country or spend your days taking smaller hikes throughout Hungary’s national parks. No matter where you are in Hungary, there’s probably a hiking trail sure to please you with beautiful scenery. Just look for the trail markings painted on the trees and enjoy your extreme vacation hiking through Hungary!