National Parks - Natural Sights in Hungary

Hungary is an extraordinarily rich country of Europe, as for its natural beauties. Our wonderful national parks, idyllic rivers, picturesque lakes, untouched woods with they rich flora and fauna, our hundreds of thermal baths, not to mention our historic wine regions, makes Hungary a paradise for lovers of nature, spas...or wines...

Lake Balaton - “The Sea of Hungary” This is the most popular holiday resort of Hungary, and the biggest lake in Middle Europe, as we call it: “The Hungarian Sea”. It’s shallow, pleasantly warm and very clear water, huge surface, abundance of fish, the nice beaches, marinas and cycle paths all around, the picturesque volcanic hills and vineyards of the famous Badacsony wine region, the Káli Basin with its charming villages and unique formations of basalt “organ pipes” or “sea of stones”, and Tihany Peninsula with its thatched village houses and the Benedictine Abbey, all make Balaton an ideal place for summer holidays. Swimming, sailing or windsurfing, cycling, fishing or bird watching are all very popular activities here, not to mention tasting the famous pikeperch (“fogas”) with some good wine in one of the lovely restaurants. The view of the lake with its beautiful colours and the surrounding hills, or the sunsets reflecting on the water (the locals call this “golden bridge”) are hard to compare with anything else... (You can enjoy this lovely lake on our Castles and spas around West HungaryCastles and Wines around Lake BalatonCastles and Lakes - Budapest - Vienna and Mansions and Wines in South Hungary tours)

The Danube Bend This is one of the most scenic areas of Hungary, where the most international river of Europe turns from east-western direction towards south. The region begins at Esztergom, where the centre of the Hungarian Catholic Church, and the biggest cathedral of Hungary can be found. The small city used to be our first capital, where our first king St Stephen was born and crowned. The most spectacular place of the area is Visegrád, with the ruins of one of the most beautiful 15th century Renaissance royal palaces of Europe, and the 13th century Citadel on the top of the hills, where the panorama is simply breathtaking. Szentendre, a colourful little Baroque town, with several Serbian-Orthodox churches, and plenty of museums, souvenir shops and restaurants, is also a significant part of this extensive resort area (You can enjoy this amazing region on our Best selection of the Danube in Hungary and Best of Danube - Budapest - Vienna tours)

Szigetköz A beautiful and rather big island of the Danube in North-West Hungary, with a labyrinth of idyllic small river branches, tiny islands and oxbow lakes. This is a paradise for fishing, bird watching, cycling or canoeing. Few of the oldest trees of Hungary, lovely thermal baths, a wonderful 400 years old castle, and one of the nicest Baroque towns of Hungary (Győr) can be found here. The best way to discover the beauties of Szigetköz is riding a bicycle or taking a canoe tour. (You can enjoy this picturesque area on our Castles and spas around West HungaryBest selection of the Danube in Hungary and Best of Danube - Budapest - Vienna tours)

Danube-Dráva National Park A rather unknown and unspoiled region in South Hungary with beautiful backwater forests along the River Dráva and Danube. A wonderful area with one of the richest habitats in Europe of deers, and rare birds, such as the kingfisher, black stork, saker or white tailed eagle. It is also worth taking a canoe tour here along the small arms of the Danube. (You can enjoy this unknown area on our Mansions and Wines in South Hungary tour)

Lake Fertő / Neusiedler See This is the westernmost Eurasian steppe lake, one of the most significant water habitats, and the largest alkaline lake of Europe, and its huge surface expands both in Austria and Hungary. It belongs to the Fertő-Hanság National Park and the World Heritage. This relatively small area is an interesting meeting point of a sub-Mediterranean, a sub-Alpine, and a continental climate. The rather shallow water, and the big parts of the lake that are covered by reeds, provide a nice home for more than 200 kinds of nesting birds, and many rare plant species. The vineyards on the slopes of the Lajta Hills produce excellent wines, and an unusual quarry from the Roman times with enormous halls offers special acoustics for opera / musical performances, and an unparalleled view of the lake. The small town Sopron, one of the richest in historic buildings of Hungary, and the magnificent Esterházy palace where Joseph Haydn was the court musician for about 30 years, or the castle of István Széchenyi, the “Greatest Hungarian” also belong to the lots of sights here. The lake is a wonderful place for windsurfing, sailing, swimming, and for bike trips, as it is surrounded by very nice cycle paths. (You can enjoy this lovely area on our Castles and spas around West HungaryBest of Danube - Budapest - Vienna and Castles and Lakes - Budapest - Vienna tours)

Hortobágy National Park with Lake Tisza Hortobágy is the largest continuous natural steppe in Europe, formed by natural habitats, alkaline grasslands, meadows, and smaller or bigger marshes enclosed between them. It’s part of the famous Hungarian “Puszta” and the World Heritage. “It is an island on the continent. Island, because it is surrounded by the sea of the civilized world.” said Mór Jókai, a famous Hungarian writer.The marshes and fishponds here are significant bird habitats and resting places of Europe. More than 340 bird species are registered in Hortobágy, and about 150 of them nest here. The mirage, the gorgeous sunsets with flying flocks of birds, the grazing herds of traditional Hungarian domestic animals: grey-cattle, racka sheep, mangalica pigs, and herds of gallopping horses belong to the outstanding landscape features of Hortobágy, as well as the sweep-pole wells, which are symbols of the Hungarian grasslands. Taking a horse carriage ride  here you can enjoy all these sights, a spectacular horse show, and an insight into the life and skills of the local herdsmen.Lake Tisza is a fantastic bird paradise and water-world, a reservoir made on the River Tisza (second biggest and a really picturesque river of Hungary). Its different parts with lovely beaches, huge open water surfaces, idyllic small channels among reeds and woods, with wonderful white and yellow water-lily carpets, all offer perfect possibilities for swimming windsurfing, canoeing, bird watching, fishing, or just enjoying the peacefulness of the untouched nature. It is worth taking a small boat tour, or cycling around the lake to enjoy the colourful and unique landscape. (You can enjoy this wonderful area on our Tokaj Wines-Lake Tisza tour)

The unique Wine Region of Tokaj The name Tokaj is identified with wine all over the world. This is the home of the noblest sweetwine of the world, the Tokaj Aszú. The wellknown French King Louis XIV called it “the Wine of Kings, and the King of Wines”. This beautiful area in north-eastern Hungary among the hills of Tokaj includes 27 small towns. Owing to the exceptional microclimate, the characteristic volcanic soil, the protected southern exposure of the gentle slopes, the autumn mists rising from the River Bodrog and Tisza, the special treatment in casks made of local oak trees, the ancient cellars covered by noble mould, and the local expertise and respect for tradition, all play important role in creating the peerless bouquet and golden colour of the unique sweetwine: the Tokaj Aszú. Of course the other Tokaj wines: Szamorodni, Furmint, Hárslevelű and Muskotály are also widely well known. They started to make Aszú wine here already in the 17th century, and the nice mansions and castles from this time, and the picturesque vineyards make the atmosphere of the region even more unique. This unique wine-region is part of the World Heritage, and our Castles and Wines in North Hungary and Tokaj Wines - Lake Tisza tours.

Stalactite caves of the Aggtelek Karst “During the whole of my trip to Europe I gained my deepest and most lasting impressions in your stalactite cave of Aggtelek...your small country possesses, in this cave, a unique underground treasure...which deserves to be well-known and admired by the whole world...The stalactite cave of Aggtelek deserves to be mentioned alongside the most magnificent geographical phenomena of the world, the Grand canyon of Colorado, or the Niagara Falls...” said Lloyd Trevor, a Canadian geographer. The largest cave system of Central Europe, with more than 200 caves can be found here in the Aggtelek National Park. The longest one, the Baradla cave is about 25 km. This is a magical world of wonderful dripstone formations with various sizes, colours, and extraordinary shapes. Some of them got even special names, such as Mother in Law’s Tongue, Dragon Head, or the Hall of Giants, where you can listen to some of the well-known melodies with unbelievable acoustics. This unique experience cannot be missed, as well as a tour along the beautiful small streams, tarns, woods and tiny villages of this hidden and untouched area of north-eastern Hungary. This absolutely spectacular sight is part of the World Heritage, and our Castles and Wines in North Hungary tour.

Hungary - “The land of thermal baths, lakes and rivers” Hungary has such an outstanding thermal water reserve, which is unique throughout Europe. Most of the mineral and medicinal waters are very rich in minerals and have a rather good healing effect. There are more than 1000 springs in Hungary, which provide medicinal and hot water with a temperature above 30 ºC. We have about 150 thermal baths, and 36 of them have a rather special therapeutic water. The second biggest Natural Thermal Lake of the world can be found in Hévíz, near Lake Balaton. The lake, in a wonderful park with its dark green water and lovely water lilies, is a uniquely beautiful sight, and this is one of the most famous cure resorts of Europe. With about 30 thermal baths, Budapest is the spa-capital of the world. It is worth visiting some of the nicest ones: the elegant Gellért Bath with its secessionist pomp, or the Széchenyi Bath in the Citypark. Already the Romans discovered the mineral water springs here, and we still have some of the Turkish baths that were built in the middle ages, and are in function even now. The only cave bath of Europe is situated in north-eastern Hungary. Hungary is the land of waters. Wherever you go, you can find small and charming thermal baths, or big “aqua parks” with several swimming pools and cure possibilities, more and more lovely “wellness” hotels with refreshing swimming pools are waiting for the tourists, and we have plenty of beautiful smaller or bigger lakes and rivers with nice beaches, offering a lot of possibilities for water sports. Swimming, sailing, windsurfing, and fishing, taking canoe tours on our peaceful and picturesque rivers, all are very popular activities here, and we have many swimmers, kayakers, and a water-polo team, who are not just accidentally several times world and olympic champions.... You can enjoy our spas, lakes and rivers on all our Bike Tours