Discover Hungary with Travel Hungary

Although situated in the very heart of Europe and bordered by seven other countries, this small kidney-shaped country is quite unlike the rest of the European continent. Travel in Hungary has something for nearly everyone. If you only want to go deep sea diving or ocean yacht racing then this country is not for you but for nearly everyone else it offers an enormous choice of holiday experiences. While some of its neighbours may have more dramatic scenery or more important monuments, our country abounds in things to see and do. For those who know it only by reputation, Hungary is likely to conjure up images such as the ‘Puszta’ or Great Plain, herds of Hungarian grey cattle and flocks of ‘Racka’ sheep, but with its preserved environment of unspoilt beauty, this country offers the ideal setting for both a wide range of leisure activities and for a cure or recuperation at spa hotels.

Some of the possibilities for the more active are taking a ride across the country on horse-back, cycling, taking a refreshing country hike, playing golf, water skiing, sailing or rowing down one the country’s many slow or fast running rivers. For those who wish to maintain or to improve their health or to sooth the mind there is a wide range of thermal spa hotels and water parks in glorious country settings. And for those who may be looking for relaxation or culture there are the fine beaches, superb fishing lakes, wine tours, some of the best bird watching areas in Europe, fascinating historic towns with eye catching and distinctive architecture and much more.

In addition to all these activities everywhere you go you will find festivals taking place. The Hungarians really love festivals so you will find village festivals, food festivals, artistic festivals, classical, traditional and popular music festivals, street music festivals where anyone who dares to can stand in front of the public and perform, folk festivals, wine festivals and yet again many more. Also everywhere you go you will find reasonably priced good quality restaurants and markets selling homemade produce, local crafts, antiques and bric-a-brac.

Lake Balaton – The Hungarian Sea

Hungarians call Lake Balaton, central Europe’s largest fresh water lake, the Hungarian sea. When Hungary was reduced in size by the Trianon Treaty following World War 1 The lake became Hungarians’ number one vacation resort as some seashore along the Adriatic sea was taken away by this treaty. All members of the family will find something to do at Lake Balaton whether it’s bathing, sailing, biking, hiking, horse riding, fishing, playing golf, wine tasting, enjoying fine Hungarian cuisine, bargaining at markets or enjoying the colourful nightlife events and venues in Keszthely, Siófok, Zamárdi, Balatonboglár and Balatonfüred which are the main towns around the lake.

The average depth of Lake Balaton is 3 to 4 meters. The water is the deepest between the Siófok and Szemes basins at the so-called Tihany well which has a depth of 11.5 meters. The length of Lake Balaton is 77 kilometres between Keszthely and Balatonakarattya and the width of lake Balaton varies between 3 and 14 kilometres. The narrowest part of the lake is between Tihany and Szántód where the only car ferry service on the lake operates during the summer. There are numerous passenger ferries to take you from town to town as well as local train and bus services.

The one time volcanic hills of the region of Badacsony reflect in the smooth water surface on the northern shore while on the south side of the lake you’ll find sandy beaches between Balatonaliga and Balatongyörök perfect for bathing and sunbathing. The shallow water along the southern shore warms rather quickly during summer reaching around 26-28 °C. In the evening the water feels warmer than the air and the last beams of the setting sun create a romantic, colourful setting to an evening dip in the velvety water.

Spa and Wellness

Hungary has over 1,000 hot springs, several hundred of which supply the warm water found in the lakes, water parks, open air pools, indoor spas and hotel baths which are open to the public. Our  abundant thermal waters have been enjoyed since Roman times in the 2nd century AD. None of the Roman baths remain but some can still be found that date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Many of the baths, which can have temperatures up to 38ºC are used by those who “want to take the waters” for medicinal purposes to treat respiratory, muscular, cardiac, gynaecological and other conditions. Becoming ever more popular though are the clear water organic shaped water parks that bubble, squirt and spurt at different rhythms and temperatures (24ºC to 34ºC) and will have slips, slides, wave machines and other water fun features. Heviz is the most famous of Hungary’s spa towns as it is the home of Gyogyto which is Europe’s largest and warmest thermal lake. A day here is essential for anyone visiting the Lake Balaton region.

Cycling Tours

Hungary has developed dramatically in recent years in response to the increasing demand for cycling tourism. Today, we have more than 2,000 kilometres of cycle trails stretching across the land and thousands more kilometres of country roads. In the last few years, cycling services have risen to European standards, with repair shops, and hotel, camping and catering outlets dotted along the cycle tracks. Cycling is now permitted in a number of hilly and woodland regions, including national parks, but it is important to know that cyclists must keep to marked routes. Since the 1990s there has been an increasing social demand for a healthy way of life along with an environmental consciousness, so cycling has become part of society’s active lifestyle.

One of the most popular bike tours in the country is the cycle route all the way around the Lake Balaton which takes you mainly on the wonderful bike road around Lake Balaton. The North and East shore of the Lake Balaton has mainly flat stages with some gentle hills while the south and the west shores are completely flat. This tour will introduce you to this most famous Holiday Resort of Hungary. Lake Balaton with its with water surface of 600 square kilometres and its shoreline of approximately 200 kilometres is the largest natural fresh water lake in Europe. The southern shore of the lake has extremely safe shallow water beaches and is famous for its panoramic views and spectacular sunsets. On the northern shore you will find hills, meadows, forests and ravines as well as the vineyards which produce a variety of white wines. You can make a small 7 kilometre diversion to Hévíz, a spa medical centre from the time of the Roman emperors. This bike tour is suitable for all cyclists including families and seniors as it can be completed without difficulty.

Hiking Holidays

We have numerous beautiful natural areas, many of which provide excellent opportunities for hiking and many which can only be reached by hiking. You will find a wide variety of attractive landscapes in the different regions, some of which feature strange and unusual rich diversity of different terrains and landscapes Hikers will also enjoy the extensive and often very beautiful forests within the borders of Hungary where they will see an interesting variety of Hungarian animals and birds. Hikers can also explore several natural areas that are officially designated as national parks and have marked hiking trails to suit hikers of different fitness levels and ability. Blotches of usually clearly visible paint on trees are used to mark the hiking trails in Hungary.

Golf Tours

A good way to refresh your body and soul is to spend a few hours on one of the several Hungarian golf courses which are all situated in a beautiful, natural peaceful areas Golf provides great fitness and exercise that both adults and children of all ages can benefit from. Golf is low-impact but provides good cardio, core stability and mental focus that the golfer can use off the course as well as on. It is also important to remember that golf is a sport affected by the weather and in Hungary the number of playable days are 220 a year. On the course the services you can expect to find include e-cart, trolley, covered driving range tees, chipping, pitching & putting greens, golf academy, proshop, and unlimited usage of range balls. There will be a clubhouse with a relaxed atmosphere that will provide quick snacks and a restaurant where guests can enjoy the country’s culinary specialities. Choose a golfing trip and combine it with high-class accommodation, wellness, spa and thermal facilities plus delicious food and you have an outstanding and unforgettable golfing holiday experience.

Fishing Hoildays

Fishing is a very popular pastime amongst the local Hungarian population but Hungary has also become one of the leading coarse fishing destinations in Europe. We have warm clean waters which provide very pleasant fishing conditions and an exceptionally high quality and quantity of fish caught. Big catches of fish such as Carp, Cat fish, Zander (Pike/Perch), Bream and Pike can be expected. The Hungarian Carp record stands at over 100lb and this is what you might find yourself pulling in. Hungary is blessed with a wealth of natural lakes of all sizes, reservoirs, quarry lakes, ox-bows, irrigation canals and picturesque rivers, providing the visiting fishermen a wide selection to choose from. The total fishable area of Hungarian waters exceeds 130,000 hectares, and the annual total Hungarian catch is around five thousand tons. The haul is guaranteed, so you shouldn’t leave disappointed.

The carp pictured was a world record common carp of 100lb-plus which was caught by an Austrian angler Roman Hanke fishing in Hungary.

Horse Riding Holidays

Horses have played an important role in Hungarian history for thousands of years. The ancestors of the current Hungarians, arrived from the steppes of the Urals conquered the Carpathian Basin on horseback, and Europe quaked at Hungarian arrows. Later the Hungarian hussars showed their equestrian mettle, winning fame in the 15th century for their courage, mobility and the speed of their horses in the wars against the Turks. The figure of the hussar is deeply imprinted in the Hungarian psyche and by the 18th century had become the most popular of soldiers. His decorative uniform, military style and tactical role created a renaissance in military costume. Today there are Hungarian cowboys who can stand and ride on the back of two horses while controlling a team of eight horses at a full gallop, demonstrating the perfect harmony between horse and rider. There are a huge number of stables and riding schools around the country and you can choose between English riding and saddles or follow the leader horse treks up to scenic spots. Hungary’s relatively flat countryside, and particularly its network of wetlands and rivers, is ideal for riding tours.

Wine Touring

Although the country is not well known for its wines, apart from Eger’s Bulls Blood and Tokaj’s sweet dessert wines, Hungarian wine has a history dating back to at least Roman times. The best time to get to these regions to taste wines and discover the beauty of Hungarian countryside is in summer or in September-October, when grape harvests are accompanied by festive events and programs. Hungary’s climate is very favourable for quality wine growing because the average temperature is much higher than let’s say in Northern France, and autumn is rather dry with warm, sunny weeks until mid-October (a period often referred to as Indian summer). This allows national production of the entire range of classic wines: whites, roses, reds, and natural, sweet dessert wines. Add the slopes of volcanic origin and you get a combination of natural conditions that with the expertise of talented wine makers result in fine wines. Rich diversity of both international and local grape varieties are grown in the 22 wine regions and a great variety of wines are made from them. Hungarian wine makers use both indigenous grape varieties such as Cserszegi Fuszeres (Cserszeg Spice) Juhfark (Sheep’s Tail), Kéknyelu (Blue Stalk), Irsai Olivér, Furmint, Ezerjó (A Thousand Good Things), Királyleányka (Little Princess) and Hárslevelu (Linden Leaf) and more universal varieties such as Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc.

Fiona Beckett in a recent article in the Guardian was very impressed by what she found when she went in search of Hungarian wine in England. Come on a wine tour and you will discover other fine wines completely unknown in the United Kingdom.

Hungarian Food

Hungarians like to think that Hungarian cuisine is one of the three essential styles of cooking after French and Chinese. Hungarian cooking has changed relatively little over the centuries even though it has had a lot of outside influences. Many of the most popular Hungarian dishes make great use of paprika but even the hottest variety of paprika is nothing like as fiery as a hot Indian curry or a Mexican taco.

Most Hungarian meals start with soup. A gombaleves, mushroom soup or majgombocleves, a soup of tiny liver dumplings in consomme. More substantial soups are beef gulyasleves and bableves, a thick bean soup. Another favourite is halaszle, fishermans soup, a rich soup of poached carp, fish stock, tomatoes, peppers and paprika. The most common meats eaten by Hungarians are pork, beef, veal and poultry. They can be breaded and fried, baked, turned into a paprika flavoured dish or simmered in a speciality sauce. Popular deserts can be intricate pastries, strudels, sponge cake with chocolate and whipped cream and various flambeed pancakes. If you ask for a cappuccino you will get a coffee with whipped cream, but a Tejes kave is what we call a cappuccino.

The Markets of Hungary

Most towns and large villages will have a regular market. TH will take you to one of the best markets in South West Hungary where you will find homemade food, crafts, antiques, wine and much more. The market has many pleasant places to relax and have an ice cream or cold drink and the atmosphere is enlivened by live music and other entertainment.

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An incredibly unique five star Boutique Hotel, lending to a fantastic wine themed experience. Everything about this holiday evolves around Hungarian wine, the venue is in an excellent location with very pleasing accommodation and activities, this hotel was opened...

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This incredible little tour may be small on days but its big on enjoyment The whole tour is based around horse and cart and you will be carted slowly around the Badacsony Wine Region at a suitable pace to enjoy the glorious scenery and natural surroundings....

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Horse Riding Lessons

Learn to Ride a Horse in Hungary A 3 day beginners Horse Riding Course for all the family to introduce you to this wonderful beast and the beauty of riding up its back. This Horse Farm is set over 250 hectares and is located in a stunning location deep within the...

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An Extreme 3 day Wellness Tour within the Heviz area of Hungary, well known for its fabulous spas, resorts and the largest Thermal lake in Europe. If you have heard the expression ‘feel like a million dollars’ and want to witness that feeling then check...

Golf Tour

Royal Balaton Golf Course on the shores of Lake Balaton An exciting 3 day tour which offers the very best 5* Accommodation and services This internationally known golf course is located on the northern shores of Lake Balaton which is the largest lake in Central Europe...

Bike Tour

This tour is an absolute must for first timers to Hungary, its a great introduction to the many incredible sights of the Balaton and surrounding areas and whats great is that its at your own pace, so you choose where you go, what to look at and when to stop and say...

Carp Fishing

Carp Fishing in Hungary This fantastic sports fishing Lake in the Zalacsány region realistically offers the angler a carping holiday of a lifetime where mega catches of large Carp and Cats are caught on a regular basis. On average between 2 anglers who fish well can...

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