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10 reasons why you should visit Hungary’s 10 national parks

Fertő-Hanság National ParkSopron region

Despite its smaller size, Hungary has countless wonders to offer for hikers. The country’s 10 national parks all have their own charms. Let us help you discover the country’s varied and diverse landscapes.

Untouched waters at the Fertő-Hanság National Park

The third-biggest lake in Central Europe, Lake Fertő is a significant contributor to the area’s ecosystem. The key role of the lake is well evidenced by the fact that the Ramsar Convention lists the lake among the Wetlands of International Importance. The bogs of the Hanság, the cycle path surrounding the lake and the saline puszta are true bucket-list destinations for those fond of hiking at unique sites. Besides the natural assets, there are numerous other attractions to see. Don’t miss visiting the exquisite halls and chambers of Széchenyi Castle in Nagycenk or Esterházy Castle in Fertőd.

A glimpse at the past in the Őrség National Park

The youngest national park in the country is intersected by a multitude of hiking trails. The area is well worth exploring, either on two wheels or on foot. Without a doubt, the first in the line of must-see attractions is the Szalafő-Pityeszer open-air ethnographic museum. The 100-year old houses offer an insight into the everyday lives of the Hungarians who once lived here. Not far from the museum, you can see European bison and wonderful Eurasian wild horses. One significant building of the Őrség is Velemér church, known for its unique lighting characteristics. Make sure you visit a building that has survived from the Árpád era.

Uphill and downhill on the slopes of the Balaton Uplands National Park

We can say without exaggeration that the Balaton Uplands National Park manages to dazzle visitors over and over again. Kis-Balaton, which also serves as the location of the works of the famous Hungarian author, István Fekete, is a great destination whether you choose to explore it by kayak or on foot. The panorama of Badacsony, Szigliget Castle or the Tihany peninsula will surely leave you with lasting memories. The small villages of the Káli Basin await with the specialities of the region.

Explore the wildlife in the forests of the Duna-Dráva National Park

Follow in the footsteps of roe deer and explore the mountain peaks and the deep caves in the Duna-Dráva National Park. The landscape is home to natural treasures, such as the junipers of Barcs or the Gemenc Forest, which is the largest floodplain forest in Central Europe. You can explore it by boat or by narrow-gauge rail as well. The Mecsek Mountain is also part of the national park, where you can explore the depths of the dripstone cave in Abaliget or the shores and waters of the Pécs Lakes. The area has a rich wildlife, and you can even watch the deer of the Zselic forest at the deer farm in Bőszénfa.


The traditions of ancient Hungarians come to life in Kiskunság National Park

Kiskunság is the home of saline pusztas, backwaters and sand dunes. Sándor Petőfi, the famous Hungarian poet, wrote about this area with great enthusiasm, which is easy to understand once you get to know Bugacpuszta or Halászfalu (the old city centre of Csongrád). The whitewashed, thatched-roofed houses are under historic preservation and faithfully guard a piece from the past. The unique milieu of the Hungarian Great Plain is complemented by the landscape of the flatlands stretching into the distance, the grazing Hungarian Greys and the horsemen traditions. The most famous beach on the River Tisza, the Körös mouth of Csongrád, is also worthy of your bucket list.

The Duna-Ipoly National Park awaits with unique flora and fauna and an unmatched environment

This region has one of the richest arrays of wildlife in the country. A lifetime wouldn’t be enough to explore its towns, surrounding forests, meadows and mountains. It is bordered by Esztergom, Vác, Visegrád and Szentendre to the north, Gödöllő to the east, and Székesfehérvár and Tata to the west. Make sure you visit all its hidden natural treasures, including Alcsút Botanical Garden, Martonvásár Castle Park, the Birdsong educational trail and the Pál valley cave. It is no less of an adventure to explore the natural assets of our capital Budapest, either. Gellért Hill and Sas Hill are within arm’s reach of the crowded city centre, but that doesn’t stop them from being a tranquil haven.

Magical, fairytale landscapes await you in Bükk National Park

The beauty of this area is simply unimaginable. The road leading to attractions such as the Veil Waterfall, Lillafüred or Szilvásvárad goes deep into the forests and passes by trout lakes. If you visit the park in suitable weather conditions, you can have a look at the amazing geysers of the Bükk. After heavy rains, but mostly following the melting of snow, karst water breaks to the surface accompanied by a loud roar. In the national park, you can get to know the history of the world-famous Lipizzaner horses and their herd. Diósgyőr Castle and Hollókő also await with memorable adventures.

Aggtelek National Park, the keeper of underground mysteries

This national park is the first in the country established especially for the protection of the geological assets, surface karstic phenomena and the famous dripstone caves of the area. The park has two world record-holding caves: the 25-kilometre Baradla-Domica cave system reaches into the territory of Slovakia and is the longest stream cave in the temperate climate zone, while the Szilice ice cave is the lowest situated ice cave in the world. In addition to the mysterious caves with their astonishing dripstones, the flora and fauna of the region are also outstanding. Once here, make sure you pay a visit to the Hucul herd. The horses of the Hucul breed are shorter, 130-centimetre tall horses, also called the ponies of the Carpathian Mountains.


Explore the Körös-Maros National Park in a flatland surrounded by rivers

The park is home to the floodplains of the Körös and slowly trickling rivers. It has two separate parts: Körösvidék and the Békés-Csanád loess ridge. Its flora are truly special: this is the only place in Hungary where the Adonis Transsylvanica and Salvia Nutans can be found. You can explore the waters of the Körös or the Élővíz channel by kayak or canoe but, of course, you can ride across the area on a bike as well. It is definitely worth dedicating a trip to Szanazug, located at the confluence of the Fekete-Körös and the Fehér-Körös rivers, where the enchanting natural environment is complemented by undisturbed ecology with taverns, tourist homes, camp sites, pedal boats on the river, a bowling alley and tennis court and even a drive-in cinema.

Stargazing, galloping horsemen and a unique feeling are guaranteed at the Hortobágy National Park

Our country’s first national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thanks to its history, wildlife and folk traditions, Hortobágy is one of the most mesmerising places in Hungary, and a key location in Hungarian history. Spend the night under the starry sky on straw pallets, wake up to the sound of the galloping horses coming to the trough, watch water buffaloes or check out how the characteristic feature of Hortobágy, the shadoof, works. Watch the impressive horsemen show when the sun goes down, observe a bluethroat on the Hortobágy fish pond, go on a crane watch by Jeep or gain an insight into the everyday life of the local shepherds. The legendary Nine-Arched Bridge, located at the edge of the village of Hortobágy along Route 33, is a must-see.