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A sporty gastronomic tour: cycling around Lake Fertő

Sopron region

Austria and Hungary share the cycle path around Lake Fertő. Depending on the exact route, the distance varies between 115 and 135 kilometres: keen cyclists can finish it in a day, but it’s much more fun to split the distance over a couple of days or even a long weekend, allowing you to enjoy the historical monuments, the peace of nature and bathing – and of course, the local delicacies.

Cycling around Lake Fertő might prove to be an excellent activity for the long weekends in the spring, summer or autumn and while doing so, you can also enjoy fine food and drinks or explore the lake and its surroundings. The distance is easily manageable, even with children, especially if you split it over several days. You should only expect some uphill climbs around Fertőrákos, especially the quarry, but beyond that the terrain is relatively flat. The cycle path is separated from motorised traffic and you’ll be tempted to take a rest in the pleasant little towns and the peace of nature. If 115 to 135 kilometres are too much for you, you can take a shortcut with the ferry between Mörbisch and Illmitz, leaving you with a 65-kilometre route.

Travel back in time

If you bring your own bicycles, the railway station in Sopron might be a good point to embark on the journey – though of course, you should take your time to explore the city and visit its monuments, such as the Fire Tower.

Depending on how much time you have, you might add other stops as well. The tour’s steepest section is around the Quarry and Cave Theatre in Fertőrákos. This is not the only reason to take a break here: the spectacular view alone is worth a stop. The genuine Baroque pillory in central Fertőrákos might take you back to days gone by. (If you don’t have your own bikes, you can rent them in Fertőrákos.) Esterházy Castle in Fertőd, which is also called the Hungarian Versailles, is rich in historical adventures.


Aquatic birds and albino donkeys

The Fertő-Hanság National Park brings you to a pristine natural environment, while Kócsagvár (Egret Castle) in Sarród has a very interesting entrance that portrays the birds. In one designated area of the national park, you can meet indigenous animals and observe aquatic birds in their natural habitat. Most of the cycle path runs trough reeds and nature almost untouched, which is a relaxing break from the noise and rush of the cities. On the Austrian side, you can get to know the albino donkeys bred in the area of Illmitz.

Relaxing in the water and at the table

Water is the best remedy for aching muscles! You can find traditional lake beaches in Fertőrákos, and you can take a rest and relax your muscles in the thermal spas in Hegykő and Balf. The region’s gastronomy awaits with delicacies, allowing you to experience fantastic tastes every day during your trip. Fans of cheap cafeterias offering comfort foods and award-winning restaurants will also find something to their taste, including traditional Hungarian dishes, truffles and the Austrian speciality, smoked eel. You can wash down the feast with amazing wines or carbonated water from Balf, which has beneficial effects on the stomach.