The rivers and lakes of Hungary are rich in fish, anglers enjoy fishing for pike, catfish and pikeperch. The countryside invites to roam around: cross-country riders can freely enjoy wide, open grounds without a single fence standing in their way. This is a rare treat in modern Europe and is part of the most incredible sense of freedom that appeals to the soul right away. Several species of flora and fauna enjoy a protected status here, some of them considered to be quite the rarity throughout Europe.
Despite its size, the country offers a surprisingly rich array of natural wonders. Almost a fifth of its area is covered with forests: most of these include oaks, birches, beeches and pines. These forests give home to nearly 2200 species of flowering plants, some of them form rare plant communities thanks to the unique combination of altitude and climate. In the southern region of the country, some plants growing on the Villány mountains and the slopes of the Mecsek can only be found in the Mediterranean climate.
In the heart of the Hungarian plain, in Hortobágy, we can also find plants that normally grow in warmer, more southern climates, while the region of Nyírség is famous for its wild flower fields. The forest of Gemenc, the wetlands of Kis-Balaton, Lake Tisza and the river backwaters offer unspoilt environments where wild animals and protected waterfowl can thrive.
Even though the capsicum is not a native plant to the country, Hungary is famous for its paprika: a packet of Szeged or Kalocsa paprika seasoning is a must-have Hungarian gastro souvenir, and an essential ingredient for the goulash soup.
Three of Hungary’s ten national parks are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Guided tours are available for bird and wildlife observation trails and educational pathways in the Hortobágy and Lake Tisza, offering the opportunity to observe the rich fauna.