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Sopron / Bük & Sárvár region for Explorers



Sopron region
How long it takes?
2 days
Best vehicle choice for this plan:
car
public transport
bicycle
This region is famous for:
Museums and exhibitions
Castles, Forts, Palaces
Culture and monuments
Sopron / Bük & Sárvár region
Explorers
Day 1
A single stroll is enough to see everything in the old town of Sopron, starting from Fő tér.
Sopron and the Fire Tower

The tower is the symbol of the town, and had great practical use in the past: the guards who once served in the Fire Tower warned the citizens of the town if there was a fire, if enemy was approaching or if someone wanted to enter the town with foreign wine. Visit the Roman city walls found within the Fire Tower, then climb up to the top of the 58-metre high tower. The staircase that takes you up to the top consists of 200 steps, which are easily climbed. It is definitely worth the effort, since the full circle around the tower gives you a wonderful view of Sopron, Lake Fertő and neighbouring Austria.

Visit the Harrer Chocolate Workshop

Austrian confectioner dynasty Harrer has been delighting visitors for four generations now, and in 2009 they also added chocolate to their repertoire. They purchase cocoa beans from the best locations, then roast them themselves. All their products are handmade and they only use natural raw ingredients, adding only seeds, dried fruit and herbs to season their products. As a result of constant experimentation, the range of chocolates on offer is unique, and their products continue to win awards at prestigious competitions held around the world. Try the dark and milk chocolates, the bonbons, the truffles, the hot chocolate, and, of course, the ice-cream on hot summer days. Book an appointment for the chocolate tasting in advance.

Day 2
Castles and wine regions surrounding Sopron.
‘The Hungarian Versailles’ - Fertőd, Esterházy Castle

The building of the Esterházy Castle in Fertőd we see today was designed and created in the 18th century and the castle – with its 126 rooms – is a worthy match for Schönbrunn Castle in Vienna or Versailles in Paris. ‘The Hungarian Versailles’ was a place of music and splendour. It was regularly home to parties, and even Maria Theresa took part in one such magnificent ball. By the end of the 18th century, the castle became one of the cultural centres of the country, so it’s no wonder that even Joseph Haydn lived and worked here for two decades. After a walk through the contemporary history exhibition in the rooms of the castle, take a walk in the beautiful castle park.

Széchenyi Castle, Nagycenk

Nagycenk has become synonymous with the Széchenyi family. Ferenc Széchenyi moved into the palace in 1783, making Nagycenk the centre of the family estates. This is also where he kept his extensive collections, numbering in the tens of thousands of items (including manuscripts, books, coins, engravings, maps, etc.) Having inherited the castle, István Széchenyi, “the Greatest Hungarian” proceeded to apply all of the technical achievements and innovations learned during his travels abroad, including the installation of a bathroom and gas lighting.

The wines of the Sopron wine region

When you say Sopron, we say wine region and kékfrankos. Farmers in Sopron sold their wine to Napoleon’s soldiers for blue francs (kékfrank), which is how the wine came to be called kékfrankos. The wine cellar of the Erhardt Restaurant has a traditional vaulted ‘poncichter’ room, where you can taste the many wine varieties produced in the Sopron wine region, accompanied by expert recommendations and an excellent kitchen. If you visit the Bruckner Winery, you can take a peek into the life of a real ‘Buschenschank’, i.e. a place where the winemaker sells their wine from their own home, as permitted by Emperor Joseph II in 1784. The family winery offers cold food and dishes served on wooden plates to accompany their wine. Everyone in the region has heard about the Pfneiszl girls: Katrin and Birgit, daughters of an Austrian winemaker, took over the estate in Sopron from their parents. Today, they run an organic farm on 13 hectares and work in the vineyard 365 days a year. They produce wine with kindness, full of youth and feminine sensitivity, the way they like their life to be.

During your visit

Wine
If you ever find yourself in the Sopron wine region, you should certainly try the Sopron Kékfrankos (Bläufrankisch) or the Sopron Zenit. The town of Sopron has a long tradition of viticulture and winemaking, and is famous for its Kékfrankos wine. At one time, it comprised a single wine region with the city of Rust in Austria, as well as the surrounding areas.
Gastronomy
Babsterc (also known as Bohnensterz) is a dish native to Sopron. It got its name from the Ponzichters, local producers who would grow beans between the rows of grapevines. Beans were a thrifty choice, as they did not cast shade on the vines, did not disrupt the harvest, and were also not taxed. Babsterc is prepared the same way today as it always has been: made with flour, fat or oil, and salt. It is best enjoyed with pörkölt (a Hungarian beef and onion stew), but is also excellent with sour cream, cucumber salad, or even as a sweet dish with any kind of jam.

Move around like a hungarian