Where in Hungary is autumn the most beautiful? Where should we spend the darkest of months? Where to welcome spring? Travelo.hu is trying to answer these questions and more by finding the perfect programme for each month of the new year.
You have a great chance of finding snow at this time of the year on the 900-metre peaks of the Bükk mountain. The thermal bath of the village of Bükkszék, a lesser known, but also cheaper destination, has two outdoor thermal pools from where you can admire the landscape and bathe in the Salvus thermal water which is famous for its healing qualities. If you fancy a hike, the Castle of Sirok is close by.
February calls for the unmissable Busó-walking Festival in Mohács. The colourful and chaotic festival ends the winter carnival period, and it helps visitors forget that they are in fact in one of the bleakest months of the year. The festival features people dressed in the traditional busó costumes, a variety of Hungarian dishes, and a large bonfire, among other shenanigans. This year, the festival lasts from February 23rd until the 28th.
March welcomes the meteorological spring, but nature takes longer to wake up and the full bloom of the season is still weeks away. However, in the Alcsút botanical garden, 50 km from Budapest, the early flowers of spring, the primrose, the anemone, and the hellebore are already in bloom. Here, in the nature reserve at the foot of the Vértes mountain, are the ruins of the Alcsút castle, as well.alcsuti-arboretum.hu
This year, Easter will be held in the middle of April. To have a genuine, authentic celebration, visit the Palóc ethnographic village of Hollókő in the northeast of Hungary. The village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was thoroughly renovated two years ago. Take a walk in nature, on the bank of the Hollókő brook, or explore every nook and cranny of this beautiful village.Traditional Eastern celebration in Hollókő. Photo: facebook.com/IloveHolloko
Őrség, in the westernmost corner of the country, is a great choice in every season, but May brings the Days of Bloom festival. If you’re looking for the bustle of a festival, visit the various art and cultural programmes, but if you just want to spend some time in this beautiful part of the country, visit one of the many villages in the area.
Travelo.hu recommends you visit the Balaton Uplands slightly before the summer rush and the autumn harvest season, when it’s less crowded, but already warm enough to have a swim or to wander around the shore, visiting vineyards and farmers’ markets.
Tihany is a favourite among tourists visiting the Balaton region, which can sometimes give the place a bad reputation for being too busy or too tourist-oriented in the high season, but it’s popular for a reason. If you venture a bit farther away from the crowd and into nature, the lavender blooming is spectacular, and so is the Belső-tó, or Inner Lake, as well as the secluded beach of Sajkod.
The biggest attraction here is the Panyolafeszt every August, which so far has managed to keep its authentic atmosphere. Hungarian music, food, and the famous pálinka of Panyola await visitors, as well as boating on the Tisza or the Szamos.The River Tisza at Panyola. Photo: facebook.com/Panyolafeszt
Regardless of your enthusiasm for wine, spending the autumn months in a wine region is never a bad choice. Szépasszonyvölgy, near Eger, has more than 200 wine cellars, and after a few rounds of tasting the local wines, you won’t be surprised when the locals tell you that in ancient Hungarian mythology, the word szépasszony (~beautiful woman) used to mean a supernatural creature, fairy, or witch.
Similarly to Tihany and Badacsony, Bodrogkeresztúr in the Tokaj region is an extremely popular choice in one particular month, and that is because of the Tokaj festival. Besides its famous wines, the local wine vinegar production is quite amazing as well, so much so that the world’s only wine vinegar museum can be found here.The Tokaj wine region. Photo: facebook.com/ITokaj
Etyek has much to offer in any season, but the St. Martin’s Day celebrations in November are all themed around geese – whether on the plate or on the loose. Anyone can enter his or her fastest geese (if one has any, at least), or choose from the ones supplied by the organisers to win the Goose run, or find joy related to the birds in another form, with some sparkling wine. Don’t miss the cheeses and the hams either!The Etyek Goose Run. Photo: facebook.com/gasztrosetany
If you’re done with the Christmas markets, or in need of some winter vibes, visit the Mátra mountain, where three of the highest peaks of Hungary are located. The ski resort in Mátraszentistván, which connects three villages and has ten areas opens mid-December. A little snow and a great atmosphere awaits the lovers of winter sports here.Matraszentistván Ski Resort. Photo: sipark.hu
Cover photo: Daily News Hungary
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