The region can be found in the Eastern part of Hungary. It belongs to three counties (Hajdú-Bihar, Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg, Jász-Nagykun-Szolnok), it is scarcely populated, and the most of its area is a national park. The Hortobágy puszta (steppe) and the pastoral and betyar romance connected to it make it one of the main tourist attractions in the country:
everyone is stunned by the plain lying between Tisza and Hajdúság, the mirage, the herds of gray cattle and flocks of haired sheep, the saker falcon, the bustard, the overflying cranes, and the Nine-holed Bridge.
The country’s largest floodplain (30km long, 7 km wide), mostly covered in forests, Gemenc, is part of the Duna-Dráva National Park, which has been under protection since 1977. Its plants are the typical plant communities of floodplains, mostly willows. Many birds including Saker Falcons find shelter in the hidden bushes. Gemenc gives home to the most beautiful and most valuable red deer stock in the country, but deer and wild boars live here too. The livestock was put into serious danger by the 2013 flood of the Danube.
This thermal lake with a peat bed is outstanding in the world. It can be found in Zala county, near Keszthely. Its history dates back to the Roman times, back then they were already aware of the healing effect of the water. The Festetics family had an important role in creating the thermal bath. They acquired the area around the lake in the 18th century. Hévíz has many natural and cultural sights and is a popular touristic destination besides Keszthely, which lies in the Western tip of Balaton.
It can be found in the Western part of the country, near the Austrian border. Kőszeg has a stunning panorama and is one of the most relaxing towns in Hungary. The town played an active part in the fights against the Turks (16th century), it’s castle gained its present looks after this era. The most important monuments are located in the City Centre: Jurisics tér, the Town Hall, the Tower of Heroes, the Castle of Kőszeg, the civic houses of the Main Square, and numerous museums, churches, and cultural programs await visitors.
Veszprém, also known as the City of Queens, is located North of the Balaton-felvidék. It has one of the oldest castles of Hungary besides Esztergom and Székesfehérvár. It was the favourite place of Gizella, the wife of István, the first king of Hungary. According to the tradition, later archbishops from Veszprém crowned the Hungarian queens (meaning the wives of the kings). The most important attractions are the Castle District, the Love Island, the Margit-ruins, the Secessionist buildings in the Old Town Square, the Nunnery of Veszprémvölgy or the Viaduct. Thanks to the Séd stream, the cityscape is varied, with small hills.
Badacsony may be the witness hill of Balaton with the most picturesque landscape. It is a village with a pleasant atmosphere lying at the hill’s foot.
The tasty wines of the region make Badacsony one of the most favoured touristic places around Lake Balaton.
Besides its cultural heritage (Kisfaludy house, Chapel of Saint Anna and Saint Donat) it boasts numerous natural beauties, such as the basalt organ pipes.
Aggtelek is located in the Northern part of the country, near the Slovak border. It contains one of the most famous dripstone caves (the Baradla-Domica cave), which has been on USESCO’s World Heritage list since 1995. The caves are therefore the most important sights in Aggtelek, still we must not forget about the cultural attractions, such as the bell tower and the Calvinist church.
Featured Image: Wiki commons by Hévízi Turisztikai Np. Kft