3 hidden magical places along the railway lines near Balaton
Taking a ride on a sightseeing train is a fun weekend program in the autumn. The fresh forest air is energizing, the beautiful sights are relaxing and wonderful, and, in case you’re riding along Lake Balaton, that’s just perfect. Szeretlek Magyarország has collected three magical routes (based on an article by Éjjel-Nappal Balaton online magazine) that you can take only with a sightseeing train.
You can explore Lake Balaton and its surrounding fauna and forests by hopping on a cruising boat, on a bike, taking a walk, or by Nordic walking. All of these options allow you to find hidden places and regions that you could not spot while riding in a car. This is the best way to enjoy the serenity and beauty of nature around you. Furthermore, the best way to get to know the true face of nature, to get to know its innermost secrets. There are three sightseeing trains on the southern and western coasts of Lake Balaton, taking routes that will make you feel like you’re the hero of a fairy tale.
1. Balatonfenyves sightseeing train
The Balatonfenyves Sightseeing Train roams through the gorgeous parts of the Nagyberek. This train commutes all year following a regular schedule between Somogyszentpál and Balatonfenyves. Both tourists and locals enjoy taking a ride on this special route, crossing the forest.
If you peek out the train window, you can explore the region’s rich fauna. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a heron or a fawn. You can enjoy the view of lovely tiny villages, lakes, flocks of birds taking off from reeds, and, of course, the beauty of the southern part of Lake Balaton.
The 14 kilometres long ride takes about 40 minutes, and
you can take your bike on the train, so, after the train has reached its destination, you can continue your adventures.
The full-price ticket costs 235 forints (70 euro cents).
2. Csömödér Sightseeing Train
The forest railway line in Zala county crosses the forests of the region on a 109 kilometres long route. It is the most iconic emblem of the county. The trains commuting between Lenti and Kistolmács connect the best hiking places in the region on 32 kilometres, thus, in case you choose to relax in this area, you can enjoy a great sight of the wonderful forests.
The forest railroad will take you to places like the pine or beech forest of Göcsej, or the valley of Kerka. You can take a deep breath here, knowing that nature is stress-free and absolutely peaceful. At this fairy-tale like region sometimes a deer, a fawn, a wild boar, a buzzard or other rare, protected birds and animals might appear.
Sadly, this sightseeing train is not commuting all year. It has a regular schedule lasting from April to the 30th of September, but there are special routes on religious or state holidays. A couple of these include the Valentine’s Day, Easter, Saint Martin’s Day, or Mikulás (Saint Nicholas’ Day on the 6th of December).
You can rent a train at any time of the year, on which you can take a ride with larger groups.
During the cold months you can travel in heated, closed trains.
You can transport bikes on this train too, so if you fancy a bike tour in Zala county, feel free to take your bike (or rented bike) with you. Full price tickets cost 1400 forints (EUR 4.5) for the 32 km long ride between Lenti and Kistolmács.
3. Mesztegnyő Forest Train
The Mesztegnyő Forest Train is chooing happily on a 9-km long ride across forests, near lakes. The view of the Somogy county sights can be enjoyed on these trains. The forest train crosses the Boronka Reserve taking tourists and hikers to such untouched and peaceful places, which are inaccessible by car.
The colourful sights of the Somogy sand regions, the hornbeam and oak forests, ash and elm forest groves, alder bog woods will enchant you, making you feel like you’re in a Romantic novel.
There are over 50 protected plants in the area,
among them the Hungarian iris, the white asphodel, the purple cyclamen, the spring snowflake, or the water violet. The brooks and lakes are liked by waterfowl, such as great crested grebes, herons, great egrets, Anatidae, black stork, white-tailed eagle.
This train is not on track all year, either. It has a regular schedule between April and the end of November. There are regular routes twice a week, but groups can ask for other occasions. You can request a forester or environmental expert to guide you on your ride and talk in depth about the fauna and the sights. The full price ticket is 400 forints (EUR 1.3).
featured image: benbe.hu