Without a doubt, many people long for getting out into nature when summer sets in and a great way of exploring our natural beauties is on two wheels. If you feel that the itinerary of the Lake Balaton round trip is too hard for you and you are not prepared enough for cycling 200 km during this trip discussed here, you might get into the mood for a Lake Fertő trip on two wheels. It is easier to accomplish and provides as many unforgettable experiences like the one around Lake Balaton.
What distinguishes the Lake Fertő round trip from the one around Lake Balaton? Firstly, the fact that it is much shorter, only 135 km long, out of which the Hungarian part constitutes of 38 km, given that the third-quarter of the territory of the lake belongs to Austria. Secondly, unlike the Lake Balaton round trip during which cyclists have to ride on main roads and cross busy traffic intersections in some settlements, this cycling path literally runs in nature where we can understand why Lake Fertő earned a place on the World Heritage list of UNESCO in 2001, reports Freeminimaps.com.
Furthermore, while the quality of the Balaton Bike Ring is not always irreproachable, that of the cycling path around Lake Fertő is absolutely impeccable. As Origo.hu reports, the path is not overgrown with plants, there are no potholes, and the route is well-signposted, which also shows how seriously Austrians take cycle tourism.
Therefore, the Lake Fertő track is easier to cover and it takes only 8-9 hours for experienced cyclists to complete.
However, it might be worth riding slower and making a few stops when necessary also visiting well-known sights and monuments in the small settlements. In order to get out the most of your trip, a few useful tips and practical information are collected here that remove the burden from your shoulder when planning it.
Getting to Lake Fertő from Budapest
Concerning the place of departure of the journey, it is advisable to choose a Hungarian settlement and thus start on the Hungarian side. However, there is no agreement in guidebooks concerning the ideal starting point. Some sources mention Fertőd, but the only problem with this town is that you have to change trains at least once if you want to travel by using public transportation.
In contrast, trains go directly from Budapest to Sopron from which Fertőrákos, a town part of the cycling track and thus ideal for starting, is not far at all. However, do not forget to check in advance whether the train by which you want to travel is eligible for transporting bicycles in order to avoid embarrassing situations already at the very beginning of your journey.
One more thing to keep in mind: you need to pay a special fee for transporting bikes which is 235 Ft (0.8 euros) under 50 km. If you travel more than 50 km, which is the case with the Budapest-Sopron distance, then the price varies based on kilometre zones. Instead of transporting your own bike, which can be sometimes troublesome, you can also rent one in almost all settlements located along the Austrian-Hungarian border.
Itinerary and stations
Let’s start our journey in Fertőrákos, which is a short ride from Sopron. It is worth a visit on its own since, in the open-air museum of the Stone Quarry, you can really feel that history comes alive.
Leaving this town, continue your journey towards Mörbisch am See (Fertőmeggyes). On the way, a short stop at the Mithras Cave, the underground temple honouring Mithras, can be interposed just to stretch your muscles.
Meanwhile, if you suddenly realise that this trip is not for you and you are not prepared enough, then you can cut down the track by crossing the lake by ferry. Ferries operate between Mörbisch and Illmitz from the beginning of May to the end of October, so feel free to try them out. 🙂
If, however, you continue the track, sooner or later, you will arrive in Rust, the town reputable for its wine and historical monuments. Then, head for Neusiedl am See, which is located at the northern part of the lake, 50 km away from Fertőrákos. In fact, if you are there, you can be rightly proud of yourself having accomplished half of the track. Leaving this town the cycling path will lead you towards Podersdorf and the Fertő-Hanság National Park which is absolutely fantastic being the wetland habitat of hundreds of birds.
While approaching the end of the track, do not forget to stop in Fertőd to visit the famous Esterházy castle where Haydn composed several of his most well-known pieces. Finally, if you have the time and energy, end the tour either in the bath of Hegykő or that of Balf, one of the most favourite recreational spots of Hungarians, where you can relax and stretch your muscles in the medicinal waters. This is where the cycling trip ends roaming around Lake Fertő.
Further practical advice
If you plan a 1-day-trip, then there is no need for booking accommodation. If you feel tired during the trip, stop at a resting place specifically designed for cyclists that can be found in every bigger town. Some of them even have a roof in case the weather changes all of a sudden.
However, if you divide the trip into two 60-60 km parts, then, from low budget accommodation to 4-star hotels, there are many possibilities available for tired cyclists. Members of the Hungarian Cyclists’ Club can even book accommodation with discounts.
Bike repair stations are also abundant in both countries along the border, so there is nothing to worry about in case an unexpected incident happens. There are altogether 79 recorded stations according to the website of Burgenland.info where you can also check them out before the trip.
We hope that your cycling tour around Lake Fertőd will go smoothly after keeping in mind all the practical information collected here. Have fun and enjoy the natural beauties surrounding us 🙂
Featured image: facebook/Fertőtekergő
Source: origo.hu; freeminimaps.com; burgenland.info