There are many beautiful places in Hungary that is worth visiting, but most tourists think about cities, historical sights, forests, mountains and so on. But have you ever wondered what lies behind the earth’s surface? Well, in Hungary and many other places around the world, it is a whole new dimension of beautiful and interesting. In this article we will introduce you to some of the cave systems in Hungary that are open to tourists and you should definitely consider visiting them.
Most tourists would visit the world famous baths in Hungary, or admire the horse show and wildlife of the Hortobágy region, or even visit the old cityscapes, but you should definitely check out what is underneath. It is a unique and beautiful world open only to the most adventurous.
Let us start with the most easily accessible. Say you are in Budapest and have already seen the Heroes’ Square and the Chain Bridge a hundred times. You have already been to almost all the baths and have tried the Hungarian cuisine in the local restaurants and now you have no idea what to do. Just go under the surface. There are quite a few caves around Budapest that you can easily visit. Here they are:
Caves in Budapest
It has been accessible to the public since 1919 but it has been modernized to meet the highest requirements. The route is 500 metres long and takes the visitors through a journey among dripstones, stone formations, crystals and primeval shell prints. The cave is famous for its unique dripstones, narrow corridors and large level differences.
The caves of the Budapest area are unique as they were created by the upward moving hot thermal waters. This gives dripstones and other stone formations their unique look. The cave is also combined with an interactive exhibition, including methods of cave rescue.
Buda Castle Cave
There is also an interesting urban legend concerning this location, which you can read about HERE.
“Natural limestone caverns and 800-year-old man-made cellars were connected to a labyrinth-like underground system thus becoming one of the most extraordinary caves in Hungary,” writes the Duna-Ipoly National Park on their website. Because of this, it includes a lot of interesting sights such as wine cellars, cave shelters, a medieval prison, and many halls and corridors.
Moving to a different location, probably the most well-known Hungarian cave system is in the Aggtelek National Park, which is located in the Aggtelek Karst region in Northern Hungary and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well.
Caves around Hungary
The Baradla Cave was formed around 200-230 million years ago and it is one of the most researched caves in Hungary and it is famous for its large dripstones and stone formations. It is quite a sizeable cave system as well, as the Baradla-Domica Cave System spans over 30 kilometres. The Bradla Cave itself being 22,027 metres. The cave’s wildlife is also quite colourful and it is an important area in terms of archaeological finds as well.
As a bonus, you can check out 360° images of some of the rooms of the cave system on THIS website.
If you like to experience real cave exploration, then the Csodabogyós Cave might be the best option for you. It is located near Balatonederics in the beautiful forest of the Balaton Uplands Bational Park. The cave and the area are both strictly protected, but some branches of the 6 kilometres long cave system have been opened to the public. It is a unique experience and having been there, I would personally recommend it. The tour starts with an approx. 40 minutes hike to the entrance of the cave. All the caving equipment will be provided for you and a skilled tour guide will lead you through the cave for 1.5-2 hours or if you crave an advanced tour, it takes 3.5-4 hours.
The Lake Cave of Tapolca
This especially beautiful cave was discovered in 1903 and just within a decade it has been opened to the public. It was the first cave in Hungary in which electricity was installed and has been under strict protection since 1982 due to its geological, genetic, geomorphic hydrological and biological values. The cave is made up of limestone and marl layers which the warm water – thanks to the post-volcanic activity – had formed to a jaw-dropping cave system. The extinct volcanoes of the area are a dominant element of the surrounding landscape. The cave also has an exhibition which you can visit.
Anna Cave and Saint Stephen Cave
Both caves are located in Lillafüred, around 3 and 3.5 kilometres from Miskolc respectively. The Entrance of the Saint Stephen Cave lies about 500 metres from the Hunguest Hotel Palota next to the road. It has a total span of 1,514 metres, but the publicly available area is only 170 metres. According to legend, the cave was discovered in 1913 when a dog fell into it and its barking drew the attention of the locals to the cave. It was first open to the public in 1931. It is most known for its strange and unique stone formations all over the cave and it has not been fully mapped. In 1958 and in 1974, water gushed forth from the ground, filling the cave and rushing out at the entrance.
The entrance to the Anna Cave is located at the bottom of the Hanging Gardens of Lillafüred, just next to the Szinva waterfall. It is very unique as there are only six such caves in the entire world that can be visited by tourists. It has a length of 570 metres of which 208 can be explored. The cave was discovered in 1833 and even the famous Hungarian poet, Sándor Petőfi have visited the place. It was forgotten for a while and was reopened in 1912. Apart from the usual stone formations, the uniqueness of this cave lies in the fossilised plant remains. You can have a short tour around this cave HERE.
Featured image: Facebook
Source: Turautak.hu, Bfnp.hu, Csodabogyos.hu, Anp.hu, Dunaipoly.hu,