Although Budapest is a sight for sore eyes, we cannot stop emphasising and praising the gastronomic and cultural values of the countryside along with how astonishing the natural sights are.
National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez put on his most comfortable shoes and took a trip across Hungary, snapping the most inspiring moments and scenes he encountered. His photos inspired us to create this gallery, highlighting our favourites.
The Tihany Peninsula is primarily known for the enchanting lavender fields that are scattered across all over it, but the Benedictine Abbey should not be missed either. It was founded almost 1000 years ago by András I, but what we see today is a rebuilt abbey from the 18th century. Visit the village centre as well, where you can get to know Hungarian traditions, or explore the peninsula and learn about its special volcanic geology.
All in all, standing near the fields, gazing at Lake Balaton while breathing in the relaxing scent of lavenders will truly get all the troubles off your mind.
Lake Balaton is often referred to as the ‘Hungarian Sea’ and is a favourite holiday location of many Hungarians and even of people from neighbouring countries. No wonder it is so popular, the view is scenic, the food is rich, the villages nearby offer some of the best vines in Hungary, and if you are keen on fish or even fishing, we have good news: the pike perch is glorious here.
Take a dip in this biologically active lake and let the medicinal water heal and comfort you while taking in the serenity of nature surrounding you at Hévíz.
The Hungarian Tokaj wines are prize-winning and worldwide famous, served in prestigious circles too. What National Geographic suggests to try out is the dry Furmint and the sweet Tokaji Aszú and we could not agree more. The Tokaj wine region is unbeatable when it comes to white grapes (think about the indigenous Furmint and the Hárslevelű), but the wines are also special thanks to the mixture of loess and volcanic clay soil. However, the wines also depend on the weather conditions, which have a lot of influence on the dryness or sweetness of the vintage.
You can even go kayaking on the Bodrog River here and check out the meeting point of the rivers Bodrog and Tisza.
If you are done checking out the Tokaj vineyards, take a walk around the village of Mád, surrounded by them. You can learn more about Hungarian wine traditions in the centuries-old cellars and in the various fine restaurants. One of the most important and most beautiful Baroque synagogues is found here accompanied by an old Jewish cemetery.
As we wrote some time ago, the most unique ‘lake’ (dam in fact) in Hungary is the Tengerszem, an abandoned mine that filled slowly but surely with rainwater since it was closed in 1907. It is close to the Tokaj wine region, so you would get the best out of a day’s trip around here.
These mountains hide several treasures, like the well-preserved medieval fortified Füzér Castle, situated on a rocky hill, giving off a fierce vibe.
featured image: Castle Füzér, WikiCommons