Archive for the ‘Eger Tokaj Hilly Wine Region’ Category

The Bükk Mountains


Most part of the mountains are under protection as Bükk National Park. The Bükk massif is the largest karstic region of Hungary with numerous stream caves and potholes. It comprises a forested highland area dissected by valleys of the Sajó and Tisza rivers. The National Park is undoubtedly a paradise for nature lovers. On the lower sections of mountain slopes there are flourishing vineyards and orchards. The forests and hills of the Bükk are home to many kinds of animals, especially a wide diversity of birdlife.

There are 1115 known caves in the mountain range, including István-lápa, the deepest cave in Hungary (254 m), the Cave Bath, the archeologically important Szeleta Cave, the Anna Cave, and the István Cave. 52 of the caves are protected because of their fauna and microclimate. The Szeleta Cave have preserved traces of the pre-historic men. The fine tools discovered there are dated back to the ice-age period.

The Bükk Mountains are very popular among Hungarian and foreign visitors longing for mountain recreation.

Miskolc

 

Miskolc is the center of Northern Hungary and major industrial center of the country. The city is surrounded by the beautiful Bükk Mountains, which make the region one of Hungary’s favourite holiday areas.

The old-city part of Miskolc occupies a relatively small area, however its monuments are of outstanding interest: the Greek Orthodox Church decorated with the largest iconostasis in Central Europe, The Avas Hill known for its wine cellars, several 18th century Baroque churches and the picturesque, parlty restored ruins of medieval Royal Castle in Diósgyőr, offering waxwork exhibitions.

The internationally famous tourist attraction of Miskolc is the Barlangfürdő (‘Cave Bath’). In this unique bath, which is a natural formation, very hot mineral water feeds an underground cave system via natural springs. The water is believed to have therapeutic effect due to its unique low salinity and mineral content. The air of the cave is also said to be good for respiration problems, such as asthma.

The 20th century, Eclectic style palace hotel at Lillafüred health resort, is a favourite tourist destination. It is surrounded by a hanging garden and a large park, inside of which the highest waterfall in Hungary can be found. In the area there are some fascinating natural caves and other sights to offer, as the place lays within The Bükk National Park.

 

Tokaj

Tokaj is a part of the World Heritage Sites, famous for its dessert wine the Tokaji Aszú. It is a charming, small town situated in a beautiful scenery of vast vineyards.

Apart from the wine, Tokaj has also some historical attractions. The Tokaj Museum, which pictures the history of the region and of wine producing. Also worth mentioning is the Janos Szapolyai Palais, a former residency of cossacks who were guarding the cellar of Russian Tsar Peter the Great.

It is an excellent destination for wine lovers, and for all those who want to experience the beautiful Hungarian countryside.

The Aggtelek National Park

The Aggtelek National Park is the smallest one of all the Hungarian national parks, but it is the first to be created primarily for the preservation of inanimate natural geological features and only secondarily for the natural living environment there. In 1995 its contiguous cavern system along with Slovak Karst was declared a part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

There are nearly 300 caves of different size and forms shaped two million years ago. The area include the longest cave in Hungary- the Baradla (25km) and Szilice- the lowest-situated ice cave being explored around the world.

The caves forma unique ecosystem where many rare and endemic animals live. More than 500 species have been identified, most of them of microscopic size.

The rich flora and fauna of the Aggtelek Karst and the enchanting landscape are worth visiting in all seasons. Besides cave tours above ground guided walks on foot, horse or bicycle, walks in villages and handicraft programmes help the visitors to get acquainted with the natural and cultural heritage of the Aggtelek karst region.

Eger

Eger is a charming baroque town with lovely streets. It was built around a former cathedral, founded in the 10th century by the first Hungarian king, St. Stephen. The city flourished during the Middle Ages when winemaking became the main source of income. During the Turkish advance into Central Hungary, Eger became an important border fortress. It was the site of Captain István Dobó’s legendary struggles against Ottoman conquest.

In the 16th century, under Turkish occupation, Eger changed radically. Most churches were converted into mosques, minarets and public baths were constructed and the castle rebuilt. In the 18th century, after the rule of Turks collapsed, it became an important cultural and education center. The city is dominated by the buildings in Baroque style, built around that time.

Apart from its interesting history, Eger is also famous for its wines. This beautiful town is the home of Egri Bikavér, the best Hungarian red wine. The legends says that during the siege of Eger Dobó fortified his defenders with the red wine that comes from the region. The Turks, surprised by the strenght of the defenders and red stains on their beards, were convinced that the Magyars achieved super human strenght by drinking bull’s blood. Thus the local wine is now called Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood of Eger).

You can taste and buy wines from the local producers in Szépasszonyvölgy (The Valley of the Beautiful Women). The oldest wine-cellars that can be found there are more than 400 years old. They were carved into the thick volcanic rock (rhyolite tuff), and the temperature inside stays at 10-15 degrees Celsius.

Eger is also well known in Europe for its medicinal waters. The Thermal Bath with hot baths based on natural springs is situated in a beautiful park, next to the Turkish Bath, with water also certified as medical.