Overview for Hungary Carpathians: Bükk National Park
Explore beautiful Budapest, the Pearl of the Danube, and the hidden gem of the Western Carpathians, the Bükk Mountains. Mountainous and forested, Bükk National Park offers miles of well-maintained hiking trails, impressive limestone mountains and caves, historic castles, quiet villages and friendly people.
The country’s longest (4,000 m) and deepest (245 m) cave, Istvánlápa, is located in the park. Starting from the lovely baroque town of Eger, you will walk among vineyards and shady forests and pass by creeks, caves, lakes and waterfalls. No tour would be complete without tasting the famous local wines and relaxing in the spas. This holiday is available from spring with its wildflowers through the warm summer to the colourful autumn.
You can extend this tour by booking our Budapest and the Danube Bend short break as an add-on.
- Budapest: the Pearl of the Danube
- Eger: medieval castle, Turkish bath and wine cellars
- Szilvásvárad: trout farm and waterfall
- Lillafüred: lake, castle hotel and caves
- Miskolctapolca: cave bath
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Day 1: Arrival in Budapest
Welcome to Budapest,t he ‘Pearl of the Danube’ with its grand buildings and elegant bridges, a vibrant city, full of history and culture. Let yourself be tempted by the thermal baths, including the famous Gellért. The Fishermen’s stronghold on Buda’s hill will offer you a splendid sight of the Danube, the impressive Chain Bridge and the magnificent architecture of the Parliament. Enjoy the cosy cafes or try the famous local wines in the evening.
- Accommodation: a 3 or 4-star city hotel in Budapest downtown (Medosz or similar)
Day 2: Eger
Today you take the train to Eger (2 hours), where you will spend the night. Eger is one of the oldest Magyar settlements in Hungary and flourished as a Renaissance centre of culture. The downtown is overlooked by a fortified castle. You will also see the splendid central basilica and discover the baroque charm of the city streets. Once in Eger, you must taste the fiery Eger wines and visit the Turkish bath.
- Accommodation in a 3-star family hotel in Eger (Aqua or similar)
Day 3: Eger – Felsőtárkány
The walking starts today, by leaving Eger on a hiking path going eastward. It takes you into the Hungarian countryside and the Bükk National Park. Initially, you will walk amongst vineyards and meadows. The area is famous for having the best watermelons of Europe. You will cross several rivers and an increasingly wooded zone to reach Felsőtárkány, a lovely village full of vine-laden gardens and parks, which will be your stop for the night.
- Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 14 km, 505 m elevation gain, 490 m elevation loss.
- Accommodation: a family-run guesthouse in Felsőtárkány (Open Gate or similar)
Day 4: Felsőtárkány – Szilvásvárad
After a hearty Hungarian breakfast, you start your second walking day. This area is particularly rich in wild animals, with the largest population of wild boars in Europe living there. The luckiest will even be able to see moufflons. Leave Felsötárkány and walk along the river under the cover of beeches and oaks as you enter the woods. The highlight of today, in the valley of Szalajka creek, which has several lakes and cascades, is the ‘Veil cascade’. Szilvásvárad is best known for its tradition of breeding Lippizan horses which are of splendid white colour.
- Walking for the day: 6 hours, 18 km, 615 m elevation gain, 505 m elevation loss.
- Accommodation in a hand-picked 3-star small hotel (Szalajka Fogadó or similar) or a studio apartment
Day 5: Szilvásvárad – Jávorkút
To leave the village, you may choose to take the forest train which crosses the valley or follow the hiking trail. Your route will guide you through bicentennial forests of beeches, near soldiers’ tombs, which are sad memories of the past wars. The walk will offer you splendid panoramas, and you might see the eagles and falcons which populate the area. This is a favourite hiking area during all seasons, located at the intersection of many hiking trails.
- Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 15 km, 585 m elevation gain, 225 m elevation loss.
- Accommodation at Jávorkút or Fehér Sas Panzió mountain chalets
Day 6: Jávorkút – Lillafüred
You will cross a picturesque karst area and reach Lillafüred, which is in the heart of a small wooded valley where two creeks meet before flowing into a lake. Enjoy the fairytale panorama of the old castle overlooking the lake. Here you can rent a small boat and relax on the lake. Lillafüred also has several beautiful cascades under the castle as well as three caves with impressive stalactites that you can explore in optional guided tours (not included, payable on site).
- Walking for the day: 3 hours, 11 km, 15 m elevation gain, 350 m elevation loss.
- Accommodation: a small hand-picked hotel (Hotel Tókert)
Day 7: Lillafüred – Miskolctapolca
On this last walking day, you will follow the peaks southwards, while passing close to Bükkszentkereszt where you turn eastward and descend progressively to Miskolctapolca, a charming village, centred around the thermal baths. Relax in the Cave Bath, a spa complex built in natural caves (unique in Europe).
- Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 17 km, 435 m elevation gain, 600 m elevation loss.
- Accommodation: a small hand-picked 3-star hotel (Fortuna Hotel or similar)
Day 8: Departure or Onward Travel
Today a private transfer is organised to Miskolc station to take your train back to Budapest (2 hours). Reach the airport by public transport or spend an extra night in Budapest.
Hotels for Hungary Carpathians: Bükk National ParkGo to top of page
2 and 3-star hotels or family-run guesthouses, as indicated in the itinerary, one night is in a mountain chalet. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days, as well as dinners on Days 3 (Felsőtárkány) and 5 (Jávorkút). When no restaurant location is available on route lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your hotel or restaurants and taverns in the village near your hotel.
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Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Budapest.
Flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.
Transfers to/from Airports
Airport transfers by train are recommended for this trip, as they are much cheaper and faster compared to car or bus transfers. All other transfers (including train tickets Budapest-Eger on Day 2, Miskolc-Budapest on Day 8 and two private transfers by taxi from train station to hotel on Day 2 and from the hotel to Miskolc train station on Day 8) are included.
Hungary: Country Info
Language: Hungarian. In big cities, many people speak English, but in remote areas, this might not be the case. However, most of the hotel personnel where we stay speak English and are ready to help you. Road signs/markers are in Latin alphabet – and you can always call our 24/7 helpline if there are any problems.
Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50hZ, two-pin round plugs.
Currency: We strongly advise taking sufficient cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are available, and credit/debit card payments are widely accepted in towns and cities and big petrol station chains but might be limited at some of the villages we visit.
Up-to-date travel advice on Hungary is available here.
Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.
Trip Info for Hungary Carpathians: Bükk National ParkGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
Appropriate for experienced walkers. Requires a sound level of fitness. Although the terrain is not demanding and there are no steep ascents (highest point is only 1,011 m above sea level), this trip may include 4-6 hours of walking per day (up to 18 km of walking). Total walking is 75 km, on average 15 km per walking day. Overall elevation gain is 2,000 m, average elevation gain per walking day is 400 m (read more about difficulty grades).
We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available from April until October.
Late spring, the whole summer and early autumn are beautiful in the Carpathian Mountains with colourful foliage in late spring, gorgeous sunsets in summer and warm panoramas in fall. Weather is best in July – September.
The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.
The climate in the region is continental. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but, in the May-September period, the daily averages are 20 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cooler with occasional rain. Expect the weather to change rapidly during the day.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 25 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
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- Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps
- Accommodation for 7 nights in hand-picked 2 and 3-star hotels or family-run guesthouses as listed in the itinerary
- 7 Breakfasts
- 2 Dinners
- Daily luggage transport to next hotel on walking days (Days 3-7)
- Train tickets (Budapest-Eger on Day 2, Miskolc-Budapest on Day 8)
- 2 private transfers by taxi from train station to hotel on Day 2 and from hotel to train station on Day 8
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office / representative
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
- This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost
Please use the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the cost of the holiday and the different options for your preferred date.
Other Trip-Related Costs
- Train (EUR 2-4) from Budapest Airport to Budapest centre on Day 1
- Train (EUR 2-4) from Budapest train station to Budapest Airport on Day 8
- Entrance fees for attractions and museums
- Flights and airport transfers
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned in the programme
- 1 extra night in Budapest before the walking holiday
- 1 extra night in Budapest after the walking holiday
- ‘All-in’ four-day Budapest extension (included 3 overnights on a B&B basis, 3-day travel card, city tour, coffee & cake, spa entry)
- You can also extend this tour by booking our Budapest and the Danube Bend short break as an add-on.
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Overall a great walk. I would not call Bukk 'mountains' but rather 'hills '- but if you know what to expect it is fantastic! All the details of train schedules, buses and accommodation worked without a hitch and Judith was very helpful, she answered all our question and provided lots of useful information. This was our first walking holiday with natural adventures, looking forward to visiting Czechia next year.