Hortobagy

Picture of visitor_center Hortobagy is Hungary's oldest national park. The visitor center (shown here) is sort of out in the middle of the park. It's necessary to stop here and get maps in order to figure out what other parts of the park are actually accessible. The visitor center contains a small museum and a series of artisan stalls where assorted crafts are made in traditional manners.
Picture of seven_arch_bridge Across the road from the visitor center is a parking area for a wildlife park and also a good view of the seven-arched bridge. The bridge doesn't really have much to do with the national park but it's become a notable landmark anyway. Also in the village is a 300 year old inn that has been serving Hungarian food about that long. If you're looking for a small metal bucket of goulash, it's a great place to stop.
Picture of wetlands The park itself is centered on vast open prairie lands and wetlands associated with the Hungarian Puszta (steppe). The Tisza River runs through the area and is responsible for many of the large lagoons in the park.
Picture of water_buffalo For centuries, Hungary has been invaded by different tribes of people. Most of them brought their livestock and then they left them behind when the next wave of invaders came. Now the plains have an assortment of domesticated animals including cattle, Raczka sheep, Mangalica pigs, Nonius horses and of course, the water buffalo.
Picture of miniherd An area of lagoons a few kilometers west of the visitor center is the best place to see water buffalo which have a large enclosure there. There's apparently a tram that runs through this area for large tour groups. We have no idea exactly how that works but it's easy enough to just wander out into the prairie.
Picture of weasel There are otters in Hungary and we didn't see any. However we do have at least one member of the mustelid family to put on the web page. We tracked down this weasel in a logpile where he was kind enough to pose for a few photos.
Picture of plain A few other hiking trails are scattered around the park. From the trails it's really just grassland as far the eye can see. Every hiking trail we followed had at least one lookout tower. After climbing them there's a much better view of .. well .. grassland as far as the eye can see. This view has a few hundred sheep in it as well.
Picture of well Water wells in the Puszta region are unusually easy to spot. Most of them have enormous counter-levered drawing poles like this one.
Picture of farms

Back to Trips