- 7 Aug 2020 7:35 AM
Explore towns rich in monuments, relax in one of the many healing baths and round up your holiday with a gourmet dinner and wine tasting at the birthplace of Blaufränkisch wine, located in the north-western corner of Hungary.
The region has one of the largest spa complexes in the country: the Bükfürdő Health and Adventure Centre welcomes visitors and helps them rest and relax with 34 pools, an open-air slide park, health and wellness treatments.
Nearby, the Spa- and Wellness Centre in Sárvár offers fun for the whole family, young and old: while the health spa wing of the resort offers peaceful relaxation, the family wing is a place of boisterous fun, offering adventure pools and many water slides of varying sizes and speeds.
Those seeking quieter forms of recreation can try the smaller spas of Celldömölk, Hegykő and Balf.
Touched by History: Sopron and Kőszeg
There are two particularly wonderful towns near the Austrian border with Hungary. In fact, it’s safe to say that these two towns alone would justify a visit to this region.
The larger of the two towns, Sopron is one of the Hungarian cities with the largest number of monuments, it ranks second only to Budapest. Its narrow cobblestone streets are ideal for romantic strolls and its Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque buildings take visitors back to olden days.
The town’s unique charm is further enhanced by its vaulted arches, cosy little restaurants and coffee houses, its friendly wine taverns as well as the prevailing subalpine climate and romantic mountain environment.
Visit the Baroque main square, have a seat on of the terraces and take a look around while sipping a glass of Blaufränkisch (Blue Frankish). Almost every building in sight is a landmark in its own right.
The 58-metre tall Firewatch Tower (Tűztorony) has been standing guard here ever since the 13th century. In clear weather, you can even see the nearby Alps from the top of the tower.
Kőszeg is a true “jewellery box”. Its most significant landmark is the 13th century Jurisics Castle, which proved to be an impregnable fortress, its soldiers halted the advances of the Turkish army marching towards Vienna in 1532.
The irresistible charm of Kőszeg comes from its landmark churches and houses, maintained unchanged since the Middle Ages, and its town centre that offers several exhibitions.
The “Hungarian Versailles” and the “Greatest Hungarian”
History and culture meet in the magnificent baroque Esterházy Castle, located in Fertőd. Count Miklós Esterházy “the Brilliant”, a great Hungarian historical figure and cultural patron, decided to have a “Hungarian Versailles” built here after visiting France.
Joseph Haydn spent several decades here, working as the personal composer for the Count and his family. His music is often played in the castle to this very day.
When visiting the Count’s aristocratic suites, do not miss the panorama screening, which will take you on a virtual tour through 18th century Eszterháza (known as Fertőd today).
The life of Count István Széchenyi, often called the “Greatest Hungarian”, is largely connected to Nagycenk.
Located here, the Széchenyi Castle’s museum pays respect to this historic figure of Hungarian aristocracy and period politics, a substantial figure of the Hungarian Reformation, who is buried in the family mausoleum of the estate.
Nagycenk is home to one of the most beautiful linden tree alleys in Europe, stretching over 2,600 metres (1.6 miles) and lined with trees as old as 260 years.