- 7 Sep 2021 5:26 AM
The National Blue Trail of Hungary was picked among the best trips to take in 2020 by National Geographic - see why in the video below.
By January of 2021 more than 7000 hikers had completed the legendary National Blue Trail of Hungary marked with a blue horizontal stripe (1165 km).
The trail traverses the northern side of the country between Írottkő and Hollóháza via each major mountains, the capital and Balaton too. The terrain, the atmosphere, geological and cultural values are so much varied that each section and each day gives unforgettable experiences.
Brief history of the National Blue Trail
In 1930, the Hungarian Hiking Association set the trailheads and the direction of the Blue Trail crossing the whole country. Originally, it was shorter connecting Bükk Mountains and Bakony Mountains to guide hikers via tourist sites along the route.
Setting the route and marking the trail progressed slowly and was interrupted by WW2 leaving one fifth of it unmarked. It reached its final length after the political changes of ’89 as the western trailhead (Írott-kő) on the state border became accessible.
In the 1950s, on the initiative of Budapest Lokomotív Sportsclub Hiking Division the Blue Trail was integrated into a hiking movement, sectioning the trail and awarding completion. In the beginning, participation was limited to members of the club, but later other hikers were welcome too.
Due to growing popularity management was handed over to the Hungarian Hikers’ Association in 1961. Since then the Association has been the sole organizer of the Blue Trail movement.
The Blue Trail gained a nationwide fame via the legendary hiking documentary filmed in 1979 by Pál Rockenbauer (One and half million steps in Hungary). The popularity of the primary hiking trail of the country has been rising and in the 2010s the record number of hikers completing it is beaten year by year.