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Last updated : Nov 2009
Hungary Sports
Hungary Sports - TravelPuppy.com
Wildlife

Hungary has 9 national parks and nearly 1000 protected areas. Hikers can head for the mountains in the north and northwest of the country. The Börzsöny, Mátra and Pilis ranges not far to the north of Budapest are popular, with the Mátra mountains containing Hungary’s highest peak, Kékesetö (1015m/3329ft).

Less strenuous walking is possible around Lake Balaton and in the hills in the south of the country. Hungary’s many wetlands, rivers and lakes attract large numbers of water birds and birdwatching is very popular. A particularly good area for this is Hortobágy National Park in the Great Plain in the east of the country, where different types of warblers, storks, eagles and herons can be seen. A guide is required for visits to parts of the park, and motor vehicles are not allowed. Other wildlife to be found in the country includes rare wild cats and lake bats, boar, otter and deer are also common.

Fishing

The River Tisza, by the Kisköre reservoir, is regarded by many as Europe’s second-best angling area. Accommodation for anglers is readily available, and guides can be hired when required. Species such as bream, carp, pike and trout are abundant. There are rules and regulations governing fishing seasons and licence's and for further information, contact the Hungarian National Tourist Office details in the Contact Addresses section.

Spa stays

Budapest alone has over 100 thermal springs and around fifty swimming pools and medicinal baths. The culture of bathing has been established since the Roman times, and today a wide variety of therapeutic treatments, both ancient and modern, is on offer.

Hungary’s bath houses are also of great architectural interest: the Király Medicinal Baths, for example, date from the Middle Ages, while the Rudas Medicinal Baths feature a fine dome dating from the 16th century.

Outside Budapest, notable spa resorts include Debrecen in the far east; Hévíz, near Lake Balaton, Harkány in the south, and Eger, northwest of Budapest. Treatment is cheaper than in western Europe or North America, and many foreign insurers pay part of the cost.

Other

Hungary has a long tradition of equestrianism, horseriding is particularly good and popular. Long-distance riding in areas such as the Great Plain with its wide open spaces is popular, and riders are well catered for. Hungary is the only European country, apart from Ireland, which places no restrictions on riders and there are many riding schools all over the country which can organise all types of excursions.

The Great Plain contains several famous stud farms, and horse shows take place regularly. Carriage driving is also very popular, and tourists can arrange to have tuition in this art through riding schools.

Cycling is a good way to see the country. Local tourist offices can assist in the organisation of cycling tours by providing bicycles, transporting luggage and arranging picnics and sightseeing and bicycles can be hired in many places, those planning to do longer tours should bring their own.
Useful travel links
www.enit.it Tourist Board of Hungary