It takes time, but gradually eastern European countries gain in popularity amongst tourists. Where popular destinies lost their authenticity and are overrun with people, countries like Hungary are a relief for those who seek clean air, quiet and pure nature resorts and friendly people. Meet the undiscovered Hungary and visit Pécs.
Most people associate Hungary with Lizst, Bartok and goulash. Some are familiar with the capitol Budapest and the fact that the city is divided in two parts by the river Donau. Only very few know that Hungary produces very fine wine, has overwhelming nature, mountains and nature reserves and lots of culture.
City of Pécs
South of the lake Balaton at the foothills of the Mecsek-mountains lies the city of Pécs. Belonging to the comitaat (= district) Baranya and with nearly 160.000 inhabitants, it is the fifth city of Hungary. Because its location in the south the city offers a mediteranean atmosphere. It is a lively but relaxed city with a regular sunday market with antiques, curiosa, fresh food and live animals.
Pécs was one of the cultural capitals of 2010 and is known for it`s relaxed atmosphere, beautiful churches and the famous Zolnay porcelain. The former Zolnay factury complex is converted into a cultural center with several expositions about it`s history and a program containing frequent musical performances. This unspoiled city deserves to be discovered. After that you could start exploring the district, starting with a view from the 640 feet (194 meters) high television tower.
Mecsek mountain range
North an not far from the city of Pécs stretch the mountains from the Mecsek mountain range. It is a large area that covers up to 200 square miles (500 kilometers). Part of this district belongs tot a 6.200 hectare nature reserve with animals like red deer, wild boar, squirrels, badgers, woodpeckers and owls.
Hungarian wine culture
Hungary also has a rich winemaking history. The Villany wine district is located in the south between Pécs and the border. Here you will find several wineries and cellars. More inland and northwest of Pécs there are some smaller wineries. They are open for those who are interested to find out how the Hungarians made wine 100 years ago. It is also possible to have a tour and dinner arrangement.
In the same neighbourhood tourist can visit a 100 hectare biological farm with mostly authentique Hungarian animal species, like the Mangalitza pig, Szurke Marha cow and Racka sheep. All these animals are kept in natural environment and are raised without chemical supplements. Visitors are welcome to the farm which has also a small shop where one can buy homemade products like goat milk, cheese and meat.
Hungary is well known for its thermal baths. In fact there is not a country in the world that has more thermal baths then Hungary. Even before the era of the Romans, these warm and medicinal waters were appreciated. But the Romans were the first to built special bath houses around these water wells. Among the cities in this part of Hungary that offer thermal baths are Harkany, Silkos, Magyarhertelend and Szigetvar. Sometimes even in combination with a relaxing body massage.
Place to stay: Mókus Valley Eco Lodge
Mókus Valley Eco Lodge is settled in in a forest and spot on the border of a 6200 hectare nature reserve. Here you can fiend plenty of wildflowers and fauna. Some of the animals like deer and woodpecker pay a daily visit to Mókus Valley. Visitors enjoy and appreciate the peace and quietness of this only adult location. If you want to explore the surroundings you can wander around by foot or use one of the free to use bicycles.
Visitors can choose between two cottages: the Rose House and the Gypsy Wagon. The owners are working on a third accommodation. The Gypsy Wagon had a former live as a circus wagon and and shooting stand on fairs. After an extensive reconstruction it is now a comfortable cabin with a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom and …yes, off course: Wi-Fi.
The Rose House is a 150 year old cottage that has been used for keeping bees and the storage of hives. The cottage has been renovated drasticly into a 2 person intimate cabin.
As in the Gypsy Wagon, this cottage is richly equipped and has its own kitchen, bathroom, fridge, microwave, stove, Wi-Fi and satelite TV. For the chilly evenings there is a wood stove.
Travelling by car Mókus Valley can be reached by following the ‘freeway to Pecs. From there it’s only 30 kilometers on minor highways. The last 5 kilometers will lead you on local roads to Mókus Valley.
Click here for more information on Mókus Valley Eco Lodge and its surroundings »