We always have a vacation in September as it’s not that hot anymore, not that full of tourists everywhere, the prices are lower and the weather is still quite good for staying outside. This year, we changed plans a few times before actually choosing the final destination, and as the weather up in the mountains was not looking too good, we said that a road trip in Hungary will do the trick.
Hungary is one of Romania’s neighbor countries, so it was easy and quite fast to get to the border. The trip lasted 5 days in total and for the first time we decided to go camping outside Romania.
Hungary has lots to offer in terms of tourism, they promote their attractions quite well so you will have lots to see while driving a car on the country’s roads. From medieval fortresses, to hot springs and pools, the Danube crossing the country, beautiful small towns and villages, you will have it all.
Here’s a small preview of our trip (extended posts on each highlight will follow):
Day 1 Cluj Napoca – Carei – Boldogko Castle – Diosgyor Castle – Hollóstetői Hegyi Camping
First day started quite early as we had a lot to drive and quite a few stops on the road. We decided to go out of Romania via the Carei border and also to stop for a few hours to visit the town, the Karolyi Castle and the synagogue.
From there we entered Hungary and started exploring a bit some of the Medieval Castels Hungary has all over the place. So we visited Boldogko Castle and Diosgyor Castle.
We had dinner in Diosgyor, in a nice restaurant right next to the Castle, called Taliszman Pazio. Tasty garlic soup and goulash soup.
We spent the night in the Hollostetoi Hegyi Camping, which was nice, in a forest, quiet, but not the best of them all.
Day 2 – Miskolctapolca Cave Bath – Szalajka Volgy – Eger
Day 2 was the day we enjoyed the most during this trip. We started the day by going to Miskolctapolca Cave Bath and we spend there almost half a day. Inside a natural cave, they created a maze full of thermal waters. The experience is very cool and it seems that there are plenty of places like this in Hungary and Hungarians tent to go to places like this quite a lot.
After having a quick langos just outside Miskolctapolca, we drove to Szalajka Volgy, which is a small national park. Nothing too spectacular, but it’s a good option if you want to go outside and spend a few hours outdoors. They have restaurants, they also have a steam engine train, so for a family and kids this might be a nice place to go.
For the two of us, being used to high mountains and spectacular landscapes in Romania, it wasn’t something too interesting, but still the 2 hours walk we had while there, was quite enjoyable.
We spent the evening wondering around Eger and also visiting the Eger Castle. Eger is a small city, still having a Medieval structure and also known for its wineries and for its tasty wine.
Day 3 – Sirok Castle – Holloko Village and Castle – Visegrad Castle – Visegrad
Day 3 started again with a medieval Castle, The Sirok Castle. Going up to the Castle takes about 20 minutes so it’s a nice wake up walk in the morning. It also offers a nice view over the area and neighboring villages.
Hollocko was our next stop and we first visited the Hollocko Castle. The Village is an UNESCO Site, with very beautiful architecture and traditional Hungarian houses. It was very enjoyable to spend a few hours there and for us, it was one of the highlights of our Hungarian trip.
In the afternoon we headed to Visegrad, where we would spend our night at the Kek Duna Camping. After setting up the tent, we headed to the Visegrad Castle and then we took a nice walk on the riverside of the Danube, exploring the town. We stopped for dinner at Kovacs Kert Etterem, a nice restaurant, with very tasty food, based mostly on fresh fish from the Danube.
On our last day in Hungary, we crossed the Danube river, heading in the morning to the Vac town. Vac is a small town on the riverside of the Danube with about 35 000 inhabitants, but with a very nice town center, just perfect for a nice morning walk.
From here, we started driving back to Romania. We had a quick stop at the Egerszaloc Termal Baths, but this time we were a bit in a hurry, so we didn’t get the chance to take a swim.
Last stop, before leaving Hungary, was in Hortobagy, which is an area rich in traditions and rural culture and where we had the chance to witness a Shepard dogs contest. That was something we had never seen before and it was quite a nice experience, exactly what was needed for ending the trip.
We got to Oradea in the evening and spent the night there. Oradea is right at the border with Romania and about 3 and a half hours drive from Cluj Napoca.
It was such a nice surprise to discover how well this city looks. We were walking on the streets, looking at the beautiful architecture and just couldn’t believe our eyes.
Here’s the map with all the places we checked out.