- From Csattogó Valley, following the Via Margaritarum (beads) trail east, we reach the red (P) trail.
- Switch to the red (P) trail and follow it north, along Les Valley, walking across Magyarkút.
- We must turn right on the blue cross (K+) trail joining the path, which will take us to the blue (K) trail on the south side of Magas Hill.
- Follow the blue (K) markings of the National Blue Trail to the left, meaning north.
- There is no trail leading to the Michalik Tamás Memorial. We can get there on a small path to the left—using the track marked on the route map.
- From the memorial, we can reach the Lokó resting stop on the little path meandering on the side of Kő Hill.
- From the Lokó resting stop, follow the blue (K) trail to east. Where the trail turns north after the ridge of Kis-kő Hill, continue straight on the unmarked dirt road. This will take us to the blue cross (K+) trail. (Follow the track marked on the route map.)
- Turn right on the blue cross (K+) trail, and go south.
- Upon reaching the blue (K) trail, turn right, and first follow it west, then south.
- At the city boundary of Magyarkút, switch to the blue square (K ◼) trail. After Irma Spring, a small, unmarked path branches off the road—we can take it as a shortcut to get to the red square (P ◼) trail.
- Walk up to Aranyoskút on the red square (P ◼) trail between the weekend houses. At Kilátó street, it is worth making a short roundtrip to our left to the lookout spot at the top of the cliff.
- Continue your way on the red square (P ◼) trail.
- We can make another roundtrip on the red triangle (P▲) trail to the right to the old lookout terrace of Borbély Hill, but, unfortunately, we will not be able to see much from there, as it is overgrown now.
- Continuing on the red triangle (P▲) trail again, descend to Verőce.
- Turning right on Bereg street, walk to the red (P) trail.
- Turning right on the red (P) trail, we are about to get back to the point where Via Margaritarum branches off to the left. We can follow it to return to Csattogó Valley.
Our hike essentially begins on the red (P) trail meandering along Les Valley, as we leave Verőce northbound. Our path leads on a gravel road also accessible by bicycle, accompanied by the sound of barking dogs among the weekend houses of diverse conditions. Meanwhile, we can see Borbély Hill towering like a pyramid on our right, which we will have the chance to climb towards the end of our route—although the trip leads to a lookout terrace that we cannot actually see much from anymore. If we come here during the summer, we also have to cross a yellow field of goldenrod; this invasive species is also planted as a decorative plant, but as it does not require much taking care of, it has spread as a weed in many places. It also has healing properties as a herb, including its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effect.
We are about to enter the west side of Magyarkút in the administrative district of Verőce, a quiet place with an intimate atmosphere. We cross the funny sounding Gimpli Creek on a bridge, then turn left following the red (P) trail at a charming relief reminding us of the stations of the cross. We continue our path among the weekend houses, where we have to put up with the constant barking of the dogs, and on top of it, we see a sign nailed to a tree, saying “Beware the bees!”—but if we stay on the trail, we have nothing to worry about. On our left hand side we can see the winding creek of Les Valley, or at least its rocky bed, as in times of drought it is mostly dried up, only having a few splashes of water. Meanwhile the wood gets increasingly dense. There are some fallen, mossy trees arching over the creek here and there, painting a fairytale picture of romantic wilderness. There is no sign of the Vác–Nógrád–Diósjenő railway line running just a few metres away, on the other side of the creek.
And thus we reach the point where the blue cross (K+) trail branches off our path, and where we have to turn right following it. The steepest section of the route is just ahead of us: We are facing a 90-metre elevation in the next 800 metres on the south side of Magas Hill before we reach the National Blue Trail. After we make our way through a thicket, the landscape changes instantly, becoming much more open. From here, going left on the blue (K) trail, we embark on a slow ascent to the summit of Nagy-kő Hill on the ridge. The name of the hill, “Nagy” (meaning “big”) is of course relative: It is only 383 metres tall.
Vista of the Nagy-Gerecse from the Michalik Tamás memorial
If we do not want to miss one of the most scenic lookout spots of the route, we will have to turn left shortly. Unfortunately, the blue (K) trail does not go there; we can reach the edge of Nagy-kő Hill’s surprisingly steep west side and the Michalik Tamás Memorial on a short, narrow path leading us out from the forest, where we will be amazed by the marvellous, 180-degree panorama. On the left, we can see a sparkling slice of the Danube Bend in the distance, with the citadel of Visegrád and Prédikálószék above it, and with Szent Mihály hill across the river; straight ahead and below us is Szokolya, and behind it in the far distance, we may even see the level top of Nagy-Gerecse, easily recognised by the contour of the TV tower. To the right, the scenery is ruled by a string of the Magas-Börzsöny Hills covered by forest. Although it appears to be rather small from here, we can also identify the lookout tower on top of Csóványos, the highest point of Börzsöny.
There is a wooden cross and two memorials on the little meadow covered by rupicolous grass. One of them was erected in the memory of Tamás Michalik, a member of the Kormanicki Gyula Tourist and Mountain Climbing Club, who was killed in a fatal kayak accident on the Danube in 2013.
If we spend enough time enjoying the scenery, we might notice an unexpected sound after a while. Although Csattogó Valley is a little further away, near Verőce, we might as well give the same name to Les Valley below us, as “csattogó” in Hungarian means “clattering”, and for a reason: it really does sound as if the valley itself made all that clattering noise we hear. But the clattering actually comes from the trains running on the previously mentioned Vác–Nógrád railway line. We may even see the carriages flashing through behind the trees.
A change of scenery at the Lokó resting stop
We can continue our way to the Lokó resting stop on a romantic, still unmarked but clear path running between the mossy green, crinkly-crankly oak trees heroically defying the steepness of the hillside, to join the National Blue Trail again. And this is literally the highest point of our route: the summit of Nagy-kő Hill. The rain shelter covered with a tent roof—also a checkpoint where we can collect stamps for our National Blue Trail booklets—was designed by Kálmán Zsuffa and it was built in 2009 for the 60th anniversary of the foundation of the Locomotive Tourist Club from public donations. We will find a lookout spot a few metres from it, from which we can see the Danube Bend and Nagy-Gerecse as we did from the Michalik Tamás Memorial, but Magas-Börzsöny is blocked from our view here.
From here, we continue our hike on the National Blue Trail. Leaving behind the Lokó resting stop and reaching the east side of the hill, the scenery magically changes in an instant: Walking under the dense canopy of hornbeams, among the fallen trees leaning on the ground covered by leaf litter, we feel as if it was autumn even in the height of summer.
We stay on the red (P) trail almost until it reaches the ridge of Kis-kő Hill. As it turns left in a big curve, we continue straight ahead on the unmarked forest road for about 6–700 metres, until we reach the blue cross (K+) trail. We follow this south, turning right. From Nagy Meadow, the forest gets thicker as we continue on the forest dirt road, but soon we will find ourselves on the National Blue Trail again, only a different section of it.
In the caldera of an ancient volcano
Szendehely is not far from here to the left, but we turn right, and are about to reach Aranyos-kút, where benches, a fire pit and a spring set in natural stone await us. We continue our way on a wide dirt road, accompanied by the creek of Keskeny-bükk on our left. We are walking in what is left of the erosion caldera of the stratovolcano of Magyarkút originating from the first period of volcanism in Börzsöny—today only the arch of the ridges of Keskeny-Bükk, Csapás Hill and Borbély Hill signal the old ring of the formation. The surface of the terrace that is a few metres above the level of the creek is covered with sediment of the hot springs that were a result of the post-volcanic activity.
Having crossed the creek, we slowly make our way back to the east side of Magyarkút through a thick regrowth littered with dead trees. And we reach Irma Spring, or rather what the area was named after, the impressively set Magyar-kút (“Magyar well”), where we can also quench our thirst. The “Kocsma a pipáshoz” restaurant stands directly next to it, with its modest dishes and friendly atmosphere, complete with a garden—although we are about to reach the end of our journey, it is nice to sit down here for at least a drink, enjoying the quiet environment under the parasols.
We take a shortcut on the path starting to the left after Irma Spring, and join the red square (P ◼) trail. If we go back a little on the trail, we can visit Gonzága Szent Alajos Tourist Chapel built to honour the patron of youth by the Tourist Division of the MÁV Machine Factory Sports Club in 1933. The building decorated with ridge turrets was designed specifically to accompany the ruins of an Arpadian church. Masses are only held here once every year, on 15th June.
And this brings us to the least interesting part of our route: We have to walk up to another holiday area of Verőce, Aranyoskút, on an asphalt road next to Papsom Rift Valley. Meanwhile we slowly and steadily conquer a 100-metre elevation again before we take a sharp right turn on the red square (P ◼) trail at the highest point of the district. It is worth stopping for a moment uphill to catch our breath, and taking a quick look at the summit of Csóványos behind us, as the distance grows between us.
The most beautiful panorama to conclude the journey
We are walking on a nice street with weekend houses. Watch out for a sign pointing to the Aranyoskút lookout spot after a left turn—there is no marked trail leading there, only Kilátó street, but we must not miss the panorama there. Keeping at a safe distance from the edge, we get to the spot from which we can look over the line of the Danube from a surprising proximity: We can see Szentendre Island stretching out on the river, Dunabogdány across the Danube, and Verőce below us. But the sight of the Visegrád citadel is undoubtedly the most majestic of it all; looking at it from here, it is obvious that it was built at the perfect place strategically. We may also be able to spot the lookout tower of Mogyoró Hill on its left, Prédikálószék a little further away, and behind it, the long ridges of Dobogó-kő. The left bank of the Danube Bend is ruled by the mass of Szent Mihály Hill, and we can see the white tower of the Szent Kereszt Felmagasztalása (“Apotheosis of the Holy Cross”) Church in Nagymaros, which was renovated in 2018.
Returning to the red square (P ◼) trail, we start our descent on a narrow path, leaving the houses of Aranyoskút behind us. We are about to reach the previously mentioned red triangle (P▲) trail branching off in the direction of the summit of Borbély Hill marking the edge of the old volcanic crater. There is a lookout terrace, made safe with railings, on the 283-m-high summit, which was also built by the Tourist Division of the MÁV Machine Factory Sports Club in the 1930s, but as it got overgrown over the years, it has somewhat lost its function, unfortunately. If we still decide to do the extra 400 metres there and then back again to see it, we can walk down to a dilapidated building slightly to the left to catch a glimpse of the scenery, but it does fall short of the beauty of the Aranyoskút panorama.
All that is left from here is walking down to Verőce following the red triangle (P▲) trail along Magyar-máli-dűlő. The trail enters the municipality at the slightly run-down Magyarkút-Verőce train station. If we want to end our trip in Csattogó Valley, we have to leave the trail on Bereg street, which will take us to the red (P) trail directly. Turning right here, we will soon reach Via Margaritarum going to the valley, and that brings us back to the starting and end point of our route.