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Hiking Trail Stage

Mátraháza - Sirok (OKT-21.)

· 3 reviews · Hiking Trail · Northern Hungary Bergland · open
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  • The TV tower of Kékestető from a bird's-eye view
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    Photo: Barna Burger, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
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    Photo: Barna Burger, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
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    / Kéktúra 8. rész: Ennél magasabbra nem lehet lépcsőzni Magyarországon
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    Photo: Barna Burger, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
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    Photo: Barna Burger, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
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    Photo: Barna Burger, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
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    Photo: Barna Burger, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
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    Photo: Barna Burger, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
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    Photo: Barna Burger, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / A Sas-kő ősszel
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / The view from Kékestető
    Photo: Attila Gulyás, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
  • / Az elkeskenyedő Mátra-gerinc a Sas-kőnél
    Photo: Áron Dömsödi, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
300 600 900 1200 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 Kékestető, Tető étterem (OKTPH_106_2) Sas-kő

The 21th section of the Blue Trail sets off from the highest peak of Hungary and begins a ridgeline hike of unmatched beauty. Exploring picturesque forests and lookouts of this section will be the toughest of hikes along the Blue Trail.

open
moderate
23.3 km
7:30 h
990 m
1560 m

Basically, eastern Mátra is a 13 km-long southwest-to-northeast ridgeline with short and steep side ridges attached on both sides. The steep valleys between them hide rapid creeks (Závoz-völgy), cascades (Ilona-völgy) and gorges (Tarjánka-szurdok). These valleys divide the ridge into a series of saddles (“kapu” on the map) and conic peaks making the hike in this section keep rolling from peak to peak.

At the same time, this is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Hungary. Steep cliffs and the vista from andesite rock formations over the flat Alföld (Great Plain) to the south or mountains to the north and east truly reward hikers for their effort. As the mountain is not very extensive and neighboring mountains are close Mátra grants an unusually intensive sense of height from its lookout points.

The picturesque hike between Kékes-tető and Markazi-kapu runs along an especially narrow ridgeline. The top of the andesite crest sometimes hardly provides space for more than a footpath. The trail passes the cliff of Sas-kő, which affords a view over both sides. This is especially exciting in mild winters when the hillsides in the north are snow-covered while the mosaic of fields in the south show a cavalcade of colors.

The landscape of this region was inappropriate to establish settlements as it lacks flat mountain tops as opposed to West Mátra. As soon as we step into the silver world of mature beech forests past Kékes-tető traces of human activity are limited to hiking and logging trails and buildings.

Compared to other mid-mountains in the country Mátra is abundant in rock formations and natural lookout points. Together with exposed ledges and nomadic circumstances these features make your hike through East Mátra one of the most memorable hikes all along the Blue Trail.

Author’s recommendation

  • Make a detour for a dayhike from Kékestető to Parádsasvár and visit Károlyi Castle designed by Miklós Ybl and the Glasblowers’ Workshop with a historic background of 300 years.
  • Sástó: the lake and its surroundings with a lookout tower and a nature trail as well as the Adrenaline Adventure Park in an abandoned andesite mine.
  • Make and out-and-back trip from Markazi-kapu to the waterfall of Ilona-völgy, the highest natural waterfall of the country; 1-1.5 hours back and forth Green ● (Z●); especially spectacular after heavy rainfall and melting.

Recommended entries and exits

  • The trail runs far from inhabited areas so possible exits are distant.
  • Kékestető (OKTPH_106_1): bus stop “Kékestető, Szanatórium
  • 7 km from “Hármashatár foresters’ lodge” stamping location (OKTPH_107): bus stop “Markaz, posta
outdooractive.com User
Author
Áron Dömsödi
Updated: July 19, 2019

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Kékestető, 1014 m
Lowest point
Sirok, 152 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

  • The trail often follows rocky terrain. Make sure to wear sturdy boots.
  • The trail runs far from inhabited areas with limited access to trailside water. Make sure to have sufficient drinking water supply.

Equipment

Basic gear: hiking boots, seasonable wear, drinking water, food. Use Természetjáró app. to navigate.

Start

Mátraverebély, railway station (716 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
47.869421, 19.978597
UTM
34T 423616 5302292

Destination

Sirok, village center

Turn-by-turn directions

Itinerary

Follow the Blue (K) marker all along the trip.

  • From Mátraháza climb to Kékes-tető (mostly along ski tracks).
  • From Kékes proceed to Hármashatár hikers’ lodge (stamping location).
  • Climb to Oroszlánvár.
  • Hike to the lookout of Gazos-kő.
  • Ascend to Sirok railway station.
  • Take the paved road to the center of Sirok.

Detailed description

Mátraháza – Kékes-tető

Set off along the paved road to Kékes and past the exit sign of Mátraháza take the foot path into the wood on the left to reach the grassy ski track. Ascend along the track to Kékes-tető. Looking back you can enjoy the view to the west with the silhouette of Naszály and Visegrád Mountains.

Just in front the TV tower is rising (176 m) and on the left the stone in Hungary’s national colors signal the highest point of the country at 1014 meters. Expect only a flat top not a peak. Kékes-tető, anyway, was an unknown mountain top until Hungary lost large areas with all its higher peaks as a result of Treaty of Trianon. Development started only in the 1920s by building a ski resort soon making it a popular destination. Unfortunately, developments lag behind modern needs.

The TV tower offers an excellent 360 degree view with as distant mountains on the horizon as the High Tatras and Great Fatra. It is worth visiting it in winter too when it rises beyond cloud cover (stamper at the entrance of the medical center; in summer; Check its park for tame squirrels).

Kékes-tető – Hármashatár

The trail enters a mature beech forest near the tower and leaves civilization behind. Keep ascending and pass the junction of the cross-country ski track (“síút”) just bending in a saddle. The ridge narrows down just to a few meters and you will arrive at Szent Erzsébet-kereszt with a beautiful vista. From then on the trail is lined with a perpendicular rock wall. Rushing waters of neighboring creeks etched off the ridge and hard andesite got protruded by the erosion of its environment during the last ice age. At the foot of the wall scree has accumulated. At a point the ridge gets so narrow that the trail follows the rock plates. Finally, you will arrive at a cliff protruding to both sides.

 Sas-kő (Eagle Rock, 898 m) is a great lookout point with a wide angle view to the north and east with the Bükk plateau, the round Hills of Heves-Borsod and the elephant-like mass of Karancs. At the peak a monument from 1930 commemorates hikers who died in WW1. Climbing down on the southern side of the rock you will get to another lookout point hanging over the valley with a view towards Alföld (including Mátra Power Plant using local lignite deposits).

Past Sas-kő the trail leaves the ridge and descends to the side to round the cliff of Kis-Sas-kő (Little Eagle Rock). A small clearing along the path affords a view back to Kékes and Galya with intact spots of mature woods on the northern slope of the mount. You will soon arrive at Markazi-kapu. Geographical names with „kapu” refer to saddles or passes across the ridge north-to south. They make your hike quite tiring as every ascent is followed by a descent. So to reach Hármashatár (stamping location in rain shelter) you need to climb Mraznica-tető and Felső-Tarjánka, too.

Hármashatár – Sirok

The trail steeply ascends to Nagy-Szár-hegy (743) but the mount with a grove of ancient twisted trees on the top awards you with a view to the south and west. Proceed to enter the dense forest, although this part shows more and more signs of intense forest management.

The next peak to climb is Oroszlánvár with an obstructed view to the south. It used to be the site of a castle built after the Mongol Raid (moat still visible). A steep and slippery ascent takes you to Domoszlói-kapu, where not only a road crosses the ridge but the high voltage overhead power line also. Rolling is not over yet. The trail ascends to the twin peaks of Jagus and Nagy-Zúgó-hegy (600 m) with a hunters’ lodge in the saddle.

The next challenge is Szederjes-tető (675 m). Past the peak the trail continues on an easier and descending terrain with fewer obstacles. After a half an hour’s hike you will arrive at Gazos-kő.

This is where Mátra last shows its picturesque landscape from an exposed rock with a wide angle view on lower hills of the mountain and streets of Recsk beyond the forest in the north. Back in the woods that trail passes a few more tops and leads to the valley of Tarna river, the borderline of Mátra. Past a rain shelter you will arrive at a paved road and continue to the right to the disused train stop (stamper). As no train takes you home from here, head north and at the junction turn right onto the road to the village. You can find the stamper for the most exciting Blue Trail section on the terrace of Hunor Restaurant.

Public transport

Public transport friendly

  • Get off at bus stop „Mátraháza, autóbusz-állomás” from Gyöngyös or Parád.
  • Get on at bus stop “Sirok, bükkszéki elágazás” to reach Recsk, Gyöngyös and Eger.

Getting there

  • In Mátraháza, the bus stop lies on the Blue Trail.
  • In Sirok, the bus stop lies on the Blue Trail.

Parking

  • In Mátraháza, free of charge parking lot at the junction of the road to Kékestető.
  • In Sirok, paid parking below the castle, free parking in the village.
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Author’s map recommendations

  • Hiking map of Mátra


Questions & answers

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Reviews

4.3
(3)
Andrea Hauczinger
July 04, 2019 · Community
Gyönyörű, de nagyon nehéz túra volt. Nem könnyítette meg, hogy esős időben tettük meg, és hosszú szakaszok voltak nagyon sárosak. Kevés helyen lehet ivóvizet találni, nekünk többet kellett volna vinni.
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József Kancsár
March 17, 2019 · Community
Jó volt. :)
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Judit Makai
March 14, 2019 · Community
Február végi havas, jeges csúszós terep. Veszélyes volt itt-ott, de maradandó élményekkel zártuk le utunkat.
show more
Mátraháza-Sirok1
Photo: Judit Makai, Közösség
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Photo: Judit Makai, Közösség
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Photo: Judit Makai, Közösség
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Photo: Judit Makai, Közösség
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Photo: Judit Makai, Közösség
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Photo: Judit Makai, Közösség
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Photo: Judit Makai, Közösség
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Photos of others

+ 3

Status
open
Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
23.3 km
Duration
7:30 h
Ascent
990 m
Descent
1560 m
Public transport friendly In and out Scenic Cultural/historical value Geological highlights Botanical highlights Faunistic highlights Healthy climate

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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