Looking at Mátra from far, we can see a long range with a lower central part towering like a green wall over its surroundings. The former volcano’s ridgeline follows a sine wave with a parallel chain of peaks in the west making it more extensive there. Elsewhere only short side ridges stretch out of the central range. Do not expect considerable peaks in the higher region because Mátra reaches its highest points at flat tops as geographical names with “tető” also imply. What accounts for this phenomenon is the hardness of andesite, leaning structure due to tectonic shifts as well as later erosion. Real peaks are situated on the edge and the eastern ridge of the mountain.
The core range of Mátra runs high with flat tops and island-like peaks on two sides. As a result, the Blue Trail traversing the highest parts offers great wide angle views. In addition, vistas of various rock formations signalling past volcanic activity greatly contribute to the beauty of the mountains.
Apart from hills near the capital, Mátra is probably the most popular mountain among Hungarian hikers. It is not only because it has the two highest peaks in the country (Kékestető, Galya-tető), but because it is in intense use, as well. Flat tops, especially in the western part favoured establishing settlements. Due to their climate and natural location these villages are popular holiday resorts both in winter and summer. Extensive forests, network of roads, public transport and hiking trails attract numerous tourists. Although the number of hikers’ lodge is also considerable, especially in the west, the range and quality of other mountain sport services has not met demand yet.
The 20th section of the Blue Trail enters the forest at Mátraverebély and ascends to the hikers’ lodge at Ágasvár clearing with a nearly-alpine character. Past the lodge the trail traverses the ridge with a view into the gorge of Csörgő Creek. You will visit tourist resorts and reach the award-wining lookout tower atop Galya-tető (964 m) with a memorable vista on Mátra and surroundings. Finally, the trail descends into Mátra-nyereg (Mátra Saddle), the lowest point of the ridge. From there you will hike to Mátraháza to finish this section.
- Make a short but steep detour to the peak of Ágasvár along the Blue▲ (K▲) for one of the most stunning vistas in Mátra.
- Following a registration in advance take a guided tour in Csörgő-lyuk Cave (caving gear: helmet, light).
- Make a short detour from Mátraszentistván Vörös-kő lookout for the view to the north.
- A range of hikers’ lodge to stay overnight, such as Galya Turistacentrum in Galyatető, the hikers’ lodge of Ágasvár in the west, Vörösmarty hikers’ lodge in Mátraháza.
Recommended entries and exits
- Mátrakeresztes (near OKTPH_100_1, OKTPH_100_2): bus stop “Pásztó, Ágasvári menedékház”
- Mátraszentistván (OKTPH_101_1, OKTPH_101_2): bus stop “Mátraszentistván, autóbusz-váróterem”
- Galyatető (OKTPH_102_1, OKTPH_102_2, OKTPH_102_3, OKTPH_102_4): bus stop “Galyatető, Kodály Zoltán sétány”
- near Vércverés (OKTPH_103): bus stop “Mátraszentimre, nyírjesi kőbánya”
- Vörösmarty hikers’ lodge (OKTPH_104_1, OKTPH_104_2): bus stop “Mátraháza, Vörösmarty turistaház"
- In Mátraverebély, the Blue Trail runs along the crossing street near the bus stop.
- The train station in Mátraverebély lies on the Blue Trail.
- In Mátraháza, the bus stop lies on the Blue Trail.
- In Mátraverebély park your car at Szentkút, which lies on the Blue Trail or in front of the Mayor’s Office.
- In Mátraháza, free of charge parking lot at the junction of the road to Kékestető.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Basic gear: hiking boots, seasonable wear, drinking water, food. Use Természetjáró app. to navigate.