We start from the Nagymaros-Visegrád railway stop next to Szent Kereszt Church that is decorated with a Medieval-looking tower. We follow the National Blue Trail crossing Szent Imre Herceg square, and head towards the Kálvária. Our route leads past the beautiful, carved gate of house Nr. 4, which is not only characteristic of Nagymaros, but to all Swabian houses of the Danube Bend. On the way from the Visegrád ferry to the train station, we can see a lot of these gates, and some of them are beautifully restored. We find the 2nd information board of the Gesztenyés Study Trail of Nagymaros at the next corner, at the bottom of the stairs of the Kálvária. (The first is at the bank of the Danube.) We follow the study trail for about 1.5 kilometres.
We tread on the stairs of the Kálvária, many of which bear names of donors carved in them in the 1920s. The panorama of the Visegrád Castle is not the best yet at the Kálvária Chapel, but it is still nice to take a small rest here. Continuing our way, we come upon the sweet chestnut trees the study trail is named after to the right of the chapel; unfortunately, here on Fehér Hill 86% of them have withered, so above the seemingly lush vegetation at eye level, there is a forest of dead branches. Sweet chestnut orchards at other parts of Nagymaros are healthier, but none of them is in perfect condition anymore, unfortunately. Story tells that sweet chestnuts were brought here during the reign of Charles I of Hungary (1301–42).
At the other side of the “orchard”, after the 4th information board, we follow the road to the left. Do not let yourself be put off by the jungle-like undergrowth with blackberries and nettles, that is our way and none other. We reach the 5th info board. If you cannot figure out which way to go from here, don’t beat yourself up about it, you are not the only one. Follow the asphalt road to the left. At the 6th info board the view of Visegrád and the Danube is getting better, and from the 7th, we do not have to keep guessing the way anymore, as the path on the steep downward slope is indicated by chestnut-shaped markings. At the 8th information board, introducing the flora of the area, the steep path exposed to the sun continues to be steep, but at least it turns into a shaded descent.
This could give us a perfect reason to be annoyed by having had to go all the way up just to go down again. Handle it according to your temper—as a consolation, know that this is the section where we can see the most amazing panorama of the tail of Szentendre Island peeking through the canopy. Finally, we reach the blue cross (K+) trail at the end of Fehér street, at a resting stop, where we are rewarded with a beautiful semicircular panorama from Lepence to Kismaros.
But our romantic downhill stroll is over, as from here, we are going to follow the steep ascent of the blue cross (K+) trail and the study trail, sometimes on the bare andesite rock, all the way to Köves Field. Our route is lined with oak and ash trees, with patches of black pine.
Here the blue cross (K+) trail to Zebegény crosses the National Blue Trail marked by blue (K) blazing. We turn left and continue our tour on the latter—if we have a compass, we follow the southern direction. On Köves Field, there is a resting stop, panorama, and concrete electricity poles lying on the ground. The Blue Trail continues in the woods, first between older trees, then in a forest of thinner, younger trees. The yellow (S) trail coming from Zebegény joins our path just before a clearing called Világos-tér. This trail and the Blue Trail are marked excellently—the blue cross (K+) trail we already tried not so much so—, so we might even have time to enjoy the scene a little, if not for the steep ascent that we are about to embark on, restricting our vision to rocks and leaf litter while we can only hope that Hegyes-tető (482 m) has not grown any further in the past couple of months due to tectonic movements.
We climb up to the Brother Julianus Tower, built in 1938–39, where we can enjoy a marvellous panorama. What is most interesting about it is that we cannot see the whole Danube Bend from here, as the Dömösi Strait is blocked from view by Szent Mihály Hill, but to the east, we can survey a gentler curve in the Danube with Visegrád, Szentendre Island and tourist boats, and to the west, with Szob, Pilismarót and tugboats.
After the lookout tower, we leave Ürmös Meadow decorated with a mobile phone relay antenna behind us, and descend to Szent Mihály Ridge on a shaded path. The yellow (S) trail branches off our path here, and so does the blue tunnel (KΩ) trail leading to Remete Cave. But we continue our way on the National Blue Trail among oak and ash trees—first on a rather steep section, where someone has nailed a board saying “Baloo Trail” on a tree blazed with the blue (K) marking. It is fixed quite professionally, but who knows who this Baloo is (I know, I know, Kipling...) and where this trail leads to.
The steep downhill slope levels out as it “turns into” Templom Valley, although the terrain does not get much easier, as it goes next to a deep gorge on the right side. We can notice something curious here. We are at about 150–200 metres above sea level, yet we can see beech trees among the oaks, ashes and maples—and beeches usually only grow above 500 metres. The unique microclimate of Templom Valley, only open to the north, makes it possible that the beech trees grow all the way to the first houses of Nagymaros.
Having left the last beech tree behind us, we enter the municipality, where Templom Valley is called Diófa street on the map. This street introduces us to the history of Nagymaros backwards as we descend: The first houses tell us the story of big dreams patched together of cheap mortgages in the ‘70s and ‘80s but never finished, then come the conservative block houses of the ‘60s, the modest cottages built in the ‘20s, and finally we see the richly decorated gates of old Swabian houses around the Nagymaros-Visegrád railway stop. The round tour ends at the bottom of the stairs of the Kálvária; one more corner, and we are back to the starting point.