Hiking through rolling hills and tiny villages East Cserhát one would hardly imagine that this landscape was formed by intensive volcanic activity. We may spot volcanic traces in various places, such as the stones of Hollókő Castle or in the foundation of houses in the fabulous Ófalu (Old Village), the solid lava flow at Szanda or the rocky paths of Tepke Ridge.
Natural beauties together with traditional, socialist and post-socialist architecture create a unique mixture to take you on a strange travel back in time.
The trail takes you up to the hill of Szanda with castle ruins on the top and spectacular geological formations including the unique andesite slide, that is a concave curvilinear columnar jointed rock. The view from the top clearly shows the typical Cserhát landscape with wooded low hills and basins with fields, pastures and small villages.
Ascending to Szandváralja and Terény the trail passes a row of beautiful ‘palóc’ houses and crossses Cserhátsurány to enter the largest forest of the area. Passing Nógrádsipek the trail ascends in a valley to volcanic peaks and makes a short detour for the lookout on Dobogó-tető with a view over mountains in Slovakia and Mátra Mountains in the next section of the Blue Trail.
Next the trail arrives in Hollókő with the castle and the UNSECO World Heritage Old Village (Ófalu). Passing two other villages the trail ascends to Tepke, which geologically belongs to Mátra. Descending from the hill the mass of Mátra is more and more inviting. To accept this invitation you will need to proceed through some other hills and villages of Cserhát and arrive at Mátraverebély crossing Zagyva river, the natural border between the two regions.
- Make a short detour to the Castle of Szanda (10-20 min).
- Visit the Reel-to-reel tape recorder museum in Terény.
Recommended entries and exits
- Szandaváralja (OKTPH_93): bus stop “Szandaváralja, szövetkezeti italbolt”
- Cserhátsurány (OKTPH_94_1, OKTPH_94_2): bus stop “Cserhátsurány, takarékszövetkezet”
- Nógrádsipek (OKTPH_95_1, OKTPH_95_2): bus stop “Nógrádsipek, autóbusz-váróterem”
- Hollókő (OKTPH_96_1, OKTPH_96_2): bus stop “Hollókő, autóbusz-váróterem”
- Bableves csárda – near Alsótold (OKTPH_97): bus stop “Kozárd, nagymezői elágazás”
- Nagybárkány (OKTPH_98_1): bus stop “Nagybárkány, községháza”
- Take the road from Becske train stop to Becske (2 km).
- The bus stop in Becske lies on the Blue Trail.
- 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 Mátraverebély park your car at Szentkút, which lies on the Blue Trail.
- In Becske park your car in the village center.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Basic gear: hiking boots, seasonable wear, drinking water, food. Use Természetjáró app. to navigate.
Basic Equipment for Long-Distance Hikes
- Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Hiking socks
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
- Hiking poles
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- First aid kit
- Kit para bolhas
- Bivy / survival bag
- Survival blanket
- Pocket knife
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
- Emergency contact details
- Tent (3- or 4-season)
- Stove (including fuel and utensils)
- Sleeping mat. Sleeping bag with suitable temperature rating.
- Toiletries and medication
- Toilet paper
Things to Bring if Staying in a Mountain Hut
- Toiletries and medication
- Quick-drying towel
- Ear plugs
- Sleeping bag liner
- Alpine club membership card if applicable / ID
- Coronavirus mask and hand sanitizer
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.