Bodajk - Szárliget (OKT-10.)
Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség Verified partner Explorers Choice
Crossing Vértes is a multi-day challenge and yet not a laborious hike. Looking up from Bodajk towards Vértes we can see a high wall of mountains towering over the basin. However, this view is deceiving because this hike takes you through a mountain with the slightest slopes in West Hungary. Vértes is a series of low rising dolomite horsts divided by northwest to southeast valleys. By height it is a range of hills below 500 meters. Due to its location it hides numerous historic sites and the area is interwoven by an extensive network of hiking trails. It stretches between Kisalföld and Mezőföld thus protecting the former coronation town of Székesfehérvár as a natural obstacle with number of castles, some along the Blue Trail such as the Castle of Csókakő, Várgesztes, Csáki-vár and Vitányvár. The peace of large woodland attracted monks as well, who established monasteries.
Covering this section you can expect an easy mountain hike with only few lookouts but large beech forests and steep-walled gorges. An abandoned village and the largest open-pit bauxite mine of Europe will also be a part of your experience.
- You hike starts in the wine region of Mór (with Ezerjó Wine Route of Mór)
- Open-pit Mines of Gánt: Geological Park Of Bauxite showcasing the past of mining.
- Besides ruins your hike may include a visit to partly restored castles of Csókakő and Várgesztes.
- Before exiting the woodland to arrive at Szárliget make a detour to Körtvélyesi lookout tower with a view over Gerecse Mountains.
- Due to its rock composition springs are scarce. Make sure to have sufficient water.
Recommended entries and exits
- Gánt (OKTPH_51_1, OKTPH_51_2): bus stop “Gánt, községháza”
- Várgesztes (OKTPH_54_1, OKTPH_54_2): bus stop “Várgesztes, autóbusz-forduló”
Track typesShow elevation profile
- Follow the Blue (K) marker all along the trip.
- From Csókakő train stop proceed to Csókakő along the roadway crossing Road 81.
- Hike along the main street of Csókakő and the trail climbs up to the plateau.
- Past Géza picnic spot the trail descends to Gánt. Turn left in the center.
- Hike through Pap Valley to arrive at Mindszentpuszta.
- Proceed to Kőhányáspuszta via the ruins of Csáki Castle.
- After curling north the trail arrives below the castle of Gesztes and soon enters Várgesztes.
- Walk along the main street and turn right at a fishing pond.
- Past Mátyás-kút (Mátyás Well) head northeast to the ruins of Vitányvár.
- From the ruin head towards Körtvélyespuszta.
- The trail reaches the hikers’ lodge of Csákányospuszta through Mária Gully.
- Turn south and then east and hike parallel to Road 1 until the road connecting Csákányospuszta and Szárliget. Cross Road 1 at the parking lot and enter Szárliget.
- In Szárliget follow Baross Gábor Street to reach the overpass at the railway station.
Csókakő train stop – Gánt
This section starts with a lengthy hike along a paved road to and inside Csókakő with a view over Vértes towering over the village. As a result of a dip-slip Vértes borders the Basin of Mór with a sharp edge. The white castle on the cliff is worth the climb to have an insight into its history and a view over the basin. The spacious valley between the two mountains was crossed by an important trade route and it was guarded by the Castle of Csókakő. The Blue Trail stamper is placed on a utility pole in the parking lot at the bottom of the castle hill. The Blue (K) Trail skirts the castle and ascends to the plateau of Vértes through a narrow and rocky gully. At the top (400-450 m) the trail begins an easy traverse over the slightly rolling plateau in the woods. Trail branching southeast explore the dry and narrow gorges of Vértes.
The trail continues along a paved logging road for around 1.5 km until it turns off the road at a hairpin to get closer to the more fractured southern rim. You will soon reach a tiny clearing on the rim of a small valley, which is one of the sparse lookouts in Vértes (Géza-pihenő).
Proceed towards Gánt. The trail begins a short descent to the beautiful valley of Kápolnapuszta. The trail follows the valley and at the end enters Gánt. Get the stamper at Mary Néni Vendéglője (Aunt Mary’s Restaurant) or at Gránás hikers’ lodge.
Make a detour to the former bauxite mine near the village resembling a red Martian landscape. It used to be the largest bauxite open-pit mine in Europe. The entrance to the Geological Park of Bauxite is southeast of the village showcasing the past of bauxite mining. There are great lookouts on the barren hills above Gánt with abandoned mining villages on the other side.
Gánt – Várgesztes
The trail returns to the hills through fields around Gánt and enters the narrow Pap-völgy (Pap Valley) where it traverses a chain of pretty clearings with a slight ascent. Following a little steeper ascent the trail reaches Mindszentpuszta with a hikers’ lodge (and a stamper on the fence). The trail descends to Ciklámen Valley named after flowers planted there and continues through a beech forest to climb the slope of Öreg-Bükk.
It takes a short detour to the ruins of Csáki Castle. The path to the left leads to the rim of a mine pit with a splendid view to the northwest with Oroszlány and Kisalföld in the distance. Continue hiking across clear-cuts and beech forests to arrive at Kőhányáspuszta (stamper on a wooden pole outside Steinau house). Today the small village with the chapel along the road connecting two Esterházy properties is a holiday resort.
Cross the paved road and the wide right-of-way clearance. As a result of dip-slip the steep footwall is visible just opposite. The trail continues along a beautiful and narrow valley towards Várgesztes through extensive beech forests. Past Német-völgy turn left follow the winding path to a small plateau. Past a clear-cut turn off the forestry road to descend in a ravine to the paved road. The Castle of Gesztes is towering above. Sadly, currently it is not open to visitors. Head towards the village (stamper in Vadásztanya Pub and in Gesztes Market food store in the main street).
Várgesztes – Szárliget
Leave the village along Arany János Street and skirt the fishing pond. The trail begins a steep ascent to Zsigmond-kő. Make a detour to the peak along spur trail Blue▲(K▲) for the great view over the tiny basin of Várgesztes and to the northwest.
Traversing the fabulous beech forest of Gadóz you will arrive at Mátyás-kút (Mátyás Well) and a hikers’ lodge. The trail continues near clear-cuts and crosses a paved logging road and reaches a beech forest again. One of the trees displays the face of Pál Rockenbauer (renowned hiker, tv editor, creator of a legendary hiking documentary on the Blue Trail) carved on the trunk with badges and relics left behind by hikers.
Follow the rocky path to the saddle behind Vitányvár. A short detour will take you to the decaying ruins of the castle built in the 14th century. The trail ascends in a narrow ravine and passes the last larger beech forest of Vértes. Take the paved logging road and turn left at the junction onto a path.
The trail gets steeper and steeper and reaches the dry gully of Mária-szakadék. Hike through the shady gorge to arrive at the hikers’ lodge of Csákányospuszta (a half an hour detour to reach Körtvélyesi lookout tower).
The trail continues across Csákányospuszta with decaying farm buildings and pastures. After crossing the bridge over the creek continue along the paved road. Past Road 1 the view over Gerecse Hills unfolds ahead. Hike straight through the fields towards Szárliget. In Szárliget, keep ahead to the train station. Take the overpass to the other side and you will find the stamper in front of the office.
- Get of at Csókakő railway station (not Bodajk). (Sparse) train services from Komárom and Székesfehérvár.
- Get off at bus stop „Bodajk, lakótelepi elágazás”. Bus services from Zirc and Székesfehérvár.
- Szárliget railway station is accessible by trains from Budapest, Tatabánya, Komárom and Győr.
- Bus stop “Szárliget, vasútállomás bejárati út” is accessible by coaches from Tatabánya.
- Csókakő train station located near Bodajk lies on the Blue Trail.
- The Blue Trail crosses Szárliget railway station via an overpass.
- Free of charge parking in Bodajk town center or at the crossroads of Május 1. Street and Táncsics Mihály Street.
- Free of charge parking behind Szárliget railway station building in the parking lot of the supermarket.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
- Hiking map of Vértes
Basic gear: hiking boots, seasonable wear, drinking water, food. Use Természetjáró app. to navigate.
- 32 Waypoints
- 32 Waypoints
Questions and answers
Photos from others