Eperjes-Tokaj Region deeply stretches into Slovakia running north to south peaking at 1092 m (Šimonka). The northern part of the mountain begins with the Milic Group making up a narrow range of island-like volcanic peaks separated by narrow valleys and low saddles. The southern part in Hungary called Zemplén Mountains is a much more extensive mass.
Zemplén differs from other mountains in the country from aspects. Although the highest peaks do not even exceed 900 meters, hills of 500 to 700 meters in the central part form a closed wilderness area. The mountain made up mainly by andesite and rhyolite belongs to the inner volcanic range of the Carpathians, i.e. it is the result of volcanic activities triggered by tectonic shifts. Basins in the southern part hide tiny villages getting more and more popular among tourists.
Many separate eruption spots formed small volcanic peaks next to each other. Although original shapes have eroded by today, the tent-like peaks are still typical of the region. A telltale sign of this character is the word “sátor” meaning “tent” in some geographical names (e.g. Sátoros-hegyek, Sátoraljaújhely). As waters hardly can drain into volcanic rock mass, the area is abundant in surface waters running towards the rim of the mountains. Creeks have etched an extensive network of deep gorges so lookout points offer a view over an exceptionally segmented mountain.
Huge cliffs of Zemplén greatly contribute to the picturesque character of the mountains. They were formed by the impact of low temperature and water frozen in cracks during the last ice age resulting in fractures. These chimney-like rock formations, such as Nagy Péter-mennykő and Sólyom-bérc offer a stunning view over the area.
The majesty of Zemplén is accounted for by its remoteness also. Compared to other mountains in the country Zemplén is much less frequented by tourists and developments including tourist and public transport facilities lag behind other regions.
This section of the Blue Trail passes by ruins of two medieval castles (Castle of Boldogkő and Regéc), guides you along the picturesque valley of Arka Creek and takes you to tiny mountain villages. Next you will enter the central part of the mountains and climb to the lookout point at Nagy Péter-mennykő and Sólyom-bérc. After crossing the birchwoods of Istvánkút resembling a Lapland landscape you will pass the meadow of Zsidó-rét and head towards the eastern rim. The section ends near Sátoraljaújhely.
- Take your time to visit the castles of Boldogkő and Regéc.
- If you like nomadic environment, stay overnight at the hunters’ lodge of Istvánkút, deep inside Zemplén.
- Make a short detour to Nagy Péter-mennykő to enjoy the most stunning view in Zemplén.
- Make a short detour from Mlaka-rét to enjoy the splendid view from Solyóm-bérc.
- Take your time to explore the adventure park near Sátoraljaújhely with a lookout tower, a bobsled run, a chairlift, a zipline and various interesting geological features.
Recommended entries and exits
- Regéc (OKTPH_136_1, OKTPH_136_2, OKTPH_136_3): bus stop “Regéc községháza”
- 4.4 km from the hunters’ lodge of Istvánkút (OKTPH_137): bus stop “Háromhuta (Középhuta), templom”
- Makkoshotyka (OKTPH_139_1, OKTP_139_2): bus stop “Makkoshotyka, községháza”
Safety informationBetween Regéc and Makkoshotyka the trail avoids inhabited areas. Make sure to have sufficient food and drink.
- In Boldogkőváralja, the Blue (K) Trail passes by the railway station and the bus stop, too.
- From Nagy-Nyugodó the Blue + (K+) spur trail leads to downtown Sátoraljaújhely where follow the Blue (K) markers (Blue Trail of the Plain) to reach the train station.
- Free of charge parking in Boldogkőváralja near the train stop.
- Paid parking in Boldogkőváralja in the parking lot at the castle or free parking along Kossuth Lajos Street.
- Free parking at Sátoraljaújhely train station.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Basic gear: hiking boots, seasonable wear, drinking water, food. Use Természetjáró app. to navigate.