Sümeg - Keszthely (OKT-03.)
Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség Verified partner Explorers Choice
ZalaszántóPhoto: Barna Burger, Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség
The unique character of this Blues Trail section comes from the meeting of three completely different landscapes. You will leave a flat terrain behind and cross the forested hills and valleys of Transdanubian Mountains finally finishing your hike along the densely inhabited lakeside of Balaton. This varied hiking experience is further enhanced by a series of historical sights. Besides climbing up to two castle ruins the trail will take you to an ancient watermill as well. The low-rise Kovácsi-hegy on the outskirts of Zalaszántó is worth at least half a day to discover its special geological formations and exciting gems of culture.
Initially, this is a flat trail with no elevation change along a paved road. You will soon reach the forests with warm climate lining Balaton. The first mount to climb is Tátika where the trail descends to Zalaszántó. Although the Blue Trail passes only at the bottom of the hill with the ruins of Rezi Castle on the top, the view is well worth the climb. Next the trail traverses long-stretching hills with vineyards to reach Hévíz and after a short walk arrives at Keszthely by the lake.
- Medieval Festival and Tournament in Sümeg to gain an insight into the past of the region
- Several formations of basaltic volcanism; the basalt street of Kovácsi-hegy with a detour of 2 hours
- Several castles in different condition; Sümeg castle mostly restored to its original beauty while it takes a little bit of imagination to visualize Rezi and Tátika Castles
- The largest European Buddhist stupa in Zalaszántó inaugurated by the Dalai Lama.
- Thermal Lake of Hévíz – a memorable experience with a continent-wide reputation
- Keszthely nicknamed as the capital of Balaton with range of cultural sights that match this title including Festetics Castle and Balaton Museum
Recommended exits and entries
- Zalaszántó (OKTPH_20_1, OKTPH_20_2): Zalaszántó, Ádám utca bus stop
- Rezi (OKTPH_21_1, OKTPH_21_2): Rezi, autóbusz-váróterem bus stop
- Hévíz (OKTPH_23): Hévíz, autóbusz-állomás bus stop
Track typesShow elevation profile
Rest stopsTurul Vendéglő és Panzió
Kristály Hotel Keszthely****
- The trail passes by active and abandoned stone mine sites. Those greatly interested in geology beware of falling rocks as mining activity has resulted in unstable surfaces.
- Make sure of having sufficient water supply as natural springs are scarce and water sources are available only in inhabited areas.
Tips and hints
Basic equipment: boots, seasonable clothing, water, food. Use Természetjáró app to navigate.
Follow the Blue marker all along the trip
- Set off from Sümeg railway station to east along Darnay Kálmán Street and turn right onto Lukonich Gábor Street. Take the first left and continue along Kossuth Lajos Street.
- Continue straight ahead along the same street (with changing names) to the town limit. The trail traverses Mogyorós-domb (Mogyorós Hill) and crosses the rails to continue along a paved forest road to Sarvaly-forrás (stamping location).
- 1 km past the Sarvaly-forrás turn right and ascend towards the hill with the ruins of Tátika Castle.
- The trial crosses the road to Zalaszántó and climbs to Kovácsi-hegy with its famous stupa. After a short descend you will arrive at Zalaszántó with a stamper at Kotsy-vízimalom (Kotsy Water Mill).
- Exit Zalaszántó to the south along the main street and turn left at the junction. 700 past the junction the trail leaves the paved road towards Keszthelyi-hegység (Keszthely Mountains).
- Descend to a tiny plateau to reach the village of Rezi (stamper in the center).
- Head southwest and hike across Almás-domb. Stamp at Gyöngyösi csárda (Gyöngyösi Inn) and follow the paved road.
- In 1 km the trail sharply turns south at a stone cross and winds through open fields and groves to arrive at Hévíz.
- In Hévíz hike along Zrínyi Street and turn left onto Széchenyi Street. Take the third right (Rákóczi Street).
- Walk clock-wise around the Lake of Hévíz and turn left on the other side to reach Keszthely along a straight track.
- In Keszthely the trail follows Hévízi Street and then Soproni Street passing Festetics Castle. The trail heads left at Fő Tér (Main Square) and continues via Erzsébet Királyné Street reaching Helikon Park along Helikon Street.
- Past Helikon Park turn right and continue along Kazinczy Ferenc Street to the railway station of Keszthely (stamping location).
Sümeg – Zalaszántó
Discovering Bakony area starts at Sümeg railway station with a stamper for Sümeg. Four trails (Blue (K), Red (P), Yellow (S) and Green (Z)) merge here and share the same path for a short way.
Right past the town limits take the gravel road parallel to Road 84 and having crossed a paved road leading to a geological site and camp continue along the dirt track to the left. The trail slightly descends from Mogyorós-domb and crosses the rails. Past railway stop “Sümegi bazaltbánya” head right to reach the road connecting Sümeg and Sümegprága. At the junction take the narrow paved track to the left (and not the country road). It leads past your next stamping location Sarvaly Hunting Lodge.
Follow the Blue markers along the paved road and at a junction in around 3 kms head left onto a gravel road and past 1 km turn right onto a narrow clearance at a decaying lodge. The trail sharply bends right and steeply ascends and reaches Fekete-tó (Black Pond). Following the narrow path the trail leads near the ruins of Tátika Castle. A spur at the junction with Blue L (KL) markers leads to the ruins. The predecessor of the castle was built around the Mongol Invasion in the 13th century but even the current ruin is among the oldest ones around Balaton. The hilltop provides one of the most splendid views along the western part of the Blue Trail making a short detour worth the effort. The trail descends along a dirt track and leads to a picnic spot with a spring the bottom of the hill. Head right onto the paved road and pass the farm buildings on the right. Continue to the left across the meadow and the trail enters a grove. Heading south the trail keeps to a gravel road until just 200 meters before the famous Stupa of Zalaszántó where the Blue Trail exits the track to the right. Proceed along the gravel track to visit the stupa where you may get a special stamp at the vendors.
Following the Blue (K) markers you will soon reach gardens on the outskirts of Zalaszántó. A sunken lane on the left descends to the village and the trail joins the main street at Kotsy-vízimalom (Kotsy Water Mill). Stampers are available at Tátika Pub (at the window) and further along the main street past the church at Ódor Store.
Zalaszántó – Rezi
Past the church head left to Várvölgy. The trail soon turns right off the paved road onto a dirt track to descend into the valley of Nagy-séd Creek. Cross the creek bed and the trail starts a long and steep ascent to the parking lot of Rezi Castle. A trail spur leads up to the ruins and a picnic spot. A dirt track on the other side of the parking lot descends to farm roads around Rezi leading to the village. A stamper is available at the picnic spot at the boundaries of the village on the back side of the stone wall. Another stamper is placed in Pub 021.
Rezi – Keszthely
Past the village center at a junction with a roadside cross the trail bends right and soon changes to a footpath on the right. Continue to descend along a gutter on the right side to reach the road connecting Keszthely and Sümeg. The trail passes Gyöngyösi csárda (Gyöngyösi Inn) and the graves of legendary outlaws on the right under the willow tree. A stamper is placed on a utility pole on the left just before the paved road. Another one is in the rain shelter at the bus stop opposite the inn.
Head right along the paved road until you reach a roadside cross where the trail sharply curves left onto a gravel track winding across the slopes of Vas-hegy (Iron Hill) towards Egregy. On the outskirts of Egregy you will soon reach Szent Magdolna Church from the Árpád-era and the edge of Hévíz. It takes short detour to get the local stamp at the coach station (waiting room).
Past Deák Square the trail traverses between a cypress grove and the Lake of Hévíz. The healing water of the lake springs from an underground cave and maintains a warm temperature all year round. As the trail reaches the other side of the lake it crosses the road at a zebra crossing and continues along an arrow straight biking route towards Keszthely. After skirting Kastélypark and crossing Helikon Park at Kazinczy Street you need to make short detour to the last stamping location (Vén Bakter Pub) opposite the entrance to the railway station.
- Direct train service to Sümeg railway station from Tapolca, Celldömölk and Zalaegerszeg.
- Bus service to Sümeg coach station from various towns; direct service from Budapest.
- Easiest access to Keszthely railway station from the southern side of Balaton, however, optionally from Tapolca.
- Keszthely coach station is a regional hub with a number of available coach services.
- The train station in Sümeg lies on the Blue (K) Trail.
- The coach station in Sümeg also lies on the Blue (K) Trail.
- In Keszthely set off northeast from the train/coach station along Kazinczy Ferenc Street. Past 300 meters you will reach the Blue (K) Trail.
- Free parking at Sümeg railway station. Easy parking all around the town.
- Free parking at Keszthely railway station.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
EquipmentThis section does not require special clothing or equipment. Be careful in rocky terrain.
- 43 Waypoints
- 43 Waypoints
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