Szárliget - Dorog (OKT-11)
Magyar Természetjáró Szövetség Verified partner Explorers Choice
The name Gerecse is supposed to derive from the Slavic „grics" meaning “steep cliff”. And yes, the mountain is characterized by a varied landscape with island-like mounts of various size and chains of peaks divided by narrow valley and bumpy basins. The cliff lookouts provide a stunning view over the mountains scattered by small villages, especially the northern ones close to the Danube with a view over the neighboring Börzsöny on the other side.
The ideal season for hiking through Gerecse is springtime when the scent of flowering wild garlic/ramsons spreads around mixed with fresh sprouting trees and green fields. Gerecse is renowned for Jurassic ammonoid limestone so called “red marble” and Dachstein limestone hiding caves and Triassic Megalodus fossils. Basins with former mines extracting coal from Eocene/Oligocene sedimentary bedrock represent another world leaving distinctive traces on the villages nearby.
Although elevation gain is low (below 500 meters) so expect to hike up and down several hills. Over the first 50 kilometers the trail avoids settlements so sufficient food and water is advisable.
- Visit Somlyó peak (435 m) for stunning view accessible from the hikers’ lodge near Somlyóvár along Blue ▲ ( K▲).
- Visit the unique open-top Jankovics Cave above Mogyorósbánya.
- Natural springs are scarce. Make sure to have sufficient water supply.
Attractions with a detour
- Szelim Cave above Tatabánya (similar to Jankovich Cave).
- Via ferrata above Tatabánya.
- The Natural Reserve Area of Kálvária-domb in Tata with an open-air geological museum.
Recommended entries and exits
- Tatabánya (near OKTPH_57_1, OKTPH_57_2): Tatabánya railway station or bus stop “Tatabánya autóbusz-állomás”
- Tardos (near OKTPH_58): bus stop “Tardos, autóbusz-váróterem”
- Mogyorósbánya (OKTPH_62): bus stop “Mogyorósbánya, községháza”
- Tokod (OKTPH_63_B): bus stop “Tokod, Hősök tere” or “Tokod, Községháza”
Track typesShow elevation profile
Rest stopsClub Leonardo Étterem és Panzió
Tips and hintshttp://viaferrata-tatabanya.hu/
Follow the Blue (K) marker all along the trip.
- Set off from Szárliget railway station and pass below the highway to skirt ponds at Kisegyházapuszta.
- Climb to hikers’ lodge of Somlyóvár and descend to Tornyópuszta.
- Hike to hunters’ lodge at Koldusszállás.
- Skirt Pes-kő and head towards Vértestolna.
- Skirt the village and proceed along a mountain path to the foresters’ lodge of Bánya-hegy.
- Skirt Mount Nagy-Gerecse from the north and proceed to Pusztamarót passing Serédi Castle.
- Hike along from Pusztamarót to Péliföldszentkereszt.
- Climb Öreg-kő near Bajót and enter Mogyorósbánya.
- Climb Kő-hegy and proceed to cellars of Tokod.
- Climb Hegyes-kő and ascend to Tokod.
- From Tokod proceed to climb Nagy-Gete.
- Descend from Nagy-Gete to Dorog railway station.
Szárliget – Koldusszállás
Set off from Szárliget railway station to cross the ridge of Hajagos. Make a detour to the peak of Zuppa-tető to see a typical limestone pavement (devil’s plough in Hungarian folklore) and karst scrubland with a view over Vértes. The trail descends on the other side and passes under the highway. Skirting Nagyegyháza you will arrive at the fishing ponds. Past the cozy ponds the trail begins to ascend towards Mount Somlyó. The trail crosses groves and Váli Creek, traverses clear-cuts to arrive at hikers’ lodge of Somlyóvár (stamping location). It is an ideal spot to take a pause or stay overnight. Even its open porch is suitable for a night’s sleep.
Do not skip the peak. The grassy summit boasts a wide angle view over the surrounding mountains including Vértes from the previous section and Börzsöny on the other side of the Danube.
The trail descends from Somlyó and continues along a gravel road to Tornyópuszta. Past the village follow the paved road and then change to a path through the woods. Cross the road leading to Tarján to arrive at the clearing in Bodza-völgy next to the highway. The trail turns sharply right and continues towards Koldusszállás. Cross Tarjáni-malomárok Creek (Tarján Mill Race) and past Hallgató hill turn right to arrive at Koldusszállás near a pond. A stamper is placed on an oak tree on the edge of the clearing and another is on a utility pole past the hunters’ lodge.
Koldusszállás – Pusztamarót
The next part of your hike is the most picturesque of the Gerecse section. Trail passes along the bottom of Pes-kő and proceeds towards Vértestolna. From the edge of a field there is a view over the village with its signature long and narrow arrangement. You will pass pretty moss-covered rocks on Pörös-hegy and the trail winds up to the saddle of Halyagos and Bánya-hegy to skirt a mine pit. Although rock extracted here is called red marble it is limestone. Marble forms when limestone is subjected to the heat and pressure of metamorphism, however, this process here did not finish and rocks here resemble marble by appearance only. The trail passes the forester’s lodge of Bánya-hegy on a clearing with a stamper on an old oak tree. On the right the trackbed of a disused logging railroad parallels the trail traversing the slope of Mount Nagy-Gerecse. The trail does not climb up to the peak but rounds the base to the north to arrive at Serédi Castle (stamper on the fence).
Follow the Blue (K) markers to Pusztamarót. The track turns right at the clearing but continue ahead to the benches with a stamper on a pine tree. With a short detour you can find another stamper at the greasy spoon diner of Sólyomfészek Campsite. This clearing used to be the site of a village as the small cemetery also indicates behind the benches. It is famous for a sad event in Hungarian history as the fleeing Hungarian troops from the lost battle of Mohács were defeated again here by the Turkish troops.
Pusztamarót – Mogyorósbánya
The trail continues towards the gorge of Vaskapu and leave Gerecse forests behind. From here onwards the trail traverses smaller woods. Past Vaskapu continue along the right-of-way clearance to reach the road leading to Bajót. Turn left and in a few meters turn right to leave the road. The trail ascends along the edge of clear-cuts near Péliföldszentkereszt and following a slight descent it takes the paved road and arrives at the church of Péliföldszentkereszt in a beautiful valley with a pond. The stamper is at the café behind the church (Another is at the benches near the old oak.).
Past the buildings the trail passes Szent-kút (Holy Well) and begins an ascent towards the white cliffs of Öreg-kő. Make a detour to visit the open-topped Jankovich Cave and for the splendid view from the peak as the trail avoids it and turns right at a resting place.
Descend along the path to arrive at Mogyorósbánya (Make a short detour for the stamper at the entrance of Kakukk Pub in Alkotmány Street).
Mogyorósbánya – Tokod
Continue along the narrow street near the bus stop. The trail leaves the village and ascends on the slope of Kő-hegy oldalában. Where it turns downhill make a short detour to the left to find a lookout with a vista over the eastern hills of Gerecse, the next destinations of your hike (Hegyes-kő, Nagy-Gete) as well as steep slopes of Pilis Mountains and the mass of Börzsöny behind the Cathedral of Esztergom. Head downhill in the valley of Tokod cellars (stamper at Kavics-lak). After a short hike along the road to Tokod a steep hike takes you to a grassy plain below Hegyes-kő. Take a pause to enjoy the 360 degree view from the barren peak. Descend to Tokod (if you skipped it at the cellars make a detour for the stamper in Aladár Pub in Kossuth Street).
Tokod – Dorog
Past the village the trail begins a steep and tiring ascent to the peak of Nagy-Gete towering over Tokod and Dorog. The rocky path is challenging not only because it is steep but slippery too. Enjoy the view from the highest peak of eastern Gerecse over the much lower hills around.
A lengthy descent starts from the peak through woods and clear-cuts along a gravel track and the trail enters Dorog. Crossing the center of the mining town you will arrive at the train station (stamper at the station building near the entrance to the office).
- 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.
- Dorog train station by trains from Budapest, Nyugati Train Station and Esztergom.
- Bus stop “Dorog, városháza” by buses from coach station “Budapest, Árpád híd”, Esztergom and villages nearby.
- The Blue Trail crosses Szárliget railway station.
- The Blue Trail crosses Dorog railway station.
- From the bus stop take Hantken Miksa Street branching off from Esztergomi Street to reach the train station, which lies along the Blue Trail.
- Free of charge parking behind Szárliget railway station building in the parking lot of the supermarket.
- Park your car in the parking lot opposite to Dorog train station building. Exit the roundabout in the center along Esztergomi Street and cross the rails. Take the first right and past the supermarket right again onto Bányász Körönd. Turn right at the church onto Brikettgyári Street, which leads to the parking lot.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
- Hiking map of Gerecse
Basic gear: hiking boots, seasonable wear, drinking water, food. Use Természetjáró app. to navigate.
For the via ferrata trail in Tatabánya gear is available at the operator.
- 33 Waypoints
- 33 Waypoints
Questions and answers
Photos from others